Steal This Book

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Steal This Book is a book written by Abbie Hoffman in 1970 and published in 1971.



Advice on dissidence

The book includes advice on such topics as growing cannabis, starting a pirate radio station, living in a commune, stealing food, shoplifting, stealing credit cards, preparing a legal defense, making pipe bombs, and obtaining a free buffalo from the U.S. Department of the Interior. It discusses various tactics of fighting as well as giving a detailed list of affordable and easy ways to find weapons and armor that can be used in the event of a confrontation with law enforcement. The book advocates rebelling against authority in all forms, governmental and corporate.

The "Pig Empire"

In the book, Hoffman referred to the American Empire as the "Pig Empire", saying that it was not immoral to steal from the "Pig Empire"; in fact, Hoffman wrote, it was immoral not to do so.[1] The term was picked up by the Yippies, and was widely used by what became known as the "Woodstock Nation".[2]

Cultural response

The book's reflexive title is a classic example of Yippie culture jamming.[citation needed]

As the book ages, the specific details of the various techniques and advice Hoffman gives have become largely obsolete for technological or regulatory reasons, but the book iconically reflects the yippie zeitgeist.

On the success of the book, Hoffman was quoted as saying, "It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List." Hoffman would not respond to accusations that he had plagiarized the book, as claimed in an article in Rolling Stone magazine (No. 92, 10 September 1971), entitled "How Abbie Hoffman Won My Heart and Stole Steal This Book."[3]

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