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A State of Disobedience
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A State of Disobedience
by Tom Kratman
Publisher: Baen Books

It's Time to Remember the
Alamo All Over Again!

In the long war against terrorism, the US Government had taken on extraordinary powers. And now that the war was won, powerful forces in the government had no intention of relinquishing those powers. As in 1860, the country was on the verge of civil war. And as in 1860, a leader arose to save the country—but it was not the President this time. Instead, the Governor of Texas was the woman of destiny. And, though the Federal Government had more guns and troops, David was about to give Goliath a run for his money. . . .

 

"Probably the most realistic depiction of a second American Revolution ever written." —John Ringo

Published: 12/1/2003
SKU: 0743471709
Ebook Price: $0.00
Baen Free Library Book

Included In
W200508 August 2005 Monthly Baen Bundle
W200508 August 2005 Monthly Baen Bundle
$12.00
W200312 December 2003 Monthly Baen Bundle
W200312 December 2003 Monthly Baen Bundle
$12.00

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Showing comments 1-28 of 28 Click Here to see all comments
1. Twidget on 10/21/2017, said:

If you want to read a far-right fantasy about the next American revolution - this isn't it. In order to read this you have to be so far down the pizza-gate conspiracy path that you've turned off your brain and set aside any sense of reality.

This book is so far right, and portrays progressives and liberals in such a sweeping way as to make it impossible to suspend disbelief and enjoy this. Likewise, it portrays conservatives as paragons of American virtue and, spoiler alert, manages to enshrine the anti-choice position that life begins at conception into the Constitution. That is how far right this "book" is. How Baen ever accepted it for publication is beyond me.

Skip this drivel and go read some Posleen fanfic.
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2. luna on 3/24/2017, said:

This book is based on the most insane stereotype of the progressive views for the country. the author has liberals using extreme right wing tactics to enforce what the right likes to think the left stands for. this book is certainly fiction as it is far removed from reality. reads more like a Hannity fever dream then anything believable or even remotely plausible!
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3. andy on 9/9/2016, said:

at this later date the possibility of events similar are much to real. good,thoughtful writing.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (0 people found this comment helpful, 3 did not)

4. Doug on 11/24/2012, said:

More a to-the-right-of-Ayn-Rand-rant than si fi.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (5 people found this comment helpful, 18 did not)

5. Andrew on 11/9/2012, said:

Well written, if slightly more heavy handed then some of his later works. The action and pacing leave some to be desired too, again, he improves substantially in his later works. With the field of philosophy almost fully corrupted by academia, actual students of the human condition tend to follow in Rand and Heilein
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6. WILLIAM A. on 3/4/2012, said:

Outstanding treatise of the possible.

Timing is a bit premature, but highly plausible!

Love the writing, too!

Was this comment helpful? yes no   (6 people found this comment helpful, 4 did not)

7. Ken on 12/26/2011, said:

Well written, and unfortunately plausible. Interesting how loudly people with a liberal political philosophy are screaming about this book. You will either love it or hate it, which is about right for a tale that makes you revisit sacred cows.
Was this comment helpful? yes no   (10 people found this comment helpful, 7 did not)

8. Jon on 12/4/2011, said:

I want to give it more because some of the characters were very well done and I loved the battle scenes, but the authors own beliefs couldn't get out of the way of the writing. I mean, you can get a point across without being ludicrous blatant about your feelings. Too bad too, I thought it could have potential.

If you enjoy watching Hannity and want some of that mixed in your literature, this book is probably for you. If you just want to read good scifi without the politics mixed in, look elsewhere.
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9. Joan on 9/6/2011, said:

Willi was a Nazi--National Socialist. Her programs sounded left-wing but could not have existed. I had a hard time getting through the book--the author kept mixing things up.
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10. Craig on 3/28/2011, said:

the fighting scenes were very well done, and the general writing is good, but I prefer my right-wing propaganda to be televised.
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11. Roger on 1/4/2011, said:

This could have been a 5, the premise and military portion is wonderful. Unfortunately the herion and villian are stereotypes. The villian is a petulant lesbian who is out for power with no scruples or finnesse. The herione cries in almost every scene and is told what to do by a man because she is unable to make hard choices.

The agenda of the book could have been written by one of the screaming right-wing TV pundits who speak in thirty second sound bites and lie like a biased statistician.

If the author ever starts questionning all the propoganda and not just the left his books could be excellent. For this one it's a bit of a slog getting through the "liberals are stupid" bits to get to the good parts.
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12. Rick on 12/1/2010, said:

A fast fun read. It's a 'people' vs the 'government' book for a time when the US government is in every portion of our lives, controlling every aspect... and what happens when 'the people' finally say, "No."
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13. Antti-Juhani on 10/24/2009, said:

It wasn't so long ago, the time of the 2000 US presidential elections, the time
of the twin towers falling, the time of the US going mad. I remember clearly
looking at it from half the world away and fearing the future.

I must admit the basic premise of the book is quite plausible. In that
political climate, a power grab by one of the players looked inevitable. In
retrospect, I must give a lot of respect to George W. Bush, for not doing it.

Considered from that background, this book should be an easy four-starrer - but it isn't. Why?

The plot construction is competent, the characters are well depicted, the
action runs.

But, the big but! The bad guys are badly designed. I can readily believe the
fictional president, well enough - there are lunatics in all parties and all
denominations. What I don't believe is the depiction of the Democratic party
in general. The book sets up various "lefty" strawmen and leaves it at that,
but none of them are reason enough to support such an oppressive style of government.
Tilting at the windmills, eh, Kratman? You could have done a better job - I
can imagine several ways you could have convinced me, even with the same basic
setup - but then you wouldn't get to make your political point so easily.

And another big but! The bad guys are so incompetent, so *bad* at setting up
and running a police state that one could spot the train wreck from afar.
Essentially, the bad guys saw their own legs off, and all the good guys have to do is not succumb. Not good for a compelling tale - your protagonists need worthy adversaries.

It wasn't bad enough book to throw away only partly read. But it left a foul taste in my mouth, and didn't give me much to wash that taste away with. I'm disappointed - there were ingredients enough for a remarkable meal.
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14. A. J. on 6/28/2009, said:

I don't agree with the man but, I'll not fault his craftsmanship. His depiction of Texans was pretty dead on. I've lived here pretty much all my life and I knew someone just like nearly all the Texan characters he portrayed. You'd think the man lived here or something. I hear he lives in MA so, great job on research. He even used y'all correctly or, at least, he didn't use it incorrectly. It's a pet peeve of mine, so, trust me, I'd've noticed if he had. As for his views, he reminds me of Mark Twain. I picture an old man chomping on a cigar while railing at his audience and listing at length and, in lurid profane detail what he thinks is wrong with the country, society and people in genral along with dire predictions as to what will come of it all if someone doesn't listen and do something quick..
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15. Eric J. on 4/2/2008, said:

Great fun. Terse prose, good characterization, the pace was good--even if you don't agree with the "bent" of the author you should appreciate the construction of the story and plot. The author sticks to the story and doesn't insert sex to titillate the audience.
To those who are offended: BWAH_HA_HA_HA_HA_HA! THWAP!--I Stooge you. Heh.
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16. Daniel on 3/19/2008, said:

I came late to the party on this one, having first read 'A Desert Called Peace' and 'Carnifex'. I know that 'A State of Disobedience' came first (was it Kratman's first novel? I can't tell, his writing is superb; like a seasoned pro). This novel is frankly terrifying, because it is so dead-on in it's projection of what could be waiting for us all in our very near future. Detractors who claim that this is a 'right wing nut fantasy' are burying their heads in the sand. The story races along, I found myself unable to tear myself away. Characters are very believable, as is the plot (and the dialogue is fantastic). Some parts moved me to tears, other parts made me laugh out loud, and other parts sent surges of adrenaline through me. This was an exciting and fun read, and the more I read by this author the more I think he is truly a brilliant writer. All in all this is an excellent and compelling read; I'd recommend this novel to anyone.
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17. Jay on 2/8/2008, said:

And the transnational progressive goes 'wah'. A good story. Ringo's blurb above for this book is dead-on. I'd have liked to have seen a bit more background to help make the author's socio-political points, so the liberal detractors couldn't easily pigeon-hole this as some kind of right-wing fantasy. This isn't really a 'Texas secedes' novel, since Texas doesn't actually secede at any point in the story, the book refers to Texas' so-called 'right to secede' a myth, and the whole point of the book is that a major change in the federal government is accomplished by mainly two state governments and many individuals using 'non-violent civil disobedience'. Great characters, but the female governor of Texas seems a bit too naive to be a successful politician. Kratman nails Texas politics pretty well, making the point that a Democrat Governor of Texas would probably be a Republican if she lived north of the Mason-Dixon line, or on the left coast. There are actually many extremely conservative, pro-life, gun-toting, red-neck Christian Democrats in Texas. In other words, I could actually see the Alvin Scheer character, one of the best written characters in the book, as a Democrat. (I personally know several older fundamentalist Christians in Texas that are still Democrats. "Daddy and Momma voted Democrat, and that's good enough for me.") He also nails Texas geography pretty well.
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18. Robert on 11/14/2007, said:

This book really made me think about things and I like that in a book. The author seems to actually be arguing with himself. The book seems to miss the point that the government and corporations seem to be the problem. Not just one or the other. The author needs to read his history. The actions taken by President Roosevelt came about because the times demanded it. The churches and the corporations abandoned the people in the thirties and the government had to step in or face a very real revoulution. This country was about to go even further left. I would love to see the author really tackle some of these problems. Don't forget, in the 30's the army was being used to shoot poor people who were protesting wages that would not support a family if you were able to find a job.
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19. John on 9/29/2007, said:

Any book that upsets a lib this much has to be good. They just hate the whole free speech thing when it applies to someone with ideas different from theirs or sets them in a bad light. Just remember folks this is work of fiction and the libs have our best interests at hart. Really. Just ask them :-)
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20. Derek on 8/28/2007, said:

A light but enjoyable read. Slanted a bit to the NRA side, but most good warning stories take a trend to the far end.
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21. Linda on 8/17/2007, said:

A great read! Since I am from Texas, the braggadocio(sp?) works for me. It could happen this way. I see us headed down this road. Right now the most militant religion (besides Islam) IS the Global Warming Bunch. You are counted a heretic if you wonder out loud about their crackpot psuedo science.
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22. robert on 8/12/2007, said:

What a read. If you haven't read it yet, put down your $4 and get it.

Those with far, far left political sympathies will not like it one bit, but if you have any moderate, libertarian, or conservative traits, you will.

Basically you have a very realistic story of what could happen if modern liberalism is allowed to succeed.
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23. Douglas on 5/8/2007, said:

I am a avid "alternate history" reader. As part of the genre, it is great reading for those who enjoy it. I would also like to point out that to automatically equare the book to the actual political oriention of the author without personal knowldege of said political affiliation, is in my opinion extremely foolish. The book is extremely well written, and entertaining. (Which is what books should be.) The Political Correctness that permiates our society at this time shoud not extend to our reading material. Then it becomes censorship!
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24. Stephen on 2/18/2007, said:

Read the magnifcent stuggle of the underdog, God-fearing Christians triumph over the Evil authoritarian, federalist Liberal atheists! Who kill children and crush the poor working man under their jackboots, whilst robbing them of their hard earned cash!

Ick. It's hard to maintain suspension of disbelief in front of such assaults as EPA stormtroopers, ruthless demolition of the peacible demonstrations, as well as a blatent re-creation of the Sturmshaffel; black uniforms, president's private army status, suggestive initials and all.

But enough about the plot and the strawman-like enemy, now to the writing. While it is all technically correct, the pacing and characterisation are off. The flow is disjointed at times, with too many individual points of view being shown. The characters can be little more than archtypical, particularly amongst the 'Democrats', being little more than puppets, spouting the author's message.

All in all, a book I would not recommend, unless you like books for radical republican.
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25. David on 1/28/2007, said:

I have read about 4 previous 'Texas Secedes' novels. The writing is okay and the book is definitely a light read. The book assumes that everything that has ever been said about Hillary Clinton and the recent Democratic Party are the tip of the iceberg. On the other hand, people forget that National Socialist Workers People's Party was a radical liberal extremist group, NOT a bunch of conservatives.
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26. David on 1/26/2007, said:

I picked up the book on a whim, not actually planning on reading it... a day later, I had finished one of the more interesting 'what if' books about civil war and what might or could cause it. It has a lot of good thought points about the power of government and what should or should not happen. I would recomend this to anyone interested in politics or civil wars. It makes you think.
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27. Daniel on 12/23/2006, said:

Awsome, Slaughter the Hippys
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28. Andrey on 12/18/2006, said:

The book was designed to tickle the pleasure center of radical republicans and NRA members by writing down everything bad the author could invent about democrats (kill babies! kidnap women! EPA shock troops! lesbian president!) and sprinkling it with random combat scenes. Fairly painful to read.

Oh, and his other Baen book is about liberals selling out to man-eating aliens, and WWII Nazi warriors saving the day. No kidding.
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