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Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters,…

Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and…

by John Stossel

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tossel is great and unique. Check out his website. He is from the opposite economic spectrum from Krugman, readily quoting Milton Friedman and Frederick Von Hayek. His book is about journalism, and so many of the myths we believe in because of bad journalism and good lawyers. Here are some of Stossel's "truths": Large amounts of vitamin C don't help fight off any diseases, silicone breast implants never were harmful, there's no such thing as a "crack baby," and cutting your salt intake won't help prevent heart disease. Those are all covered in just 10 pages in the book. This book is an eye-opening, mind-freeing must-read. You may not agree with him, but you'll have to know your facts well to disagree with Stossel. This book stirred long-dormant Libertarian feelings in my soul. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
  saintmarysaccden | Jan 29, 2013 |
This is a quick read. I enjoyed Stossel's conversational tone and his no-nonsense way of addressing the issues. And in general I agree that government needs to shrink, lawsuits need to be reduced, and there's no virtue in being a victim. His anecdotes were a mixture of humorous and maddening, as most stories of government stupidity are. Unfortunately, I don't see this book as convincing anyone with firmer beliefs than the most tenuous of fence-sitters. As a reporter, Stossel knows how to break down complex issues into bite-sized chunks. Unfortunately, that means his evidence is a collection of soundbites from interviews rather than papers and studies you can go look up yourself. Interviews are a good source of information, but I am always wary of nonfiction books lacking a bibliography or at least a "further reading" section. ( )
  melydia | Oct 28, 2009 |
This book makes you think twice before listening to anyone telling you they have a deal for you. ( )
  foof2you | Oct 1, 2008 |
Overall, an OK book. I certainly felt somewhat more enlightened after reading it, particularly in regards to the media's oversensationalization of reporting safety "hazards" and government overregulation. Minus points for typos (seriously, should have been fixed by the paperback printing), and minus one star for his overgeneralized hatred of unions. Also, I have concerns about his love of contracting out government services to for-profit corporations. He only presents the evidence that supports his viewpoint here and fails to mention episodes like the Accenture voting system debacle currently going on in Wisconsin. However, no matter what your take on his opinions, it makes a good conversation starter, but a more balanced view would have been better. ( )
1 vote jaimelesmaths | Aug 12, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060529156, Paperback)

Working as a correspondent for 20/20 and Good Morning America, John Stossel confronted dozens of scam artists: from hacks who worked out of their basements to some of America's most powerful executives and leading politicians. His efforts shut down countless crooks -- both famous and obscure. Then he realized what the real problem was.

In Give Me a Break, Stossel takes on the regulators, lawyers, and politicians who thrive on our hysteria about risk and deceive the public in the name of safety. Drawing on his vast professional experience (as well as some personal ones), Stossel presents an engaging, witty, and thought-provoking argument about the beneficial powers of the free market and free speech.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:19 -0400)

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When he hit the airwaves thirty years ago, Stossel helped create a whole new category of news, dedicated to protecting and informing consumers. As a crusading reporter, he chased snake-oil peddlers, rip-off artists, and corporate thieves, winning the applause of his peers. But along the way, he noticed that there was something far more troublesome going on: While the networks screamed about the dangers of exploding BIC lighters and coffeepots, worse risks were ignored. And while reporters were teaming up with lawyers and legislators to stick it to big business, they seldom reported the ways the free market made life better. In Give Me a Break, Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market. He traces his journey from cub reporter to 20/20 co-anchor, revealing his battles to get his ideas to the public, his struggle to overcome stuttering, and his eventual realization that, for years, much of his reporting missed the point. Stossel concludes the book with a provocative blueprint for change: a simple plan in the spirit of the Founding Fathers to ensure that America remains a place "where free minds--and free markets--make good things happen."… (more)

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