Steal This Book - Abbie Hoffman No, I didn't. Steal the book, that is. I'd make a lousy anarchist.File this one in your mental "look-but-don't-read" category. Abbie Hoffman wrote Steal This Book while incarcerated. This fact alone should have served as a warning to anyone planning to try the scams and swindles he encouraged. I read the first 95 pages in earnest, then just skipped through the rest of the book to get a general feel for the ideas he was promoting. Supporters called this book "an instruction manual for radical social change." Nothing could be further from the truth. What Hoffman really wanted was for society to stay exactly as it was, so he and his reefer-head, freeloading friends could continue taking advantage of the system. He was so harshly critical of America, but it was the industry and honesty of the general population that allowed his cheater techniques to work. He called the U.S. "Pig Empire" and always used the word "pigs" when referring to the police. Says I: Abbie Hoffman was the real SWINE here. Lying, shoplifting, cheating, and exploding homemade bombs does not improve or change society. There's nothing constructive or productive about being a stoned out leech. Want social change? Run for office. Be a volunteer for a service organization. Try giving instead of taking, creating instead of destroying. The book has some value as a cultural marker, hence the two stars instead of just one. It's an interesting reminder of the mood and "vibes" among the younger generation in 1970. For a few good laughs, flip through and see how much things have changed in 40 years. Remember mimeograph machines? Hippie communes? Pay phones? "Keep on truckin'" posters? Pre-computer age anonymity? (I really miss that.) What will be laughable 40 years from now?