One of the best books I ever read was “Steal This Book” by Abbie Hoffman. I had to special order the book because the book stores refused to try and hold it on their shelves. I’ve had the book in my possession since 1996. It still looks brand new- spine is uncracked and the pages are pristine. I’ve treasured this piece of literature since I first heard of it.
If you haven’t read it, here’s a brief snapshot: The book talks about urban survival by living without much or any money. I learned a lot about how to be thrifty and still live a decent lifestyle. The book came into my life at a time when I was couch surfing and fairly broke. I recently saw it on my bookshelf and have decided to re-read it again and see if there are some new tidbits or tactics I can implement into my daily life.
The book was a huge underground success, but didn’t make much money because people would steal the book. It’s even written in the book that you should have stolen it. As much as stealing is a bad thing, sometimes corporate greed is worse.
System of a Down titled their third studio album: “Steal This Album” released in 2002. As an almost perfect reference to Abbie Hoffman’s counterculture literature, System of a Down had a track on their album titled “Fuck The System”. Song stealing and sharing was very popular in the late 1990’s early 2000’s. Unfortunately, many people didn’t see that what they were doing was a bad thing. The songs all had radio play, and the musicians still performed at concerts.
“Steal This Movie” was an indie film about the rise and fall of Abbie Hoffman. Check the movie out if you want a glimpse into who he was.
I’m off to find a nice spot on the grass and read through my book once more.