Matt Bracken: "Let me just say that I would trade a dozen loaded AR-15 magazines for it and think I had gotten the better of the deal. And after the lights go out, its value would only increase."
Read this on Western Rifle Shooters this morning and ordered immediately.
I have often wondered how to approach my neighbors about a proactive response to the impending SHTF and TEOTWAWKI scenarios without sounding like a paranoid flake. Trying to organize after the Zombie Apocalypse could be too late.
The wise know the time is now to finalize training their spirits, minds and bodies. Just added this to my library.
Ordered! Anything to help me preserve life in crisis is invaluable.
Matt has real ‘street cred’ here, I don’t. Let’s get that said up front. But as a civilian, I strongly recommend the book.
Having read the book, I can only STRONGLY recommend you read it and put it into action. I will never have a DD214 as I was NPQ, so I brought an “interested civilian” perspective to the review.
For what it’s worth, I would likely qualify as an “Alpha, Roving and Response Guardian” and a fire captain.
I posted a comment. See below:
As a civilian dad I found the book very informative, sobering, actionable and comprehensive. Its a practical, executable call to action. They have obviously thought this through (based on real-world experiences) and then effectively put pen to paper. I have never seen the elephant but sadly may soon find the elephant at our door under very tragic circumstances. This book is a remarkably readable laymans guide to survive, sustain and win during a failure of civility.
Unlike Matt, I have only been through the book once, but its already highlighted and dogeared. I plan to remove the pages from the binding, drill them, and construct a sectioned three-ring binder. This will be a working document and tool.
To me the book is most valuable because it is *practically* instructive and motivating. I can turn this into a project plan and make the right progress. Now.
I read this not as a veteran, but rather as a civilian dad living in a typical middle-class Atlanta commuting suburb. The houses in our neighborhood are brick-front, stick-frame, multi-story, five/four and a door structures with lousy ballistics resistance and quite burnable. We happen to live in an large planned community of rolling hills, fully-surrounding three 50+ acre, stream-fed freshwater lakes. We are 2.5 miles from Interstate 85, 22 miles from urban Atlanta, and .5 miles off a main secondary road. In short, we are an accessible, attractive target to the Horde. Because of the prior conditions, our Plan A has long been to bug out to our place in the NC mountains. This book applies quite well for our plan A, as we WILL need a NPP even for that location on the edge of the Nantahala forest. (Frankly you need a NPP wherever you stop, even en route.) *BUT* if we get caught here, circumstances change, whatever, and we need or ought to bug-in here, we need a good plan. This is it.
My greatest concern for success with an NPP is that our neighborhood is culturally and politically diverse, and I have real doubts about our ability to gain and sustain adequate OPSEC and secure the perimeter due to others not sharing our perspective and definition of outsiders and the threat there from.
Secondly, how do we realistically plan to deal with starving, pathetic refugees under the age of 6? Forsten deals with this in One Second After. Not sure our neighbors would join us in similar actions and postures.
NET: buy it. Read it repeatedly. Turn it into practice and actions.
Thanks for listening
If Matt recommends it, it must be good.
Don’t ever worry about copying my complete stuff.
From Matt Bracken:
A Failure of Civility
A Book Review by Matt Bracken
First, let me apologize for the poor writing quality of this review. Normally, I write an essay and spend days and days polishing it. Not this time. Im currently in between my pretty essays, but this review is just pure business, like a claw hammer you picked up at Home Depot to bang nails. Pretty has nothing to do with it, so lets get on with the job.
Second, let me apologize to the other very kind authors who have sent me their books to review over the past months. I have read them all, most of them are worthy of their own reviews, and I hope to get to them when I can.
A few months ago, I received a copy of the new book A Failure of Civility, by Mike Garand and Jack Lawson. It is subtitled How to defend and protect you, your family, friends, neighborhood and America during a disaster or crisis. Other than receiving this unsolicited book in the mail, a book I had never even heard of before that moment, I have no connection whatsoever to the authors or to the book.
A Failure of Civility grabbed my attention on the first page. It begins, A few notes to our readers . Consider reading this book as if the authors have parachuted into your backyard as special operations soldiers to assist you in forming a cooperative protection of your neighborhood. Thats one of the things that special ops soldiers are best at covert insertion into isolated areas to train people in how to defend themselves against inequitable justice and malicious aggression. The authors combined life experiences, military and law enforcement, span 80 years. With this book, we give you the tools of knowledge to enable you to teach you and others how to defend yourselves, your family and neighbors. We want you to help save lives and to keep America strong.
Wow, what a tall order! As a long-ago Navy frogman, I wondered if they could truly match that claim in their book. They do, and much more. I read the book cover to covertwice!in the first week. In fact, I am so impressed with it that I have been hauling it around for the last few months, trying to encourage my friends and relatives to buy it. Its not cheap it costs $30. Let me just say that I would trade a dozen loaded AR-15 magazines for it and think I had gotten the better of the deal. And after the lights go out, its value would only increase.
The book is big; its eight by eleven inches and 394 pages long. Its printed in oversize 14 point font. Why? Because when you really need this book, you might be in a cold, dark place, huddled by a fire. They could have printed it in a smaller format and put it out at a lower price, but they decided not to. I completely understand why, and it makes total sense to me, having read it, and understanding the conditions it is intended for.
Now, if you are a former special ops soldier yourself, some of the material in this book might be stuff you have already considered. But even in that case, when you will really need the knowledge contained in it the most, you might be shivering in the cold, malnourished, sick and stressed out, at a point when your brain will be firing on half its cylinders at best. And thats exactly when the information inside this book will be of the most value to you and to your family. Not now, warm and on a full stomach, but later, just to assure yourself even while you are in a debilitated state that you have covered the bases and that you are making the best possible decisions for your family and for your neighbors.
If you are not a former special ops soldier, then the value of this book simply cannot be stated in 2013 dollar terms. What is the value of your familys life, of their very survival? Pretty damn high, right? Well, thats the value of this book. A hypothetical example of its value and its utility came to my mind since I have college-age kids. In the hands of one smart and motivated ROTC cadet at a university, the information in this book would permit the cadets to turn their campus into a fortress that would be able to hold out against almost any foreseeable calamity.
This is not just another handbook on how to build a remote fortress on a mountaintop, beginning with a fantasy budget. It takes a completely different tack, namely, how to survive in place, where you are, on your current budget. How to bug in, not bug out. It postulates, and I agree with this, that no single family can survive alone, hidden in a remote fortress or bunker, no matter how large their pre-SHTF budget. It assumes that you will stay in your house and in your neighborhood. And it theorizes that no single house can be fortified to hold out against hordes of criminal bandits once the SHTF. You cannot get through TEOTWAWKI on your own.
That means that you must think in terms of defending your entire neighborhood, whether that neighborhood is in an urban, suburban or rural area. A remarkable thing about this book is that it begins planning the defense of your neighborhood even before the SHTF. You simply cant wait until the lights go out to defend your area. The book lays out plans for cleverly laying the seeds for neighborhood defense in depth now, before the crisis strikes with full fury.
I could spend thousands of more words summarizing the chapter contents of the book, but I wont, for the sake of brevity. Please take me at my word that the contents are not another rehash of other surviving TEOTWAWKI books. Its not just a collection of chapters like, first aid and food storage. Its so far beyond that basic level that its hard for me to express without going on for pages and pages more. Its full of thought-provoking material on critical subjects that you have never considered, please believe me on that.
Besides survival and defense information, the book also contains first-hand survival stories about life in a city during wartime with no power, major urban riots, and other grim topics, just to mentally prepare the reader for what to expect. A true failure of civility will potentially usher in a new Dark Age, when there is no law, and desperate, starving people will do literally anything to survive, including resorting to cannibalism in the extreme situations. The authors are not writing high literature, but a textbook for survival in the most horrible conditions imaginable, yet its always engaging and even engrossing.
At the beginning of this review I apologized for not spending days refining it to my usual standards, but I have already delayed too long in writing it. My goal here is not to impress you with my wordcraft. My goal is to encourage you to get your hands on this book while you can.
I think every American family should have at least a few months of food on hand, so that they wont have to go out foraging during the worst periods of TEOTWAWKI. I believe that every American family needs sufficient heating material to get them through at least one winter with no electricity and no fuel deliveries. I believe that every American family needs enough firearms and ammunition to hold desperate, starving criminals at bay. And I believe that every American prepper needs a copy of A Failure of Civility as a reference manual for survival during the most trying times ahead. Along with the Bible, I consider it the most important book that I am personally aware of for getting through the dark days that we may be about to experience.
Every word I have written, in all of my novels and essays, has been meant as a warning to the reachable to get ready for the heavy weather that many of us see coming. Please, buy this book. Its not cheap, its $30 and its not on Amazon. The authors are not book pros, they are just some guys with invaluable knowledge to share who are producing the book on their own. Get it now, while you can. I have zero connection to the authors, other than I believe the contents are important beyond measure. If there are other books as valuable as this one for surviving the coming storm, I havent seen them yet. Im not saying they are not out there, but I have missed them so far.
My fondest hope is that in five years, the few people who remember me will laugh and say, Matt Bracken, what a paranoid jerk he was. A hack writer of cheap alarmist fiction, the author of a few quickly forgotten novels and essays. I hope and pray that in five years, America will be as strong, prosperous and free as it ever was.
But if not, and if you find yourself at some point cold, hungry, sick and very, very afraid, hiding in a blacked-out basement while you are rereading your dog-eared copy of this book by lamplight, you will be thanking me over and over again for encouraging you to buy it. My cheap and unimportant works of fiction wont matter a damn at that point, but you will be damn glad that you have a copy of A Failure of Civility. You, your family, and your entire neighborhood might pull through the coming storm just because of this one book.
Sorry for dashing off this badly written review, but I have been putting it off for too long already, and time is one thing we are running out of, in my opinion. And sorry to the other authors who have sent their books; I hope to get to them soon. But this review cant wait any longer. Please buy the book. And buy an extra copy or two to send to reachable family members. Tell them to wrap it in plastic, and save it for a time that we hope will never come.
BFL. Thanks for posting.
Knock, knock ...(Neighbor door opens)
(Safety minded citizen speaks): “Sir, we are forming a rapid response team for alien invasion and fed/gov firearms confiscation raids...”
(Response from frightened neighbor): “What are you? Some kind of nut?” (He whips out his cell and dials 9-1-1): “I’d like to report a disturbed neighbor. I think he may have a GUN...”
(11 minutes later several police cars show up; officers emerge with weapons drawn...): “Place your hands behind your head. Lace your fingers and kneel...”
* * *
(After action assessment): I pictured this turning out differently.
[I ordered the book to see how they suggest initial contacts should be made and followups.]
From the time I was a small kid, I liked to fantasize about having to survive on my on, or even better with one of the beautiful girls who made our high school so scenic.
One day I was hunting at the edge of the Eglin AFB reservation. I was 16 and had a drivers license. I had parked my old car and gone into the woods. After only a few minutes my dog treed a squirrel. I crossed a creek, shot him and realized I was turned around. The sky was totally overcast.
I finally found the creek and crossed again not realizing the creek had forked and I was still on the South side of it. I wandered around for a couple of hours, completely lost. I finally came across an old logging road. There was nothing to decide. I was going to follow it no matter where it led. I finally came out to the highway about 12 miles down from where my car was parked.
Walking back, several times I saw my old mutt framed in a car’s headlights. It was a job keeping him off the highway.
What I learned that day is that I knew nothing. If I had in fact been dumped in the middle of nowhere with nothing but my gun, I would have been in very serious trouble.
I still loved to fantasize about surviving and did in fact begin to study the written advice from many sources.
One thing I do know is that I never want to be away from my home and tools etc. Also that those who have been there and done that are far great resources rather than my imagination.
I bought it a while back. Good read. The problem is that all but one other person on my block won’t see the need for it even when their front door is being broken down. And the vast majority pride themselves on being conservatives. Conclusion: I need a new neighborhood. BTW, I live in Germantown. Yeah, the Germantown from Matt’s third book. Go figure.
Thanks a million! After having noticed the recent national interest in prepping, I’ve been trying to think of ways to “prep” in the offensive as apposed to the standard defensive posture.
FR needs a “library” where people can list and discuss favorite books. This sounds like a book everyone needs to have.