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Extended Audio Sample Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media Audiobook, by John Stossel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (845 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Stossel Narrator: John Stossel Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2005 ISBN: 9780060856052
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Ballooning government? Millionaire welfare queens? Tort lawyers run amok? A $330,000 outhouse, paid for with your tax dollars? John Stossel says, "Give me a break."

When he hit the airwaves thirty years ago, Stossel 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 coffee pots, worse risks were ignored.

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 scare-mongering 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 modest proposal for change. It's 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."

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There’s nothing matter-of-fact about John Stossel’s fact-finding. He seeks the truths that destroy truisms, wields reason against all that’s unreasonable, and uses and upholds the ideals that puncture sanctimonious idealism. He loves liberty in a way that goes far beyond liberalism. He makes the maddening mad. And Stossel’s tales of the outrageous are outrageously amusing.”

    P. J. O’Rourke, New York Times bestselling author of Parliament of Whores

  • “Stossel is that rare creature, a TV commentator who understands economics in all its subtlety. Read this fascinating book to learn—by example after example—how the indirect, unseen effects of government policies often dominate the direct, seen effects. Again and again, policies have effects the opposite of those intended.”

    Milton Friendman, Nobel Prize–winning economist

  • “Stossel is one of the most tenacious, insightful reporters of all time, a true forerunner in investigative journalism.”

    Sean Hannity

  • “A riveting, enlightening read from one of America’s ablest and most courageous journalists. Stossel brilliantly practices what most in the media only preach.”

    Steve Forbes, editor of Forbes magazine

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sonia | 2/20/2014

    " This book made me mad; it was a real eye-opener on how important it is to have tort reform in this country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephen K. | 2/8/2014

    " A must read for everyone. A detailed account of all the dirty sharks and their practices! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik Hartman | 1/16/2014

    " If you like John Stossel, this book is for you. Pretty interesting stuff about how things really are different than we think and get told in the media. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George Shubin | 1/5/2014

    " It's a fun read if you like John Stossel, who confirms what we already know about the liberal-leftist politically-correct nonsense we have to wade through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christinebrender | 12/14/2013

    " good book, illustrates the value of free markets and points out the limitations of the U.S. government, in some cases. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 melydia | 12/14/2013

    " 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. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 10/31/2013

    " The subtitle scared me, but it turned out to be a decent book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/20/2013

    " I love books that challenge the "normal" way of thinking and John Stossel's book Give Me A Break did that for me. I hope I will be a better fighter for freedom after reading this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K | 10/10/2013

    " Excellent. In the steps of Bernard Goldberg, John goes from the left to the right and tell you how he got there. Gives you the whole story and how the government does more harm than good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lincoln | 10/6/2013

    " Stossel is an American hero "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 9/25/2013

    " John Stossel always wades through the B.S. for us "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Speed | 8/5/2013

    " Stossel recounts his gradual shift from left to right, as he notices that most of the problems we look to government to solve were caused by government in the first place. It's refreshing to see true investigative journalism like this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 3/6/2013

    " A VERY fun and quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa Espinosa | 2/22/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. I understood what liberal journalism was, and how hard it is to get the facts and exposed them. You get an idea of how jusrnalists are treated sometimes while exposing the truth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bjorose | 1/4/2013

    " Lots of interesting material is presented here. I like John Stossel's style. He gets to the point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittney | 11/14/2012

    " Very interesting read. Really enjoy his segments on TV most of the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 11/11/2012

    " Stossel is hilarious and makes valid points throughout the book. And as a journalist, I appreciate his candor and straight talk. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 3/29/2012

    " Everyone should read this book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jody Phillips | 10/4/2011

    " Stossel is engaging and makes you think about all the rules and legislation that is smothering us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Grimaud | 9/9/2011

    " Such common sense. I love John Stossel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lennox | 7/20/2011

    " If John Stossel would have me, my life would be complete. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Tsesmeloglou | 6/2/2011

    " A good dose of some common sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 5/29/2011

    " I listened to this book while driving home from Florida. Loved it! I guess I'm more a Libertarian than I thought. Wasn't crazy about the last couple of chapters, but he sure makes a lot of sense! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn Moore | 2/19/2011

    " Eye Opening. I don't agree with everything he says, but I certainly agree with some of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/9/2011

    " John Stossel exposes the liberal establishment and other cheats and scam artists as well as the media's assault on our liberty. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/8/2011

    " Interesting discussion material - even if you don't agree with him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christinebrender | 11/13/2010

    " good book, illustrates the value of free markets and points out the limitations of the U.S. government, in some cases. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vanessa | 11/7/2010

    " This book really opened my eyes about common conventional things we hold true solely based on what news reports tell us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jody | 10/19/2010

    " Stossel is engaging and makes you think about all the rules and legislation that is smothering us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 4/15/2010

    " It's a fun read if you like John Stossel, who confirms what we already know about the liberal-leftist politically-correct nonsense we have to wade through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Speed | 4/13/2010

    " Stossel recounts his gradual shift from left to right, as he notices that most of the problems we look to government to solve were caused by government in the first place. It's refreshing to see true investigative journalism like this. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shane | 2/27/2010

    " Maybe when Johnny wrote this, he hadn't experienced the "private sector" for all its glory (profit-guzzling executives, housing bust, recession, health-care crisis, etc., etc., etc.). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jarred | 9/8/2009

    " This one really raised my libertarian hackles. Stossel breaks down the spectacular incompetence of government into short, easy chapters. Recommended for those looking for a good rant, and even more ammunition to belittle acquaintances of the liberal persuasion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 8/30/2009

    " I absolutely think Libertarians are mad but for some reason I liked this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 7/24/2009

    " Love John Stossel. He is so down-to-earth and full of common sense. His book chronicles the growth of his political outlook--and how the main-stream media went from loving to hating him. Makes a great case for freedom and against government interference in our lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 6/26/2009

    " Fascinating and highly recommended, though I disagree on some of the moral issues. Very enlightening. "

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About the Author
John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC's 20/20. He also hosts ABC's John Stossel Specials reports for ABC radio, and ABCNews.com. A graduate of Princeton University, Stossel lives in New York City with his wife and two children. He devotes his time to beach volleyball, youth soccer, and his family.