A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

July 26, 2012

Book Review: "Founders" by James Wesley Rawles

     I am extremely honored to have the privilege of providing you with an early review of James Wesley Rawles' latest book, Founders, A Novel of the Coming Collapse.   As you are well aware, I am an avid fan of his writing, and from the moment I read his first book, I must credit him with giving me my wake-up call in a style that was meant to inform, not panic; to educate, not radicalize; and to give sound instruction on how to prepare for the impending disintegration of our country.  And he has done it all in compelling stories that capture your imagination.
     As I began this final novel in the Collapse trilogy, it dawned on me how the idea of "The Group" and a survival retreat in remote Idaho was such a foreign idea back in 2008.  When we were introduced to Ken and Terry Layton in Patriots, they seemed on the fringes of the "Survival" movement.  Were they visionaries, or merely extremists?  Time has proven that both Rawles and his characters possessed clairvoyance.
     In Founders, we now find the Laytons in the midst of the full-blown "Crunch", and executing their plan to reach the Idaho retreat.  What I loved about reading this book was how skillfully Rawles has woven "teachable" moments into the riveting storyline.  Through Ken and Terry's cross-country trek we are introduced to countless survival tips that we should consider and implement.  If your circumstances could find you traveling long distance on foot, you would do well to pay attention to what they include in their backpacks; their methods of travel and how to avoid "refugees" on the road; and the way they barter their security services for room and board during the non-travelable winter months.
     And true to form, the book abounds with other fascinating characters.  There is Sheila Randall, the innovative owner of a microstore during the Crunch; Maynard Hutchings, who abdicates the sovereignty of America to become the head of the Provisional Government; Ben Fielding, a Messianic Jew and member of the Resistance; and Captain Andy Laine, our hero from Survivors, who agrees, along with his wife, Kaylee, to work undercover for the Resistance.
     There are countless other personalities that contribute to the story, and demonstrate the mindset and skills that will be necessary to survive the very real collapse we are facing.  For me, perhaps the most beneficial element of Founders, is the mental picture Rawles paints of just how this country might change when the economic collapse finally occurs.  It helps me to visualize what that could look like; how the structure of this country might be reshaped and how we are most likely to respond.  He vividly portrays what hyperinflation will look like with empty store shelves, a rush to buy tangibles; and a race to pay off mortgages with inflated dollars before the reset button is activated.
     At first, there will be a "benevolent" new administration; a seemingly well-intentioned "Provisional Government" (PROVGOV).  Then we begin to see controls gradually increase, and key industries and utilities "nationalized".  Wage, price, currency and credit controls are instituted and the PROVGOV establishes a "New Army" to maintain domestic tranquility; only to find out that they are a foreign occupational force and the UN is calling the shots.  This may be a novel of fiction, but it reads like the real world.
     There will be Christians who planned on being raptured before this SHTF, and thought that prepping showed a lack of faith in God's providence.  This is the same mindset that the people of Stalingrad held during WWII, and just like those poor souls, millions will starve and freeze during the first winter of the Crunch.  And then there is the looting of America by the foreign UN-sponsored troops who are hired to "pacify" the "terrorist sympathizers" who don't agree to be taxed at 40%.  The New Army then helps themselves to the priceless inventory of jewelers, coin dealers and gun shops across the U.S.  All those that resist will be shot or arrested.
      But don't think that Rawles leaves us without hope.  There is the Resistance, and the author makes it quite plain that this type of totalitarian regime will fail in America for a multitude of reasons, including  the spirit of liberty that resides in the bosom of every patriot.  Never count us out, and never think you've defeated us.  Like the patriots of '76, we know how to fight against foreign tyranny on our home soil.  Rawles is able to capture that uniquely American resolve and you'll be proud of how we acquit ourselves.  In the end, his novel leaves you with a portrait of our country in the far future-off that will both surprise you and confound you.  And that's the goal of any good novel.  Well done!

(The release date for Founders, A Novel of the Coming Collapse, is September 25, 2012.  Wait until that day and order your copy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble!) 

Numbers 10:9     "When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies."


  1. Now I want to read "Founders" more than ever.
    I bought a case of "Patriots" and had my Sunday school class read it, plus I gave out a number of copies from my company reading room.
    I read a wonderful novel, "The Last Pilgrims" by Michael Bunker, another superb author like Mr. Rawles. I have a hunch you would like it.
    I need to get a case of these and get my church pals to read it as well.
    Here is a link for the book on Amazon, I hope it is alright to post the link,
    Thank you for your site, I have enjoyed your spirit and wisdom.
    M from TEXAS

    1. Me, too.
      Thanks for the tip about Michael Bunker - will look it up.
      You might also treat yourself to COLLAPSE by Kay Mahoney. It is her take on the aftermath of an EMP in LA-TX-AR.
      Just today there was a grid failure in India that deprived 375,000 folks of their electrical toys, but folks keep their head in the sand.

  2. Sounds like a new version of the same ole' tired theme of his previous books.I'm sure he will have the usually pc correct characters,just to show how much he is a 'modern christian'....
    "I think that the lofty idea of 'the war on racism' is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology. … And this anti-racism will be for the twenty-first century what communism was for the twentieth century: a source of violence."

    1. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I think you are missing the objective of Mr. Rawles' writing. He is not out to write a Nobel Prize-winning novel for exceptional fiction. His goal is to educate people and get you to think about how you would survive a collapse of our economy and society. If you read with a discerning eye, you can pick up valuable information that will enable you to persevere through hard times. Is it "War and Peace"? No. But it IS a manual for protecting you and your family, presented in an interesting story with characters you can identify with. And if it helps one person overcome their fear or normalcy bias, then that is an honor far more worthy any literary award.

    2. I agree with you Belle. Read the story for the tips if nothing else. Sure beats a how-to manual.

    3. I believe Rawles' last book was not even a 'how to do manual',but a mismash of goofy stories,thrown together..His blog is good because it is written by others,,but who ever keeps up his blog sight is doing a yeomen's job,,A plus..
      I know Rawles is 'thin skinned' when anyone disagrees with his viewpoint,especially on the racial issues..I believe living in mostly a white area(interesting) that every thing is wonderful,,he might visit South Africa,Rhodesia,Washington DC,Detroit,or any large city and let his daughter(s) walk unescorted..As they say,'been there,done that'...
      His calvinist background is showing..Domain theology is without any true merit,and is being thrown on the trash heap with all false 'true religions'..
      Keep up the good blog,and quit puffing up your ego,trying to be a author..
      See ya' at the barricades,Brother...

      "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." ~ Confucius

  3. Thanks for the review Belle - I'm a big fan of Mr. Rawles - read Patriots a couple of times, check out his blog everyday and have learned a ton from him and those who contribute to his site.

    I had the misfortune of reading Survivors, which I realize wasn't penned to be a literary classic, but reading that left me with the perception that the attitude of Rawles and his publishing company is that he can put out anything and his faithful will buy it. How an editor signed off on that I will never know- so I'll wait and see how Founders shapes up - Not saying I won't get it, but I'm not jumping in like I did with Survivors.

  4. I thought Founders was a far more engaging novel than Survivors, and like I said, it was infused with an additional overtone of hope, which I found inspirational. There are a myriad of survival-themed books on the market, and I suspect that as we become more informed (due in large part to Mr. Rawles emergence on the scene), then he may not meet all our needs. But there is still a large audience for which his books will be enlightening and educational. His books will be a source of knowledge for millions.