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James Wesley Rawles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Wesley, Rawles
Born1960 (age 63–64)
California, United States
    • Author
    • Blogger
EducationSan Jose State University (BA)
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army

James Wesley, Rawles (born 1960) is an American author, former U.S. Army Intelligence officer, and survival retreat consultant.[1][2] He is author of the best-selling thriller Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, and proponent of the "American Redoubt", a survivalist refuge in the American Northwest..

Early life and military career


James Wesley, Rawles was born James Wesley Rawles in California in 1960 and attended local public schools. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from San Jose State University.[3]

From 1984 to 1993, he served as a United States Army Military Intelligence officer.[4] He resigned his commission as a U.S. Army Captain immediately after Bill Clinton was inaugurated as President of the United States.[4]

Journalism and writing career


Rawles worked as an associate editor and regional editor (Western U.S.) with Defense Electronics magazine in the late 1980s and early 1990s[5] Concurrently he was managing editor of The International Countermeasures Handbook.[6]

He worked as a technical writer through most of the 1990s with a variety of electronics and software companies, including Oracle Corporation.[4][7] In 2005, he began blogging full-time.[1]

According to The Daily Beast, he presents his name as "James Wesley, Rawles", using a comma to differentiate between the names that belong to him, and that which belongs to his family.[2]



Rawles has eight books in print that are sold by mainstream booksellers: five novels and three nonfiction survival books.

His novels tend to be heavy on acronyms and technical jargon,[8] while his non-fiction books concentrate on practical skills and tools. In the Acknowledgments note to his book Tools For Survival, Rawles credits David Brin, Algis Budrys, Tom Clancy, Bruce D. Clayton, Colonel Jeff Cooper, Frederick Forsyth, Pat Frank, Gordon Dickson, Friedrich Hayek, Henry Hazlitt, Ernest Hemingway, Dean Ing, Elmer Keith, Herbert W. McBride, Ludwig von Mises, Dr. Gary North, Arthur W. Pink, John Piper, Jerry Pournelle, Ayn Rand, Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard, George R. Stewart and Mel Tappan as influential to his writing.[9] In his blog, Rawles also cites Robert A. Heinlein as an influence, and often quotes him.[10]

Cover of Patriots

Patriots Novels Series


His first novel was a work of speculative fiction set in a near future including hyperinflation and socioeconomic collapse. Initially titled: Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse, and later re-titled: Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. The book was originally released in draft form as shareware[11] under the title "Triple Ought" in the early 1990s. It was released in a printed edition by Huntington House. After Huntington House went out of business, the book was re-released by Xlibris, a "print on demand" publisher.[citation needed] Starting in April 2009, the novel was published in a paperback edition by Ulysses Press.

In early April 2009, shortly after its release, it was ranked number 6 in Amazon.com's overall book sales rankings, but fell to number 33 a week later.[12] By the end of the month it had fallen to number 98.[13] The book's initial popularity caught librarians unprepared because it was considered a niche title and had not been reviewed by the major book review publications. Librarians then scrambled to purchase copies of the book to meet the unanticipated demand.[12]

The popularity of the first book spawned four sequels: Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse, and Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It

Cover of How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It

His How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times is a non-fiction book drawn primarily from his posts on SurvivalBlog.com. The book was described as "The preppers' Bible", by a Reuters journalist.[14] His blog addresses preparing for the multitude of possible threats toward society. Rawles describes how to prepare against a post-disaster society that suffers looting, armed violence and food shortages. He recommends establishing rural safe havens at least 300 miles from the nearest major city, financial planning for a future barter-based economy, water retrieval and purification, food production and storage, security and self-defense techniques and strategies.[15][16]

The book received a mixed review from the New York Journal of Books:

For a neutral assessment of the huge efforts put in by the author, the book has its own strengths and weaknesses; however, the former outweigh the latter by a huge margin. One of its crystal clear strengths is the author's obsession with precision and a clinical eye for relevant details.[17]

It received a favorable book review on the weblog of Orville R. Weyrich Jr.[18] A summary of the book was published in the March–April 2010 issue of The Futurist magazine, under the headline: "Alarmingly Practical Advice For Doomsday."[15]

Syndicated radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy interviewed Rawles and said that his book "posits a collapse of civilization."[19] When Rawles was interviewed by radio host Laura Ingraham, she described the book as going "through point-by-point the basics of being prepared and heightening your chances of surviving some type of major crisis." Ingraham said that "there is a thin line between order and total anarchy in time of a crisis, when peoples' lives are on the line—and all the niceties and the rules go out the door."[20]

Brilliance Audiobooks produced an unabridged audiobook edition narrated by Dick Hill. As of April 2012, there were 12 foreign publishing contracts in place to produce editions in 11 languages.[21] The German edition, Überleben in der Krise was translated by Angelika Unterreiner and published in 2011 by Kopp Verlag.[22][23] The French edition, Fin du Monde: Comment survivre? was translated by Antony Angrand. It was released in September 2012.[24][25] The Spanish edition: Cómo Sobrevivir al Fin del Mundo tal Como lo Conocemos was translated by Juan Carlos Ruiz Franco in Spain and Javier Medrano in the United States. It was released in April 2012.[26] A Romanian translation (Ghid De Supravietuir) from Editura Paralela 45 in Bucharest was released in November 2013. It was translated by Ioan Es. Pop, a well-known Romanian poet, political figure, translator, and academic.[27][28]

Tools For Survival


Tools For Survival: What You Need to Survive When You're on Your Own (2014) is non-fiction book drawn primarily from Rawles's SurvivalBlog.com posts. The publisher describes the book as "a guide to the selection, use, and care of tools." It was released on December 30, 2014, by Penguin Books, and immediately jumped to #1 in Amazon's Survival & Emergency Preparedness books category. (ISBN 978-0-452-29812-5). It is also sold as an e-book and audiobook.[29][30]

Land of Promise


Land of Promise is described as the first book in the Counter-Caliphate Chronicles novel series. Released December 1, 2015, this speculative fiction novel is a geopolitical thriller. Set in the late 2130s, Land of Promise describes the world under the economic and military domination of a Global Islamic Caliphate, brought about by a fictional new branch of Islam, called The Thirdists. The novel also describes the establishment of a Christian and messianic Jewish nation of refuge, called “The Ilemi Republic”, in East Africa.[31][32]

The Ultimate Prepper’s Survival Guide


In 2020, Rawles released The Ultimate Prepper's Survival Guide (ISBN 978-1645173779).





Rawles is now a freelance writer, blogger, and survival retreat consultant.[33][34] He is the author of the survivalist novel Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse,[35] and the editor of SurvivalBlog.com, a blog on survival and preparedness topics.[36]

Rawles is an proponent of family preparedness, especially regarding food storage[37] and advocates relocating to lightly populated rural "retreat" areas. His preparedness philosophy emphasizes the fragility of modern society, the value of silver and other tangibles for barter, recognition of moral absolutes, being well-armed, maintaining a "deep larder," relocation to rural retreats, and Christian charity.[38] In an interview in The New York Times, Rawles identified himself as a "guns and groceries" survivalist.[39] He warned, in 2012, that the U.S. dollar would likely be worthless within five years.[40]

American Redoubt movement


The American Redoubt is a political migration movement first proposed in 2011 by Rawles which designates Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, along with eastern parts of Oregon and Washington, as a safe haven for conservative Christians.[41][42][43] Rawles chose this area due to its low population density and lack of natural hazards.[44]

Rawles lives with his family on a ranch at an undisclosed location that he says is somewhere within the redoubt area, near a river and a national forest.[45] He says they are almost self-sufficient with a three-year supply of food but have limited access to modern communications.[46][47] He explains that one of his reasons for privacy is his fear of being overrun by media and fans of his books in the event of a crisis.[2]

Philosophical, political and economic views


Rawles describes himself as a Constitutionalist Christian libertarian.[48]

Rawles interprets the 2nd Amendment as supporting citizens' individual rights to bear and keep arms. He believes they should be able to take arms to public events.[49]

Rawles is an anti-racist.[40][50] In 2010 he explained that all races are equal in the sight of God, noting the Great Commission, while also defending the nation of Israel’s existence because of its prophesied role in the Tribulations.[51] He supports abolition of modern slavery in the world, particularly the enslavement of Christians by Sudanese Muslims.[52]

Rawles is opposed to military interventionism.[53]

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Rawles as a Christian separatist and promoter of conspiracy theories associated with the anti-government Patriot movement.[54]

Constitution First Amendment Press Association


In April 2014, along with his son Robert, Rawles co-founded The Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA),[55] a private free press advocacy group that distributes press credentials to any literate adult U.S. citizen, free of charge, who agrees to abide by their “Constitutional Journalist’s Pledge”. Requirements include a promise that users “will not pander or bow to party politics, pressure groups, agenda pushers, conspiratorial cabals, statist lackeys, censors, or those who seek to hatefully divide us.”[56][unreliable source?][57][58]



See also



  1. ^ a b Gillian Flaccus (26 May 2009). "Fears spark new set of survivalists". Spokesman.com. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Sara Nelson (15 April 2009). "The Most Dangerous Novel in America?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  3. ^ "James Wesley Rawles (Author of Patriots)". Goodreads.com. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  4. ^ a b c "MIOBC Class 85-6 Virtual Reunion". Rawles.to. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  5. ^ Defense Electronics magazine masthead (p. 7) – James W. Rawles, Associate Editor, EW Communications, Palo Alto, CA, August 1987 (Vol. 19, No. 8) to November 1988 (Vol. 20, No. 12);Defense Electronics magazine masthead (p. 7) – James W. Rawles, Associate Editor, Cardiff Publishing, Englewood, CO. December 1988 (Vol. 20, No. 13) to September 1990 (Vol. 22, No. 9); Defense Electronics magazine masthead (p. 7) – James W. Rawles, Regional Editor (Western U.S.) Cardiff Publishing, Englewood, CO. October 1990 (Vol. 22, No. 10) to April 1991 (Vol. 23, No. 4); James W. Rawles, Associate Editor, EW Communications, Palo Alto, CA, January/February 1988 (Vol. 1 No. 1) to May/June 1988 (Vol. 1, No. 3)
  6. ^ The International Countermeasures Handbook (14th Edition, 1989). masthead (p. 388) James W. Rawles, Managing Editor
  7. ^ Pro*COBOL Precompiler. download-uk.oracle.com. June 2001
  8. ^ "Survivors: A Great Concept, An Average Novel". Advice and Beans. 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2015-11-05. [self-published source]
  9. ^ Tools For Survival p. xviii
  10. ^ "Notes from JWR". SurvivalBlog.com. 2013-07-07. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  11. ^ "On-line Underground," The Spokesman-Review (Spokane). 3 December 1995, page H7
  12. ^ a b "Survivalist Novel Patriots Rates High in Amazon, Not Libraries". Library Journal. 14 April 2009. Archived from the original on 25 April 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Best Sellers of April 27, 2009 in Books". Amazon. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  14. ^ Forsyth, Jim (21 January 2012). "Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse". Reuters. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  15. ^ a b The Futurist March–April 2010 Books in Brief, pp. 60–61. Wfs.org. Retrieved on 30 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Are You Ready for the End of the World? theTrumpet.com by the Philadelphia Church of God". Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  17. ^ Babi, Max (30 September 2009). "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It: Tactics, Techniques and Technologies for Uncertain Times | New York Journal of Books". New York Journal of Books. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  18. ^ Orville R. Weyrich, Jr. weblog book review The End of the World as We Know It. Weyrich.com. Retrieved on 30 April 2014. [self-published source]
  19. ^ "The G. Gordon Liddy Show archived audio stream". Feeds.radioamerica.org. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  20. ^ Payam Zarrabizadeh. "Interviews and Clips". Laura Ingraham. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  21. ^ "Les survivalistes attendent la fin du monde" (in French). Paris Match. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  22. ^ "Überleben in der Krise – Überleben Selbstversorgung & Überleben". Kopp Verlag. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  23. ^ "Überleben in der Krise". Seiten-ladefehler.de. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  24. ^ Livre: Fin Du Monde, Comment Survivre ?, Wesley Rawles James, Altipresse. Librairiedialogues.fr. 2012. ISBN 979-1090465138. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  25. ^ "Fin de Monde : Comment survivre ?: Amazon.de: James Wesley Rawles, Antony Angrand: Bücher". Amazon.de. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  26. ^ "CÓMO SOBREVIVIR AL FIN DEL MUNDO TAL COMO LO CONOCEMOS. Tácticas, técnicas y recursos". Paidotribo. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  27. ^ Notes from JWR:. survivalblog.com. November 2013
  28. ^ ro:Ioan Es. Pop [circular reference]
  29. ^ The Writings of James Wesley Rawles Archived 2013-09-17 at the Wayback Machine. SurvivalBlog.com (25 March 2009). Retrieved on 30 April 2014.
  30. ^ Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own: James Wesley Rawles: ISBN 978-0452298125: Amazon.com: Books. (2014).
  31. ^ "Notes for Tuesday". December 1, 2015.
  32. ^ "Land of Promise". fantasticfiction.co.uk.
  33. ^ Richard Cockle (5 September 2009). "The new survivalists: Oregon 'preppers' stockpile guns and food in fear of calamity". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  34. ^ "AFP: Thought things were bad? US survivalists await worse". 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on February 4, 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  35. ^ "Amerikanischer Bestseller: "Patriots": Wie das Ende unserer Welt zu überleben ist – Rezensionen". FAZ. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  36. ^ "Survivalblog.com site details – Technorati". Charts.technorati.com. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  37. ^ Josh Gerstein (21 April 2008). "Food Rationing Confronts Breadbasket of the World". Nysun.com. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  38. ^ How to Survive The End of the World as We Know It, Plume (Division of Penguin Books), New York, 2009, p. 11-17.
  39. ^ Cohen, Adam (5 March 2009). "Editorial Observer - Out of Work? Read a Recession Blog. Or, Better Yet, Write One. - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  40. ^ a b "Collapse coming? Survival guru tailor tips to Carolinians". Ashevilledailyplanet.com. 2012-08-09. Archived from the original on 2013-11-13. Retrieved 2015-11-05. He also is outspokenly anti-racist.
  41. ^ Murphy, Kim (8 February 2008). "The American Redoubt, where survivalists plan to survive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  42. ^ Lenz, Ryan (15 November 2011). "A Gathering of Eagles: Extremists Look to Montana". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  43. ^ Rawles, James (2011). "The American Redoubt – Move to the Mountain States". Survivalblog. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  44. ^ Young, Matt (3 April 2017). "American Redoubt: James Wesley Rawles on the end of the world". news.com.au. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  45. ^ Peter Ryan (28 April 2008). "Global food crisis sparks US survivalist resurgence – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  46. ^ "Survivalists get ready for meltdown". CNN. 2 May 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
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  49. ^ "Right to Protest ... With a Gun?". FOXBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 22 August 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  50. ^ "What Survivalists Have Right – Columns – theTrumpet.com by the Philadelphia Church of God". Thetrumpet.com. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  51. ^ "Lest Any Man Should Boast: A Christian Survivalist Perspective on Race, Religion, and Reason". SurvivalBlog.com. 10 March 2010. Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  52. ^ "Modern Slavery Must End!". SurvivalBlog.com. 6 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  53. ^ "BHO's Africa Policy: Confusion and Duplicity Reign". SurvivalBlog.com. January 13, 2014. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  54. ^ "Far-right survivalist and icon of 'Patriot' movement predicts religious civil war". Southern Poverty Law Center. January 3, 2019. Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  55. ^ "Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA) Free Press Credentials (Free Press Pass) - An Independent Press Association". CFAPA. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  56. ^ "The Last Line of Defense: New Organization Aims to Protect Citizen Journalists: "We Will Stand With You"". Shtfplan.com. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  57. ^ Sheets, David (2014-05-23). "Net Worked » Blog Archive » Survivalist starts issuing his own press passes | A Society of Professional Journalists Blog". Blogs.spjnetwork.org. Archived from the original on 15 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  58. ^ "The Constitutional Journalist's Pledge". CFAPA. Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2024.