Patriots (novel series)

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The Patriots novel series
Patriots front cover.jpg
Cover of the most recent edition of Patriots
Author James Wesley Rawles
Original title Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Ulysses Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Trade paperback)
Pages 400
ISBN 978-1-56975-599-0
OCLC 251196581
Followed by Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

The Patriots novel series is a five-novel series by best-selling survivalist novelist and former U.S. Army officer and blogger, James Wesley Rawles. It is followed by his Counter-Caliphate Chronicles novel series.

Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, the first book in the series, was first distributed as shareware in 1995 and first published in paperback in 1998.[1] It was updated and re-published in paperback 2009, and then in hardback in 2012. In one week of April 2009, shortly after its release, it was ranked #6 in's overall book sales rankings, which was attributed by the Library Journal to the book's appeal to "a small but vociferous group of people concerned with survivalism".[2]

Set in the near future midst hyperinflation and a catastrophic global economic collapse, Patriots tells the story of a group of survivalists that flee riots and chaos in metropolitan Chicago to a survivalist retreat that they have prepared near Bovill, Idaho.[3]


The first novel is based on a 19-chapter draft that Rawles wrote in 1990, and first distributed as shareware, under the title The Gray Nineties.[4] It was later expanded to 27 chapters and retitled Triple Ought, and then 33 chapters, under the title TEOTWAWKI: The End of the World as We Know It.[5][6][7] In 1997, the rights to the novel were purchased by Huntington House Publishers, a small Christian publishing firm[8] in Lafayette, Louisiana. They abridged the book to 31 chapters and re-titled it Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse. This was the publisher's best-selling title from November 1998 to January 2005.[7] In early 2005, Huntington House went out of business, and the copyright reverted to the author. In November 2006, responding to pent-up market demand, Rawles self-published a restored 33 chapter edition of the novel, through XLibris, a print-on-demand publisher. Patriots was the best-selling title for XLibris from late 2006 to early 2009. In late 2008, the rights to the novel were purchased by Ulysses Press of Berkeley, California. After updating the novel and adding both a glossary and an index, in April 2009 Ulysses Press released the 33 chapter edition under the new title Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse.


Much of Patriots takes place in the Intermountain west, specifically in the Palouse Hills region, in and around Moscow, Idaho.

Reception and Criticism[edit]

Critical reception for the various releases of the book has been generally positive, gaining a cult following among the survivalist community and a positive review from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.[9][10] A reviewer for the Tennessean newspaper called the novel a "combination military thriller and how-to survivalist guide."[11] Claire Wolfe of the World Net Daily reviewed Patriots in 2006, finding worthwhile the non-fiction information about survivalist techniques but the fiction elements "[not] exactly subtle".[12]

Over time the book has gained a larger following, with Rawles speculating that the ongoing financial crisis accounted for the book's popularity among a wider readership traditionally not interested in survivalist themes. Sara Nelson of The Daily Beast referred to the novel as "The Most Dangerous Novel in America."[13]

In an unusual move, after several years of the book in print in trade paperback format, Ulysses press began printing a new cloth-bound ("hardback") First Revised Edition, after many requests from readers. The novel is also unusual for having both a glossary and an index.[14]

AutoCAD co-inventor John Walker, writing in Fourmilog, summed up the novel series: "Taken together, these five novels are an epic saga of survival in hard and brutal times, painted on a global canvas. Reading them, you will not only be inspired that you and your loved ones can survive such a breakdown in the current economic and social order, but you will also learn a great deal of the details of how to do so. This is not a survival manual, but attentive readers will find many things to research further for their own preparations for an uncertain future."[15]


The first translation of Patriots was released in May, 2012. This was a Spanish edition, titled Patriotas. It was translated by Ernesto Rubio Garcia and published by La Factoria De Ideas, in Madrid, Spain.[16] ISBN 8498007704.[17] A Bulgarian edition was also released in 2012, by Ex Libris of Bulgaria[18]


Rawles authored four sequels in the Patriots series. The first two sequels were published by Simon & Schuster: Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse in 2011 and Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse in 2012. Both of these sequels were also been produced as audiobooks (by Brilliance Audio), and as e-books. In 2013, E.P. Dutton released the fourth novel in the series, titled Expatriates. This sequel is set primarily in Australia, the Philippines, and Tavares, Florida. This was followed in 2014 by a fourth sequel, titled Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. It was released on October 21, 2014.

Sales for the sequels were strong, with Survivors, Founders and Expatriates all achieving places on the New York Times Best Seller List.[19][20]

Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse[edit]

Cover of the first edition of Survivors.

Much of Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse takes place in the Four Corners region, specifically in and around Bloomfield and Farmington, New Mexico, although the book's climax takes place in and near Prescott, Arizona and several sub-plots take place as far away as Afghanistan. The cover artwork was created by Tony Mauro, Jr.

On its release day, October 4, 2011, Survivors rose to #2 in Amazon's overall book sales ranks and #1 in their action-adventure category. On October 23, 2011, it was listed at #3 in the New York Times bestseller list in the fiction hardback category.[20] Rawles and Survivors were the centerpiece of a Vancouver Sun article by Kim Murphy about the American Redoubt movement that was run by dozens of newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times[21] A review in The New American magazine was positive, summarizing: "In short, Rawles’ Survivors is well worth reading; astute readers may find themselves making notes of passages pertaining to survival planning which will be worth returning to once one has finished reading the novel."[22] Marvin Olasky of World (magazine) called Survivors "...not as well-written as some articles Rawles has penned"[23]

Rawles uses an unusual contemporaneous approach to writing sequels. Rather than the traditional formula of following the same group of characters farther into the future, he instead uses a novel sequence method that portrays different characters in different geographic regions, but in the same near-future timeframe as in Patriots. In his Introductory note to Survivors, Rawles stated: "Unlike most novel sequels, the storyline of Survivors is contemporaneous with the events described in my previously-published novel Patriots. Thus, there is no need to read it first (or subsequently), but you’ll likely find it entertaining."

The first of several translations of Survivors was released in May 2014. This was a Spanish edition, titled Supervivientes. It was translated by Ernesto Rubio Garcia and published by La Factoria De Ideas, in Madrid, Spain.[24] ISBN 978-8490182734.[17] A Kindle edition in Spanish was also released in May, 2014.[25] Additional translations into French, German, Russian, Bulgarian, Portuguese, and Korean are planned.

Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse[edit]

Cover of the first edition of Founders.

Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse is a 2012 New York Times best-selling novel by author James Wesley Rawles and is a sequel to Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse.[19] The novel was released on September 25, 2012 by Atria Books. The book peaked at #4 in Amazon's overall book sales ranks, on its release day. The book premiered on the New York Times Bestsellers list at #11, but dropped to #27 a week later.[26]

Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse is set primarily in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Montana.[27] It details how U.S. Army Captain Andy Laine infiltrates the Provisional Government's New Army headquartered at Fort Knox in the midst of a War of Resistance. It also details the cross-country trek of Ken and Terry Layton, and introduces a new character: Joshua Watanabe, a U.S. Air Force NCO, stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, in Montana. The cover artwork was created by Tony Mauro, Jr.

Founders[19] was released on September 25, 2012 by Atria Books. The book premiered on the New York Times Bestsellers list at #11, but dropped to #27 a week later.[26]

In his brief review of Founders, Gregory Cowles of the influential New York Times Book Review poked fun at the comma in Rawles's name, but granted: "Rawles is a well-known survivalist, and he’s surely the only writer on this list whose fans frequently ask him how best to stockpile food (it depends on which food) or whether to favor bullets over gold during the total collapse of civilization (“You can’t defend yourself near as well with a Krugerrand”)."[19] Founders was praised by talk radio host Brian Wilson (of WSPD), who called it "a great read".[28] In a lengthy interview with Jordan Rich of WBZ Boston, Rich described the book as a "taut thriller."[29] Founders was one of the topics of discussion in an interview with George Noory of Coast To Coast AM on September 6, 2012.[30]

The first of several translations of Founders was released in September 2015. This was a Spanish edition, titled Fundadores. A Kindle edition in Spanish was also released at the same time.[31] Additional translations into French and German are planned.

Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse[edit]

Cover of the first edition of Expatriates.

The third sequel in the Patriots series is entitled Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse (ISBN 9780525953906). It was written under contract for E.P. Dutton. The book was released on October 1, 2013.[32] It is set "primarily in central Florida, the Philippines, and northern Australia." The cover artwork was created by Tony Mauro, Jr.[33] The audio book was narrated by Eric G. Dove. The publisher's web page summarizes the storyline: "When the United States suffers a major socioeconomic collapse, a power vacuum sweeps the globe. A newly radicalized Islamic government rises to power in Indonesia, invades the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, and finally northern Australia. No longer protected by American military interests, Australia must repel an invasion alone."[34]

Early reviews of the novel were positive.[35] For example, Jeff Soyer of Alphecca wrote: "To get to the point; this is another exciting, well written, and action-packed novel of individuals and of townspeople using their courage, skills, and preparedness to survive during an economic [crisis] and (in the U.S.) governmental plunge into chaos."[36] While reviews by bloggers were quite positive, The Kirkus Books Review published a lackluster review that stated: "Rawles' fourth in a series of contemporaneous novels about "the coming collapse" may leave some less than eager to read Book 5."[37]

On September 30, 2013 it was announced that E.P. Dutton misprinted 50,000 copies of Expatriates, inadvertently putting "John Wesley, Rawles" on the spine of the book, in the first printing of the first edition. This was discovered after more than 26,000 copies had already been shipped to retailers. The remaining misprinted copies were destroyed. The publisher offered free corrected copies from the second printing, but the misprints may become collectible.[38] Despite the printing error, on October 2, 2013, the novel hit #22 in sales (overall) and #2 in Political Thrillers at The e-book was #2 in the Kindle Store's "Suspense, Political" category.[39] The book debuted at #21 in hardback fiction category on the The New York Times Bestsellers List.[40]

Expatriates had consistent strong sales, and as of October 2014, it had a four star ranking on, and more than 230 reviews. Pat Henry of The Prepper Journal wrote: "Expatriates paints a different picture of a collapse than I have been considering but it is one that is probably more likely. Instead of something as dramatic and instantaneous as ‘collapse’ sounds, there is more of a slow slide into a different reality. The food isn’t gone the first day, people can still purchase fuel for a time and life goes on for years. His timeline approach for each of the areas allows his characters to live out the problems Mr. Rawles must envision if a similar future visits our shores. The story has much detail about elements in the story unique to the location. From weapon specifications to mining operations and local customs, Expatriates weaves a story that tries to immerse the reader in the lives of each of the characters and finishes with a major confrontation and a satisfying ending. If you like prepper fiction then I am sure you will like Expatriates."[41]

Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse[edit]

The fourth and final sequel in the Patriots novel series is a 416-page book[42] (the longest in the series) entitled Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. It was released on October 21, 2014. This sequel was written under contract for E.P. Dutton. It is set primarily in the Bella Coola region of western Canada. The novel was also produced as an audiobook (narrated by Audie award-winner Eric G. Dove) and as an e-book, all released on the same day.[42] Like many of the covers for his other novels, the cover art for the Liberators novel was created under contract for E.P. Dutton by Tony Mauro, Jr., of New York.[43]

Reviews of Liberators were also positive. Publishers Weekly called Liberators the “rousing fifth after-the-apocalypse thriller [installment in the novel series]” and also mentioned that “Supporters of the 'prepper' movement…will lap up every detail.”[44][45] AutoCAD co-inventor John Walker writing in Fourmilog described Liberators as “Meticulously researched with a wealth of local and technical details.”[15] In an August, 2014 review, one of the co-editors of Total Survivalist wrote: "My overall assessment is this book was excellent. I tried not to get into spoilers but there is a lot on bugging out by vehicle as well as by foot. Additionally many interesting lessons for potential insurgency situations as well as more general survivalist ones were present. Furthermore I found it a very enjoyable read with characters you can really relate to and root for as they go through the events that unfold. This is probably the best book in the series."[46] Jeff Soyer of North Country Review of Books gave the novel a three star rating overall, and a four star rating for Writing Style.[47] Mark Rubinstein of The Huffington Post called the book “[A]nother entertaining and thought-provoking novel, describing steps people can take in the event of a global collapse.”[48] In a radio interview on October 20, 2014 Alan Colmes mentioned that the novel's title indicates that Rawles actually expects an economic collapse in the near future, and Rawles confirmed that because of uncontrolled government spending and indebtedness he does indeed anticipate a collapse.[49] The novel debuted at #48 in's overall rankings, #1 in their Science Fiction-Dystopian novels category, #1 in their Mystery novels category, and at #1 in their Action & Adventure, War & Military novels category. The novel premiered at #20 on the Publishers Weekly hardcover bestsellers list, reported on November 3, 2014.

Counter-Caliphate Chronicles novel series[edit]

Rawles followed Patriots series with the Counter-Caliphate Chronicles novel series. On December 1, 2015, Rawles released the novel Land of Promise, the first book in the Counter-Caliphate Chronicles novel series. This science fiction novel is a geopolitical thriller that is a considerable departure from his previous Patriots thriller novel series. Set in the late 20130s, Land of Promise fictionally 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 nation of refuge called The Ilemi Republic, in East Africa. It is the first release from Liberty Paradigm Publishing, a publishing venture launched by Rawles in partnership with his literary agent Robert Gottlieb of Trident Media Group.[50][51]


“It’s in our fallen, sinful nature for tyrants to rise up in every nation. And unfortunately, it’s also in our nature that the vast majority in every nation is either too stupid or too apathetic to do anything about it until the tyrants have put up their barbed wire and spilled a lot of blood.” - Protagonist wife Mary Gray, in Patriots

Printing history[edit]

  • The Gray Nineties (19 chapter draft). Distributed as shareware from 1995 to 1997.
  • Triple Ought (27 chapter draft). Distributed as shareware from 1997 to 1998.
  • TEOTWAWKI: The End of the World as We Know It. 33 chapters with six appendices, self-published edition, The Clearwater Press, Kooskia, Idaho, Velo-bound, 1997-1998.
  • Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse. 31 chapters, 342 pages, abridged trade paperback edition from Huntington House/Vital Issues Press. It was in print from November 1998 to January 2005.
  • Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse. 33 chapters, 384 pages trade paperback from XLibris. It was in print from November 2006 to February 2009.
  • Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. 33 chapters, 398 pages, updated trade paperback edition with glossary and index, from Ulysses Press, Berkeley, California.
  • Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse—Unabridged Audiobook was released on December 31, 2009. This audiobook, from Brilliance Audiobooks was narrated by Dick Hill.
  • Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse. 33 chapters, 400 pages, revised edition in hardback with a glossary and index, from Ulysses Press, Berkeley, California, November, 2012.


  1. ^ "Revealed: The art of survival". The Independent. London. 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  2. ^ "Survivalist Novel Patriots Rates High in Amazon, Not Libraries". Library Journal. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  3. ^ "Survivalists get ready for meltdown -". CNN. 2008-05-02. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  4. ^ On-line Underground. The Spokesman-Review (Spokane). Dec. 3, 1995, page H7
  5. ^ How America Uses The Net (Subsection Profile: [James Rawles] The Y2K Survivalist) Yahoo! Internet Life magazine, September 1999, p. 108-109
  6. ^ Some store food, gold, guns in case Y2K brings chaos. The Sacramento Bee, December 29, 1998, p. 1.
  7. ^ a b "Patriots, TEOTWAWKI, and Pulling Through, by James Wesley, Rawles". Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  9. ^ "Amerikanischer Bestseller: "Patriots": Wie das Ende unserer Welt zu überleben ist - Rezensionen". FAZ. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  10. ^ "Book Review - TEOTWAWKI". Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  11. ^ "Survivalist author has end in sight". The Tennessean. Apr 28, 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  12. ^ WND Commentary Five novels of freedom by Claire Wolfe, WorldNetDaily, September 30, 1999
  13. ^ Sara Nelson (2009-04-15). "The Most Dangerous Novel in America?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  14. ^ [2] Notes from JWR
  15. ^ a b "Reading List: Liberators (Fourmilog: None Dare Call It Reason)". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  16. ^ 2002-2012 Andrew Maltsev, 2012-2013 Derek J. Curtis. "Patriotas / Patriots - - Book Info". 
  17. ^ a b "Bienvenido.La Factoría de Ideas". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  18. ^ "Exlibris - Начало". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  19. ^ a b c d Cowles, Gregory. "Hardcover Fiction, October 14, 2012". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Taylor, Ihsan. "Best Sellers - The New York Times". Retrieved 2012-01-04. 
  21. ^ Murphy, Kim. "Survivalists head for the hills; Author James Wesley Rawles looks to the future and sees trouble. He's urging Americans to prepare". The Vancouver Sun [Vancouver, B.C] 03 Mar 2012: C.1. A reprint of the same LA Times (Feb. 8, 2012) article by Kim Murphy.
  22. ^ "James Wesley Rawles' New Book: "Survivors"". 2011-11-07. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  23. ^ [3][dead link]
  24. ^ " Supervivientes / Survivors (Spanish Edition) (9788490182734): James Wesley Rawles: Books". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  25. ^ "Supervivientes (Bonus) (Spanish Edition) - Kindle edition by James Wesley Rawles. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  26. ^ a b Cowles, Gregory (2012-10-12). "Inside the List". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ John North. "Collapse coming? Survival guru tailor tips to Carolinians". Asheville Daily Planet. 
  28. ^ "Intelligent Talk Radio". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  29. ^ "Jordan Rich". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  30. ^ [4]
  31. ^ "Fundadores (Bonus)". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  32. ^ [5]
  33. ^ [6]
  34. ^ James Wesley, Rawles. "Expatriates by James Wesley, Rawles - Penguin Books USA". Penguin Books USA. 
  35. ^ "EXPATRIATES: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse (The James Wesley Rawles Review)". YouTube. 
  36. ^ "Alphecca". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  37. ^ James Wesley, Rawles. "EXPATRIATES". Kirkus Reviews. 
  38. ^ [7]
  39. ^ [8]
  40. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  41. ^ "Expatriates: Book Review". The Prepper Journal. 
  42. ^ a b "The Writings of James Wesley, Rawles –". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  43. ^ "The Writings of James Wesley, Rawles –". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  44. ^ Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2014, p. 80.
  45. ^ "Fiction Book Review: Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse by James Wesley, Rawles. Dutton, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-95391-3". 
  46. ^ "Total Survivalist Blog: Repost: Book Review: Liberators by Jim Wesley, Rawles". 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  47. ^ "Liberators, by James Wesley, Rawles | The North Country Review of Books". 2014-10-15. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  48. ^ "'Liberators' -- a Talk With James Wesley, Rawles". The Huffington Post. 
  49. ^ "Alan Colmes and James Wesley, Rawles". Fox News. 
  50. ^ James, Hugh (2015-12-01). "Notes for Tuesday – December 01, 2015 –". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  51. ^ James Wesley Rawles. "Land of Promise (Counter-Caliphate Chronicles, book 1)". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 

External links[edit]