> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Quick Review: Without Rule of Law by Joe Nobody



Quick Review: Without Rule of Law by Joe Nobody

Full Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of Without Rule of Law for review purposes.

I found the last Joe Nobody book that I read, Holding Your Ground, to be a mixed bag. Some good thing to think about, some bad and a lot of information that is glossed over and done better elsewhere.

Without Rule of Law aims to teach readers how to hide, evade, infiltrate and scavenge--and by infiltrate and scavenge, they largely mean looting. Unfortunately, it doesn't succeed in teaching any of these categories. Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible book, but Without Rule of Law is much like its predecessor, Holding Your Ground. There's some good things to think about, some bad and a lot of information that is glossed over and done better elsewhere (often for free!).

Good, bad and ugly after the jump!

The Good:
  • Discussion on the value of a sturdy net in a survival kit. Basis for camouflage, drag bag, climbing aid, hammock, catching fish/animals and so on. Wish author had referenced a source for a quality net, though--they can be difficult to track down.
  • An interesting garbage bag hide is presented--would work well in an urban environment.
  • There's a good improvised method for securing a door using a net and screw in hooks. Would work for slowing down a breach. 
The Bad:
  • A good portion of the book is basically a discussion on how to loot-and-plunder. Looting is BAD. Yes, if it's a zombie-apocalypse, nuclear war or some other quick mass die off and the owners of the stuff are pretty certainly dead or don't want it anymore, then stuff is up for grabs. Go for it! But in other scenarios, when people own what you're looting, you're talking theft and probably armed robbery--bad guy stuff and what we want to avoid. There's no discussion of the morality, just that you've run out of needed supplies and have decided to go loot/scavenge it up.
  • As with Holding, the gear lists presented rub me the wrong way. It's a combination of '90s-era selection, lack of depth/incomplete lists and personal preference. As an example, camouflage one of the book's focus, but there's no mention of camo paints in the gear lists (or anywhere in the book, IIRC).
  • As mentioned, most of the book comes across as a gloss-over of topics better covered in military Field Manuals--the SERE Manual comes to mind. Quick Google search yielded this page with a bunch of good stuff.
The Ugly: 
  • The author refers to MAGAZINES as "clips" multiple times in the book. Come on--he's supposedly got 30 years competitive shooting experience. Magazines and clips are two different things.
  • The photos used for examples of outdoor concealment methods--it's impossible to make out any level of detail. I understand the need for B&W printing, but then take different photos, use line drawings, etc.
  • And unfortunately, while you may get an intro to some of the ideas around camouflage and evasion, you're sure not going to "learn" how to do them, or really more than get more than a few pages of large font, padded with anecdote that skim over each area.  
Joe Nobody's books are quite successful and generally well reviewed on Amazon and other places, but they don't resonate with me. I'd pass on this one, especially given the $17.95 price tag.

If you're looking for a book with similar subject matter, I'd check out Guerrilla Sniper 2, which I reviewed way back in 2010.


  1. Guerrilla Snipe 2 is good stuff. Appreciate the honest review.

  2. AnonymousJune 02, 2012

    This is irrelevant, but I'm surprised that you haven't commented on the various cannibalism cases in Florida, among others. Sound like the ZA. I don't know, just thought I would let you know.

    1. Heard about it - supposedly drug induced hallucinations. Zombie plague would spread much faster.

    2. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

      Granted. Unless, by some miracle, they managed to pacify the cases. Just a thought

  3. AnonymousJune 03, 2012

    Tulkas here up in Canada ,I have read the book . He prefaces the scavenging aspect as all your preps are gone . While I agree that looting is wrong I know when faced with starvation of all humans nothing is off the table . We prepare so we don't have to resort to desperate tactics. To arm chair quarterback what it would be like to lose everything you have prepared and then sit quietly and starve because you want to take the high ground is naive at best . And with some crayons you can turn the pictures into color :)

  4. I am not talking about starving, but a) avoiding that situation in the first place and b) havinng a better backup plan than looting.

    1. AnonymousJune 04, 2012

      Tulkas here ,
      I agree . But the book as I remember as supposed to be used as a manual if all your preps are destroyed or stolen .

  5. Thanks for the reviews of Without Rule of Law and Holding Your Ground. I read Joe Nobody's Holding Their Own recently and thought it was pretty good, so I've been considering purchasing some his non-fiction material.