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For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto Paperback – December 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Ludwig von Mises Institute (December 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610162641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610162647
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

And always, reading Rothbard is a mindstretching intellectual adventure. For not only is he a brilliant scholar; he never flinches at taking the libertarian creed to it logical conclusions, no matter how controversial those conclusions may sometimes be.

Rothbard also maps out a strategy for achieving liberty, delving into ethics, tactics, education, abolitionism vs. gradualism, historical antecedents, and other crucial but generally neglected points. For A New Liberty ends on an upbeat, inspiring note, as Rothbard explains why he believes liberty will ultimately triumph over the forces of statism and collectivism.

For A New Liberty gives the reader the invigorating feeling of contact with a truly original, razor-sharp mind. It's a seminal work, rich in insights and novel arguments. And it's written in a lively, vigorous style that makes most other political writing seem dreadfully dull and stodgy by comparison.

How important is For A New Liberty? Let's put it this way: every serious libertarian--indeed, anyone who is at all interested in libertarianism--must be familiar with this book. It is that essential. If a copy of For A New Liberty--preferably worn with wear from repeated readings--is not on your bookshelf, or your friends' bookshelves, remedy that grave omission now. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Murray Rothbard is an economist, historian, political philosopher, iconoclast, and raconteur. He is also a masterful writer--passionate, rigorously logical, and always lively, with a special gift for making even the most complex issues understandable and interesting.

For A New Liberty is Rothbard's introduction to libertarianism, his Libertarian Manifesto. It is Rothbard in top form--a libertarian classic that for more than two decades has been hailed as the best general work on libertarianism available.

For a start, For A New Liberty is an exciting, exhilarating read. It begins with a fast overview of the historical roots of libertarianism: the Levelers, John Locke, classical liberalism, the American Revolution, and so on. Rothbard packs an extraordinary amount of history in a few pages, and establishes libertarianism as the current, and most rigorous and consistent, manifestation of a centuries-long drive for personal and economic liberty.

Rothbard then defines libertarianism. It rest, he tell us, "upon one single axiom: that no man or group of men shall aggress upon the person or property of anyone else." Having made the philosophical case for liberty, Rothbard--in one of the book's most powerful chapters--turns to a withering critique of the chief violator of liberty: the State. It is a breath-taking, impassioned demolition job. We see that not only is the emperor naked--he is a murder, tyrant, brigand, liar, and bungler.

Rothbard devotes the lengthiest section of For A New Liberty to showing how the free market and voluntary human action can do a far more efficient and fair job of supplying all the worthwhile services we have been told only government can provide. He provides penetrating libertarian solutions for many of today's most pressing problems, including pollution, poverty, war, threats to civil liberties, the education crisis, and others.

Libertarians are forever faced with a barrage of questions for the unconverted: What about roads? What about the poor? What about--ad infinitum. Here are tough, succinct, innovative, and convincing answers. -- James W. Harris --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

It also is nice if someone reads a book before they review it.
Eric Breitenstein
The most important and most amazing parts of his book are how he explains most of the aggression and economic woes that we're experiencing today.
Robert Taylor
Among all the available introductions to libertarian thought, I think Murray Rothbard's _For a New Liberty_ is the best.
Lord Chimp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on March 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for an introduction to libertarian thought, this is THE book to read.

Here, free-market economist and radical for liberty Murray Newton Rothbard tackles all the major issues: the philosophical basis of libertarianism, the history of classical liberalism, the failures of government to preserve basic liberties, and the ways in which a free-market economy handily solves problems that seem forever beyond the reach of government.

Rothbard is also one of few libertarians to face the issue of pollution head-on. You'll search Ayn Rand's works in vain for any "pollution solution"; she was apparently content to believe the problem didn't really exist, a practice to some extent continued by her disciple George Reisman in his mostly brilliant treatise _Capitalism_. But Rothbard doesn't duck the issue: demonstrable pollution is an invasion of property rights and should be outlawed.

Nor is Rothbard a friend of "corporate capitalism." Again unlike Rand, who regarded "big business" as "America's most persecuted minority," Rothbard lambastes big business for its constant seeking of government favors and its use of clout to secure protectionist legislation -- including "limited liability."

All in all, this book is a treat. If you haven't read it yet, I envy you. Pick up a copy of this consistent, principled defense of liberty at once.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Robert Taylor on January 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'd been starting up my reading habits again in the past few months, but two of the books I had started were put on hold this week, when on Sunday the 4th, I picked up a book by Murray N. Rothbard entitled For a New Liberty.

The radical enthusiasm of the book is so exciting, I literally read all 419 pages in a personal record of 5 days. In the book, Rothbard hones in all the pieces connecting the modern Libertarian movement (as of 1972 when the book was first published at least) to his new Anarcho-capitalist approach, and the most striking thing was the consistency of the logic. It's solid. That's not to say that it shouldn't open to scrutiny, but that's precisely what Rothbard expects, and it gets me eager to catch up on the 35+ years of scholarship that's followed his manifesto, as well as specific predecessors that he used as examples.

The most important and most amazing parts of his book are how he explains most of the aggression and economic woes that we're experiencing today. It's not that he's a magician with a window into the future. It's that he understands the ultimate unattainable utopianism of supporters of stateism. From government bailouts to war quagmires like Iraq and Afghanistan, Rothbard not only predicts them, but explains why they are occurring, and the inevitable failure that can come from them, because it's the only logical conclusion.

The concepts espoused in For a New Liberty are gathered and encapsulated in virtual perfection by Rothbard, to expose a new generation of libery-minded individuals to the world that could be. It is so fierce, unapologetic and unrelenting in its logic, that this book, more than any I've ever read, makes me want to hold it as tight to my breast as possible, while raising my other arm and proclaiming Vive La Liberte!
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on July 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
You can't go wrong with Murray Rothbard but this book is just slightly dated. The Ethics of Liberty is timeless and fundamental. It can radically shake you into a stronger foundation for your advocacy of Freedom.
All of the issues raised in "For a New Liberty" are still with us. I am saddened that the Libertarian Party no longer follows Rothbard's theoretical purity. Theories like his, if used, have real-world applications that repay the practician.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on January 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Among all the available introductions to libertarian thought, I think Murray Rothbard's _For a New Liberty_ is the best. In it, Rothbard sets out the principles of anarchocapitalism, a system of political-economy where property rights are sacrosanct and no government exists. This is important because most libertarians support some degree of government is necessary in order to preserve a person's right to self-ownership and property.
However, Rothbard argues that the very existence of the State violates man's rights and is incompatible with freedom, even in a democratic society. This is an problem many libertarian scholars have struggled with in attempting to justify limited government. Rothbard faces no such inconsistency.
First, Rothbard introduces the concept of man's rights, establishing that the only valid right can be the right to self-ownership and ownership of one's property. With these principles -- along with the traditional libertarian non-aggression axiom -- Rothbard offers meaningful solutions to the reams of problems in today's society. He makes a forceful case that our problems would be easily solved following principles of the free market, private property, and non-aggression. Education, welfare, free speech, pollution, crime...Rothbard tackles numerous issues with great insight and clarity. In my opinion, the only significant issue he doesn't really explore is healthcare, but hey...it's a short book. (For an excellent libertarian exploration of the healthcare issue [among MANY other things], see Dr. Mary J. Ruwart's definitive _Healing Our World_. Amazon sells it.)
Rothbard introduces many ideas in this book that would be dubbed "radical" by most -- the abolishment of government police services, courts, and national defense being the most obvious.
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