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Libertarianism: A Primer Paperback – February 4, 1998
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
The earlier edition of "The Libertarian Mind," titled "Libertarianism: A Primer," was described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas" and by Richard Epstein as "unit[ing] history, philosophy, economics and law--spiced with just the right anecdotes--to bring alive a vital tradition of American political thought." His other books include "The Politics of Freedom," the "Cato Handbook For Policymakers," "Liberating Schools," and "The Crisis in Drug Prohibition." His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, Slate, and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows and a popular speaker on college campuses and at corporate and community events.
Top Customer Reviews
For someone completely new to libertarianism looking to get started, I would recommend Murray's book first, then David Boaz's Primer, and finally Boaz's Libertarian Reader.
In this book, author David Boaz tackles many modern day issues from a Libertarian viewpoint. The main theme of the book is the importance of property rights. Boaz explains that the first property right is the ownership of self. Without ownership of self, the ownership of anything else is meaningless. If you are willing to accept his thesis and read further, you will find that private property is the basis of the free market, and the free market is what makes human freedom possible.
Markets just naturally churn out what we want, because they are rewarded for doing so. An entrepreneur that provides a needed good or service can then provide his family a better life. Whereas the bureaucrat's motivation is to make his position and staff more powerful. His salary won't be tied into the success or failure of any given project. But the entrepreneur must live and die according to our fancy. The entrepreneur may be inept and fail to achieve what we want, but other venture capitalists will take his place until the thing is done right. When the government fouls up some needed service or good, they scream for a budget increase, as if our stinginess is the real culprit for their ineptitude.Read more ›
But the ideas are still here, and they are well presented with strong arguments for all of the typical libertarian core issues- downsizing of government, privitization of services, legalization of drugs, open borders, free-market protection of the environment, etc, etc.
I consider myself a libertarian, although I'm still not sure whether I agree with all the mainstays of hardcore libertarianism. This book provides a balanced, moderate approach without coming across as either too conservative or too wild-eyed-and-fringe. Charles Murray's book has more intellectual weight, but I also recommend this book for a deeper understanding of the historical background of truly freedom-oriented politics.
Libertarianism espouses the freedom of the individual, harkening back to the bedrock philosophy of this country's founders. Boaz describes Republicans as your father - always telling you what to do because he knows best; and Democrats as your mother - wiping your nose and trying to do everything for you because you can't handle it. Libertarians, says Boaz, want to treat you as an adult.
Perhaps the best thing about this book is that it gives you a different perspective from which to look at today's most contentious issues. What you discover is that we assume a whole lot that we shouldn't - frequently what we assume in an argument about how the Government should handle something is that they should be handling it in the first place! Boaz and Libertarians argue that in all but a tiny handful of instances the answer is absolutely not.
Highly recommended for anyone who is frustrated with the current system and is looking for a more satisfying alternative, or for anyone who just wants another perspective on our system.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The best, most comprehensive explanation of the Libertarian political philosophy that I've seen and I've seen them all.Published 13 months ago by Edward P. Jucevic Jr.
Excellent book for someone just learning about Libertarianism. Well written and answered all of my questions about this Party. I shall become a member!
I guess as an intro to Libertarianism this book is a good start, but as a polital belief system Libertarianism seems to come up short on answers to the problems of today. Read morePublished 17 months ago by George L
It is not hard to understand why the Cato Institute recommends this book. It is a quick read that covers most of the basics of Libertarian thought. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Luke S.
I was given this book by somebody who loved it and I promised to read it.
I must confess that I approached it with prejudice. Read more
This is a great book for someone looking into politics, especially someone that is committed to the idea of personal and economic liberty. Read morePublished on August 19, 2013 by Andrew Wikel