This is a good application of the philosophy of individual human liberty & limited government to many "hot-button" issues, and presents many ideas that should be in the public discussion. When dissecting each individual issue, Bergland does well at explaining the folly of government intervention, the unintended consequences thereof, and how individual liberty would make the situation better. He is the first to say that Utopia is not an option, so his argument is that the better way is the libertarian way. This book is geared to the layperson and presents an alternative way to look at government in a moral and practical sense.
However, there are a few reasons I will not wholeheartedly recommend the 8th edition (2000) that I read. There are many grammatical and spelling errors throughout. It is hard for me to accept the ideas being presented if they are not presented in a professional and polished manner. For the 8th edition, this sloppiness is unacceptable!
Another problem I encountered with the text may have to do with the nature of the text. Since this book is an introductory look into libertarianism, it shies away from the controversial implications of the theory: if government intervention has such terrible results and unintended consequences in issues a, b, and c, then why do we trust it with the government monopoly on national defense or police? Bergland appears to be a minarchist (minimal statism), in the tradition of Ayn Rand, who believes that government should exist for two purposes: national defense and the protection of individual rights against other individuals.Read more ›
This book is a classic in the Libertarian movement, and is thus somewhat untouchable. It is a great book, offering Bergland's brand of Libertarianism and many libertarian solutions in a simple yet thought-provoking fashion.However, it is very dry and will not appeal to all. Those who couldn't care less about economics would not like this book. Granted, most Libertarians do care about them but that is only after realizing how economic liberty is really not separate from personal liberty.I'd recommend this as a primer for those who are new to the movement but already consider themselves Libertarians. For those who aren't I'd recommend something like Harry Browne's Great Libertarian Offer, Virginia Postrel's The Future and Its Enemies, or a few current issues of Reason magazine to give you an impression of what Libertarianism, the politics of free minds and free markets, is all about.
This book is a must read for everyone! If you are a libertarian, this holds many facts and quotes that you should commit to memory. If you are interested in what libertarianism is, read this east to follow fact filled book with tons of references. If you think you are not libertarian, get this book, read it and take the test and make sure you are not libertarian. I think you might find you agree with more of what Mr. Bergland has to say then you think. This book is brilliantly crafted. With many additional resources listed at the end. The chapters are clear concise and really drive home the points.
Concise book outlining the major positions of this exciting third-party alternative to our current system. Thought-provoking ideas on how to work for substantial changes and bring us back closer to the ideas of our founding fathers and the Constitution as it was written. Short enough (approx. 120-130 pages) that everyone interested should give it a look, and there is an extensive bibliography of suggested reading if you wish to learn even more. Great starting point.
I got this book for my father who is a stuffy, dusty, old republican who has lost heart in the political system. This book has breathed new life into his political beliefs. If you find yourself getting frustrated with politics, I highly recommend you give this book a read.
Mr. Bergland is to the point in this outstanding introduction to a great political party and philosophy. Well written and easy to understand. The author explains the parties principles in a manner that will keep you truely intrested. I recommend this work for those who are uncertain of thier political affiliation or ideals regardless of thier knowledge of politics.