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"In Libertarianism Today Jacob Huebert draws on his mastery of libertarian philosophy, Austrian economics, and history, to show limited government, and free-markets are the only cures for the numerous problems facing our nation. Huebert also provides an excellent introduction to libertarian thought and a concise summary of the history of the libertarian movement. Anyone interested in learning more about the past, present, and future of the liberty movement can benefit from reading this book." -- Congressman Ron Paul
"If you want an unvarnished look at the libertarian movement, and care about the future of liberty, read this book." -- Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Founder and Chairman, Ludwig von Mises Institute
"Jacob Huebert has written an excellent overview of libertarianism today in his book of the same name. On everything under the sun he persuasively argues the libertarian position." -- Thomas E. Woods, Jr., New York Times bestselling author of Nullification, Meltdown, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
"Jacob Huebert's outstanding survey of libertarianism ranks as the best work of its kind since Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty. Huebert navigates successfully difficult waters. . . . Huebert's book merits close study by anyone interested in libertarianism." –- David Gordon, The Mises Review
"Words fail me in my attempt to say how much I welcome this book. . . . This is a brilliant, magnificent book. It is the work of a libertarian genius, one who, happily, has many years, no, many decades, in which to make that signal contribution to libertarianism I have grown to expect from this young man. I am privileged and honored to be a member of the same libertarian movement as he. If the future of liberty is in the hands of young men such as this, I cannot help but be optimistic." -- Walter Block, Libertarian Papers
"I think there should be a guy carrying boxes of this book to every college bookstore in America. Give it out, loan it to your friends. . . . It's awesome." -- Scott Horton, Antiwar Radio
Widespread disgust with and/or mistrust of traditional political parties leaves many Americans looking for another way—and curious about libertarians and libertarianism. But what, exactly, does being a libertarian mean?
I've been a libertarian for over 25 years, and have read a lot of libertarian books. I am sure I was one of Laissez Faire Books`s biggest customers in its heyday in the 80s and 90s. Among introductions to libertarianism I've read are Murray Rothbard's For A New Liberty (1st ed. 1973), David Bergland's Libertarianism in One Lesson (1st ed. 1984), David Boaz's Libertarianism: A Primer (1997), Charles Murray's What It Means To Be A Libertarian (1997), Jeffrey Miron's recent Libertarianism from A to Z (2010), and probably others I've forgotten.
Now, among these, Rothbard's FANL is a classic and stands out, of course. But FANL is more of Rothbard's own particular vision of libertarianism rather than a more comprehensive presentation of the views of the libertarian movement. And of course it is a bit dated by now, does not cover in detail topics that have risen to the fore in the intervening years (such as intellectual property, the Tea Party movement, nullification, etc.).
Given the rise of the Tea Party and the expansion of the libertarian movement in the last couple decades-and the inadequacies of other introductory books (each of them, other than FANL, has various deficiencies, although some of them are excellent and most of them worth reading too)-it was high time for a good, up to date new treatment. Huebert has done just this. I read the book in manuscript form well before its publication; I readily disclose I'm friends with Huebert. I read it with growing excitement. Here, finally, was a book that covered all the major issues, and from a solidly Austrian and anarchist-informed base-one that did not reveal (or feign) ignorance of various libertarian perspectives on issues such as democracy and decentralization and drawbacks of use of electoral politics or court battles.Read more ›
J.H. Huerbert's introduction to libertarianism is today's best work of its kind and rather timely. While there are other books one might consult to understand the movement, I find Huebert's to be the most well rounded: he does not provide mere politics or ideology, but smoothly incorporates legal theory, history, and Austrian economics into his argument. If you want to know, not only what it is that libertarians think, but also why they think the way they do, this is your book.
The author's writing style is exceptionally to-the-point: he has a real knack for getting at the linchpin of any issue without wasting any of your time.
In my opinion, what really sets this book apart from other milquetoast "introductions" and "primers" is Huebert's up-to-date analysis on the cutting-edge issues of libertarianism. His chapter-length treatment of intellectual property is itself worth the price of admission. His untangling of recent court battles is excellent, demonstrating that libertarianism is far more than idolizing the founding fathers' intentions. He cites and critically assesses the most recent scholarly and popular libertarian literature.
And yet he also gives due attention to the issues that have always been at the heart of libertarianism: war, the state, central banking, market interventions -- all of which libertarians oppose. His work in this area reminds me of Murray Rothbard's own introduction to libertarianism ("For a New Liberty"): clear, uncompromising, and eye-opening.
Finally, Huebert has done readers a great service by incorporating a wide range of sources into his work and providing thorough recommendations for further reading on each topic. Even seasoned libertarians will find gems in his footnotes that deserve further attention.
Mr. Huebert does a fantasic job of explaining the libertarian position. I've purchased copies to give as gifts and have referred to it on many occasions, though even after reading it I'm not as adept at clearly explaining libertarian concepts as Mr. Huebert. One area of contention that I've had trying to convince others of the redeeming features of libertarianism is that many people I've encountered tend to think it's a life philosophy and Mr. Huebert takes pains to explain that libertarianism is a political philosophy and makes no attempt to address all of life, as is appropriate. Six stars!
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