on June 4, 2012
I was very skeptical about this book since I've read all of Ron Paul's books and followed the movement fanatically ever since 2007, so I didn't think this book could tell me anything I didn't already know, nor get me looking at a ton of stuff I had no idea about, but I'm here to tell you that's what it did!! I just bought the book to support a guy who was writing about Ron Paul since I'd seen the authors interviews on Reason TV and he seemed like a straight shooter, who might of wrote a pretty good book. I was skeptical but I bought it on my iPhone and before I knew it I was hooked, learned tons of stuff I didn't even know, and was quite sad when it ended!! I highly recommend this book, and if you are a Ron Paul fan it's a must read!! Absolute great read, and it got me looking at guys like Lysander Spooner, and other non establishment candidates and how they were treated by the machine. JCM
on May 27, 2012
This book is a great description of the Ron Paul movement for relative newcomers. Brian Doherty gives the background story of Ron Paul's congressional runs as well as his first stab as the Presidency in the libertarian party.
Doherty is one of us in describing Ron's impact in the political environment. A few times, supporters will find themselves laughing out loud at their own level of intense loyalty to Ron Paul as the author describes the passion of his followers.
One particularly interesting discussion in the book surrounds Peter Thiel and his sponsorship of the Seasteading Institute, an organization that encourages the creation of "floating cities--which will give people the opportunity to peacefully test new ideas about how to live together. The most successful will become thriving new societies--inspiring change around the world."
All in all, you will enjoy reading the book. I derived the most value from the chapters on the seeds of the movement and seeing how far Ron Paul followers have really pushed the cause of liberty.
on May 21, 2012
I just picked up the Kindle version of this book. It was such a good read that I finished the entire book within a few days. Very informative about the rise of Ron Paul going back to the beginning of his career. I highly recommend it to any Ron Paul fan or anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of Ron Paul's ideas and the significance of the movement he leads.
It seems like today's politicians will pretty much say and do anything to get elected these days. If it's convenient to flip-flop on a position to gain a few more votes, count them in. One of the few people who seems to have a set of beliefs that don't change a whole lot is Ron Paul. You may not *like* them, but at least he's consistent. To find out a bit more about Paul, I picked up the book Ron Paul's rEVOLution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired by Brian Doherty at the library. While it did fill in some gaps in my understanding of the man and his positions, I was expecting something a bit more balanced in the pros and cons of his policies and career. This book is tilted firmly in the direction of the "pros" side of the equation. It *is* a well-written book... just don't take it as everything you need to make an intelligence choice.
If I had paid a bit more attention to the author's bio, I would have been able to adjust my expectations accordingly. Doherty's writings and appearances on TV are solidly in the conservative/libertarian camp. That would have given me a clue that this book would be very sympathetic to the Paul movement. He uses the 2012 campaign for President as the framework for much of the narrative, using incidents and people to fill in the history of Paul and his major policy beliefs. Because the media largely ignored Paul, Doherty has room to show parts of the 2012 campaign that 99.5% of the public knows nothing about. That's one of the main takeaways for me in the book... If a candidate can't be slotted into a convenient stereotype or category, they are written off as not relevant.
What I was looking for when I picked up the book was more of an exploration of how certain ideas and policies would play out if Paul was elected. For instance, it's one thing to say that a return to the gold standard would "fix" the problem with our massive debt and unchecked government growth. In reality, what would it mean for a leading world economy to go against how every other nation manages money supply? One set of problems would be solved, but another whole set would be introduced. In addition, a President can do little without the support of Congress. Would a President with the policies of a Ron Paul be so out of sync with both the Republican and Democratic parties that *neither* side would support him? No easy, simple, or consistent answers exist any longer to our problems.
Paul fans will love this book, as it will reinforce the view that Ron Paul has answers that resonate with the American public once they have a chance to hear them. If you're part of the majority of people who haven't had the chance to hear what Paul stands for due to marginalization by the media, rEVOLution will help you get the basics about the man and his message. Just remember this book is very Paul-friendly, and you need to take this information and weigh it against other views to get a full picture of what a true Libertarian agenda would bring to the country.
Obtained From: Library
on June 4, 2012
This is a great book for Ron Paul fans, but also a great book for people who never quite knew enough about ron paul but are interested in what all the fuss is about. You'll get to know the man and why so many people became passionate supporters. Pauls roots, his principles, ideas, and vision are well laid out here. The revolution he started will continue, which makes this book relevant reading for some time to come. I literally couldn't put the book down until I finished it. It is well written, well researched, and lots of interviews with key people around and behind Paul. I only wish he would have waited a few months to publish it so that he could have written about events from Iowa to the present. Maybe a volume two. You won't get the story of why ron paul is so impportant to our country and our future from the mainstream media. There are ideas in this book which may hold the solutions to pur problems. Even if they are not, they will be battled upon in the political theatre for years to come. This book is very relevant for all of us.
on October 14, 2012
A really nice look at the Ron Paul phenomenon from a sympathetic fellow libertarian. The publication date of this book is a little awkward, as it stops well before the end of the 2012 campaign. The best stuff is the descriptions of the surreal rock-star like scenes as Paul is in the early stages of the 2012 campaign, and it's clear that the seeds sown in 2008 have really taken root and come to flower. A nicely detailed look at Paul's years in Congress, the 1988 run for president on the Libertarian ticket, the return to Congress, and a deeply embedded view of the 2008 campaign, combine with insightful explorations of libertarian theory. I remember watching Paul address 25-20 or so students someplace on C-Span in 1988--you couldn't get lower-key than this event, and to see how the libertarian idea has taken hold and spread since then is truly heartening to this libertarian.
on October 6, 2012
I will keep this short and sweet but this book was an interesting summary of the Ron Paul movement and the leader of it. Ron Paul is the modern day Barry Goldwater and the youth movement that he started will affect politics for many years to come.
on August 3, 2012
I just finished this book, Doherty does a great job moving through the relevant timeline of Ron Paul's rise in American politics while keeping you eager to turn the next page. I was especially delighted to see the 2011 CA GOP convention covered in such detail since I was in attendance!
on July 5, 2012
Brian Doherty's "Ron Paul's Revolution" is a stunningly lucid work (no surprise, him coming from the lucid and ultra-smart libertarian think-tank Reason). Although clearly a fan of Rep. Paul, this is not an in-your-face, screaming-from-the-mountaintops scribe that could be written by most of the fervent Ron Paul supporters (of which I include myself).
I am absolutely convinced that you do not have to be a fan to appreciate this book. If you are interested in how the movement came about (and it is a significant part of history, and I believe will have long-lasting effects for the Republican Party), if you are interested in hearing how Dr. Paul got started in politics, and if you are interested in taking an insiders trip through the 2008 and 2012 presidential primary process, this book is for you.
This book would have been quite a different book had it not been written by Doherty (although I suspect his Reason counterparts Nick Gillespie or Matt Welch could have done a fine job as well). The Reason folks, time and again, demonstrate credence in even the most unpopular of ideas and philosophies. Like Dr. Paul does when he speaks, Doherty takes the time to explain things that happen, why people think the way they do, and lets the reader come to their own conclusions.
I suspect Paul fans will love this book, and will go to the mountaintops and scream it for everyone to hear. I think establishment Republicans and Democrats alike will also love this book, but will demonstrate a more placid, albeit positive, response.
on June 25, 2012
If you are a Ron Paul fan and supporter - you must get this book. I am one, and I don't regret having ordered it the week it came out.
If you are not, herein you'll find the political biography of Ron Paul, why he chose to run for Congress and for the Presidency, and the origins of his main ideas. If you only want to be familiar with his ideas, maybe this is not the ideal book for you. Ron Paul's books themselves are probably better for that, particularly "Liberty Defined", his de facto campaign manifesto for the 2011-2012 cycle. This book assumes some familiarity with his ideas. Its subject is not Ron Paul's positions or worldview, but the movement he has launched, half intently, half unwittingly.
This book is written by a libertarian and Ron Paul supporter since the 1980s, and it shows. At times you get the feeling he is too fawning over his subject. That said, it's also clear that Doherty honestly tries to be fair and not write a purely apologetic work, even though he knows most of his audience will also be Ron Paul fans and libertarians. For example, he exposes that, while most people are comfortable to vote for less-than-perfect politicians when they agree with them half the time because they are perceived as lesser evils, in the case of Ron Paul his particular brand of honesty makes people reject him on even small differences. The case is best exemplified by the controversy over the newsletters released on his name, perceived as a proof of racism even though his opposition to the war on drugs and foreign adventurism is more minority-friendly than any policy supported by anyone else on the main parties. Doherty doesn't mention it, but Ron Paul's position on abortion (he is a firm pro-lifer) is another such deal-breaker for some who agree with him on the rest (and it is his most conspicuous deviation from the libertarian mainstream, if that term can be applied.)
However, for all the people for whom the perfect is the enemy of the good (a phrase heard only too often in libertarian circles), Ron Paul still has supporters all the way from anarchists committed to not support the state in any form to nearly-establishment Republicans; from left-wingers interested in drug legalization or gay rights to right-wingers opposed to high taxes, socialized health care, and the public education system; this with his added focus on a non-imperial foreign policy and a return to the gold standard. This is the magic of the movement he is behind - its extreme social and even cultural diversity; and this is what Doherty tries to communicate. As he says, the real success of Ron Paul will come if and as this liberty movement changes the landscape of American politics. This would come about partly through cultural changes from the grassroots and partly through the uphill task of reforming the Republican party from the inside. And yet, Doherty and, by his account, Ron Paul himself, are surprised at the successes the movement has had so far. These successes have happened in spite of the partially overlapping but at the same time competing visions of the Tea Party by the right (which intersects the Ron Paul Revolution through his son, Sen. Rand Paul), which rarely recovers the name of Ron Paul or his ideas outside the realm of fiscal and economics; and Occupy Wall Street by the left, which shares the concerns about the power of banks colluded with the state and the imperial foreign policy, but does not support such Paulian positions as balanced budgets or a stronger defense of the Second and Tenth Amendments. In this context, it's hard for anyone leaning libertarian not to be excited at the prospect of a mass movement with such transformative potential in American politics. If you want to read about that enthusiasm of Ron Paul inspired activists from everywhere in the U.S. and of all walks of life, this is the book for you. Whether you are trying to build floating libertarian-anarchist city states, establish an agorist community in your own hometown, or lead a Republican county committee; whether you care more about gold, or wars, or drugs, or homeschooling - there will be something for you here.