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The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties Hardcover – January 18, 2008


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The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties + Libertarianism: A Primer + The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Cato Institute (January 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933995149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933995144
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute. He has played a key role in the development of the libertarian movement. He is the author of "Libertarianism: A Primer," described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas," and of "The Politics of Freedom"; and the editor of "The Libertarian Reader," the "Cato Handbook For Policymakers," "Liberating Schools," "The Crisis in Drug Prohibition," and other books. His articles have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate. He is a frequent guest on national television and radio shows, and has appeared on "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," "Crossfire," Bill Buckley's "Firing Line," NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and "All Things Considered," "John McLaughlin's One on One," Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other media. He is a popular speaker on college campuses and at corporate and community events.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Travis Walker on March 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
To ensure that this review gets read, I am going to keep it brief with a few observations.

Anyone that wishes to be considered an informed voter must be accurately informed about what the Democrat and Republican policies have done to our country post 1980. David Boaz's latest book provides us with this very much needed information. Specifically, he provides with much of his best work that he has written over the years that accurately describe many of the failed polices that have been enacted by our government since 1980.

His use of evidence of how both political parties have enlarged the size and scope of the federal government, spent us into a $9 trillion deficit with ever increasing entitlement programs, continued a failed war on drugs, increased the nanny state, and weakened our military by putting it in parts of the world it has no business being in are just a few of the adverse effects that Republican and Democrat polices have had on our country--David Boaz lists many others that are just as important.

If you agree with many of the points of this book than you are not alone--many of us, when asked are policy preferences, are "mostly Libertarian" but don't even know it. If you disagree, explain where David Boaz's analysis has gone wrong; but good luck justifying his errors because it won't be easy.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By C. Green on February 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There are only three things I want the federal government to do. Defend our shores. Protect our rights. And stay the heck out of our lives. If you agree (more or less), you'll find much to like in this collection. You will not find a more passionate and articulate defender of liberty than David Boaz.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven J. Thaler on May 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
An excellent source for understanding the threats to our liberties from government. Boaz rests his arguments on principles and proven outcomes and not on blind loyalty to Political Parties or wonderful sounding programs. His articles make clear how incredibly far astray from the constitution we have gone with ever expanding government spending, regulation and power. I very much appreciate the clarity which Boaz brings to many over worn issues and how often his redefinition of the problems at hand point to the more fundamental issues. Thanks David Boaz.

Steve Thaler
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33 of 46 people found the following review helpful By John on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While I agree with about 75 % of this book (I consider myself a libertarian-oriented Republican, or a libertarian, or maybe an independent)...

I have some issues with the book:

- I disagree with the entire discussion of smoking bans. The author refers to people who are for clean indoor air as "fascists". This is of course more than a bit ridiculous.

- The author contradicts himself. One example is that he excoriates Giuliani for cleaning up New York city by getting rid of "street vendors" and beggars. Later in the book, he criticizes U.S. cities for allowing "panhandlers". So which is it ? Are street vendors and panhandlers an expression of American individual liberty, or a menace ? He takes both positions at once.

- He focuses on the Founding Fathers' love of individual liberty, totally disregarding Hamilton's love of strong federal power.

- At one point he states that "free people" have a right to secession (where is that in the U.S. Constitution ?)

- I disliked his defense of "gated communities". He ignores the fact that in cities like Dallas (where I live), the communities have expropriated public streets and closed entire public areas and put gates across what before were public streets. So it is not just about the private sector. It is about the private sector taking over public roads. He ignores this. He defends gated communities, saying that they make people safer. But is it real safety, or is it fake safety. Again: not addressed.

- His basic philosophy is: public sector = bad, private sector = good. I think this is oversimplified. Don't I get anything for my tax money ? Ever been in Minnesota and seen the public services there, the roads, the rest stops, the public infrastructure ?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Marsh on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
David Boaz's collection of his writings provides a comprehensive description of the individual and social costs of government encroachment on our freedoms. It should be read not just by those appreciating the value of freedom, but even more so by those who do not fully realize how ill-founded government policies detract from, rather than enhance, standards of living everywhere. Were the insights provided by Boaz more widely understood, the world would be a more prosperous and peaceful place.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Beitler on December 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This collection of essays from David Boaz's articles is a great example of libertarian analysis of today's political and economic issues. Each essay is well written and insighful. The essays are grouped together in such a way that you can skip around. It's a pleasure to read.

Michael Beitler, Ph.D.
Host of "Free Markets With Dr. Mike Beitler"
Author of "Rational Individualism" Rational Individualism: A Moral Argument for Limited Government & Capitalism
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