"George Smith's lectures on classical liberalism had a profound effect on my thinking. Now, at long last, others may profit from his prodigious learning in this absolutely 'must read' book for anyone interested in modern libertarianism and its historical roots. Clear, accessible, balanced, and powerfully reasoned."
--Randy E. Barnett, author of The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law
"This is a lucid, concise, but at the same time a deep overview of the origins and structure of classical liberal thought. With a fluid and engaging style, Smith corrects many of our modern misconceptions about how early liberals understood themselves and the terms on which they debated. Anyone interested in liberal thought, whether in its 'classical', modern 'high liberal', or libertarian forms, will find this a valuable resource. Even critics of classical liberalism will find, thanks to Smith, that classical liberal thought contains a great deal of forgotten wisdom."
--Jason Brennan, author of Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know
"George H. Smith is an independent scholar who for many decades has lectured and written about the history of classical liberal and libertarian ideas. The System of Liberty is his first extended take on this history to be published by a high-level academic press-a tribute both to Smith's dogged scholarship and to the rise in the respectability of the libertarian tradition he explains and espouses...the information and analysis are always interesting." -Brian Doherty, Reason Magazine
Liberal individualism, or "classical liberalism" as it is often called, refers to a political philosophy in which liberty plays the central role. This book demonstrates a conceptual unity within the manifestations of classical liberalism by tracing the history of several interrelated and reinforcing themes.See all Editorial Reviews
George Smith does an incredible and necessary task of discovering the origins between classical liberalism (Libertarianism) and modern liberalism (welfare state/socialism). Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jose A. Tovar
George Smith is one of the all time best libertarian writers and thinkers. I highly recommend this book for a more in depth understanding of the meaning, and origin of individual... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Steven Vandervelde
George H. Smith has provided us with a magnificent history of the ideas that created the modern world by introducing the concept of individualism, human rights, and laissez faire. Read morePublished 8 months ago by JoeCobb
It's been a while since I've read George H. Smith's The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism, but I thought it was pretty terrific. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Billie Pritchett