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Why Liberty: Your Life, Your Choices, Your Future Paperback – September 24, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The new low-cost paperback volume, the fourth in a series that includes The Economics of Freedom, Morality of Capitalism, and After the Welfare State, offers, as an alternative to the politics of force, a philosophy of persuasion based on individual liberty and choice.
It includes contributions from student leaders such as Alexander McCobin, co-founder of the fast-growing and international Students for Liberty, and Olumayowa Okediran, founder of African Liberty Students Organization, as well as highly visible thought leaders including TV personality John Stossel. "We are seeing an explosion among college students committed to the ideas of liberty -- there's no other word to describe it," says Palmer. "And today's students are not only interested in discussing these ideas, they want to do something about it. That's why this new book so strongly represents the voices of today's student leaders, some very impressive young people who have developed their own vision for freedom, one that transcends old political divides, and who know how to get organized and to do something constructive to make their vision happen." Dr. Palmer will be traveling the U.S. and internationally for book events and is available for interview upon request. As with previous editions in the same series, the books are not only recommended reading for students, many think tanks and business organizations host book events attracting politicos, professionals, academics, and journalists to discuss the ideas in the book. --The Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Once your rights are taken away, it's hard to get them back. The authors of Why Libertyexplain why you should fight for your freedom. David Boaz --Cato Institute

About the Author

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is executive vice president for international programs at the Atlas Network. He oversees the work of teams working around the world to advance the principles of classical liberalism and works with a global network of think tanks and research institutes. Dr. Palmer is a senior fellow of the Cato Institute, where he was formerly vice president for international programs and director of the Center for the Promotion of Human Rights. He was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He is a member of the board of advisors of Students For Liberty.
He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Al Hayat, Caixing, The Washington Post, and The Spectator of London>.
He received his BA in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland; his MA in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University. His scholarship has been published in books from Princeton University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, and other academic publishers. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, published in 2009; the editor of The Morality of Capitalism, published in 2011, and After the Welfare State published in 2012.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Jameson Books; 1st edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898031729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898031720
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Libertarian scholar and activist Tom G. Palmer has carried the ideas of liberty to some of the most oppressed and dangerous parts of the planet. He smuggled books, photocopiers, and faxes into the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations and has taught and lectured in Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other countries. He earned his B.A. in liberal arts from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, and his D.Phil. in politics from Oxford University. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C., where he was previously vice president for international programs, and is vice president for international programs, where he directs platforms and active programs of book publishing, summer schools, and policy conferences in 15 languages. He serves on the boards of a number of organizations and is active in several charitable groups.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Why Liberty is a nice collection of introductory essays on liberty that provide a nice starting point for students while having some interesting information for those of us who are older as well. The essays can be read individually which makes it easy for someone to explore whatever area they find interesting.

The essays by Tom Palmer are very good. My favorite of Tom's essays was on the "History and Structure of Libertarian Thought"

Many of the essays are written by some of the younger advocates of liberty and there are several I would like to call out as I found them very interesting:

1. Africa's Promise of Liberty by Olumayowa Okediran which covers liberty in Africa and which I had no prior knowledge of
2. The Tangled Dynamics of State Interventionism: The Case of Health Care by Sloane Frost which shows that the interventions in health care have had a lot of unintended negative consequences. I also enjoyed the distinction made between interventionism and regulation.
3. How do you know? Knowledge and the Presumption of Liberty by Lode Cossaer and Maarten Wegge which covers the knowledge problem (Hayek) and the institutions that make peaceful cooperation possible.

The book is a fast read and well worth the time. I also recommend the two earlier books from this series that were edited by Tom Palmer:
-- The Morality of Capitalism
-- After the Welfare State
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Format: Paperback
I particularly enjoyed the first chapter, reviewing the basics of why most folks unknowingly share libertarian values, and what those values are. I also enjoyed the next several chapters of detail and implications. But it really started hitting home when it made a "Humble case for freedom", pointing out that ignorance always outweighs knowledge, in everyone, including leaders.

Then the timely chapter on health care reminded "interventions typically have unintended consequences." All agree there are problems with health care, but this book usefully reminds us that current problems may be the result of earlier interventions and regulations, and can only be made worse by further interventions and regulations.

The last chapter usefully reminds us "states emerged when 'roving bandits' became 'stationary bandits' and instituted regularized plunder. [via] ...a surplus sufficient to attract the attention of predators and sustain them." "Simply put, makers produce wealth while takers appropriate it."

Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of essays provide a nice introduction into libertarian political philosophy. Written at a level that can be read and understood by the typical student or adult, the book eschews big words and intellectualism for practical and approachable big picture views of how libertarian policy works in theory and practice.

The anthology of essays, many written by students, cover elements as diverse as the history of the movement, healthcare, tax policy, free trade, slavery and minimal government. Some of the most persuasive arguments for the support of a minimalist state as well as positioning libertarianism as a centrist political position are well articulated in the book.

Short (less than 150 pages) and well edited by Tom Palmer, this is a must read for anyone looking to explore a libertarian worldview.
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Format: Paperback
By being both well-written and easy-to-read this book is of high value for everyone. One does not necessarily need to be a scholar or a student of philosophy, political science, law or economics to understand the concepts discussed in the book, because Liberty is for everyone and for all societies, and I believe this book makes that very clear. I am from Albania and I could understand that many of the concepts given here could very well apply to me personally and to the Albanian Society.
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Format: Paperback
What a brilliant initiative. Many of the essays in this book are from young intellectuals who have understood the value of liberty for the future of their generation. They beautifully defend the case for liberty using solid economic, philosophical, ethical and esthetical arguments. A must-read.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan of Tom Palmer and what he is doing around the world.
I'm just grateful that he's out there sharing these perspectives with a wider new audience, so they may better understand the value of liberty to their lives and to the betterment of the society around them.
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Format: Paperback
Inspiring and instructive are the words I would use to describe this collection of essays on the benefits of living in a free society. The essays talk about how personal freedom creates a prosperous and peaceful society in which the free market conveys information on what to produce and what not to produce, and at what monetary cost. Natural rights of life, liberty, and property are the foundation of a free society, and capitalism is the decentralized mechanism of wealth exchange created from the spontaneous order of millions of individuals trading with each other. However, this peaceful and efficient transfer of wealth is continuously being distorted by misguided and aggressive government laws. So-called intellectuals in the service of the state presume to have unlimited knowledge on how best to engineer society into a perfect image of equality, but the outcome is one of great suffering for the people and great plunder for the politicians. While individuals struggle to create wealth, the state is enriched by stealing taxpayer money; the state cannot create wealth and so it must use violence to take from those individuals who do not do its bidding. Tom Palmer does a great job of editing this book, and his included essays are phenomenal.
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