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America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited Paperback – April 6, 2016
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About the Author
Sheldon Richman is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org), chair of the Center’s trustees, and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com. He is the author of three other books: Separating School and State: How to Liberate America’s Families (1994); Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax (1999); and Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State (2001), published by the Future of Freedom Foundation (fff.org). From 1997 to 2012 he was the editor of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education (fee.org), following which he edited Future of Freedom for the Future of Freedom Foundation. Previously he was an editor at the Cato Institute, the Institute for Humane Studies, and Inquiry magazine. Richman’s articles on foreign and economic policy, civil liberties, and American and Middle East history have appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Reason, Forbes, The Independent Review, The American Scholar, The American Conservative, Cato Policy Report, Journal of Economic Development, Journal of Palestine Studies, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Middle East Policy, Liberty, and other publications. He is a contributor to the The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. Richman is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He blogs at Free Association (sheldonrichman.com).
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Richmond does a stellar job of covering this issue from all angles: the motive behind creating the US Constitution, the schizophrenic nature of the Constitution, the power that the Constitution actually grants politicians, its defects concerning individual liberty, the problem inherent in written constitutions, and some _optimistic_ advice on how to think about constitutions and increase liberty.
The chapters are short, concise, easy to digest, very well documented, and enjoyable to read. If you have any love of liberty and a love of the Constitution, you need to resolve that contradiction by reading this book.
Yes, his own anarcho-capitalist leanings are explicit, particularly in the last few chapters, but he makes it clear that any incremental improvements in liberty are to be welcomed by everyone from traditional Republican conservatives to minarchist libertarians to the most anarcho-capitalist advocates, and welcomes everyone to our common struggle. His book is a good addition to understanding how our common goal will ultimately be won -- hint: it's not through putting our faith in the Constitution.
For the first time, the Constitution gave the general government the power to tax, regulate trade and raise armies. Is this the solution?
As a primer, the essays are short and eminently readable. He provides an abundance of sources for those so inclined whose appetite has been whet to pursue the topic deeper.
The counter-revolution that was the Constitutional Convention is his latest monumental project, and he tackles with gusto, exposing the crony mercantilist, "centralizing" forces that pushed to drop the Articles of Confederation and replace it with a document that gave a central authority much more power over the states and the people therein.
He walks us through his evidence, and shows us how he, a man who formerly held the Constitution up as a great victory for individual liberty and federalism, slowly, over the course of years, came to discover that his belief was misplaced. This is a profoundly valuable, easily readable work, and Sheldon Richman should be delighted by how it turned out. Beautiful! I hope many of you who read this review decide to get a copy and share the ideas, heck buy two copies and share one!
BTW, the format is messed up a bit.