Book Reviews

Open Societies and Spontaneous Orders

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Popper, Hayek and the Open Society by Calvin Hayes (London/New York: Routledge, 2009); 284 pages. Friedrich A. Hayek and Karl Popper were two of the most influential and internationally recognized critics of totalitarian collectivism in the 20th century. Hayek’s Road to Serfdom (1944) and Popper’s Open Society and Its Enemies (1945) helped change the intellectual climate at a time when ... [click for more]

The Natural Right to Be Free

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It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom by Andrew P. Napolitano (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011); 240 pages. Three recent books on libertarianism — Jeffrey A. Miron’s Libertarianism, from A to Z (Basic Books, 2010); Jacob H. Huebert’s Libertarianism Today (Praeger, 2010); and Tom G. Palmer’s Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, ... [click for more]

Obama Administration Brainwashes Public on Afghanistan

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In 1967, Michigan Governor George W. Romney, a potential contender for the 1968 Republican presidential nomination, abandoned his earlier support for the war in Vietnam, which he had called “morally right and necessary.” Asked why he changed his position, Romney said, “When I came back from Viet Nam , I’d just had the ... [click for more]

Fear, Inc.

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Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State by Dana Priest and William Arkin (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011); 320 pages. All Americans are equal, but some are more equal than others. Since the attacks of September 11, a new, powerful class of people has swarmed into the nation’s capital and its surrounding suburbs. Armed ... [click for more]

What Are You Afraid Of if You Have Nothing to Hide?

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The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades our Liberties by David K. shipler (New York: Knopf 2011), 384 pages. Late this past spring, two U.S. senators finally had the courage to look Big Brother in its inhuman, electronic eye and try to come clean on the USA PATRIOT Act. According to Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Org.) ... [click for more]

Who Was the Real Thomas Jefferson?

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Liberty, State, & Union: The Political Theory of Thomas Jefferson by Luigi Marco Bassani (Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 2010); 277 pages. No one doubts that our understanding of historical figures may need to be revisited from time to time. But academic specialists have been known to overreach. To portray a historical figure in a light exactly opposed to the ... [click for more]

Prosecutors Gone Wild

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One Nation Under Arrest: How Crazy Laws, Rogue Prosecutors, and Activist Judges Threaten Your Liberty edited by Paul Rosenzweig and Brian W. Walsh (Washington, D.C.: Heritage Foundation, 2010); 268 pages. A good case can be made that the overcriminalization of the law is among America’s most serious national problems. True, America’s economic troubles are ... [click for more]

Game Theory and the Dark Side of Envy

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Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory by Robert Leonard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (2010); 390 pages. Economist Oskar Morgenstern is best known as the co-developer, with mathematician John von Neumann, of game theory. Game theory emerged out of curiosities about logic and strategies of games such as chess, where each player must take into consideration the ... [click for more]

Is There a Right to Earn a Living?

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The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur (Washington, D.C.: Cato Institute, 2010) Is there a right to earn a living? Most Americans would answer, “Of course there is, but ...” Following that “but” you would get a long list of exceptions and qualifications that whittle away at the right, such as “but ... [click for more]

Rolling Back the Myth of Good Government

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Rollback: Repealing Big Government before the Coming Financial Collapse by Thomas E. Woods Jr. (Washington D.C.: Regnery, 2011); 232 pages. The government of the United States has secured the confidence and consent of the American people through myths of its benevolence, provision, innovation, achievements, scientific advances, educational system, and protection. It takes credit for everything good that happens ... [click for more]

Understanding the U.S. Torture State

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The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse edited by Marjorie Cohn (New York University Press: 2011), 342 pages. When I was a child in Reagan’s America, a common theme in Cold War rhetoric was that the Soviets tortured people and detained them without cause, extracted phony confessions through cruel violence, did the unspeakable to detainees who were helpless ... [click for more]

The Roots of Infamy at Pearl Harbor

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Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy by Percy L. Greaves Jr., edited by Bettina Bien Greaves (Auburn, Ala., Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010). December 7, 1941 — a day that will live in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right about that. The attack by the Japanese Navy on the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor certainly was infamous. ... [click for more]
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