Book Reviews

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]

Imperialist Freedom

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Empire for Liberty: A History of American Imperialism  from Benjamin Franklin to Paul Wolfowitz by Richard H, Immerman. (Princeton University Press; 237 pages); $24.95. There are many reasons to be angry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but perhaps the most teeth-grating moments of the launching of war in Baghdad were marked by the moralism by which U.S. officials ... [click for more]

The Best Introduction to Libertarianism

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Libertarianism Today by Jacob H. Huebert (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010), 254 pages. Major books on libertarianism seem to come in pairs. First, in 1973, there was Murray N. Rothbard’s For a New Liberty (Macmillan, with a revised edition in 1978) and John Hospers’s Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow (Nash Publishing). The year 1997 saw the publication of David ... [click for more]

The Story Behind the Permanent War

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Washington Rules: Americas Path to Permanent War by Andrew J. Bacevich (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010), 286 pages. During the last decade, left-liberals accused the controversial Bush administration of a wickedness, arrogance, and incompetence that supposedly set that presidency apart from others in American history. Bush was an especially bad warmonger who broke with the traditional and venerable principles that had ... [click for more]

A Dictionary of Libertarianism

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Libertarianism, from A to Z by Jeffrey A. Miron (New York: Basic Books, 2010); 198 pages. More and more Americans are coming to realize that the liberal/conservative paradigm is deeply flawed. Disillusionment with Washington is at an all-time high. The old adage that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties has never seemed more ... [click for more]

How Will the Empire End?

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Dismantling the Empire: America’s Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2010); 212 pages. Most Americans would very likely deny that their government is a global empire, horribly destructive to national security, liberty, and wealth. But whatever we call this U.S. system of ubiquitous military bases, satellite regimes throughout the world, ever-growing “defense” budgets, and an ... [click for more]

Nullifying Tyranny

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Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century by Thomas E. Woods Jr. (Regnery, 2010); 309 pages. One of the big mistakes made by the drafters of the Constitution was their omission of any provision that says what is to be done if the Congress or president acts unconstitutionally. Although the Constitution places limits on their authority, nowhere does ... [click for more]
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