Book Reviews

Book Review: Slightly Limited Government’s Nearly Last Hurrah

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Coolidge by Amity Shlaes (New York: Harper, 2013), 456 pages. I am for economy. After that, I am for more economy. — Calvin Coolidge (1920) Amity Shlaes’s Coolidge is a compelling biography of John Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933), 30th president of the United States. It is a well-paced narrative with elements of novelistic plotting and repeated themes both great and small. Indeed, ... [click for more]

Book Review: Jingo Democrats

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The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs by David C. Unger (New York: Penguin Press, 2012), 368 pages. During a meeting on the Bosnian crisis in the early 1990s, Madeleine Albright, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, furiously asked Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “What’s the point of having this superb ... [click for more]

The Cataclysm of World War II

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Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization by Nicholson Baker (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008), 567 pages. World War II was the great event of the 20th century. It greatly altered political boundaries, ushered in the Cold War, effected a total transformation in American governance, and consumed more lives than any other event ... [click for more]

Book Review: What Reality Teaches Us

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No, They Can’t: Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed by John Stossel (New York: Threshold Editions, 2012), 324 pages. John Stossel is the well-known host of Stossel on Fox Business. A graduate of Princeton, he has won an incredible 19 Emmy awards, is a five-time honoree for excellence in consumer reporting, and is a New York Times bestselling ... [click for more]

Book Review: All in the Family: America’s Big Brother

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Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner (New York: Random House, 2012), 560 pages. Since its humble beginnings in 1908 with a pint-sized force of 34 special agents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has always been the pillow over the face of the First Amendment. From its inception, the FBI was first and foremost an intelligence agency ... [click for more]

Book Review: The Crisis Ahead

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The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy — How to Save Yourself and Your Country by Peter D. Schiff (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2012), 352 pages. As  I write this review, the presidential campaign of 2012 has recently (and mercifully!) come to its end. Neither major-party candidate ever addressed the most salient issue facing the nation, namely, the fact ... [click for more]

New Deal Utopianism

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Back to the Land: Arthurdale, FDR’s New Deal, and the Costs of Economic Planning by C.J. Maloney (Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2011), 292 pages. Drive south from Morgantown, West Virginia, and you soon come to the little town of Arthurdale. At the outskirts of town, there is a roadside plaque informing those who stop to read it that Arthurdale was ... [click for more]

Authentic Liberalism Vindicated, Part 2: The Economics of Liberty

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Part 1 | Part 2 Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School by Ralph Raico, (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2012); 347 pages. The passionate interest in economics among libertarians is not immediately understood by all students of liberty. Even those generally in favor of economic freedom for ethical reasons may wonder why so many libertarians adhere ... [click for more]

Women Who Made a Difference

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Ladies for Liberty: Women Who Made a Difference in American History by John Blundell (New York: Algora Publishing, 2011); 230 pages. In contemporary American politics, women are generally assumed to be more inclined to socialistic ideas than men are. Women are more likely to favor candidates and policies that are supposed to help people, to provide a “safety ... [click for more]

Meeting Frédéric Bastiat

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The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Volume 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, Jacques de Guenin, general editor, and Jane Willems and Michael Willems, translators (Liberty Fund 2011); 600 pages. Of all the great classical liberal thinkers, Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) remains one of the least well-known. His works, of course, continue to be ... [click for more]

Playthings of the Gods

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The United States of Fear by Tom Engelhardt (Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2011); 230 page On  the night of March 11, 2012, Sgt. Robert Bales walked a short distance to two Afghan villages in Kandahar Province from Camp Belambay. Under the cover of darkness the soldier is alleged to have gone house to house shooting and stabbing to death 16 ... [click for more]

Book Review: The U.S. War Machine

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The American Way of War: Guided Missiles, Misguided Men, and a Republic in Peril by Eugene Jarecki (New York: Free Press, 2008); 336 pages. Many supporters of Barack Obama are disappointed that he has not reversed the war policies of his predecessor. He did his best to continue the U.S. occupation of Iraq. The Afghanistan war rages far beyond what ... [click for more]
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