Book Reviews

Bulldozed by Eminent Domain

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Bulldozed by Carla T. Main (Encounter Books 2007); 276 pages; $27.95. In 2005, eminent domain became a hot national issue with all the attention focused on it because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London. While property-rights scholars and libertarian activists ... [click for more]

A History of Libertarianism

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Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement by Brian Doherty (Public Affairs, 2007); 741 pages; $35. With Radicals for Capitalism, veteran libertarian journalist Brian Doherty (whose work is most often found in Reason) gives the world what he calls a “freewheeling history of the modern American libertarian ... [click for more]

We Need Immigrants

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Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them by Philippe Legrain (Princeton, 2007); 374 pages; $27.95. Many years ago, I agreed to be a guest on a talk-radio program originating in California. The host wanted a speaker who would defend immigration. After I explained my position, the host opened the call-in lines, and for the ... [click for more]

The Nightmare of the New Deal, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes (HarperCollins, 2007); 464 pages. If you ask a random sample of Americans who know (or think they know) something about U.S. history to discuss the twin subjects of the Great Depression and the ... [click for more]

The Lies of the Drug War

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Drug War Statistics by Matthew B. Robinson and Renee G. Scherlen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2007); 268 pages; $27.95. One war appears to be going well for the United States and its allies these days: the drug war. That was the lead in dozens of U.S. newspapers in response to a June 2007 ... [click for more]

Rational Irrationality and Bad Policies

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The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan (Princeton University Press, 2007); 276 pages; $29.95. For many years, the standard account of the tendency for democratic governments to adopt perverse policies (restrictions on free trade, for ... [click for more]

Leviathan and Big-Government Conservatism

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Leviathan on the Right: How Big Government Conservatism Brought Down the Republican Revolution by Michael D. Tanner (Cato Institute: 2007); 321 pages; $22.95. My first experience in politics was as a teenager during the 1964 campaign pitting Lyndon Johnson and his band of tax-and-spend-crazy Democrats against Barry Goldwater and his Republican compatriots. ... [click for more]

The Diagnosis of a Dying Republic, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006), 368 pages; $26. About 10 years ago, we libertarians were accustomed to hearing constitutionalist conservatives voicing our shared concern about the American ... [click for more]

Liberty versus the Morality Police

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Liberty for All: Reclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality by Elizabeth Price Foley (Yale University Press, 2006); 287 pages, $35.00. Most Americans have settled somnolently into the view that whatever laws are passed are all right because they’re the product of democracy. To be sure, there ... [click for more]

The Active Authoritarianism of Teddy Roosevelt

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Bully Boy by Jim Powell (Crown Forum, 2006); 329 pages, $27.50. Most historians rank Teddy Roosevelt as one of America’s great or near-great presidents. That is mainly because he is regarded as a “progressive” — a trustbuster, a proponent of government regulation of the ... [click for more]

Ripping Off the Taxpayers

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The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money by Timothy P. Carney (Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2006); 285 pages; $24.95. Frédéric Bastiat called it legal plunder when the state expropriated one set of property owners for the benefit of another. Whether it loots the workers to benefit the farmers, the farmers to benefit the workers, ... [click for more]
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