Friday, October 28, 2011

Voices from the Liberty Movement

Why Liberty: Personal Journeys Toward Peace & Freedom
Marc Guttman, editor
Cobden Press, 20258 Highway 18, Suite 430-500, Apple Valley, CA 92307
from Amazon

It's hard to imagine what the common ground would be, when the people in the discussion include medical doctors, lawyers, a manufacturing CFO, an activist jailed during South Africa's apartheid era, a Norweigan electrical engineer, a computer scientist from Zimbabwe, a home-schooling mom, a Mexican investment banker, a paramedic whose property fight went all the way to the Supreme Court, and a wholesaler dealing in native American crafts and arts.  To further complicate the picture, they all started out in very different places.  Some were Democrats, some Republicans, some Communists, others totally unpolitical, and yet here they are, all in one  compendium telling their stories of why they now feel that Libertarianism is the path to freedom.

There are so, so many books out there that talk about the principles behind the Libertarian ideal, with focus on a "purist" way of thinking and a somewhat algorithmic/mechanical feel that reduces reality to economic formulas, and seems to push out all but the "true believers," but this book is very different.

Sure, there's philosophy thrown in but the core of the book is the personal stories.  Who the people were, what happened to them, what they saw around them, and what they lived through that convinced them to rethink everything they thought they knew.

Mark Twain is reported to have said "It's not the things you don't know that get you into trouble,  it's the things you know for sure that ain't so."   The writers in this edition have all been through a growth process, one that made them look closely at their beliefs, at what they were sure they knew, either from an intellectual perspective, or because life threw them some very nasty curve balls which forced them to do so.

The writing styles are very different, the situations are very different, but as the reader goes through the book, the core principles of Liberty are seen in all facets, through many varied lenses: different countries and cultures, different socio-economic categories, different races, religions, and educational levels, viewed through old and young eyes.   Personally, I doubt a book specifically on Libertarianism could do as thorough a job of laying out all the key elements of Liberty and why they are important, not only to folks here in the US but to those around the world.



  1. I need to buy this book! Great review.

  2. Gabriella did this review and I must day, I need to read this book as well - as soon as I get through my TBR pile!


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