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Book Review: Guaranteed for Life by Bruce Allan Findlay


137 pp. New York: Prentice-Hall, Inc. $2.50

In this volume, the author of an earlier study titled Your Rugged Constitution, declares “living in the United States is like being a member of a great orchestra,” with the U.S. Constitution being the score from which the musicians play. In 138 pages, sprinkled with over 150 illustrations, author Find-lay explains and portrays in modernistic style the individual rights and political principles embodied in our great charter.

Drawing on recent European history for effective illustrations, he has achieved a degree of realism not usually found in the studies of this document. Moreover, he has wisely included a section outlining for the reader ways by which he can play his part in the preservation of the Republic.

The desperate need for citizen-understanding of the Constitution prompts a generous appraisal of any volume seeking to dispel the prevailing ignorance and apathy about the bulwark of our liberties. Yet it is difficult to conclude that Guaranteed for Life, in common with other short studies of this kind, can bring about adequate understanding of the Constitution in what might be called “six easy lessons.”

Our generation takes about the same attitude toward the Constitution that a third generation heir takes toward a family fortune, and for similar reasons. The wealthy heir, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, knows nothing firsthand of the difficulties, hardships or problems involved in the accumulation of the wealth of which he is the beneficiary. The result is that he takes that wealth as an automatic right, or as is sometimes the case, treats it with scorn.

Findlay is obviously aware of the problem this lack of personal experience presents. He endeavors to cope with it by using illustrations based upon European events of the last two decades. His pictures make clear that one does not need to look deep into history to discover what can happen to an easily misled or complacent people.

At a time when almost everyone seems to be creature-comfort-crazy, and our politicians frequently outdo the communists in their Marxist appeals, it is hard to envision much popular demand for Guaranteed for Life. Scientific materialism and defense-spending prosperity have produced an all prevailing smugness that is almost impregnable. Bruce Findlay deserves credit for fashioning an original and simply-worded volume to be used in the battle to restore the eternal vigilance that is the price of liberty.


January 1956

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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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