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Book Review: Idols For Destruction: Christian Faith And Its Confrontation With American Society by Herbert Schlossberg


(Thomas Nelson Publishers, P.O. Box 141000, Nelson Place at Elm Hill Pike, Nashville, TN 37214), 1983
335 pages • $14.95 cloth; $8.95 paperback

The modern world, as Mr. Schloss-berg perceives it, is steeped in polytheism. Strange gods comprise its pantheon, bearing odd names such as Historicism, Mammon, Humanism, Nature, Power, and Religion. A chapter is devoted to the left-liberal ideologies which constitute, or have infiltrated, these several fields, and well-known apologists advance their best arguments. But after our author has applied his critical analysis his opponents are left without a case. He is an acute critic who seems to have read everything the idol makers have written, and much else besides. With its full index, the book is an encyclopedic survey of contemporary ideologies. It is also an answer, point by point, to much entrenched error. As an iconoclast, Schlossberg is a smashing success as he coolly demolishes one idol after another.

But the net impact of the book is not negative, for the author has a positive philosophy of freedom to replace the dubious notions he criticizes. Schlossberg is equipped with a body of principles explicitly Christian, buttressed by ideas from the writings of men like Mises, Hayek and Friedman. It is my opinion that many readers of The Freeman will be stimulated and challenged by this work, and I urge it upon them.


April 1984

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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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