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Book Review: When We Are Free Edited by Lawrence W. Reed and Dale M. Haywood

MARCH 01, 1982 by BRIAN SUMMERS

(Northwood Institute Press, Midland, Michigan 48640), 1981 • 403 pages • $15.50 paperback

Textbooks supporting the freedom philosophy are few and far between. Thus this book of readings, edited by two economics professors at the Northwood Institute, is a welcome addition to the literature of freedom.

The readings consist of sixty essays, many of which first appeared in The Freeman. Leading off are several articles on property and the nature of man. Frank Chodorov examines the source of rights. Paul Poirot establishes the connection between property rights and human rights. And Roger Williams makes the case for treating all people as unique individuals.

On this individualistic basis the role of government is examined, and different systems of economic organization are compared. Turning to history, Professor Reed describes the fall of Rome and draws some worrisome modern parallels. Bettina Greaves shows how capitalism lib erated women, while Eric Brodin tells why he liberated himself from socialist Sweden.

Ben Regge, Hans Sennholz, and Ludwig von Mises describe the moral underpinnings of the free economy. Several authors dispel myths of capitalism and examine contemporary issues: immigration, energy, medical care, and foreign policy. Finally, the essays conclude with Leonard Read’s wise counsel on the methods for promoting liberty.

This review can only hint at the range of topics covered. Such a wide selection, and careful organization, makes this an excellent choice as a primary text or for supplemental reading. We hope this book will see wide use in our nation’s high schools and colleges.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

March 1982

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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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