Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New Book To Purchase 

Brian Doherty, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine, has written a complete history of the American libertarian movement. His new book, "Radicals for Capitalism", is already receiving high praise. From a review by Daniel Ryan:

Brian Doherty has produced an engaging history of the libertarian movement, the kind of tale that may make you wish you were there at the time. Although he pays attention to the nineteenth-century antecedents of modern libertarianism, most of his narrative discusses the movement in its post-New-Deal phase. In doing so, he’s done a largely comprehensive job, up to the point where he fills in certain holes. One of the more interesting unearthed historical lacunae is the revelation of a full-blown LSD cult surfacing amongst the Faith and Freedom worthies in California, in the early 1960s, which explains a certain affiliation between libertarians and the counterculture.

There are colorful characters in this book. Doherty is the first libertarian I know to devote more than a brief mention of a well-known character by the name of Andy Galambos, a Californian. If you read the book, you’ll be surprised when you learn which prominent libertarians were Galambosian. He ain’t the only character, either; keep a close eye on Robert LeFevre.

Every libertarian intellectual of note is discussed here, and several of them whose works have been forgotten. Ayn Rand; Isabel Paterson; Murray N. Rothbard; Milton Friedman, with mention of David; Ludwig von Mises; Friedrich von Hayek; and, quite a few others. One long-neglected thinker mentioned by Doherty is Rose Wilder Lane. Her libertarianism encompassed the frontier dweller’s sometimes-chosen right to be lazy, provided that he or she was self-supporting while being so.

You should buy the book today.

UPDATE: Here's a review of the book by the Wall Street Journal's John Fund and some amusing comments from Cato's Gene Healy.

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