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About The Book

A revised, updated, and retitled edition of David Boaz’s classic book Libertarianism: A Primer, which was praised as uniting “history, philosophy, economics and law—spiced with just the right anecdotes—to bring alive a vital tradition of American political thought that deserves to be honored today” (Richard A. Epstein, University of Chicago).

Libertarianism—the philosophy of personal and economic freedom—has deep roots in Western civilization and in American history, and it’s growing stronger. Two long wars, chronic deficits, the financial crisis, the costly drug war, the campaigns of Ron Paul and Rand Paul, the growth of executive power under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the revelations about NSA abuses have pushed millions more Americans in a libertarian direction. Libertarianism: A Primer, by David Boaz, the longtime executive vice president of the Cato Institute, continues to be the best available guide to the history, ideas, and growth of this increasingly important political movement—and now it has been updated throughout and with a new title: The Libertarian Mind.

Boaz has updated the book with new information on the threat of government surveillance; the policies that led up to and stemmed from the 2008 financial crisis; corruption in Washington; and the unsustainable welfare state. The Libertarian Mind is the ultimate resource for the current, burgeoning libertarian movement.

About The Author

Photograph by Kelly Roman

David Boaz is executive vice president of the Cato Institute. He is the author of Libertarianism: A Primer (an updated edition to be released in 2015 called The Libertarian Mind), and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in the Washington, DC, area.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 10, 2015)
  • Length: 432 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476752877

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Raves and Reviews

"The Libertarian Mind belongs in the canon with the writings of Nozick, Hayek, and Epstein. ... Boaz’s manifesto for freedom presents as the contemporary gold standard of the libertarian creed."

– Forbes

"This is the most accessible book on libertarianism likely to be written—the best since Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980). Boaz does not browbeat his readers. He avoids dudgeon. He writes brilliantly about American law, natural rights philosophy, and the history of freedom—so well, in fact, that his work ought to replace the ridiculous civics textbooks in American secondary schools."

– The Weekly Standard

“They say the libertarian moment has arrived. If you want to understand and be part of that moment, read David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind where you'll be drawn into the 'eternal struggle of liberty vs. power,' where you'll learn that libertarianism presumes that you were born free and not a subject of the state. The Libertarian Mind belongs on every freedom-lover's bookshelf.”

– Senator Rand Paul

The Libertarian Mind is so convincing critics will want to condemn it, regulate it, tax it, fleece it, and forbid it. Fortunately, good ideas haven’t been outlawed—yet."

– Peter Thiel, technology entrepreneur and investor, author of Zero to One

“Back in the 1990s David Boaz published two of the very best books on freedom that I have ever read—Libertarianism: A Primer and The Libertarian Reader. Both these books had a huge impact on how I think about both ethics and politics. I have hungered for many years now for Boaz to publish a new book and he finally has. The Libertarian Mind is a brilliantly updated version of Libertarianism: A Primer that is very clearly written with quite reasonable and compelling arguments on behalf of human freedom. Boaz’s message is both timeless and extraordinarily relevant to the challenges that we are facing today. It deserves to be read carefully and thoughtfully by everyone who truly cares about creating a more ethical and prosperous world.”

– John P. Mackey, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

"In an age in which the end of big government is used by politicians as a pretext for bigger, and worse, government, it is refreshing to find a readable and informative account of the basic principles of libertarian thought written by someone steeped in all aspects of the tradition. David Boaz's book unites history, philosophy, economics and law—spiced with just the right anecdotes—to bring alive a vital tradition of American political thought that deserves to be honored today in deed as well as in word."

– Richard A. Epstein, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

“David Boaz has been my guide to the history, economics, and politics of freedom for years.”

– John Stossel

“These days, you can't understand politics--and why so many Americans are so unhappy with it--without knowing what libertarianism is all about. The backlash against government is more than just a gut feeling; it is a philosophy, and one that demands to be reckoned with. For anyone who wants to explore the ideas that are energizing the right and exasperating the left, David Boaz's clear and often passionate book is the place to begin.”

– Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

“America is a country full of people who feel personal liberty and individual responsibility in their guts. This book puts those guts into words. America is also a country full of politicians, academics, and self-possessed elites who mistrust liberty and responsibility to the bottom of their souls. This book plants a kick in that fundament.”

– P.J. O'Rourke

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