Tag: Books

The Concise Case for Free Speech Against Its Enemies »

“A liberal society stands on the proposition that we should all take seriously the idea that we might be wrong. This means we must place no one, including ourselves, beyond the reach of criticism; it means that we must allow people to err, even where the error offends and upsets, as it often will.”...
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Gary S. Becker, R.I.P. »

I first met Professor Gary Becker (1930-2014) about 15 years ago, when he came to Oxford, Miss., to present a public lecture at the University of Mississippi sponsored by the Robert M. Hearin Foundation. My coauthor and then-colleague Bob Tollison and I breakfasted with him early on the morning of Dr. Becker’s visit, after...
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Tolstoy’s Remarkable Manifesto on Christian Anarchy and Pacifism »

I’ve just finished reading Leo Tolstoy’s remarkable book The Kingdom of God Is Within You. This was written in Russian and completed in 1893, but the Russian censors forbade its publication. It circulated in unpublished form in Russia, however, and was soon translated into other languages and published abroad. It had substantial influence on...
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Global Poverty and the Tyranny of Experts »

Recovering former World Bank economist William Easterly has a new book on the folly of top-down development aid, The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor. As its title suggests, Easterly emphasizes the pernicious role played by technical “experts” from international development agencies in crafting policies that encourage authoritarian...
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The Independent Review—Spring 2014 Issue Now Available »

The Spring 2014 issue of The Independent Review, the Independent Institute’s quarterly journal, has just been printed and is en route to subscribers. Here’s a quick look at the contents: Is the near extermination of the North American bison a clear example of “the tragedy of the commons”? No, not if, like Peter J....
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Unlearning Liberty to the Detriment of Us All »

“A nation that does not educate in liberty will not long preserve it and will not even know when it is lost.” —Alan Kors Since my days as an undergraduate, I’ve been a major supporter of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and its tireless efforts in defending the academic freedom of...
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America’s Spymasters and Cultural Propaganda »

The U.S. intelligence community has come under fire for its mass electronic surveillance programs designed to discover what Americans talk about privately. But would it surprise anyone to learn that the nation’s spymasters have also tried to shape what Americans read? And not only disinformation they feed to credulous journalists—such skullduggery has been known...
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Extortion »

I’ve just finished reading Peter Schweizer’s book, Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets. It is solidly researched and loaded with facts to back up Schweizer’s claim that Washington politicians are extorting money from Americans for their own benefit. Political “contributions,” Schweizer notes, are often viewed as bribes...
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The Independent Review—Winter Issue Now Available »

The winter 2014 issue of The Independent Review is hot off the press! This edition of the Independent Institute’s 160-page scholarly journal includes a stimulating mix of timely topics and enduring themes, including a symposium on Nobel laureate economist James M. Buchanan and classical liberalism. Read it and gain a deeper understanding of the...
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Stephen Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich »

The gun control debate in the United States is often couched in somewhat parochial terms, with one side invoking, for example, the nation’s unique Second Amendment guarantees and the other citing America’s disturbing problems with gun violence. Yet for this issue (and many others), it’s often enlightening to look at the experiences of other...
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