I couldn’t find a good summary, so I actually have to write one myself. This book is, as near I can tell based on my limited introduction to libertarianism, the manifesto of libertarianism. That is, if you’re not sure what constitute libertarian principles, or what a libertarian would think about a certain issue, then this is where to start. Rothbard takes you through one issue at a time, explaining in easily understandable terms the libertarian position on that issue. You’ll learn about the non-aggression axiom, how man can live with very limited government, and how private property rights and free markets can provide us with everything we need, including roads, fire departments, and police protection.
Why the President Should Read This Book
Some might call For a New Liberty a Utopian pipe dream, and those who subscribe to the ideals described therein as naive fools. But what is more naive, to believe that most people are good and that individuals working with individuals can largely fend for themselves, or that an organization with massive power can resist the corrupting influence of that power and centrally orchestrate the millions of daily decisions that would otherwise be made by individuals in such a way that individuals are benefited more than if they were left to their own devices? Incorporating the principles of this book into the real world may be difficult, but for those who read the book, that is something worth fighting for. Those who would be President would do well to read it, because those whose votes they would court will be hard-pressed to go to anyone who hasn’t.
You can read, download a PDF, or download mp3 files of For a New Liberty at Mises.org for free.
I have many books yet to read, but of all the books I’ve read on politics, economics, freedom, etc., other than holy writ, there is no book I can recommend more highly than this one. If that ever changes, I’ll put another note here to that effect.