General Description (from Publisher’s Weekly)
Congressman, Republican Presidential candidate and author Paul (A Foreign Policy of Freedom) says “Let the revolution begin” with this libertarian plea for a return to “the principles of our Founding Fathers: liberty, self-government, the Constitution, and a noninterventionist foreign policy.” Specific examples demonstrate how far U.S. law has strayed from this path, particularly over the past century, as well as Paul’s firm grasp of history and dedication to meaningful debate: “it is revolutionary to ask whether we need troops in 130 countries… whether the accumulation of more and more power in Washington has been good for us…to ask fundamental questions about privacy, police-state measures, taxation, social policy.” Though he can rant, Paul is informative and impassioned, giving readers of any political bent food for thought. With harsh words for both Democrats and Republicans, and especially George W. Bush, Paul’s no-nonsense text questions the “imperialist” foreign policy that’s led to the war in Iraq (“one of the most ill considered, poorly planned, and… unnecessary military conflicts in American history”), the economic situation and rampant federalism treading on states’ rights and identities (“The Founding Fathers did not intend for every American neighborhood to be exactly the same”). Though his policy suggestions can seem extreme, Paul’s book gives new life to old debates.
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Why the President Should Read This Book
Ron Paul was virtually unknown prior to the 2008 elections, but the publication of this book and his campaign for the Republican nomination brought him national prominence. What is different about Ron Paul’s followers is that they are not following a figurehead, a party, or a vague platform, but they are following Paul because they have researched his policy proposals and they agree with them. Paul has one of the most dedicated bases of support in recent political history, and if that base can succeed in educating others, Paul’s policies may end up getting widely “elected” even if Paul never is.
I used to think libertarians were crazy people with long hair and doobies. I didn’t know anything about Ron Paul in 2008, but I knew he had some libertarian leanings and some other “wacky” ideas, and whoever was putting up those “Ron Paul Revolution” signs all over the place wasn’t doing much to combat that perception. But then a few associates of mine told me I should look into Paul, and I decided if for no other reason than that he had been something of a major player in the 2008 Republican primaries, I should check him out and read some of his books.
When I read The Revolution I was surprised to find how well-educated, principled, and sensible Ron Paul seemed to be. I wasn’t sure if I agreed with everything he said, and there were parts of the book I thought could have been written better, but I found myself questioning some opinions I had taken for granted and thinking that perhaps I had been wrong (i.e. Iraq war, the war on drugs, etc.).
What really struck me was that as I read the book I thought “This is a guy both liberals and conservatives could truly get behind, because what he’s all about is letting people be free to choose what they want to do.” If you’re for legalization of drugs, this is your guy. If you’re against the legalization of drugs, this is also your guy. If you’re for abortion being 100% illegal, this is your guy. If you’re for abortions being 100% legal and funded by taxpayer dollars, this is also your guy. How can this be? Because he’s all for the states deciding. If New York wants to legalize abortion and pay for it, the voters in that state, according to my understanding of Paul’s position, should have that right. If South Carolina wants to outlaw all abortions, they should have that right. Paul’s point seems to be that the way to peace and harmony in our country is not to force everyone to do thing one way, but to let each of the 50 states make their decisions, and let people live where they choose. Relatively speaking, it’s not difficult for someone to move to another state if they don’t like the laws of the one they’re in. It’s quite another matter to move to another country if you don’t like the one-size-fits-all policies of the federal government.