The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman

The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman - David Boaz, Milton Friedman, Laozi I am not rating it low because it was a bad book. I am glad to have read through it because it gave me some exposure to ideas I do not often get exposed to. These days, it is very hard to tell apart conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals, and other labels. If you want to get a good sampling of what it is to be libertarian and what readings and authors helped to create and influence libertarianism, then this is a good primer to go. It contains a selection of short pieces by writers including but not limited to Friedman, Locke, Paine, von Mises, and Mencken. So, there are the authors you would expect, but there are also some you may not think of as libertarians right away. The book is organized by themes, which I think may help some readers find what they may be really interested in, say "individual rights" (part 3) or "free markets and voluntary order" (part 5). I would say this is a book to pick up, read a bit here, another bit there. It is not really a book to read cover to cover. Some of the essays can be a bit dry and the prose a bit thick. So, take it small doses, and as a reader, that was why I gave it the two stars. This is not a book that will take off when you get to it. But, with an open mind and going a little at a time, you may learn a thing or two. If you want exposure to the ideas, but you don't want to go find the full works of these authors and thinkers, this is the book for you. However, if you do feel encouraged to read more from these authors and thinkers, that can only be a good thing. I think this, along with similar books on other political ideas, belongs in every library, especially public libraries and then academic libraries.