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Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow [Paperback]

John Hospers
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

12 Oct 2007
Enthusiastic Endorsements for the 1971 Edition: "For many decades, news reports on the intellectual activities of the younger generation have been confined almost exclusively to advocates of statism and collectivism. Only recently [in 1971] have there appeared the first acknowledgements, in the newspapers, of a rising interest among the younger generation in political philosophy that stands in radical contrast to this authoritarian trend: Libertarianism." "Now, Professor John Hospers, [former] Director of the School of Philosophy of the University of Southern California, has given us, in the latest book, a clear statement of the central political-economic of this young intellectual movement. The book is offered, not as an original work of philosophy, but rather as an attempt to delineate the major positions on which most Libertarians would agree-and to answer many of the objections and questions with which Libertarians have to contend." "Libertarianism is very simply and clearly written and requires no technical knowledge on the part of the reader. Enjoyable, informative reading."-Nathaniel Branden, author of The Psychology of Self Esteem and The Disowned Self"A most informative and provocative up-to-date exposition of an historic political-economic doctrine that has been having a rebirth, in a new and more sophisticated formulation, in recent years."-Martin E. Lean, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Brooklyn College, of the City University of New York "In days to come, when Libertarianism is accepted as one of the major political philosophies, and perhaps the prevailing one, Professor Hospers will be remembered as one of its founding fathers. His magnificent work offers a true intellectual foundation for all those who profess to be advocates of, or objective about, personal, political, and economic freedom."-Robert D. Kephart, Publisher of

Product details

  • Paperback: 502 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (12 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595472451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595472451
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,339,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

As co-founder of the national Libertarian Party and as the author of the exceptionally readable book Libertarianism and numerous articles on liberty and politics, Dr. Hospers became the Libertarian Party?s first candidate for President of the United States in 1972, garnering an electoral vote in that election.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've docked a star because this book is far longer than it needs to be. The author repeats himself incessantly in order to hammer home a point that has been quite clearly made. If the book gets published again it could do with a ruthless editor to revise it first. It's a shame, because the philosophy of Libertarianism is something that is not formally represented in British politics, but it should be. The traditional doctrines of socialism and conservatism are both dedicated to statism, with all mainstream parties exceeding their remit to dictate to people how they should or shouldn't live their lives, often using the threat of punishment if petty rules are not adhered to. It really is time to put the concept of 'servant' back into civil servant, and anyone who believes in personal freedom tempered by personal responsibility ought to take the time to understand the concept of Libertarianism.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars understanding roots of Liberty 30 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on
It can be very difficult to understand libertarianism as a political party these days because, as with the other parties, famous canidates of third parties (like Harry Browne, Ross Perot, and Jesse Ventura) have somewhat blurred the ideas presented in the philosophy behind it with modern issues, as they should in order to be viable candidates. So when John Hospers presents the ideas of Libertarianism from his viewpoint, in a book written about 1 year before running against Jimmy Carter for president as a Libertarian, it is easy to see where a government like this would have changed America. Sewn seemlessly with dozens of quotes and historical references this book leaves little room to argue that the premise couldn't work. How well it might work is still left to the reader. This book goes bounds beyond politics and enters realms of insightful philosophic depth. Most importantly it is an idea of governing people, as if their lives and happiness do matter more than anything else, more than economy, more than delutions of patriotism. I give it all 5 stars because this book is highly accessable to anyone, unless they typicly enjoy hard to understand political books where government acts in itself and not for it's people.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Presenting the 21st Century Alternative to Runaway Big Government 21 Nov 2007
By Sam Wells - Published on
With a new preface by the author, the phenomenal classic on the American libertarian philosophy is now back in print and available to a new generation of readers interested in the constitutional alternative to socialism and 'liberalism' in the United States. In the tradition of Bastiat, Hazlitt, von Mises, and Ayn Rand, Prof. Hospers dispatches one Big-Government cliché and fallacy after another in clear and understandable English. An important resource in the arsenal of liberty, this 2007 edition includes a new preface by Dr. Hospers which discusses some of the most critical issues facing Americans today. The book that launched a movement can inspire us all again in the struggle to recapture the spirit of American freedom under constitutional law.
Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Programmatic rather than philosophical, but still worth reading 27 Aug 2011
By Fritz-Anton - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many people, especially professional academic philosophers, tend to think that Robert Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia was, if not the very first book ever written on libertarianism, then certainly the first one written on the subject by a distinguished professor of philosophy. Well, they are manifestly wrong on both accounts. It is hard to understand why as John Hospers is widely known among these people, and his other books An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis and Human Conduct: Problems of Ethics are widely used in philosophy courses around the world, and the present book was originally published in 1971, some three years before that of Nozick. One reason why Libertarianism - A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow is not as recognized could be that it is not a very philosophical work despite its author's professional credentials. Hospers ran for president in 1972 for the Libertarian Party in the USA and this book can be seen as his political program. As such it is an apt description of the libertarian position rather than a philosophic treatise. If you want to know what libertarianism is, then the present book is indeed recommended. But if you wish to read something written with a more philosophic approach, I would recommend Jan Narveson's The Libertarian Idea or the above mentioned Anarchy, State, and Utopia.

Reading the present book reinforced my hope that libertarianism really is the political philosophy for tomorrow. Too bad that Hosper did not live to see it as he recently passed away at the impressive age of 93.

Fritz- Anton Fritzson
Lund University,
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 15 Feb 2013
By jj of jax - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book. Probably the best explaination of the Libertarian philosophy I have ever came across.
Definitely a book every individual should read.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Read: Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow 15 Feb 2014
By Terry VanDeelen - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I heard the term long before reading the original Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow.
Dr. Hospers' explanation and definition via example made the philosophy clear and a staunch believer out of me.
However, when I opened the pages of the new book, Libertarianism 2013 Edition (edited by John Hoedeman),
I rediscovered an up-to-date intellectual re-framing of all the tenets I had held close to my heart for many years.
Here, John Hospers’ Libertarianism becomes more pertinent than ever, retaining all the original arguments, plethora
of research, first-hand knowledge, and his amazing ability to make difficult ideas easy to grasp, but with a 21st century
reference to statistics and otherwise dated material. With Mr. Hoedeman's helpful edits, Hospers, the eloquent author
has again given me the words to express what I’ve always felt and known in a way that others could finally understand,
and that is, to protect personal freedom and liberty in order to at least catch a glimpse of a better world for all to enjoy.

I cannot speak for the Libertarian party, I'm not a member. Yet, if they could return solidly to Hospers’ initial brand
of Libertarianism, as presented in this classic book, they would have my endorsement, and perhaps that of many others.
Five stars for states' rights, individual freedom, and balanced power with a small, accountable federal government.
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