Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Founts
Source Materials About Freedom


WHEN THE ORIGINAL EDITION of this book was published (1973), the new libertarian movement in America was in its infancy. In half a dozen years the movement has matured with amazing rapidity, and has expanded greatly both in quantity and quality. Hence, while the discussion of libertarianism in this book has been strengthened and updated throughout, the greatest change is in our treatment of the libertarian movement. The original chapter I, on "The New Libertarian Movement," is now irrelevant and outdated, and it has been transformed into an appendix providing an annotated outline of the complex structure of the current movement. The new chapter I, on "The Libertarian Heritage," provides a brief but badly needed historical background of the American and Western tradition of liberty, and of its successes and failures, setting the stage for our discussion of its rebirth in today's movement. A new chapter 9 has been added on the vital topic of inflation and the business cycle, and the roles of government and of the free market in creating or alleviating these evils. Finally, to the concluding chapter on strategy has been added a presentation and explanation of my recently gained conviction that liberty will win, that liberty will be making great strides immediately as well as in the long run, that, in short, liberty is an idea whose time has come.

I owe the origin and inspiration of this book to my first editor, Tom Mandel, who had the vision to anticipate the recent enormous growth of interest in libertarianism. The book would neither have been conceived nor written without him. For the revised edition, Roy A. Childs, Jr., editor of Libertarian Review, was extremely helpful in suggesting needed changes. I would also like to thank Dominic T. Armentano, of the economics department of the University of Hartford, Williamson M. Evers, editor of Inquiry, and Leonard P. Liggio, editor of The Literature of Liberty, for their welcome suggestions. Walter C. Mickleburgh's unbounded enthusiasm for this book was vitally important in preparing the revised edition; and Edward H. Crane III, president of Cato Institute, San Francisco, was indispensable in providing help, encouragement, sound advice, and suggestions for improvement.

Palo Alto, California
February 1978