Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Girl Who Owned a City

If libertarian ideas are to have a future then we have to reach each new generation with the ideas. That is one reason that libertarian oriented fiction for young people is important. I have already reviewed the first two volumes of the Shadow Children series here and here. And I shall be reviewing volume three shortly

Today I want to share two other books which are favorites of mine and which I think are good additions for any young person’s library.

I don’t remember when I first read O.T. Nelson’s book The Girl Who Owned a City but I certainly enjoyed it immensely. It is not only a libertarian work for kids but basically an Objectivist novel as well. And I personally enjoyed it since the story takes place in the locality where I was living when I read it. I’ve moved on since then but the book is still a pleasure to read.

One day the children of the world wake up to discover that they are alone. All the adults have died in some mysterious plague. Left to fend for themselves they have to discover what it takes to survive.

The main character is Lisa, a young girl, left alone to fend for herself and her younger brother. All the support that her parents had given her is now gone and she realizes that to survive she must think. She has to figure out how to survive. Using her reason Lisa discovers food that others had forgotten about. She also discovers that some children resort to looting instead of thinking to survive.

Forced to defend herself from the looters Lisa builds an alliance with some of the other children from her neighborhood. But repeated assaults by the looters make life difficult. Lisa decides her only alternative to have her own city. She and her children retreat to an abandoned school which they turn into fortress in order to fend off the looters.

The author wrote this book for his own children, Lisa and Todd, and his goal was to create a children’s story that would translate the basic ideas of Ayn Rand into a format that they could understand. And in this he succeeded. This is a Laissez Faire recommended book.

Paperback, 200 pages, $5.95.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New LFB DVD exclusives.

As part of the expansion of the new Laissez Faire Books we are stocking and producing more DVDs. For instance we have already promoted the DVD of skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg which is well worth lending out to friends and relatives. Trust me: they’ll watch the DVD long before they’ll read his book (which is excellent and which is in stock as well.)

We have a few DVDs I want to mention in particular. In cooperation with our friends at the Cato Institute we are offering two DVDs which we can recommend. One is with President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic. His talk Environmentalism is not one that the Greens will applaud. But the many of us who see radical environmentalism as a threat to liberty will applaud his comments. Copies are available from us for $14.95. Mentioned earlier this week is another Cato DVD with Philippe Legrain on Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them also for $14.95.

We also have two DVDs which will be of special interest to libertarians. Libertarian scholar George Smith gave two lectures at one of the ISIL world conferences on The Origins of Classical Liberalism. Both lectures were big hits with the audience. The two lectures are available on one DVD for $16.95.

At the same conference Michael Cloud gave a presentation entitled Battlefield or Marketplace. This two hour presentation includes important techniques you can use to become a more effective communicator of libertarian ideas. This DVD is also $16.95.

To order any of these DVDs call 1-800-326-0996.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Among the Impostors -- Shadow Children

In Among the Impostors, volume two of the Shadow Children’s sequence, author Margaret Peterson Haddix continues her harrowing tale of a totalitarian future where guns, snack foods, and pets are banned along with having more than two children. Illegal “third” children are executed by the state and the Population Police are actively on the hunt for them.

In this volume, Among the Impostors, we follow the main character Lee Grant, under his assumed named of Luke Garner. At the end of volume one Luke is given a false ID in order to come “out of hiding”. But it means assuming the identity of the deceased Lee Grant and that means leaving home and his family and attending Hendricks School for Boys.

Here Luke discovers that there are other impostors like himself, assuming the identities other than their own. But among the impostors there are also impostors: “third children” who are not who they appear to be but agents of the Population Police.

In this volume Luke is out in the world for the first time in his life. After being hidden since infancy this is an entirely new experience for him. And Haddix explores the emotions that Shadow Children have when they come out of hiding. We also see Luke beginning to mature. He begins to explore the world on his own and discovers the joy of private ownership and accomplishment.

More importantly he discovers a growing network of individuals all dedicated to saving the Shadow Children and toppling the government: two causes which Luke decides to embrace as his own.

As with the first volume Haddix continues to weave a story of children pitted against the State. And libertarians won’t be disappointed. While this reviewer is now waiting to read volume three the story line, so far, is one that libertarians can embrace and these are good gifts for young readers.

Among the Impostors, paperback, 172 pages, $5.95.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Special package deal: Immigrants are good for us.

Some conservatives argue that more immigration is detrimental to the country. Yet historically libertarians have been the advocates of the free movement of goods, capital and labor. The free movement of all three are critical elements of a free market. To restrict any one of these three pillars of a market economy is to shift the economy decidedly in a dirigist direction.

And author Philippe Legrain has authored a hard-hitting, perceptive defense of a free market in labor in his work: Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them. Legrain argues the immigration is not the zero sum game that many xenophobes on the Right or unionist on the Left seem believe. Free migration, like all free exchange, is a win-win situation. Legrain carefully answers the arguments put forth by those who want state restrictions on labor migration.

Economist Tyler Cowen says Legrain’s book is the “single best non-technical defense of a liberal immigration policy. What I liked most was how it put U.S. debates in a broader context, most American sources don’t do this.... This book is original in this regard, yet without moving beyond easily understood arguments.”

Hardback, 374 pages, $27.95.

But we also have a DVD of Legrain putting forward his case for a libertarian immigration policy. Approximately one hour long this presentation covers some of the main points and is a great educational tool for people just starting to consider freedom as an alternative. This DVD is a Laissez Faire Books exclusive in cooperation with the Cato Institute. DVD, $14.95.

Immigration Package deal. Order both the Legrain DVD presentation and the book at a special discount. If you order the book we will sell you the DVD for the special low price of $7.95. In other words get both the book and the DVD for $35.90.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Liberty books for kids. The Shadow Children

Millions of people first heard the message of individual liberty through novels -- yet the libertarian movement seems to produce precious few novels, in spite of their success record. If liberty is to grow the ideas of liberty have to seep into popular culture. If libertarian novels are in short supply for adults the selection for children is even more dire. It is the intention of Laissez Faire Books to help rectify this problem by offering a selection of good libertarian-oriented works for children.

And the first such book that we are stocking is part of a series called the Shadow Children sequence by Margaret Peterson Haddix. The Shadow Children series comprises seven volumes in total. Volume one, Among the Hidden, introduces us to our the main character of the series, 12-year-old Luke Garner. All Luke knows is that he must remain hidden at all times -- for he is illegal. No, he’s not Mexican -- he’s a third child in a nation which regulates everything and which bans anyone from having more than two children. Be warned, this review will give away the entire plot but then we’re hoping this is a book adults will buy for kids.

Luke, the main character of the book, lived on a small family farm and had some reprieve from the necessity of hiding. He could go outside during the day with his brothers because the woods shielded the farm from the view of others. But one day the government tells the family they are confiscating the wooded land to build housing for Barons. Barons are mostly wealthy government employees who live in relative luxury while the rest of the population is kept intentionally on the financial edge -- in order to force them to work harder.

Luke realizes when the woods are gone his life will be gone as well. He wants to know why the family must give up their land. “The Government didn’t ask us if we wanted houses there,” his father tells him. Luke imagines “the Government as a very big, mean, fat person, two or three times as tall as an ordinary man, who went around yelling at people. ‘Not allowed!’ and ‘Stop that!’ It was because of the way his parents and older brothers talked: ‘Government won’t let us plant corn there again.’ ‘Government’s keeping the prices down.’ ‘Government’s not going to like this crop.”

Everything on the farm is tightly controlled by the state. The family is forced to sell their hogs, and forbidden to have livestock, since it might offend the Barons moving into the new houses. When Luke’s father looks at hydroponics to grow food during the winter in order to feed his family he is ordered to turn in the equipment because it might be used to produce marijuana.

Luke retreats to his room and sees the world entirely through a small vent opening. But, with the woods gone, he can now see farther and one day he discovers that inside the home of one of the Barons there is another Shadow Child. After weeks of planning Luke finally finds a way to meet the other child and discovers it is a girl named Jen. Jen tells Luke that lots of Barons have illegal children and her father is a top official in the government.

Luke is shocked. “’But—if you’re an illegal—’ Luke hadn’t thought he could get any more confused.”

Jen respond: “'Haven’t you learned? Government leaders are the worst ones for breaking laws. How do you think we get this house? How you think I got Internet access? How do you think we live?’” She introduces Luke to the world of Shadow Children through an illegal chat group that she operates and she tells him of her bold plan. The shadow children, thousands of them, will come out and demonstrate in front of the president’s residence. She says that once the world sees these children they will understand that they have a right to live free.

Luke refuses to go along. He’s too afraid but Jen carries out her rally with the few dozen Shadow Children who dared join her. Luke listens patiently to the news and hears nothing. The media is tightly regulated by the state. Days go by and Luke can’t stand now knowing what happened. He sneaks back to Jen’s house looking for her only to be discovered by her father instead. The frightened man points a gun at the boy, a gun which is illegal in this society -- as are pets and junk food. Luke tells him that he’s a third child as well, a friend of Jen’s and he has to know what happened at the rally.

Luke is told that the Government killed her and all the other children with her.
They shot her,’ Jen’s father said. “They shot all of them. All forty kids at the rally, gunned down right in front of the president’s house. The blood flowed into his rose-bushes. But they had the sidewalks scrubbed before the tourists came, so nobody would know.
And by using Jen’s computer to access the chat room, which was now being monitored because of the rally, Luke would be discovered as well. The Population Police would come and search all the homes in the area and any Shadow Children would be taken away and executed. Jen’s father makes Luke an offer. He says that for the time being he still has power. He can obtain fake ID for the boy to legalize him. But Luke must take on the identity of a young man who just had recently died. The boy’s parents were part of an underground movement who donated ID to help Shadow Children come out into the open.

Luke had no other choice. The underground would pay his tuition at a private school but Luke had to loose his identity and become Lee Grant instead. And Luke/Lee accepts. He dreams of his plan to ultimately free the Shadow Children. And so ends volume one. If there is another children’s book that so clearly outlines the evils of big government I don’t of it.

The books is recommended for kids from the ages of eight to twelve. I think it a tad bit difficult for an average child under ten years of age. But intelligent children won’t have a problem with it. In addition I think it is appropriate for children much older as well. If you want a book to dispel the notion of benevolent statism this book will do it. No child who reads this book, and absorbs the plot and it’s meaning can ever see government quite the way the political classes want them to.

While the book is 153 pages the type is large and double-spaced for easy reading. Our price $5.95. To order this book call 1-800-326-0996.

New Inventory on the Way

Since taking over LFB and moving it from Arkansas, we have been working hard at replenishing the inventory, which had run down to very low levels. There are new titles and old classics that need to be stocked. Here are some that are now on order and will be delivered shortly. If you want any of these titles you should reserve a copy now. We expect the initial stock to sell quickly.

Friedman on Economics -- This is a new collection of essays includes his 1977 Nobel Lecture and ranges from papers from 1948 to the 1990s. There are a variety of his papers on economic issues in one volume. This book has just been released in paperback. 180 pages, $15.00.

In addition we are offering copies of Friedman’s classic work Capitalism and Freedom, 230 pages, $15.00.

Another important author in the classical liberal camp is FA Hayek. His Constitution of Liberty, especially the first section, is required reading for anyone interested in freedom. We have copies in transit at $24.00 each.

Hayek’s famed Road to Serfdom is now in stock. This is the new definitive edition which includes supplemental material previously not available. This includes a new introduction covering the history of the book and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek’s thought. Ne explanatory notes have been added and it has been supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman and Hayek himself. Paperback, 283 pages, $14.95.

Also on the way are copies of Hayek’s The Fatal Conceit, paperback $18.00 and his work Individualism and Economic Order, paperback, $21.00.

Numerous titles by Thomas Sowell are now on the table for discussion with the publisher. We are especially working to obtain these titles so that we can offer a substantial discount to the Laissez Faire Books family. So watch the blog for more information.

To order any of these titles call 1-800-326-0996.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Rare Ayn Rand collecitible for sale

Here is one of the rarest items that Laissez Faire Books will ever be selling. It is a one-of-a-kind Ayn Rand collectible.

In 1968 Rand had an explosive parting of the ways with her acolyte Nathaniel Branden and his ex-wife Barbara. For most the first they knew of this splintering was Rand’s “To Whom It May Concern” which appeared in her publication The Objectivist. While the publication itself was dated May, 1968 it was behind schedule and appeared in October, 1968.

Of course, others close to Rand, knew of the split earlier. Was the October, 1968 article the first acknowledgement of the split that made it into print? Not quite. What we have for sale is a very unique letter written by Rand on September 27, 1968 which actually hints, in very strong terms, at the split. This original signed Rand letter has an interesting history.

On September 10, 1968, Bruce Evoy of Toronto, Canada wrote Miss Rand. He stated that he was a former representative for the Nathaniel Branden Institute and was working on his Ph.D. in drama. In addition he taught English and literature. In his teaching career Mr. Evoy taught about Rand’s novels but says he “always seemed rushed” and there “was never enough time to cover the many facets and ramifications” of the work. Mr. Evoy spent some time putting together a lecture series on the novels of Rand. In his letter he explained this and asked Rand if she would mind if he gave this lecture series. In addition he mentioned that he was asked to give a dramatic reading and wanted to use a section of The Fountainhead as his text, if she permitted.

Rand wrote back saying she appreciated his interest and that he used her book in his classroom courses. Then she let the cat out of the bag. “I regret that I cannot endorse your request to give private lectures on my novels. In view of my unfortunate experience with NBI (an account of which you will find in the forthcoming issue of The Objectivist), it is now my policy not to endorse any private lectures, except by the few lecturers whose viewpoint is known to me in every detail.”

Rand did, however, give permission to use the section of The Fountainhead in Mr. Evoy’s dramatic reading.

Here is the first (to our knowledge) written statement by Rand acknowledging the split with the Brandens, written prior to the release of her “To Whom It May Concern” public statement. And while Rand wrote this letter on stationery for The Objectivist she used a typewriter to X out the return address of “Empire State Building” where NBI and her publication had offices. Instead she has typed in the address of 201 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016.

Replacing the The Objectivist address at the Empire State Building with this address, along with her statement that she had an “unfortunate experience with NBI) which will be explained in the next issue of her newsletter is a very strong indication that she and the Brandens had split -- and this prior to any public announcement. To our knowledge no other letter of a similar nature exists.

Signed letters by Miss Rand routinely sell from $1,500 and up. Some currently being sold are up to $15,000. Laissez Faire has Miss Rand’s letter, and a copy of the original sent to her by Bruce Evoy for sale. Minimum offer is $3,000. We reserve the right to withdraw the item for sale at any time and, at this time, we can’t specify a date when we will stop taking offers. This is clearly a one-of-a-kind Rand collectible. Both letters are in excellent condition.

If you wish a facsimile of both Mr. Evoy’s letter to Miss Rand and a facsimile of her reply for your inspection we will supply them for a fee of $25.00. Your fee will be applied to your bid if you win. If you want the facsimile for inspection send your check to Laissez Faire Books, 836-B Southampton Rd. #299, Benicia, CA 94510-1960. Or you can call 1-800-326-0996 to have copies sent to you. To place a bid call the toll free number of email

PS: Barbara Branden has written us saying, "I don't think you're asking enough for this letter." She notes that "a very brief letter to a fan" sold for $2,500 and that she "recently learned" that a letter from Rand to Barbara's mother "just sold at auction in New York for $17,000".

Sunday, February 10, 2008

David vs Goliath or LFB vs Amazon: You can buy the hype or buy cheaper books.

A lot of people simply buy the hype and don’t look at the substance. And the hype is that Amazon is cheaper when it comes to libertarian books. Well, it just isn’t so. We recently compared 75 titles we stock and compared them to the prices at Amazon. We were surprised. And, no, we didn’t cherry pick titles to favor us. We took titles in lots of 10 from the beginning, middle and end of our list. And they were in random order to begin with.

First, out of the 75 titles Amazon doesn’t even stock 21 of them. They don’t sell these books or DVDs. If you were to go to the Amazon site to order those 21 books they would place the order with Laissez Faire and have us ship you the books. They would, of course, take 20% for doing this. You could get the title directly from us at the same price that Amazon would charge you but the postage costs would be lower. Amazon charges a flat fee on these orders of $3.99 per book. We charge actual postage rates plus .50¢ for the box and that almost always comes out less. This is especially true when it comes to multiple books. One poor fellow ordered 10 books from us through Amazon. He was charged $39.90 for shipping. We felt awful and sent it expedited mail, instead of the slower service Amazon offered, and that was only $8.95. His order cost him $30 more than necessary because he didn’t buy direct from us.

Our next surprise was the cost of this basket of titles (those you could get from Amazon that is). Of course, we had to delete the 21 titles that Amazon doesn’t actual sell themselves, and which they would order from us to ship to you. So our final basket had 54 titles in it. Amazon’s cost for those books would be $681.52. The same titles from Laissez Faire would be $610.94. That would mean that Laissez Faire was $70.58 cheaper. The difference means that the same basket of books cost about 12% more from Amazon than what it would cost from Laissez Faire.

And, while we applaud profit making companies, we are a libertarian educational foundation. We only carry libertarian books. And we publish them as well --- something Amazon would never do. We also distribute books to various think tanks and worthy students around the world free. Our goal is spreading the libertarian message. But if that sort of outreach message doesn’t concern you then just look at the bottom line. The choice is yours. You can buy the hype or you can buy books at better prices.


In this gripping biography, acclaimed author Harlow Unger paints an intimate and detailed portrait of the heroic young French soldier, who, at nineteen, renounced a life of luxury in Paris and Versailles to fight and bleed for liberty -- at Valley Forge, and Yorktown. A major general in the Continental army, he quickly earned the love of his troops, his fellow commanders, and his commander, George Washington, who called him his "adopted son".

Lafayette convinced the French court to send a huge military and naval force to aid them in their fight for independence. And then he returned to America to lead the remarkable guerrilla campaign in Virginia that climaxed with the British surrender at Yorktown.

A passionate advocate of classical liberalism Lafayette returned to France dreaming of introducing liberal ideas to his own nation only to witness the ravages of the French Revolution instead. Declared an enemy of the state, Lafayette fled France only to be imprisioned by the Austrians for five years, whils his wife and her family festered in prison, awaiting the blade of the guillotine.

American ambassador, and future president, James Monroe won the freedom of Lafayette's wife and helped his son escape France and find refuge in the home of George Washington. But others in Lafayette's family were not so lucky.  Here is the dramatic story of an idealistic young liberal who decided one day to just get on a boat and come to America (aren't you glad the US didn't have the INS back then?) and help lead the country to freedom. Just a teenager when he made that decision he was soon made a general and quickly became a major force in American history.

Hardback edition, 452 pages, list price $30,00, OUR PRICE $19.95.
To order call 1-800-326-0996 or email with shipping and paynent details. 

Friedrich A. Hayek: A Profile in Liberty

The 20th century witnessed the unparalleled expansion of government power over the lives and livelihoods of individuals. Much of this was the result of two devastating world wars and totalitarian ideologies that directly challenged individual liberty and the free institutions of the open society. Other forms of expansion in the provision of social welfare and the regulation of the economy, while more benign in their objectives, nevertheless posed significant challenges to personal freedom. Few individuals did more to both extend our understanding of the economic processes of the free society and alert us to the dangers inherent in the growth of political power than the Nobel-laureate economist and social theorist, Friedrich A. Hayek. In over half a century of writing and teaching, he showed why National Socialism was the very antithesis of capitalism, why communism was an economic and political philosophy ultimately doomed to failure, and why we must be wary of government intervention if we are to preserve the freedoms that make democracy and prosperity possible.

Over the course of his intellectual career, Hayek set out an inspiring vision for a free society, based on principles elaborated in such works as The Constitution of Liberty and Law, Legislation and Liberty.

In a life that spanned almost the entire 20th century, he went from being dismissed, ridiculed, and ignored, to being acclaimed as perhaps this century's most significant social scientist and philosopher. To a remarkable degree, his story is the story of the 20th century.

Program length: 60 minutes. DVD. $17.95.

To order call 1-800-326-0996 or email with shipping and payment details.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Probability Broach

One of the classic libertarian science fiction novels is The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith. Now this rip-roaring look at one alternative libertarian society is available as a graphic novel.

When police detective Lt. Edward “Win” Bear begins to investigate the death of a university physicist he suddenly finds himself in an entirely different world, full of technological marvels, almost no poverty and a government that seems to be pretty much missing. Win hardly has time to adjust to his new world when he learns that the people who have been trying to kill him are in this world, too. And they have their own plans for this place. Large size paperback, full color, 185 pages, list price $19.95. Our price $17.95.

To order call 1-800-326-0996 or e-mail details to

The Portable Enlightenment Reader

Here is a great collection not previously stocked by Laissez Faire, The Portable Enlightenment Reader, edited by Isaac Kramnick.

The Age of Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, also called the Age of Reason, was so named for an exultant intellectual movement that shook the foundations of Western civilization. In championing radical ideas such as individual liberty and an empirical appraisal of the universe through rational inquiry and natural experience, Enlightenment philosophers in Europe and America planted the seeds for modern liberalism, cultural humanism, science and technology, and laissez-faire capitalism.

This volume brings together the era’s classic works, with more than a hundred selections from a broad range of sources—including Diderot, Voltaire, Newton, Rousseau, Locke, Jefferson, Madison, Smith, Turgot and Paine—that demonstrate the pervasive impact of Englightenment views on philosophy and epistemology as well as on political, social, and economic institutions. Included are seminal discourses on science and religion, on the “social contract”, on the equality (and inequality) of the sexes and the races, and on economics and markets, as well as homages to nature and sexual pleasure, and poetry and opera librettos that embody the movement’s social ideals. Paperback, 670 pages, list price $18.00. Our price $12.95. To order call 1-800-326-0996 or e-mail details to

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spend a night with the skeptical environmentalist.

The new Laissez Faire Books is going to make some changes. Of course, if you haven’t heard, the previous owners of LFB announced it was going to close for good. The International Society for Individual Liberty came to the rescue and bought the name and what remained of inventory. Since then the inventory has been being rebuilt to start anew. And one of the new features will be more of an emphasis on DVDs. DVDs are often a fast, easy way of learning something new. And sadly, these days, many people just don’t read.

Many LFB customers liked to buy books for friends but often found the friends never read the books. DVDs help solve that problem as someone is more likely to sit down and watch a DVD than read a tome on economics, environmentalism, or history. We live in a media driven world and books are the luxury of the few. But if libertarian ideas are to spread then you have to reach more than just the intellectual elite. Again, DVDs help do that.

For those interested in environmental issues then there is no DVD better to start with than An Evening with the Skeptical Environmentalist. This is an entertaining lecture by Bjorn Lomborg, the author of the best-selling The Skeptical Environmentalist. Lomborg is an entertaining speaker who explains how he changed his mind about impending environmental doom. A former Greenpeace member, who still sees himself on the Left side of the spectrum, Lomborg is not your typical skeptic on environmental issues. He was a university professor when he changed his mind, a Greenpeace member, and is a gay vegetarian. When he stumbled across the writings of libertarian Julian Simon, Lomborg set out to debunk the debunker. He got debunked instead. And this entertaining DVD is Lomborg at his best --- and he’s good! And though he is Danish his English is perfect so don’t worry about that.

LFB previously offered this DVD at a much higher price. The new management thinks a much lower price is warranted. The new DVD price is $16.95.

To order your copy call 1-800-326-0996 or e-mail And don't forget to sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter. You will find the sign up form in the upper right hand side of this page.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Founder's Constitution

To celebrate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the University of Chicago compiled this massive collection of all the important resources on the principles of the Founding Fathers. As the editors noted, this collection consists of “extracts from the leading works of political theory, history, law, and constitutional argument on which the Framers and their contemporaries drew and which they themselves produced.”

Documentary sources reach to the early 17th century and extend through those Amendments to the Constitution that were adopted by 1835. The editors modestly describe this compilation as “the thoughts, opinions, and arguments of the Founders.” Volumes Two, Three, and Four are devoted to the seven articles of the original Constitution, considered clause by clause. Volume Five covers the Bill of Rights and Amendments XI and XII. Volume One is organized by “major themes,” such as rights and separation of powers. For example, the chapter on federal versus consolidated government contains an introduction and 44 entries. The chapter introductions throughout the first volume are succinct, insightful, and rather well-written. This is a must for any serious student of the Constitution.

There are five volumes in this set and each volume is 8 1/2 x 11 inches in size. There are a total of 3,339 pages in this set. All five volumes in paperback, $59.95.

To order this set call 1-800-326-0996 or e-mail

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two new great sets of classics in stock.

Noble laureate James Buchanan is one of the most important libertarian thinkers in the world today. His “public choice school” of economics took the role of incentives and rewards and applied it to politics, much the same way it is applied in the market. Political decision-makers are just as greedy and self-interested as business owners. But the incentives they operate under are very different, leading to perverse results.

The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan is a vast and significant twenty-volume series that includes ten monographs and all of the important journal articles, papers, and essays that Buchanan has produced in a distinguished career spanning more than half a century. Among the monographs are such famous works as The Calculus of Consent and The Limits of Liberty, as well as such gems as Cost and Choice: An Inquiry in Economic Theory. The monographs have been cast into a new format, and in those cases in which no index, or only a partial index, was originally provided, new indexes have been created. In addition, each volume includes a foreword by one of the three editors of the series, each of whom is a distinguished economist in his own right.

Volume 20 presents a comprehensive index to the entire series and an annotated copy of the entire curriculum vitae, indicating in which volume in the series the various items appear and, correspondingly, those items that have been omitted. Here are the individual volumes.

Volume 1: The Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty
Volume 2: Public Principles of Public Debt
Volume 3: The Calculus of Consent
Volume 4: Public Finance in Democratic Process
Volume 5: The Demand and Supply of Public Goods
Volume 6: Cost and Choice
Volume 7: The Limits of Liberty
Volume 8: Democracy in Deficit
Volume 9: The Power to Tax
Volume 10: The Reason of Rules
Volume 11: Politics by Principle, Not Interest
Volume 12: Economic Inquiry and Its Logic
Volume 13: Politics as Public Choice
Volume 14: Debt and Taxes
Volume 15: Externalities and Public Expenditure Theory
Volume 16: Choice, Contract, and Constitutions
Volume 17: Moral Science and Moral Order
Volume 18: Federalism, Liberty, and the Law
Volume 19: Ideas, Persons, and Events
Volume 20: Indexes

All 20 volumes, 7,154 pages, $189.95.

In the history of classical liberalism one of the most important voices was that of John Stuart Mill. This collection includes 8 volumes of his work, 5,110 pages in all. Included in this set is the Autobiography, his Principles of Political Economy, Essays on Economics and Society, A System of Logic and his Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society. All eight volumes, 5,110 pages, $74.95.

To order either of these set you can call 1-800-326-0996 or email

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Harry's War available exclusively from LFB

If you haven't seen the film Harry's War you don't know what you are missing. You will enjoy this film -- unless you work for the Internal Revenue Department and make your living taking what other people have earned. This film has a first class cast including Edward Herrmann, Geraldine Page, David Ogden Stiers and Karen Grassel. And it has a great plot.

Herrmann plays a postal worker who is friends with the elderly, batty "Aunt" Beverly. Beverly is bonkers but harmless and she does her best to help people by giving them things they need from her massive junk yard -- though she prefers to think of the items as antiques. But an IRS agent, played by Stiers, decides that Beverly is a ripe target for extorting more taxes. And he sends her a tax bill well beyond anything reasonable in the hopes of forcing her to cave in and negotiate with the IRS in regards to how much of her property they may steal. 

Beverly turns to Herrmann's character, Harry Johnson, for help. But once the IRS knows he's involved with Beverly they freeze his bank account as well and start coming down on him. Harry doesn't understand any of this. He's sure that it has to be a mistake and that the IRS will understand once he explains it to them. But the IRS merely escalates their harassment leading to tragic circumstances that force Harry to "declare war on the IRS". 

Rarely do you get a film that discusses things like "constitutional government" and the abuses of the IRS. The film has moments that are funny, touching or infuriating. The film was released in 1981, and from what I understand, never saw the inside of a theater, in spite of a well known cast of actors. It did the rounds in video and eventually got transferred to DVD. But the company that owned the rights went out of business in the last few years. This made it impossible to find copies of the film --- even used copies were selling at a premium -- if you could find them.

Laissez Faire Books started doing some sleuth work and tracked down a company that bought out the inventory of Thomson Productions, who was distributing the film. It was discovered that there were some DVDs still in storage and Laissez Faire purchased the entire lot. That means, that as of now, LFB is the exclusive source for new copies of Harry's War. And we are making them available at the previous list price of $19.95 plus shipping. You can order this video by calling us at 1-800-326-0996. Once these copies are gone the film will be out of print unless we can persuade the new rights holders to do another run of it. We'll certainly try, but whether they do nor depends in large measure on whether they can be convinced there is still a market for this film. In spite of the age the films still holds together well. And, if anything, the message of the film about limited, constitutional government is actually more relevant than ever.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How would you like to study under Milton Friedman?

Did you ever wish that you could have studied under the tutelage of a great thinker like Milton Friedman?

Now, here’s your chance. Thirty years ago 15 lectures by Friedman were videotaped and we have them on DVD for your use. These 15 lectures include well over 12 hours of Friedman presenting his views plus another six hours of questions and answers. Here are the lecture titles:

1. What is America? 2. Myths that Conceal Reality 3. Is Capitalism Humane? 4. The Role of Government in a Free Society 5. What’s Wrong with the Welfare State. 6. Money and Inflation. 7. Is Tax Reform Possible? 8. Free Trade: Producer vs. Consumer. 9. The Energy Crisis: A Humane Solution. 10. The Economics of Medical Care. 11. Putting Learning Back in the Classroom. 12. Who Protects the Consumer? 13. Who Protects the Worker? 14. Equality and Freedom in the Free Enterprise System. 15. The Future of a Free Society.

If bought individually the total would be $350.00 Our price for all 15 DVDs is $299.95.

Note: These DVDs are produced from old film. There was some degrading of the quality of the film over the years. This mainly translates into some visual issues in a few spots. The DVDs we have watched all the way through, to date, have only minor issues and it doesn't interfere with the lecture itself -- everything has been understandable. We consider these a minor annoyance at most.

More Friedman DVDs.

Free to Choose (1980 original) 10 parts, five discs, 10 hours. $99.95

The Tyranny of the Status Quo: 3 parts, 85 minutes. $24.95.

Money: Friedman discusses what money is, how it evolved and has changed with Prof. Daniel Gressel. 42 minutes, $24.95.

The Power of Choice: The recent documentary on the life and influence of Milton Friedman, as seen on PBS. Includes a bonus interview with Milton and Rose Friedman, not shown on PBS. 90 minutes. Our price $29.50.

Bonus: All the above DVDs, if bought individually, would be $534.75 at normal list price. This Friedman collection can be purchased from Laissez Faire Books for the special reduced price of $429.95. Plus we will ship them anywhere in the United States by priority mail free of charge. The same offer of free priority mail shipping will apply to any order for Friedman videos in excess of $125.00.

To order call 1-800-326-0996 or email Start your education today!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Our demise has been greatly exaggerated.

Bad news travels fast, good news not so fast. First, let’s cut to the chase: Laissez Faire Books is NOT closing. In November LFB owner Kathleen Nelson, then owner of Laissez Faire, announced she was closing the business. Within minutes of her announcement she was contacted by the International Society for Individual Liberty which began negotiations to take over LFB and keep it alive. Without ISIL’s intervention then Laissez Faire Books would be closed.

Negotiations took a couple of weeks. During that interim period Kathleen liquidated a lot of inventory. Under ISIL’s ownership the new LFB is working to replace that inventory as quickly as possible. In addition the new LFB will include more DVDs and an expanded range of books. Inventory may be reduced at the start but it is growing rapidly.

In the next week, or two, we expect 40+ cases of books to be shipped here. According to our purchase orders we have 165 titles on the way to us at this time. And this week we will be ordering another dozen or more titles. In addition we have an inventory of dozens of videos which LFB has not previously offered which will be added to the selection.

And if that isn’t enough our publishing arm, Cobden Press, has secured funding to print several titles, some of which have never been offered by anyone before.

So anything you heard about our demise has been grossly exaggerated. We are alive, well and growing. To find out about all our new titles please join the e-mail list on the upper right of this page.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Some things you will need to know.

Welcome to the new Laissez Faire Books News and Notes blog, where you can keep up to date with what books Laissez Faire has to offer, including our newest DVDs and book. First, some basic information if you need to contact us.

You may call us at 1-800-326-0996 or at 1-707-746.8796. Or you may e-mail us at

Secondly, you may receive a weekly notice of new books, including sale items, by subscribing to our e-mail newsletter. There is a box to the immediate right at the top of the page to do this. This e-mail address is only used by us and is not shared with anyone. We do not plan more than one mailing per week and you are in complete control and can unsubscribe anytime time you wish. Even if you are already on the LFB mailing list please sign up again as the list is being cleaned to make sure we are not accused of sending unwanted spam.

In addition you can’t rely on the printed catalogues that were previously sent out monthly. Printing and postage costs make the catalogue prohibitive. We may do one or two catalogues per year but they won’t be monthly. And many of our specials will only be announced on this blog or by e-mail.

Third, you may want to order some books while our new web site is being prepared. You have two options. One is to call our toll free number and talk to us. We’ll tell you what is in stock or will be in stock shortly and you’ll get our best price and postage rates around for shipping. If you want to see information about books before calling us you can go to Amazon and visit our shop page here.

You may order directly through Amazon or call us directly for faster service. We charge shipping according to the actual cost and not to the flat rate which Amazon requires. We understand why they do this since they can’t judge the weight of every package. But it does raise the cost of shipping for most orders. Which method you use for ordering is entirely up to you.