“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root,” wrote Henry David Thoreau.
In this volume, Lawrence W. Reed identifies the root of many of America’s evils today: a failure to recognize that government rests on the use of force. This fundamental feature of government may help protect our individual freedoms, but it can diminish these freedoms when used in pursuit of a political faction’s idea of a good cause. Although he has no radio show or nationally syndicated column, Reed, president emeritus of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan, is one of the most quietly influential people in the American freedom movement today. It is fitting, then, that this volume draws primarily on his past columns for The Freeman, an unpretentious magazine that has reached some of America’s most prominent people, including a one-time presidential hopeful named Ronald Reagan. Drawing on America’s tradition of plain speaking, Reed demonstrates that the clarion call of liberty will always find an audience, even in a world clamoring for chains.