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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul


(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 49 full quotes from Ron Paul in the book Liberty Defined, by Ron Paul.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

OnTheIssues.org BOOK REVIEW:

This book is Ron Paul's attempt to communicate libertarian ideas to his large group of followers, many of whom are new to libertarianism. It catalogs key concepts in alphabetical order, with a few pages dedicated to everything from Abortion to Zionism. Presumably the intent is that Paul's followers have a handy reference in which to look up his views, and the general libertarian view, on key issues of the 2012 presidential race.

Rep. Paul describes the book in the introduction: "The idea of this book is not to provide a blueprint for the future or an all-encompassing defense of a libertarian program. What I offer here are thoughts on a series of controversial topics… not final answers but rather guideposts for thinking seriously about these topics." (p. xvii)

Paul extends in this book beyond the typical policy prescriptions about current issues and into libertarian philosophy and history. OnTheIssues covers the current issues in our excerpts below, so we'll review here some of the book's philosophical topics, which include:

  • Austrian Economics: A review of the 19th century philosophy underlying much of today's free-market economic outlook.
  • Demagogues: The bad guys in the bipartisanship debate, focusing on the "despicable" Pledge of Allegiance and flag-burning issues rampant among Republican demagogues. There's also a chapter on bipartisanship, which Paul doesn't like (a failure of bipartisanship means fewer bad laws).
  • Empire: Rep. Paul outlines the dangers of military over-extension from the Roman Empire and connects that to the current American Empire. Throughout the book, Rep. Paul tosses in statistics about American imperialism and world-wide militarism (another of his big differentiators from mainstream Republicans) such as "Government wars and exterminations in the 20th century reached 262 million people killed by their own governments and 44 million people killed in wars." (p. 107)
  • Keynesianism: This is the philosophical opposite of Austrian Economics, and is the current underlying philosophy of Bush's & Obama's economic stimulus package,
  • Noble Lie: How politicians justify doing whatever they want, by claiming it's good for the country. George W. Bush's advisers fall heavily under this rubric, following Adolf Hitler and others. Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, is the hero of this chapter, since he exposed the Noble Lies of the U.S. government.

The book was written in anticipation of Rep. Paul's entry into the presidential race, released in early 2011. Paul was the Internet darling of the 2008 race, and the 2012 race is shaping up with the same following. That means thousands of young people will discover Ron Paul and will read this book for a fuller introduction to libertarianism. The approach is self-standing essays of just-a-few-pages-at-a-time, instead of a fully-involved book.

Ron Paul has plenty of fully-involved books for when his followers want yet more (as they always do). For the hardier Paulie, End the Fed, published in 2010, provides substantially more detail about the Federal Reserve and the economic situation.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, Aug. 2011

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Abortion
    Abortion causes inconsistent moral basis for value of life.
    Abortion laws should be a state-level choice.
    Day-after pill allows individual moral choice.
    Efforts to fund abortion ranks among stupidest policies.
    Deregulate the adoption market.
Budget & Economy
    If we want to cure the bust, don't create the boom.
Civil Rights
    Voluntary associations are better than quotas.
    Definition of marriage is free speech.
Crime
    Constitution even protects terrorists, not just citizens.
    Too many capital convictions have been proven errors.
    Eliminate ultimate penalty & incarcerate for life.
    Replace "hate crime" with equal penalties for equal assaults.
Drugs
    Drug War allows drug lords to make a lot more money.
    Someday we'll wake up and end the Second Prohibition.
Education
    Competition helps, but vouchers invite bureaucratic control.
    No-Child-Left-Behind hooks institutions on federal funding.
    Evolution doesn't support atheism nor diminish God.
Energy & Oil
    Absurd to let global bureaucrats try to manipulate climate.
Environment
    Recycling consumes more energy than it saves.
Foreign Policy
    Worldwide interventionism requires perpetual fear.
    We're endangered as a result of our foreign policy.
    Foreign aid wastes billions, with unintended consequences.
    We manufactured fear about Saddam, Al Qaeda, & Ahmadinejad.
    Wartime brainwashing that Islam is inherently warlike.
Free Trade
    Fast-track cedes power from Congress to President.
    I oppose trade organizations because of flawed fast-track.
Government Reform
    Enough bipartisanship; gridlock can be the friend of liberty.
    Tax-funded elections are worse than campaign finance reform.
    People shouldn't be able to vote to take away others' rights.
    Government "insurance" is really just a transfer payment.
    I vote for term limits, but they won't solve anything.
Gun Control
    Gun-free zones don't make any difference.
Health Care
    ObamaCare is only as socialized as Bush's & Nixon's reforms.
Homeland Security
    Assassination policy targeting citizens is unconstitutional.
    Conscription is not part of Constitution nor free society.
    Hated for freedom? No, hated for invading their countries!
    American Empire is big government war & militarism.
    Military Keynesianism? Blowing up bombs is economic negative.
    Patriot Act is radical departure from 4th Amendment.
    100 detainees have died of torture under US custody.
Immigration
    Sending 12M illegals home won't & shouldn't happen.
    Give illegals limbo status: a green card with an asterisk.
Jobs
    Mandated wages & unions hurt unprotected workers.
Principles & Values
    Government today threatens the American dream itself.
    Patriotism means NOT being blindly obedient to the state.
Technology
    WikiLeaks only released true but embarrassing information.
    Surveillance cameras are out of control; safety is no excuse.
War & Peace
    Sanctions are precursor to war, not an alternative.
    World ignores Israel's 200 nukes yet pressures Iran's 1 nuke.


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  • Ron Paul

The above quotations are from Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom, by Ron Paul.
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