Political Thought

Our titles in political thought encompass the ideals of the classical liberal tradition, such as self-government, the rule of law, and constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press. The collection includes foundational writings from such thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Bernard Mandeville, and Alexis de Tocqueville, as well as twentieth-century perspectives from writers like Michael Oakeshott and Bertrand de Jouvenel. These titles represent thinkers from different times and contexts, offering the reader a variety of texts that have helped shape the ideas of liberty in today’s society.

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  • “The Law,” “The State,” and Other Political Writings, 1843–1850

    by Frédéric Bastiat

    “The Law,” “The State,” and Other Political Writings, 1843–1850, collects nineteen of Bastiat’s “pamphlets,” or articles, ranging from the theory of value and rent, public choice and collective action, government intervention and regulation, the balance of trade, education, and trade unions to price controls, capital and growth, and taxation. Many of these are topics still relevant and debated today. In…

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  • An Account of Denmark

    by Robert Molesworth

    The Liberty Fund edition of An Account of Denmark is the first modern edition of Molesworth’s writings. This volume presents not only An Account, but also his translation of Francogallia and Some Considerations for the Promoting of Agriculture and Employing the Poor. These texts encompass Molesworth’s major political statements on liberty as well as his important and understudied recommendations for…

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  • America’s Second Crusade

    by William Henry Chamberlin

    In this work William Henry Chamberlin offers his perspective as a seasoned journalist on the United States’ involvement in World War II. Written only five years after the unconditional surrenders of Germany and Japan, the book is a window into its time. William Henry Chamberlin (1897–1969) was an American journalist best known for his writings on the Cold War, Communism,…

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  • The American Democrat

    by James Fenimore Cooper

    When The American Democrat was first published in 1838, Cooper’s position as America’s first major novelist obscured his serious contribution to the discussion of American principles and politics. “Yet Cooper,” says H. L. Mencken, “was probably the first American to write about Americans in the really frank spirit . . . a simple, sound and sensible tract, moderate in tone…

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  • The Anti-capitalistic Mentality

    by Ludwig von Mises

    In The Anti-capitalistic Mentality, the respected economist Ludwig von Mises plainly explains the causes of the irrational fear and hatred many intellectuals and others feel for capitalism. In five concise chapters, he traces the causation of the misunderstandings and resultant fears that cause resistance to economic development and social change. He enumerates and rebuts the economic arguments against and the…

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  • The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle

    by Melancton Smith

    The Anti-Federalist Writings of the Melancton Smith Circle makes available for the first time a one-volume collection of Anti-Federalist writings that are commensurate in scope, significance, political brilliance, and depth with The Federalist. Included in this volume as an appendix is a computational and contextual analysis that addresses the question of the authorship of two of the most well-known pseudonymous…

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  • Arator

    by John Taylor of Caroline

    This discussion of the social order of an agricultural republic is Taylor’s most popular and influential work. It includes materials on the relation of agriculture to the American economy, on agriculture and politics, and on the enemies of the agrarian republic. Both statesman and farmer, Taylor is often considered the deepest thinker of all the early Virginians. M. E. Bradford

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  • Areopagitica and Other Political Writings of John Milton

    by John Milton

    John Milton published several revolutionary manifestos, two works defending regicide, and of course the famous Areopagitica, or defense of freedom of expression and the press against censorship. John Alvis has collected into a superb one-volume edition all of Milton’s political writings of enduring importance. John Alvis is Professor of English and Director of the American Studies Program at the University…

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  • Autobiography and Literary Essays

    by John Stuart Mill

    Liberty Fund is pleased to make available in paperback eight of the original thirty-three cloth volumes of the Collected Works of John Stuart Mill that were first published by the University of Toronto Press that remain most relevant to liberty and responsibility in the twenty-first century. Born in London in 1806 and educated at the knee of his father, the…

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  • Cato: A Tragedy, and Selected Essays

    by Joseph Addison

    First produced in 1713, Cato: A Tragedy inspired generations toward a pursuit of liberty. Liberty Fund’s new edition of Cato: A Tragedy, and Selected Essays brings together Addison’s dramatic masterpiece along with a selection of his essays that develop key themes in the play. Christine Dunn Henderson is a Senior Fellow at Liberty Fund. Mark E. Yellin is a Fellow…

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  • Cato’s Letters

    by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon

    Almost a generation before Washington, Henry, and Jefferson were even born, two Englishmen, concealing their identities with the honored ancient name of Cato, wrote newspaper articles condemning tyranny and advancing principles of liberty that immensely influenced American colonists. The Englishmen were John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon. John Trenchard (1662–1723) devoted himself to writing on contemporary British politics and for one…

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  • Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times

    by Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury

    The Liberty Fund edition of Characteristicks presents the complete 1732 text of this classic work of philosophy and political theory. Also included are faithful reproductions of the stirring engravings that Shaftesbury designed to facilitate the reader’s consideration of his meditations on the interrelationships among truth, goodness, beauty, virtue, liberty, responsibility, society, and the state. The grandson of a founder and…

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