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 Struggle for Sovereignty

    by Joyce Lee Malcolm

    For much of Europe the seventeenth century was, as it has been termed, an “Age of Absolutism” in which single rulers held tremendous power. Yet the English in the same century succeeded in limiting the power of their monarchs. The English Civil War in midcentury and the Glorious Revolution of 1688 were the culmination of a protracted struggle between kings…

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  • A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive

    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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  • Temporal and Eternal

    by Charles Péguy

    Temporal and Eternal is a profound and poetic assessment of the relationship between tradition and liberty, between politics and society, and between Christianity and the modern world. This edition includes a new foreword by Pierre Manent, Professor of Political Science at the Centre de Recherches Politiques Raymond Aron in Paris. As the twenty-first century begins, the relationships this book explores…

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  • Select Works of Edmund Burke: Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America

    by Edmund Burke

    This famed Payne edition of Select Works of Edmund Burke is universally revered by students of English history and political thought. Volume 1, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents and The Two Speeches on America, contains Burke’s brilliant defense of the American colonists’ complaints of British policy, including “Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents” (1770), “Speech…

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  • To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

    by Gouverneur Morris

    Liberty Fund is pleased to present this single-volume collection of Gouverneur Morris’s writings. This edition will be a welcome addition to scholars of American and French history as the volume contains many writings that have never before been published. Morris served as Deputy Superintendent of Finance during the American Revolution, in which capacity he devised the system of decimal coinage.

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  • Tocqueville’s Voyages

    by Christine Dunn Henderson

    Tocqueville’s Voyages is a collection of newly written essays by some of the most well-known Tocquevillian scholars today. The essays in the first part of the volume explore the development of Tocqueville’s thought, his intellectual voyage, during his trip to America and while writing Democracy in America. The second part of the book focuses on the dissemination of Tocqueville’s ideas…

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  • A Treatise on Political Economy

    by Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy

    A Treatise on Political Economy by Antoine Louis Claude Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) is a foundational text of nineteenth-century, free-market economic thought and remains one of the classics of nineteenth-century French economic liberalism. Destutt de Tracy was one of the founders of the classical liberal republican group known as the Idéologues, which included Jean-Baptiste Say, Marquis de Condorcet, and Pierre…

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  • Twilight of Authority

    by Robert Nisbet

    “We had thought, or our forefathers had, that modern liberal democracy would be spared the kind of erosion and decay that both Plato and Aristotle declared endemic in all forms of state. Now we are not so sure.” So wrote Robert Nisbet in the first edition of Twilight of Authority, published by Oxford University Press in 1975. “The centralization and,…

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  • Tyranny Unmasked

    by John Taylor of Caroline

    John Taylor of Caroline (1753–1824) was one of the foremost philosophers of the States’ rights Jeffersonians of the early national period. In keeping with his lifelong mission as a “minority man,” John Taylor wrote Tyranny Unmasked not only to assault the protective tariff and the mercantilist policies of the times but also “to examine general principles in relation to commerce,…

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  • Union and Liberty

    by John C. Calhoun

    Calhoun’s most important constitutional and political writings are now available as complete, unabridged texts and in a single volume, many for the first time since the 1850s. These writings address such issues as states’ rights and nullification, slavery, the growth of the Federal judicial power, and Calhoun’s doctrine of the “concurrent majority.” Ross M. Lence was Professor of Political Science…

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  • View of the Constitution of the United States

    by St. George Tucker

    St. George Tucker’s View of the Constitution, published in 1803, was the first extended, systematic commentary on the United States Constitution after its ratification. Generations learned their Blackstone and their understanding of the Constitution through Tucker. Clyde N. Wilson is Professor of History and editor of The Papers of John C. Calhoun at the University of South Carolina.

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  • A Vindication of Natural Society

    by Edmund Burke

    This is a new edition of Edmund Burke’s first work, originally issued anonymously in 1756 as a letter attributed to “a late noble writer.” In 1757 Burke produced a revised version with a new preface but still did not attach his name to the work. This Liberty Fund edition is based on the 1757 revision. The Vindication is a political…

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