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Mar 4, 2010

Lawrence Reed's Striking the Root: A review

My latest read as a dose of liberty was Lawrence W. Reed's "Striking the root", a collection of short essays on liberty. Previously I had read Reed's article "Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy". It had been a rewarding read . So was this one as well.
Lawrence W. (Larry) Reed, 56, is president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), headquartered in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, a position he has held since September 1, 2008. Before joining FEE, Reed served as president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a Midland, Michigan based free-market think tank. To date, he remains Mackinac’s president emeritus. ( Wikipedia )

As per the author, the title of the volume was derived from the quote by Henry David Thoreau "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." And indeed the volume is a huge blow at the root of evils of present day societies i.e. collectivist thinking and growing clutches of state intervention. The attitude of people to benefit at the expense of others. The author has been well able to strike at the roots with the club of liberty. Striking the Root is an excellent and quick read on the ideals of liberty. Reed's examples drive home the fact that a government who intervenes makes a bigger mess rather than fixing the initial problem.

The volume is easy to read and yet very rewarding. The essays are short and precise. Anyone interested in understanding the functioning of a free society and the way state intervention and collectivist approaches are causing evils in the society will highly benefit from the book.

I especially enjoyed reading the essays "Government Education reinvents government", "To own or be owned: That is the Question", "An open letter to Statists everywhere", "The true meaning of Patriotism", "Who owes what to whom?" , "What is real compassion?" and "Reviving a Civil Society".