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Book Review: Freedom 101 by Madsen Pirie

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The prolific director of the London-based Adam Smith Institute is back with another publication. This time Pirie is back on his familiar ground of non-fiction. The book, loosely based on a guide he helped write as an undergraduate at St Andrews University, is a collection of reports to the "truisms" peddled by the left.

Instead of engaging in long fact-filled diatribes to counter these platitudes; Madsen has provided all of us with curt witty counters to the most common anti-capitalist one-liners of the day. The book is aimed to provide us all with witty retorts so that we can avoid the long-winded rants that many of us are prone to when countering rubbish political statements.

I wish I had this book along with me in my university days. I am one of those prone to launching into mini-lectures on various subjects when encountering the left-wing right-on type peddling platitudes like "Competition is Wasteful" or "Schooling should seek to make children equal".

Madsen's 300-word counters are written in a style that would not be out of a place on a blog. In fact 300 words were agreed on because that is how many words fit on a typical screen. One rather hopes there will be an e-book version of this book that users can have on their iPhones or other smart devices.

As Pirie is based in the UK, a certain percentage of the book is aimed at the Guardian-reading/BBC-adoring urban left but that does not mean the book does not contain universal ideas on freedom that can be used anywhere with a bit of creative thought. There are two covers of the book; one featuring Pirie in a "hoodie" and the other featuring the Statue of Liberty.

Needless to say by its very nature; the book reads well and quickly. The arguments are catchy and memorable. Freedom 101 is a valuable resource for all those who support the free market and liberty.

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About Marty Dodge