It is sometimes said that Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945) enjoys a "cult following"--and this is, in some ways, true. His work has influenced American libertarian thinkers like Rothbard (and even W.F. Buckley in the early years) for 60 years. And he leaves a permanent impression on anyone who reads his work.
He is an aristocrat who sees the state as the enemy of all that is beautiful and true, an effortless anarchist who lives and breathes ancient wisdom, an opinionated essayist who draws the reader in through anecdotes and stories rather than deduction, and a visionary who sees the world through a libertarian lens. He applies his perspective in opposition to welfare, government-managed economies, consolidation, and, above all else, war.
Albert Jay Nock is indeed a treasure, and this collection pulls together some of his best work on literature, war, state expansion, law, education, prohibition, and cultural issues such as smoking and snoring (a real classic!).
These essays showcase Nock's main literary device: to take a commonplace subject, make a casual and slightly quirky observation about it, one that wins your affections, and then surprise and shock by driving the point to score a deadly blow against some great evil that is widely taken for granted.
It is no wonder that so many who have read him sense a bond with the writer and other Nockians, almost as if they have been initiated into a secret society. Charles H. Hamilton writes the introduction.
paperback; 279 pages ISBN 978-0-86597-093-9
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