Men Against the State
by James Martin

A history of the American individualist anarchist movement. The first half of the book is boring. It traces the activities of Josiah Warren and his followers who were primarily opposed to interest, rent, and profit and secondarily opposed to the state because the state protected these capitalist institutions. The book gets interesting when Spooner and Tucker enter the picture. They also believed in the labor theory of value, but their anti-statism was based on other considerations as well and was more prominent in their lives than their economic theories.

Martin's scholarship succeeds in making dull reading out of exciting men who had radical ideas.

Year Read: 1986

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