CEI’s Fred Smith Reviews Public Policy Hooligan

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Fred Smith, the founder and chairman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, reviewed Public Policy Hooligan yesterday.  Thanks a heap, Fred!
This review is from: Public Policy Hooligan – Rollicking and Wrangling from Helltown to Washington (Kindle Edition)

Jim’s title uses the term “hooligan” which is defined as “a violent young troublemaker – often a member of a gang.” Those who know Jim will realize that while certainly a “troublemaker” – at least to the members of the Chattering Class that rules America – he has never been a member of any collectivist group, gang, party or faction. Jim is the quintessential individualist, a trait clearly on display this wonderful biography.

He narrates well the unusual path that led him to his libertarian views – a path that involved numerous encounters with those who “know best what’s good for us.” Jim’s disagreement with such paternalistic nonsense both in the United States and abroad seems to me far better than the traditional academic path many of us have pursued.

Others have pointed out the pungent language solidly buttressed with facts that, during his career, have become his hallmark. He has taken the advice of the late Aaron Wildavsky and spoken truth to power. That too few have listened and understood tells us more about the seductive power of the state than about Jim.

But, most of all, his biography is fun to read. Jim has a sharp sword but he wields it kindly. He does not suffer fools gladly and there are numerous fools discussed in his book, but they’re treated kindly. There is no bitterness – perhaps unusual given that Jim, like most friends of liberty, is dismayed about the steady erosion of our rights. The passion survives and Jim continues to fight. As he notes, he was impressed with the courage and steadfastness of the Confederates (without slipping into the apologetic for slavery that some accept). That willingness to fight on when the cause seems hopeless vibrates throughout his writing. That message is worth the price of the book alone.

So buy this e-book and turn on your Kindle/Nook/e-reader and enjoy. You’re in for one fun ride.

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