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By Todd Seavey

Illustrations By Nathan Smith

Foreword by John Stossel


Political Science

ISBN-13: 978-1-939994-66-0
Price: US $15.95
6x9, 220 pp
eBook ISBN: 978-1-939994-67-7
eBook Price: US $15.95
April 12, 2016

B/W Illustrations

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Libertarianism isn't about winning elections; it is first and foremost a political philosophy--a description of how, in the opinion of libertarians, free people ought to treat one another, at least when they use the law, which they regard as potentially dangerous. If libertarians are correct, the law should intrude into people's lives as little as possible, rarely telling them what to do or how to live.

A political and economic philosophy as old as John Locke and John Stuart Mill, but as alive and timely as Rand Paul, the Tea Party, and the novels of Ayn Rand, libertarianism emphasizes individual rights and calls for a radical reduction in the power and size of government. Libertarianism For Beginners lays out the history and principles of this often-misunderstood philosophy in lucid, dispassionate terms that help illuminate today's political dialogue.


Todd Seavey has written for such libertarian or libertarian-tolerating individuals and organizations as, John Stossel, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Reason magazine, The Wall Street Journal, New York Press, New York Post, Skeptical Inquirer, National Review, Chronicles,, and He lives in New York City.


Nathan Smith is an illustrator and author who specializes in the classical Western esoteric tradition. His works include “The Psychonaut Field Manual,” “Am I Evil?” and the “Discordian Tarot Collection” (see


"Todd Seavey has written one of the best introductions to libertarianism ever. It's clear, concise, compelling—and fun!"


—Donald Boudreaux, economist at George Mason University and the Mercatus Center, blogger at Café Hayek


“Many a curious liberal, conservative, or apolitical moderate has walked away from a conversation with a libertarian more confused than edified. They need this book.

Libertarianism confuses non-libertarians—because it’s different in kind from other political philosophies, and because libertarians themselves spend so much breath on internecine warfare. Author Todd Seavey and cartoonist Nathan Smith have just the solution to that problem: a clear, concise exposition of libertarian thought that elucidates without proselytizing. They acknowledge and explain the internal rifts of libertarianism, without taking sides or getting sucked down rabbit holes.

If you want to understand libertarianism (and you should) start with this book.”

—Tim Carney, Washington Examiner senior political columnist and author of The Big Ripoff

“Seavey provides a sober and sane introduction to, and defense of, a wild and radical philosophy whose relevance to the world, and popularity, gets more and more apparent by the year. Reducing a complicated body of thought in ways that are clearly understandable but never misleadingly simple, assessing both a body of thought and the often flawed humans who kept it alive, up to date on the tangled internal politics of the movement and timeless in showing how keeping your eye on the libertarian conception of property rights should guide your understanding of what libertarians think and why.”

—Brian Doherty, Reason magazine senior editor and author of Radicals for Capitalism

“Libertarianism can be a difficult philosophy to understand—heck, most libertarians don't even know what it actually is. From the basic concept of free will to abstract ones like the non-aggression principle, Libertarianism for Beginners provides a comprehensive guide to what drives the movement. And with such wit and clarity, it should serve as a guide for all.— neophytes or neocons—on how to talk to and/or understand the libertarian in your life.”

—Andrew Kirell, Daily Beast senior editor

“Libertarianism has gotten a bad name from all the gun nuts, crackpots and trailer-park hermits that have besmirched a noble tradition of proudly American anti-authoritarianism. As such, there is no one in the world whom I want to explain libertarianism to me more than the always exciting, always exhilarating, and never indulgent Todd Seavey, a thinking man’s Plato.”

—Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News reporter

“Seavey provides a thorough and easy to read explanation of libertarianism and its history. Full of examples and nuance, the book offers a balanced context for understanding this philosophy.”

—Ann Lee, NYU Stern School of Business professor and author of What the U.S. Can Learn from China

“The briefest introduction to libertarianism is also one of the richest—Seavey brilliantly captures a many-sided movement.”

—Daniel McCarthy, editor of American Conservative magazine

“Libertarian is a word too often used as a cheap punch-line or a put-down by those unwilling, or perhaps afraid, to understand what it really means. In this fantastic book—one both learned and lighthearted—Todd Seavey rescues Libertarianism from the finger-pointers and makes a lucid, convincing case for its relevance as a serious and necessary political philosophy. Everyone, not just ‘beginners,’ will benefit from reading it. I most certainly did—and I’m not even a libertarian.”

—Alexander Rose, author of Washington’s Spies

“If you've ever suspected your political views could boil down to something as simple as ‘leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone,’ Todd Seavey‘s wonderfully clarifying book is a must for you. In level-headed, precise, simple, and jargon-free language, Seavey lays out how rejecting the impulse to control others’ bodies and property can be the basis of a coherent system of thinking towards a more rational and happier society.”

—Kyle Smith, New York Post columnist

“America may or not be living through its latest libertarian moment but Americans—and not just Americans—will have a much clearer understanding of what this might mean if they read Todd Seavey’s Libertarianism for Beginners, a brisk, smart, and sympathetic field guide to libertarianism, its tribes, its thinkers, and ten, not commandments of course, but dilemmas. Feel free to buy this book.”

—Andrew Stuttaford, National Review contributing editor

“This is a wonderfully crisp and elegant introduction to libertarianism—and it's so smart that it's not just for beginners. It's a concise, evenhanded guide to one of the most influential intellectual movements today. No matter what your ideology, this masterful survey of history and philosophy will give you a new perspective on politics and government—and keep you entertained while you learn.”

—John Tierney, columnist and co-author of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

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