Literature and Liberty

Literature and Liberty (Cover)Allen Mendenhall’s new book, Literature and Liberty: Essays in Libertarian Literary Criticism is available now on Amazon.com. This book brings together new versions of 7 different Mendenhall essays. Some of these are punchy and short, like “Bowdlerizing Huck,” which discusses the practice of censoring the “n-word” out of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Others, like “Law and Liberty in E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, provide lengthy, contemplative explorations of polycentric law.

This book comes out under the Rowman & Littlefield imprimatur, with the editing and indexing done by Invisible Order.

From the blurb:

The economic theories of Karl Marx and his disciples continue to be anthologized in books of literary theory and criticism and taught in humanities classrooms to the exclusion of other, competing economic paradigms.… Even literary scholars who reject pure Marxism are still motivated by it, because nearly all economic literary theory derives from Marxism or advocates for vast economic interventionism as a solution to social problems.

Such interventionism, however, has a track-record of mass murder, war, taxation, colonization, pollution, imprisonment, espionage, and enslavement — things most scholars of imaginative literature deplore. Yet most scholars of imaginative literature remain interventionists. Literature and Liberty offers these scholars an alternative economic paradigm, one that over the course of human history has eliminated more generic bads than any other system. It argues that free market or libertarian literary theory is more humane than any variety of Marxism or interventionism.… Drawing from authors as wide-ranging as Emerson, Shakespeare, E.M. Forster, Geoffrey of Monmouth, Henry Hazlitt, and Mark Twain, Literature and Liberty is a significant contribution to libertarianism and literary studies.

And if you like this book as much as we think you will, please make sure to review it on Amazon.com.

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