Herbert Spencer (Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers)

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9781441164995: Herbert Spencer (Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers)

This volume makes a compelling case for the continued relevance and significance of Herbert Spencer (1820-1904), one of the foremost intellectuals of the Victorian era whose work now tends to be regarded as being of purely historical interest.

One of the originators of the evolutionary classical liberal or libertarian approach exemplified later by F. A. Hayek, Spencer engaged with such issues as the relationship between the individual and the state; the nature of majoritarian democracy; the legitimacy of private property; the consequences of the transition from relatively simple, feudal communities to complex, industrial societies; and the causes of war and the prospects of international peace. For him the future was individualist. However, as the scope of state action expanded and classical liberal ideas became increasingly marginalised during the course of his life, Spencer grew ever more pessimistic about the future prospects for liberty.

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About the Author:

Alberto Mingardi is Director General of the Istituto Bruno Leoni (Milan) and an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute (Washington, DC). His last book was L'intelligenza del denaro. Perché il mercato ha ragione anche quando ha torto (2013).

Review:

"This is a first-rate introduction to the political thought of Herbert Spencer. The book is clear, thorough, and readable. Spencer is a theorist of individual rights, societal progress, and anti-militarism who has long deserved such a primer. " --Williamson M. Evers, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education "a worthwhile project and one that should generate considerable interest" Professor Bruce Caldwell, University of North Carolina, General Editor of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek Herbert Spencer is a well-written, -referenced, and -researched book that never slips into the error of academic cleverness. Mingardi pays respect to a fallen leader who deserves to stand tall. He steps back and lets Spencer speak. This book presents an accessible yet sophisticated overview of an English philosopher who was key in the development of classical liberalism. * Wendy McElroy, The Freeman, 2012 *

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