The Art of Being Free–How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us From Ourselves, by James Poulos


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Back in April we made our annual sojourn to the Los Angeles Festival of Books. We do our best to support emerging writers and even ones we personally know. Battling the ingress and egress lines in a University of Southern California campus parking garage, we separate off to listen to our respective authors of interest. There are always great finds and sometimes minor disappointments.  After bouncing from panel to panel, we met back to listen to James Poulos.  His recent work, The Art of Being Free–How Alexis de Tocqueville Can Save Us from Ourselves was one of the standouts.  Now you must understand, my undergraduate degree is in political theory and comparative government. I’ve been immersed in de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America since the 60’s. Poulo’s contemporary application of Alexis’s insights just struck a cord. Of course, I’m a political/policy wonk in administrator’s clothes.  If you are looking to add to your own ideological foundational preferences you won’t find it here. It’s more quirky prose with an interesting insights about, well, us. If you like this sort of thing, this text is for you.

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