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It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom
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It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom

4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews


If the government exists to serve us, and if freedom is part of our humanity, how can the government take freedom from us?  Is human freedom in America a myth, or is it reality?  The United States of America was born out of a bloody revolt against tyranny.  Yet almost from its inception, the government here has suppre
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 17th 2011 by Thomas Nelson
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You can easily spot the libertarian spirit in Judge Andrew Napolitano interviews; these few sentences ahead are based on interviews he gave (one to Reason TV).

Napolitano, citing the civil liberties conquered through the years (for black African Americans and women), thinks, however, that “we’re losing liberty”. He suggests we’re in a ”downward spiral”; crushed, so to speak, by regulation issued from a sort of Leviathan (my expression) State, in its multiple arms: welfare state, surveillance st
Oct 01, 2012 Aaron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
"Do we have a two-party system in America today? I think not. We have one Big Government Party. It has a Republican wing that prefers war, deficits, assaults on civil liberties, and corporate welfare, and a Democratic wing that prefers war, taxes, assaults on commercial liberties, and individual welfare. Neither wing is devoted to the Constitution, and members of both wings openly mock it."

I'd imagine that people's first thought when seeing a book like this is that it's a hyped up pro-Republican
Nov 06, 2011 Naomi rated it it was amazing
First things first: A WORD OF WARNING. Judge NapOlitano's writings are dry. I will give the other reviewers that. Simply said. I have to have some source of caffeine close by when I read his works or watch his show. However, he is one of the top sources I turn to for the interpretation of the US Constitution.

On that note, the works of this Constitutional scholar are dead on to the abuses of Americans' rights by the governments, at all levels, for their own greed or under the guise of being for
Nov 30, 2011 Annie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
He's a judge and a legal scholar, so the writing style is a bit dry. The material is well-argued and he brings up so many interesting points -- whether or not you agree with the Libertarian party or not, give it a read. Makes you think!
Emily (Heinlen) Davis
I'm on the fence about this book. I really like the Judge's opinions and viewpoints. However, his writing style is almost too dry for me. He provides quite a few facts along with his opinions, but he does not provide the information in an exciting, easy-to-read format. Therefore, while I enjoyed learning the information in the book, I did not enjoy the act of reading the book. I think this book would do best as a college textbook instead of a pleasure book.

However, just because I do not feel tha
Oct 15, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Judge Napolitano presents an enlightened take on personal liberty and it's erosion under government action. It's written in his direct speaking style, in which he builds his explanations methodically, supporting each point and illustrating with clear examples - the way you would think a legal mind would do - but without being stuffy or overly academic.

Some of the examples of the transgressions of liberty are unsettling, and I was struck by how actually commonplace these transgressions have beco
In this book Napolitano argues that our rights are not arbitrarily created by government but instead are innately endowed by the fact that we are human beings. It also tries to portray how the federal government is encroaching on these rights by overstepping the powers delegated to them by the Constitution. He makes the case for a small federal government and a return to the ideals set forth by our founding fathers. Overall it is a well written and argued book, and assigns blame where it is des ...more
Mar 24, 2017 Lo rated it liked it
So I actually picked up this book at my library literally a week before finding out he was the judge claiming a British spy agency was used to get intel on Trump. Regardless, I decided to go on reading b/c the first few chapters had already peaked my interest.

There is a wealth of Constitutional history and information in this book. There are countless stories of the government overstepping these bounds. It is quite eye opening and educational.

Where I start having a problem is the author taking h
Taylor McKenna
May 24, 2017 Taylor McKenna rated it it was amazing
Excellent book - this one rivals his other book, A Nation of Sheep for me. I've read 5 of his books, this one is definitely close to the top of the list, if not THE best. From 2011, relevant information even on ObamaCare. Well written and clear. The beginning was a little slow - defining rights, but then it turns into quite the page turner, in my opinion.
Oct 08, 2016 Andrew rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
Decent book and well written by a retired American Judge. Argues from the political philosophy standpoint of 'natural rights,' that our rights are not given by government, but come from our humanity or our nature as human beings (or God, which is the religious equivalent source as 'nature' is the secular), and governments, which the people create, enforce these rights. Therefore the individual, politically, is sovereign, and no government or group can strip a person of their rights. From this pr ...more
Aug 01, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Judge Andrew Napolitano has done a great job with this book. He presents clear and logical explanations of his political philosophy. He traces the origins of this philosophy successfully to the founders, the constitution and natural law. Since he is trained as a lawyer and a judge, he presents his case in a very orderly and logical manner, with each step building upon basic foundational elements.

He presents numerous real-world examples from recent news that demonstrate the loss of our fundament
Jun 03, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing
+ 5 more stars:

Another Amazing book from this era's Thomas Jefferson on steroids. His wealth of knowledge on Constitutional matters is virtually unequaled today. In this, his sixth book, The Judge tackles the many fallacies that are propagated to the public by media, schools, and other progressive talking heads. Napolitano is, as always extremely neutral with regards to party. He is an "equal opportunity basher". He pulls no punches.

This book was thoroughly researched and Judge Napolitano break
Deborah Sloan
Nov 08, 2011 Deborah Sloan rated it it was amazing
Shocking,Eye-opening,and will certainly make you mad enough to do something. I would hope anyway! Judge Andrew P. Napolitano lays it all out for you in how your freedoms and rights are being taken away right under your nose without so much as a whisper of outcry. When we should be outraged and fighting against such governmental abuses whether from federal,state,or local governments.

Making laws that resoundingly are against the constitution,those in power and office feel they know what is best fo
Mark Geise
Feb 14, 2015 Mark Geise rated it it was amazing
Judge Nap is one of the best libertarian voices out there. It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong lays out 10-15 of Napolitano's primary ideals and how the American government has tread on these ideals. His philosophies are rooted in Natural Law; because people are the masters of government, government does not have any rights beyond what people are willing to cede to it. Natural Law, for example, allows for me to do anything that I like as long as I am not intruding on the pro ...more
Jim Brown
Mar 08, 2016 Jim Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
WOW, WOW, WOW! I thought I understood our Government in relationship to the U. S. Constitution but I was wrong. This books is both very depressing yet extremely educational. I could not possibly recommend it any more/ Every American who wants to believe in its Government should read this book to see just how our Government has been failing us at least in regards to meeting the very specific terms of the U. S. Constitution. While every Chapter is excellent and should be considered as required rea ...more
Uschie Ursula
Nov 13, 2012 Uschie Ursula rated it really liked it
While I don't agree with everything Judge Napolitano states in his book, albeit I do agree with a lot, he does make a compelling argument with this book about government power, the constitution and freedom. His strongest weapon, the US Constitution and the mighty pen. He yields them and maneuvers while explaining it with the skill of a well trained swordsman.

Napolitano has a way of making "Constitutional Law" a topic that sounds as dreary as a Tax Audit, appear exciting and interesting. I attri
Nov 11, 2012 Karen rated it liked it
So, Napolitano is hilarious, in a sarcastic kind of way that I love because my humor is the same way. The book was very informational, I learned a lot as someone not familiar with the theory of libertarianism. But, I'm sorry, society gains freedom through being moral, and morality doesn't appear out of nowhere, it comes from God and Christianity. End of story. Trying to separate the two and saying we should be able to say and do whatever we want to whoever we want as long as it doesn't harm thei ...more
Feb 19, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it
This is a great defense of libertarian philosophy. I appreciated Napolitano's judicial bent on things, too. It added a great deal to the conversation, in my mind. Still, I'm not completely compelled by his intellectual presuppositions: natural rights are inborn, but to say that government is an institution devised by men and devoid of moral character or mission does not correspond to my Christian worldview.

The writing was dry at times, perhaps because he delved fairly deeply into legal details,
Mar 20, 2012 Danmcgohan rated it really liked it
The book reads just like stinding down for a conversation with Judge Napolitano. I could hear every inflection of his voice and his laughter at certain points as I read. The book was very enlighting and inspiring, even though the Judge was preaching to the chior. Our freedoms have been eroded away over the last one hundred years and are presently being attached at a blistering rate. We must change this direction!
Diane Kennicker
Jan 06, 2013 Diane Kennicker rated it really liked it
This book is an excellent read. It is clear how much of our liberties government has taken away over the years. We do not have a two-party political system in this country rather we have Big Government dictating how we should run our lives. Government should protect our freedoms and not take them away.
Feb 13, 2012 Todd rated it liked it
While I agreed with most of Andrew Napolitano's views (some are still a bit too libertarian for me) you can tell this book was written by a lawyer. If I was not laid up after surgery I am not sure I would have made it through this book
Jan 06, 2015 Melan rated it really liked it
This book clearly create a debate in which court judge Andrew Napolitano discuss how in today's world US government is suppressing citizens' rights by regulating too much and in an excessive and unjustified way. His opinion is clearly stated and understandable.
Sep 12, 2015 Libby rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. Even though I disagree with him & Libertarians on foreign policy, open borders, and The NSA....I found that I'm a little more libertarian than I realized. Even if you don't consider yourself a libertarian, I suggest you give it a try.
Nov 04, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it
Here is a link to my review:

I received this as a free e-book from
May 15, 2015 Ethanml rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics-read
A solid look at natural law. Not as deep as Ethics of Liberty but a pretty good read overall
Mike Smith
Mar 01, 2012 Mike Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Even though dry in places a book worth reading.
Hyzer Anhyzer
May 19, 2013 Hyzer Anhyzer rated it really liked it
Only three stars because it contains too much info that the Judge has already covered in his earlier books.
Feb 19, 2012 Jeff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
A profound analysis of freedom from a judge who can beak it down so that a 5 year old could understand. I really enjoyed this book! Hope everyone reads this!
dsfold rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2012
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Andrew Paolo Napolitano is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge. He is a political and senior judicial analyst for Fox News Channel, commenting on legal news and trials. Napolitano started on the channel in 1998. He is a Libertarian and a strong advocate of the Constitution, viewing it as a contract that must, according to rule of law, be interpreted the way its authors intended or else be inv ...more
More about Andrew P. Napolitano...

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“Justice William O. Douglas wrote, “The framers of the Constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” 3 likes
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