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Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  5,783 Ratings  ·  559 Reviews
Conservative talk radio's fastest-growing superstar is also a New York Times bestselling phenomenon: the author of the groundbreaking critique of the Supreme Court, Men in Black, and the deeply personal dog lover's memoir Rescuing Sprite, Mark R. Levin now delivers the book that characterizes both his devotion to his more than 5 million listeners and his love of our countr ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Threshold Editions (first published June 30th 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
Mar 16, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
Conservative. That word is a bit over used you know? I mean I'm a conservative, but what does that mean to you and to anyone and everyone else for that matter? To Karen Finney on MSNBC we have been informed that "conservative Values" is code for "race".

If you believe that, you don't understand what a conservative is (And I suspect Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Thomas Sowell, etc., etc might disagree with you) maybe you could take just a few minutes to rethink?

If you have an open mind and
Jun 18, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 52-in-2009
Liberty and Tyranny by Mark R. Levin (pp. 256)

Subtitled “A Conservative Manifesto”, Levin does a strong job of articulating a modern conservative perspective without a lot of the base pandering hyperbole. The first two chapters read much like an intro level Poly Sci class referencing Jefferson, de Tocqueville, the Declaration of Independence, and other origin classics.

The problem with reviewing any political text, especially one by a popular TV/radio host, is that personal politics may greatly a
May 26, 2009 Barry rated it it was ok
I hate to say it but I am really disappointed in this book, mostly because it was billed as being a strong defense of conservatism. As a student of political philosophy and an independent thinker, I'm disappointed with Levin's rhetorical duplicity and faux logic.

The majority of the book is spent building up a straw-man “the Statist” which we are to understand is the modern liberal, at least at first. The problem is that by confronting this straw-man Levin doesn't challenge actual positions, he c
Jun 26, 2009 Charlotte rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in living in a safe, prosperous country
Recommended to Charlotte by: heard on the radio
I have been a student of economics and free markets for awhile now. While I'm no professor, I do have a pretty clear grasp of what makes a healthy and strong economy and country, and what hurts one. I thought that reading Levin's book would be more preaching to the choir, but I was very pleasantly surprised. He is knowledgeable, factual, and presents things in a most refreshing way. I often have to revisit concepts I thought I was familiar with to really grasp what he was educating us about in h ...more
Apr 07, 2009 Roger rated it did not like it

Three thoughts:

1. We really don't need whiney, radical conservatives who use their talk show to promote their books.

2. If you aren't old enough to rememeber Eugene McCarthy, you should give this book a read, and the radio show a listen. This guy is McCarthy all over again.

3. I had a nice conversation with an 80 year old woman last Sunday, a person that I really respect for her grace and experience. But I was shocked when the subject came around to Obama, and she said "you know, he really is a f
Apr 16, 2011 Mark added it
From 1776 to 1781, the U.S. founding fathers worked to draft and ratify a document that established a limited government that would bring together a confederation of the states. Their goal in limiting the scope of government power was to protect the sovereignty of states and maximize individual freedom. It quickly became evident that the powers granted the Continental Congress were simply too weak for effective governing and our current Constitution had to be drafted. Their desire for a limited ...more
Jul 07, 2010 Nathan rated it did not like it
"Poorly argued" would be the short way I would describe my dissatisfaction with this book.

As for the longer version... I guess my biggest problem would be that the "opposition" the author describes appears to be a creation entirely of his own imagining. Everything from their background to their ideologies to their political agenda is outlined, yet nowhere does the author provide any evidence that there exists a group that actually matches the provided description.

The author provides these imagin
Nov 10, 2009 Spaniard rated it it was amazing
Mark Levin begins his masterpiece by meticulously detailing the idea of American Sovereignty which is rooted in a belief that God has given man a desire for liberty. In so doing he describes how liberals reject this notion of American Superiority and how they seek to surrender voluntarily the sovereignty that our forefathers fought and died for. According to Levin the desire of the founders was to give their posterity a free nation, unencumbered of political weights that always run any nation ag ...more
Jun 15, 2009 Andy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: liberal, conservative, libertarian, independent,unaffiliated,millenials, Christians,Jews,agnostics
Recommended to Andy by: hard core libertarian friend
Probably the best book I have read recently for my liberal friends to read to understand conservatism, and why we believe the "state" is not your friend.
For my unaffiliated or independent friends, a great read on why you can't stay on the sidelines.
For my libertarian friends, a solid reminder and primer on why conservatism is the current home of liberty.
For my conservative friends, an excellent primer on the why's and how's of conservative thought and action.
The thing I like most about this book
Jan 31, 2010 Kipi rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Most of the polls I’ve been able to find have our country fairly split 45% conservative/ 10 middle-of-the-road/45% liberal. The levels of conviction of those two groups of 45% vary from “very” to “moderate, leaning” on both sides. While most of the mainstream TV media (with the exception of Fox News) leans left, talk radio leans right, and that’s where Mark Levin has found his niche. Here in the DFW area you can hear his show every afternoon on WBAP 820 from 5:00 - 8:00. With all the dr
Apr 07, 2009 Kate rated it it was amazing
OK, I have to start by saying there was only one or two things I didn't agree with in this book. This is the conservative's bible. I already felt everything in this book, and now I know why and am armed with the facts behind my beliefs. I love how everything is footnoted so if you want to read the original copy of Levin's information you can get right to it. So much history I never learned because we aren't taught it. I should have gone after it myself. We are following in histories footsteps an ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Kash rated it it was amazing
I've never listened to Mark Levin before. I am not a fan of his radio show either. Too busy with other stuff. Though I have to admit I liked his recent book "Liberty And Tyranny". It gave me enough knowledge and information to figure out the correct path in each debate, especially on health care and immigration issues. I think this book is a great one in terms of reminding people of how powerful they can be in rolling back the Statists' agenda. The book is written in an eloquent way that reminds ...more
Jul 11, 2009 Chris rated it it was amazing
As promised, an excellent read, laying down the foundation for Conservatism, it's history, why it's essential to preserve it, and ways of preserving it. Levin methodically and empirically submits the case of liberalism (i.e. statism) versus conservatism and why conservatism is THE only ideology (historically and presently) that exists to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the people of this great land. Statism is a stealth and dangerous ideology and one that cannot "def ...more
Ronald Wise
Mar 30, 2015 Ronald Wise rated it did not like it
Billed as a "manifesto", key terms are made proper nouns (e.g., "the Conservative", "the Statist") to flag the right-wing code words. The things Levin likes are of course "Liberty", and everything else is equated to "Tyranny", sometimes with no supporting logic except that he does a short rant about something and concludes the paragraph with, "and that is tyranny."

There's nothing new in this book you won't find in Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, or Jonah Goldberg, except for more recent examples of O
Jun 13, 2009 L-V rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-read-it
Haven't read it yet, but I'm going to buy it tomorrow. I seriously worry about the future of our personal liberties. I do not want to be slowly assimilated into a socialist society. I don't believe in big government and I choose not to be passive anymore. I need to educate myself on what to watch out for. I haven't read any books like this before - I hope I learn something.
Jun 15, 2012 Jay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, non-fiction
If you want to know the difference between being a Conservative and being a Liberal you must read this book. After you read it you will have a better understanding of what a Statist is and does and how it effects you. It's one of the best books I've ever read and one of the most important.
Apr 25, 2009 Sara rated it did not like it
All I can say is, the facts - no matter what fancy language Levin cloaks them in - don't support the hyperbole.

May 17, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Mark Levin has crafted an outstanding summary of the heart of conservatism. Possibly the most striking approach is that he does not identify "liberals" as the antithesis of conservatives, but rather Statists. In doing so, he frames a poignant argument that provides a valuable yardstick to identifying Statists dressed in conservative clothing.

Far from simply being a summary of conservative principles, Mark Levin draws from today's national scene and compares and contrasts Conservative and Statist
Apr 22, 2015 Joe rated it it was amazing
Do you believe that our country is moving in the wrong direction and has been for quite a while now? Mark Levin, a radio talk show host and constitutional lawyer, spells out his insights into the actions taken by government officials and presidents in recent years. He speaks of "Statism" or the belief that the state (government) is far superior in administering rights, freedoms and possessions than the individual as a dangerous movement in United States politics. He also defines what Conservatis ...more
Aug 23, 2009 Rick rated it really liked it
I liked this book because it was succint and to the point. Each chapter takes a general political ideology and breaks it down to the facts of how we got to where we are today on the topic (like gloabal warming) and describes how a conservative (not a Republican) would/should deal with the topic. Growing up I always heard about DDT and how it was a terrible chemical that caused deformities and contaminated food and water. Come to find out there has never been any evidence of deformity and the dru ...more
I am neither condervative nor liberal. I got the book from the libary, becuase I listen to his talk show and he is very loud and rude. However, The book was interesting and gave a lot of historical facts; but, it truly shows how america has not grown. This book has been on the best sellers list for four weeks. Mr. Levin actually has the audacity to state that we need to force Latino people to assimilate. Does Mr. Levin not forget what happen the last time this country forced assimilation on a ra ...more
Don Incognito
Aug 12, 2012 Don Incognito rated it liked it
I wasn't planning to read this book, but someone gave it to me as a gift. "A Conservative Manifesto" is a pretty apt title. It's a thoughtful discussion of various issues important to conservatives, and then a short list of relatively general suggestions for what to do about them, mostly at the political level.
This is a fairly short book--just over 200 pages--and is thoughtful but not extremely deep or revelatory. If you've been a conservative for a while, you won't learn much that you don't alr
Apr 29, 2009 Rhonda rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
Very interesting book by conservative talk-radio host. TONS of good information in here, plus so many quotes...he reviews the Constitution-based values, etc. Chapter topics include: liberty and tyranny, prudence and progress, faith and the founding, federalism, the free market, welfare, immigration, self-preservation, etc.
At the end, he gives his own Conservative Manifesto which makes a lot of sense.
We are SO FAR away from the values our Founding Fathers intended for this country, it's time we
Douglas Wilson
Oct 27, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
This was a very good book, with the exception of some confusions in chapter 10 -- the one on national self-defense. The warfare state gobbles liberty just like the welfare state does. And in terms of competence, why is it that conservatives think that the feds can't run the Post Office, and yet are somehow fully up to the challenge of running Afghanistan?
Adam Wiggins
Mar 04, 2012 Adam Wiggins rated it it was ok
=== Synopsis

The Conservative believes that there is an underlying moral order: an interlocking set of virtues, duties, and rights. The (often unwritten) rules of cooperation that promote the betterment of individual and society are what the author calls "civil society."

Civil society and the moral order are encoded in, and executed through, the collection of culture, language, family, religion, and local, state, and federal government. When these pieces interlock smoothly, it creates maximum pros
Apr 12, 2009 Jason rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Liberty & Tyranny is the current darling of the American conservative movement, and its record-breaking sales (Amazon) and place on the New York Times bestseller’s list is a point of pride for those who believe in the political ideology Levin espouses.
The books presents conservative beliefs, their origin, and contrast with the opposing point of view depicted as the “statist”, who can best be defined as the enemy of freedom and those who desire power over other people through manipulation of
Douglas Stewart
May 07, 2009 Douglas Stewart rated it it was amazing
Every generation is eventually defined, in history, by how they responded to and reacted to the challenges they faced. For better or for worse, everyone from Academia to the typical blue-collar worker will issue the generation, collectively, a grade on their performance. As the people of America remain divided on their opinion of progress inthese confusing times, Mark Levin, a constitutional attorney who served in the Reagan administration, helps the reader simplify the effects of our efforts an ...more
Feb 19, 2010 Robin rated it did not like it
Allow me to summarize this book for you:

Conservative = liberty = good
Non-convservative = tyranny = bad

There. Now you don't have to read this book. I only wish I'd had the luxury of having someone summarize it for me that way.

This was picked for book club. I would not have chosen to read this book. That said, my primary arguments with this book have nothing to do with the author's political views. My problems with this book are based on the ridiculous rhetoric and style of argument. The author co
Feb 26, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it
This was the book club choice for February. In the short synopsis I read on Amazon of this book I determined that this would not be a reading choice ranked high on my enjoyment scale. I decided to be as open minded about this read as I could manage. That said, if you are looking for an objective treatise on conservative politics verses liberal politics this is not it. To paraphrase a friend of mine who posted a review of Levin’s book recently on Goodreads — Conservatives = Saints- Liberals = Dem ...more
Jun 15, 2011 Michael rated it it was ok
I asked a conservative family member to recommend some authors/books on conservative thought and practice. This book came highly recommended and was a decent delivery, though he should probably stick to radio.
As a liberal democrat and a scientist, the first several chapters were fairly painful to read. The subtitle was very well-chosen, it is a manifesto: all opinions intended to be interpreted as facts. Reading the first several chapters always made me think "But why?! What about ___?!" to near
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update page count 3 15 Mar 14, 2016 05:03AM  
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  • Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama
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  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
  • Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government
  • Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning
  • America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It
  • We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future
  • The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World
  • Conservative Victory: Defeating Obama's Radical Agenda
  • The Way Things Ought to Be
  • Power to the People
  • New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR's Economic Legacy Has Damaged America
  • The Roots of Obama's Rage
  • A Slobbering Love Affair: The True (And Pathetic) Story of the Torrid Romance Between Barack Obama and the Mainstream Media
  • Catastrophe
  • Trickle Up Poverty: Stopping Obama's Attack on Our Borders, Economy, and Security
Mark Levin has become one of the hottest properties in Talk radio, his top-rated show on WABC New York is now syndicated nationally by Cumulus Media. He is also one of the top new authors in the conservative political arena. Mark's radio show on WABC in New York City skyrocketed to Number 1 on the AM dial in his first 18 months on the air in the competitive 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM time slot. Mark's book ...more
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“The Conservative does not despise government. He despises tyranny. This is precisely why the Conservative reveres the Constitution and insists on adherence to it.” 72 likes
“The Founders believed, and the Conservative agrees, in the dignity of the individual; that we, as human beings, have a right to live, live freely, and pursue that which motivates us not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights.” 13 likes
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