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The Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  168 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
This is a book of timeless importance. It must be read by anyone who is seriously interested in the heritage of liberty--not just in America, but the world over. And reading it is a joy. Lane, who is said to have written the book 'at white heat,' was at once a brilliant thinker and a gifted storyteller.

This book is a withering attack on statism, nationalism, and what Nobel
Paperback, 262 pages
Published 1993 by Fox & Wilkes (first published 1943)
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Daniel Villines
Oct 11, 2014 Daniel Villines rated it did not like it
The idea put forward by Rose Wilder Lane has merit. I think most people would agree that limited government interference in one's life leads to an increased ability to survive and thrive in this world. It's and idea that acknowledges that government cannot understand any one person's individual needs so laws and regulations that try to shape the behaviors and actions of an individual are generally a bad thing. Had Lane simply presented this idea, its successes and its failures, there would have ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Zinger rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
I didn’t give this book a 5 only because if wasn’t polished, which I believe is the same complaint Laura Wilder Lane has.

This book really lays it out in black and white, in clear descriptions, of why nations are cursed with poverty and stagnation, or prosper and flourish. The “Old World” believed that people needed authority to exist and that government is the great human parent that grants permissions and takes care of people. The “New World” exposed that belief as a lie. Individuals do not nee
Oct 24, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
There were so many moments I wanted to leap online and give this book 5 stars as a high-five, so many times I looked around for paper to jot down a great quote or insight. It was like an entire book expanding on one of my favorite book quotes, from Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, about how the state and society don't exist, save as the manifestation of the acts of responsible individuals, with whom responsibility and blame must solely lie. Despite having internalized this ...more
Aug 09, 2008 Motherhouse rated it it was amazing
This is the quintessential work on the origins and nature of freedom, of the split between American and European thinking on government and liberty. If you’ve read Mainspring of Human Progress, The Five Thousand Year Leap or anything else on American government or freedom you need to forget them and read this foundational book (exceptions: Constitution, Declaration and Federalist Papers) then build back up again with the other stuff.
The genius of this work is the soil it grew out of; Lane repre
Feb 11, 2010 Tammie rated it liked it
I'm excited to be reading this book! Rose Wilder Lane was the daughter of Laura Ingals Wilder! Rose was leaning toward socialism at one point in her life. Then went Europe as a writer for the Red Cross just after World War I and had quite the Paradigm shift! Very excited to read it all!!!!
Sean Rosenthal
Interesting Quotes:

"Men in office do not use their energy productively; that is not their function. Their function is to use human energy as force to stop the uses of human energy that a majority does not approve, or at least does not defend. Men in government must take the wealth they consumer, from the wealth that productive men create."

-Rose Wilder Lane, the Discovery of Freedom

"From Sultan to slave, every good Moslem lived in submission to the Unknowable, as Spartans submitted to the Law of
Oct 14, 2012 Cliff rated it really liked it
Essential reading ... if flawed. The book appears to me to be a collection of essays that are collected without sufficient editorial oversight to make them read more as one work. There is an awkward repetition and lack of coherent organization that makes it somewhat off-putting if taken as one long read, but when treated as many shorter works, most of the segments are, in themselves, profound. The author was a journalist (and a novelist) so there are no citations for her warrants, making it hard ...more
Doug Daley
Jul 13, 2015 Doug Daley rated it it was amazing
While not a perfect book (it could have used a little more aggressive editor) this book was an excellent reminder of where freedom and human rights come from, as well as the role government plays in both defending and infringing upon those rights. Plus, it came as a pleasant surprise that anything good could come from Little House On The Prairie. Yes, Rose Wilder Lane is baby Rose from Little House On The Prairie, half pint's daughter. I would recommend this books to friends and family.
Jan 16, 2013 Tom rated it really liked it
Impressive argument for human freedom and a compelling frame in which to view the world and society's history. I would give it five star but some of the nuts and bolts of the history is incorrect and years later the author recognized this and she actually regretted the work. However this absolutely does not take away from the message and the beautiful delivery.
Brian Ogstad
Aug 11, 2015 Brian Ogstad rated it it was amazing
A great book written in 1943(?) detailing mans struggle against authority... in essence, the same story Larken Rose tells in The Most Dangerous Superstition.
Oct 11, 2012 Jeannine rated it really liked it
Very slow start and almost gave up half way through. I am very glad I perservered! The second half is wonderful, insightful and spooky with how accurate it is looking at today.
David Lapham
Jan 03, 2014 David Lapham rated it it was amazing
I wish this book and Rose Wilder Lane was better known. This book articulated the reasoning behind us who are liberty minded.
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Apr 05, 2007
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Rose Wilder Lane (December 5, 1886, De Smet, Dakota Territory – October 30, 1968, Danbury, Connecticut) was an American journalist, travel writer, novelist, and political theorist. She is noted (with Ayn Rand and Isabel Paterson) as one of the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement.
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