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Real Dissent: A Libertarian Sets Fire to the Index Card of Allowable Opinion

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  36 reviews

Nothing makes traditional left and right kiss and make up faster than when they're faced with an articulate libertarian. Avert your eyes from this dangerous extremist, citizen! Government is composed of wise public servants who innocently pursue the common good!

In Real Dissent, Tom Woods demolishes some of the toughest critics of libertarianism
Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published October 14th 2014 (first published October 9th 2014)
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4.15  · 
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 ·  392 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Patrick S.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a fan of Tom Woods and his podcast, this is what I would expect from him in a book that gives some brief glances into libertarian/classic liberalism stance with a mixture of Austrian economics for funsies thrown in.

If you've listened to Wood's podcast there won't be anything really new or groundbreaking depending on how far back you've listened. However, having the material written down and able to be referenced alone makes this worth it. The book follows in the footsteps of Ron Paul's "Liber
In most presidential elections, 2016 being an obvious outlier, Americans are presented with that most exhilarating of choices: a career bureaucrat-politician wearing a red tie, and a career bureaucrat-politician wearing a blue tie. Coke or Pepsi, behold the variety! Tom Woods contends that the range of media-approved opinion available to Americans today is small enough to fit on an index card -- one that should be set fire to. Real Dissent is written as the match. The book collects over a decade ...more
Shane Hawk
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, government
A collection of articles, blog posts, and interviews from Tom Woods partitioned into 54 easily navigable chapters. At around 350~ pages this was an easy read within two days. Woods holds four academic degrees--BA from Harvard, master's, M.Phil, and Ph.D from Columbia. He's written about a dozen books both published through large houses and by himself. His podcast has over 1,000 episodes. He's also appeared on just about every political channel you can think of. He's very well-researched and poss ...more
Mark Geise
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
“Real Dissent”, the latest offering by Tom Woods, is a disparate collection of articles, speeches, and transcripts of interviews that Woods has written, given, and conducted over the past ~7 years. Woods, as usual, projects a pure version of libertarianism and is not afraid to disrupt the status quo. His work to publicize the Austrian view of the 2008 financial crisis and nullification is extremely important; he has presented here plenty more information on these topics. What holds this back fro ...more
Emily Domitrovic hamburg
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
First, I love everything that Tom Woods is about these days. Namely, the subtitle of this book: Burning up the tiny index card of allowable opinion.

You should never be afraid or lose your curiosity of where the truth may lead you. Tom guides you down that path with this collection of essays that tackle some of the hot topics among libertarians (like auditing/ending the Federal Reserve) as well as ones that may be less familiar (such as nullification).

As a Christian who holds libertarian politica
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Devoted believers in liberty
Recommended to Brian by: N/A
Thomas Woods does a relatively thorough job of debunking many common beliefs from the "Index Card of Allowable Opinion." It is interesting to see how he links his presentations from various public forums. The book includes transcripts, for example, from his Tom Woods show, and other essays he has published, not to mention references to his other various undertakings. It feels a much like a mosaic of his already published ideas rather than a novel tome.

This is a book for libertarians in the most
Elijiah Thompson
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
As someone who has recently developed a desire to learn more about political philosophy, government and economics, there are a handful of libertarian thinkers to choose from.

As a listener of Woods' podcast, I always appreciate his approach to complex issues and hard questions, and this book is exactly what I expected. Answering tough questions and criticisms concisely and effectively, Real Dissent offers a more in depth look at the libertarian political perspective from a philosophical side (dis
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Tom Woods is a libertarian who is well credentialed and a vehement opponent of both the current political Left and Right. Some good points and economic concepts were offered in this book and even some which I will continue to further entertain and inquire. I admire his efforts rooted in philosophy, economics, and history (which is more to say than many other academic pundits) but this book, in particular, fell short.

Real Dissent is a self-published hodgepodge of interviews, speeches, and rebutt
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is an interesting collection of speeches, writings, and interviews that truly does dissent from allowable opinion.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: econ


Among the worst aspects of the collapse of traditional conservatism is that my children will grow up in a world in which vulgar and belligerent nationalism will be presented to them as the alternative to leftism.

To the extent that the market plays less of a role in society, to the very same extent do arbitrariness and force take its place. If the free interaction of property owners is not permitted to determine the terms on which individuals will interact with each other, the barrel of a
Stefan Matias
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a Libertarian, I really respect Tom Woods' diligence and dedication. 12 books, over 1200 podcast episodes, frequent lectures, etc. In this book, he puts together a variety of his texts and interviews over the years according to its themes. He outlines his stances and how they stray from the so-called "index card of allowable opinion". Such stances are anti-war, anti-state, pro-market, nullification (on what it means and his answers to objections can be found here: https://www.libertyclassroom ...more
Brad Harris
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
this book was very thought-provoking informative about many subjects that I felt I already knew about as well as ones that interest me greatly. dr. Tom Woods does a wonderful job at assembling the information into bite-size chapters that are thorough in their information yet digestible and their length. the variety of topics is wide although I wish it were a little bit wider. I'm already a fan of Tom Woods and I know that I already like his writing style in his opinion but this book especially s ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
A truly bad boo

I don't know what as re disappointing the content or the writing style. The topic seemed like something worth reading, but I was unable to gain away insight from the book. Read Walter Williams, or Thomas Sowell or almost anyone else. Don't waste your time on this book
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Listened to the audiobook. With Tom Woods narrating, it's exactly what you'd expect. It was a little hard to follow at times, however, especially because the audiobook doesn't put the chapter title next to the chapter number.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fans of the Tom Woods Show podcast would be doing themselves a great disservice by not reading Real Dissent. Reading this book will give you the firepower to combat your neocon acquaintances with the true facts of conservative and libertarian thought.
Stephen Ferguson
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great primer on Libertarian issues.

Enjoyed the book very much. Informed me of where to look for more information on this important topic. We are also now looking into Ron Paul Homeschool. Thanks so much for the book!
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tom Woods has a knack for relating libertarian issues in a way the average reader can understand. Well worth the read.
Alex Glase
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was an excellent book, but I felt it jumped around a little too much and made some points not incorrect, but not essential to the thesis.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of the author. The book is a good collection og articles. However, it is very focused on domestic US issues and somewhat fragmented (being a collection og articles rather than a treatise).
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-audio-books
A fun ride with Tom, who is humorous and clear throughout, offering concrete points and explanations to back up his views on how people should organise for the common good, private property, the role of the market and other first-order questions.
Woods effectively and humourously shoots down statist anachronisms and clumsy political assumptions with precision, offering realistic alternatives. An engaging primer and useful for correcting annoyingly frequent misrepresentations of libertarians and
Oct 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. If you're a libertarian, or want to know more about libertarians or what they think, this is a fantastic place to start. If you want to hear some opinions about the world that you won't find in conventional media, this is the book to read. There is discussion about war, the US's war machine, nullification, the market, how the media shapes the discussion about politics, and all kinds of other fantastic topics. Even if you do fall within the mainstream political spectrum, it ...more
Kyle Labosky
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Woods is a Christian and passionate libertarian. The standout feature of this book is its hard-hitting nature and biting sarcasm. Although Tom has the intellectual abilities of a Mises or Rothbard, he lacks their tendency to put you to sleep. This strength derives from what this book is-a collection of Tom's replies to libertarianism's critics. This makes it another great book to recommend to those new to libertarian thinking, since the majority of the book is not spent delineating all of ...more
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: economic-liberty
Thomas Woods has made some sound and vitally interesting arguments against war and the state and in favor of liberty and its preservation. You will, however, be hard pressed to find more than an "Index Cards" worth of any argument in this book.

"Real Dissent" is a collection of articles, interviews, and blog posts that help one catch up on what Woods has been doing over the past few years. There are constant references to his and other's works but he uses only glosses of these to support his view
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, history
This book from Tom Woods covers a lot of ground, which is both its strength and drawback. As a strength, Woods lays out a libertarian perspective on a wide range of topics, mostly in response to the arguments of others. It is very readable, yet sufficiently deep. As a drawback, because it seems to be a collection of essays and articles, it lacks continuity as it goes from chapter to chapter, even within distinct parts. It is a good book for someone new to libertarian thought or for someone who w ...more
Jim Moore
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Engaging, thoughtful and provocative. He consistently defines "libertarianism" as "non-aggression", and he's at his best when he's talking about both what he understands that to mean, and how that contrasts with mainstream ("conservative" and "progressive") philosophy.

Lots of great references to deeper resources.

At times it can get a little repetitive, especially when he's getting snarky. Given that he's defending an oft-attacked position, the obvious frustration is understandable, but it can ge
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a good "libertarianism in a nutshell" book without being a "libertarianism in a nutshell" book. As a collection of writings and interviews, Woods hits on all the major arguments for and against classical liberalism without holding the readers hand and guiding them through a checklist of dictates.
If you have family or friends who have the wrong end of the stick about what classical liberalism is (and isn't), this book would be an excellent primer for them.
Douglas R McDowell
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great read !

Woods' new book is an instant classic. Clearly written and easily understood, he makes cogent arguments without sinking to rhetoric and name calling. Even if one disagrees with his point of view they would be hard pressed to go negative on Mr. Woods. This book is a compilation of interviews and articles and it's put together in a organized concise manner. Mr. Woods knocks this one out of the park.
Robert Heckner
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is a masterpiece. It stands as one of the greatest references for modern libertarian (/anarcho-capitalist) thinking yet written. Tom Woods has created a towering work that proves that Woods is (in the words of Judge Andrew P. Napolitano), "the smartest guy in the room." Real Dissent is indispensable in the library of modern liberty.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Tom Woods is a very articulate and well-informed Libertarian. I got a lot of great info out of this book, and Woods decimates many arguments put forth to Libertarians and Libertarianism. I would have rated this higher, but I found certain sections a bit dry. Also, his sarcasm can be grating at times.
Nick Lincoln
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics, comment, 2016
Good in parts (especially bits on failings of The Fed), this book is very (duh!) US-centric. Even as someone who has a decent knowledge of American history and politics I found parts of it hard work.

Woods' podcast (30 minutes or so of daily, bite-size libertarian banter) is easier to consume.
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Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is a senior fellow of the Mises Institute and host of The Tom Woods Show, which releases a new episode every weekday. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard and his master’s, M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Woods has appeared on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Network, C-SPAN, and Bloomberg Television, among other outlets, and has been a ...more
“Behavior that Christians would never support in any other context suddenly becomes perfectly acceptable, even praiseworthy, simply because the state has declared that a war is under way. (That’s what Voltaire meant when he said, “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”)” 6 likes
“Ron Paul is crazy,” the guardians of respectable opinion assured us. What they really meant was that Ron Paul defied traditional political categories and advanced positions outside the Clinton-to-Romney continuum. People whose minds have been formed in ideological prison camps for 12 years have learned to confine themselves within an approved range of possibilities. Tax me 35 percent or tax me 40 percent, but don’t raise the possibility that taxation itself may be a moral issue rather than just a matter of numbers. Either bomb or starve that poor country, but don’t tell me there might be a third option. The Fed should loosen or the Fed should tighten, but don’t tell me our money supply doesn’t need to be supervised by a central planner. As always, confine yourself to the three square inches of intellectual terrain the New York Times has graciously allotted to you.” 6 likes
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