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Book Review: Americas Choice: Twilights Last Gleaming or Dawns Early Light? by James R. Evans

NOVEMBER 01, 1981 by EDMUND OPITZ

 

Book Review: America’s Choice: Twilight’s Last Gleaming or Dawn’s Early Light? by James R. Evans
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty – November 1981
by Edmund A. Opitz

(The Fisher Institute, 6350 LBJ Freeway, Suite 183E, Dallas, Texas 75240)
142 pages • $11.95 cloth

Jim Evans is a businessman. That’s his occupation. His preoccupation is human liberty, and for many years he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the free society-free economy philosophy. He has lectured widely and frequently, he has appeared on radio and television, and now we have his second book. Give us a thousand businessman like Evans, and we’d soon have ten thousand more—and the nation would regain its health.

It may have been The Foundation (FEE) that, years ago, turned Jim Evans on—as he generously says in the book’s dedication—but it’s his own steam that keeps him going now, working toward a new birth of liberty.

His book is crammed with pertinent factual information, which he buttresses with solid chains of reasoning and striking examples. A most convincing combination. In eighteen concise chapters Evans (a) presents an eloquent statement of our American heritage, (b) explodes the myths back of the anti-free economy stance, (c) reveals the extent to which we have implemented the ten points of The Communist Manifesto, (d) writes an expert critique of majoritarianism—and much more.

This is a citizen’s manual of freedom, not merely an exposition of the freedom philosophy. The conscientious reader, hooked on liberty, is bound to ask, “But what can I do?” And the book answers with a list of eight things any person can and should do, and ten organizations who can help him do them. The exceptional reader may even become a writer—like Jim Evans—and the American dream will take on new substance.

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November 1981

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Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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