The Discovery of Freedom

Source: The Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane

With new forewords by Roger Lea MacBride and Hans F. Sennholz

The link above goes to a digital copy of Rose Wilder Lane’s book, in free download form, that you may read online.

With this 4th of July drawing to a close, Rose Wilder Lane’s, book on individual liberty seemed like a perfect way to end this day.  Often I stumble across great books to read while reading other books, articles online, or through people recommending books to me.   A treasure trove of great books can be found in the footnotes and in the index in many non-fiction books.   I am constantly jotting  down titles and know that I will never read all the books I’d like to, but still I keep adding more to my list.

The bio information on Lane below is from Wikipedia and her book, The Discovery of Freedom.

Rose Wilder Lane takes you on a fascinating journey of, not only world history, but she gives you a passenger’s view, painting the pictures of her adventures so captivatingly, that you feel like you are right there beside her.  She relates many  keen and deeply insightful observations from her vast world travels, as an American journalist in the early 1900s, giving you insights into volatile historical times from the end of WWI through WWII.  She even traveled to Russia in the 1920s, after the Bolsheviks took over.  Although, like many American media types and academics of her time, she dabbled at supporting and believing in the Bolshevik revolution, she relates her visit with communal farmers and how they showed her why the Soviet experiment would be one of expanding governmental tyranny and ruthless control over the people.

Lane’s mother was Laura Ingalls Wilder of Little House on the Prairie fame and that American pioneer spirit shines through Lane’s writing as well.  Coming from a childhood filled with many hardships, poverty and moves throughout the American Midwest, as her parents struggled to survive as pioneer farmers, Lane knew deprivation and struggles just for the bare necessities of life.  Through adversity she learned how to survive and be self-reliant, a theme that runs constant through her book.

With an endless supply of true American grit and determination,  Lane went off into the world and started working at age 17,  as a telegrapher for Western Union.  With no means to attend college, she studied on her own, learned several languages and began writing.  She was one of the highest paid journalists in the country, long before the women’s rights movement.

Later in life, Lane became a part of the intellectual trust that fueled the 20th century libertarian movement.  Imagine this, she was fighting against Social Security and the New Deal, arguing that Social Security is a ponzi scheme before it was passed into law.

While her life, in and of itself, makes for a very interesting read, her book, The Discovery of Freedom, will give you pause to think long and hard about our unique American attempt at freedom-loving people throwing off a king and instead  sitting down and forming a government that isn’t about controlling the people, but about protecting the people’s liberty and giving them the opportunity to attempt a government “of, by and for the people”.

America is unique in human history and yes, we are an exceptional nation.  Lane  speaks to the heart of the beliefs enshrined in our Declaration of Independence – individual liberty, all men are created equal and equal rights under the law.

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