Michael Stuart Kelly

Old Nick's Guide to Happiness

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Old Nick's Guide to Happiness

Old Nick's Guide to Happiness

Nicholas Dykes has recently joined OL. I am pleased to announce that he has written a novel.

It was just published today.

OldNicksbookcover.jpg

This looks awfully good.

More information to follow.

EDIT: Here's the copy from the back cover:

Jacques, an 18-year-old Anglo-French student, is plunged unwillingly into a life of mystery as the result of a hiking accident in a remote part of Scotland . Who is Nikolai, the taciturn foreigner with bright golden eyes? What on earth is he doing hidden away in such a God-forsaken place? Who is Catriona? What is she up to in her secret laboratory? What does Benevix mean? What do the letters BQLBV stand for? Instead of studying literature at Oxford University as planned, Jacques finds himself whirled away on a philosophical roller-coaster in which everything he thought he knew is first torn to shreds then gradually replaced by a dramatic new view of life. Adventures of the mind are intermingled with the forging of new friendships; with the ups and downs, and joys, of first love; and with physical predicaments so sudden and dangerous that Jacques is forced to draw on reserves of self-reliance and courage he didn't know he had.



"This is a very good book indeed. A major accomplishment …. The plot and characters are engrossing. These are real people, not cardboard cutouts, not flawless robots, but people. There is adventure and danger as well as warm affection and gentle eroticism…. The manuscript abounds with lively descriptions that transport the reader to the locales....

"The philosophical dialogues are a most entertaining way to present such radical ideas… very persuasive. Positively splendid commentary on both Marx and Popper, absolutely on target!

"Personally, I found the book quite inspiring, it gave a little spring to my step. I thought to myself, 'Damn, he's right, it can be done!' The book really is triumphant in its tone and message."


Larry J. Sechrest Ph.D, Professor of Economics, Sul Ross State University , Alpine, Texas


"Bravo! Quite delightful. Old Nick's Guide to Happiness is an engaging adventure on many levels: it captures the mind most of all, but weaves in suspense, diverse characters and humor as well. I enjoyed it immensely."




Peter Saint André, Editor, Monadnock Review, Colorado


"without a doubt the best book I have read since Atlas Shrugged .... An excellent exploration of Objectivist/Libertarian philosophical themes... and so gripping a story, so well-written and easy to read."




Professor Ken Schoolland, Hawaii-Pacific University , author of the world-renowned economics fable,
The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible, currently available in 43 languages



A recent reaction to Old Nick's Guide to Happiness:

"a stunning achievement … so bursting with ideas it could spark a lively debate in a cemetery…. The opening is a grabber! All the action-adventure parts are very well done …. Nikolai …comes across as a real, larger-than-life character – he's the magister throughout … you have succeeded there. The alternation of the plot with the instruction seems very well paced…. It will be read, and read and read, I'm sure of it…. I admire it so much… well done, superbly done …."

Carol Jane Stuart, teacher and sometime literary critic, Toronto , Canada


Nick asked me to provide the following statement from him:

"Anybody interested in further information about Old Nick's Guide to Happiness please contact Nicholas Dykes at lbp2008@ereal.net."

EDIT—IMPORTANT!: John Hospers simply gushed over the book. You can read it here in this thread, or click here.

Michael

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Several people have asked if Old Nick's Guide to Happiness by Nicholas Dykes is available in the US of A.

I apologise for being slow to answer. A) we're having a lot of problems with email locally here in the UK; B) I haven't been on a website for many years and I'm having a bit of difficulty finding my way around.

Yes: the book is available, but only via airmail from the UK as yet. We're working on a US publication, but...

In the meantime, the book is rather expensive due to the cost of airmail postage. If you can bear US$35 including postage and packaging please contact Nicholas on lbp2008@ereal.net with your details. (The first letter is an L, as in LBP, for Lathe Biosas Publishing.)

The good news is that my website is now up and running, though not though Google: one has to wait several weeks while they check everything. The site is still in the course of development and will have much more information soon. Click on

http://www.oldnicksguidetohappiness.co.uk to see how far we've gotten. If you can't get through, email me and I'll send it to you. I know it works when clicking from an email.

Best wishes, Nicholas Dykes

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JOHN HOSPERS PRAISES ~OLD NICK’S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS~

I am delighted to announce that Dr John Hospers, the first Presidential Candidate of the United States Libertarian Party, and author of Libertarianism, the first scholarly study of the modern American Libertarian movement, has warmly praised my new philosophical novel, Old Nick’s Guide to Happiness. Furthermore, he has allowed me to quote freely from his letters and to use them for publicity. I have never felt so honoured and grateful.

Naturally, Dr Hospers, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, one-time friend of Ayn Rand, and author of many well-known books on philosophy – such as Human Conduct and Introduction to Philosophical Analysis – had some criticisms and disagreements. But I think it’s better to let readers figure out for themselves what those might be. Besides, I’d hardly be human if I didn’t choose to focus rather on what Dr Hospers has said in praise:

“Dear Mr Dykes, I LOVE your book …. When I first opened it, little did I know that it would be a long paean to the strength and power of Ayn Rand's ideas. Like her masterpiece Atlas Shrugged, it is a mystery novel in which the solution to the mystery depends on the reader's grasp of philosophical concepts. I know of no other book which evokes the same qualities of excitement and conviction….

“I enjoyed every bit of the reading. When Ayn Rand asked me early in our acquaintance that I liked most about Atlas, I replied, ‘the suspense. It is a wonderful mystery novel, and you don't know the conclusion to the mystery until you read it’….

“Your qualities of narration closely parallel those in Atlas, and kept me absorbed throughout…. Like Rearden in Atlas, Jac was the most vividly depicted character, and Nikolai the most philosophically satisfying (rather like Galt, except that Galt was more a symbol than a living human being ….)

“Our disagreements are fewer than you might imagine, and meanwhile your novel was such an enjoyable experience, I took several days away from other activities just to complete it. But it was well worth it – and as I page through it again, the incidents spring back into my mind with renewed vividness….

“Your book was a very pleasant surprise. It probably does more justice to Ayn Rand's actual views than any other book I am acquainted with…. For that, and for being an enthralling philosophical mystery story much along the lines of Atlas Shrugged, I would give it my highest recommendation.”

Talk about being over the moon! Heel hartelijk bedankt, John!

For further information about the book, reactions from other readers, and how to purchase it, visit my new website: http://www.oldnicksguidetohappiness.co.uk

The site is not yet accessible through Google, they like to check people out. So you have to click on the link above. If that doesn’t work, email me at lbp2008@ereal.net and I’ll send you an email link you can click on.

For the record, Paypal is now fully activated. And I know it works – I just had a Paypal order from New Jersey. So don’t nobody say a bad word about Joizey!

Nicholas Dykes

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Nicholas,

Congratulations on your book!

Also your site looks excellent: clean, elegant.

I did miss an example of the prose from the book. I always check out the book's style, either online or in the store before I buy.

Michael

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Nicholas,

Congratulations on your book!

Also your site looks excellent: clean, elegant.

I did miss an example of the prose from the book. I always check out the book's style, either online or in the store before I buy.

Michael

Many thanks, Michael. If you email me at lbp2008@ereal.net I'll send you a few short extracts. Best, Nicholas

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Nicholas,

Congratulations on your book!

Also your site looks excellent: clean, elegant.

I did miss an example of the prose from the book. I always check out the book's style, either online or in the store before I buy.

Michael

Many thanks, Michael. If you email me at lbp2008@ereal.net I'll send you a few short extracts. Best, Nicholas

Extracts from my book have now been added to the website

http://www.oldnicksguidetohappiness.co.uk

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[quote name='Newberry' post='54815'

Bravo and congratulations on your book, Nick!

--Mindy

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Mindy,

Nick's having trouble with browser-meets-forum (apparently you did in that last post, too), so he asked me to post this for him:

Thanks Mindy!

The book took a long time to see the light of day. I started planning it in the late 1990's and know from a letter I just found that I had decided on the title by Feb. 1999. But it wasn't till the week of 9/11 that I decided to get off my butt and actually get going on it. And, inevitably, there were false starts and a lot of rewriting along the way

When I was in my twenties, I mentioned to a professor of mine at university that what I really wanted to do was write, and he said, 'Well, Mr Dykes, a writer writes.' It took me a long time to figure out that what he meant was: 'Don't talk about it, ~do~ it!'

So I pass that along now as excellent advice to anybody, no matter how young or old: if you have aspirations to write, WRITE!

Best, Nick

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Has anyone on this forum had a chance to read this book for themselves? I'm currently 400 pages into the book. It is phenomenal thus far! It's opened my eyes up on many issues, locally in the US and abroad.

It's easy to read with the book having a conversational tone. It makes it seems as though you are in the room during the many conversations between "Old Nick" and Jac. There are a great number of resources covered in the book, so it's easy to see that Nicholas Dykes has done his homework on this novel.

I plan on opening up a new thread in the coming months (I have other priorities at the moment) after I reread the book. I'm tempted to start each section as a short essay on my personal take as a budding O'ist - essentially to see if I'm getting the gist of it right.

I'd be happy to hear anyone else's take on this great novel.

~ Shane

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Just did a Google search on Nicholas - 340,000 +

Hope this is the start of something great for a great writer :)

~ Shane

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Has anyone on this forum had a chance to read this book for themselves? I'm currently 400 pages into the book. It is phenomenal thus far! It's opened my eyes up on many issues, locally in the US and abroad.

It's easy to read with the book having a conversational tone. It makes it seems as though you are in the room during the many conversations between "Old Nick" and Jac. There are a great number of resources covered in the book, so it's easy to see that Nicholas Dykes has done his homework on this novel.

I plan on opening up a new thread in the coming months (I have other priorities at the moment) after I reread the book. I'm tempted to start each section as a short essay on my personal take as a budding O'ist - essentially to see if I'm getting the gist of it right.

I'd be happy to hear anyone else's take on this great novel.

~ Shane

I've read most of the book, also. (I'm currently on page 340.) My main argument is with the author's anarchism. (And with some of the foundations which lead to that anarchism) Whenever I read something from someone in this wing of libertarianism, I'm left with the lingering image of everyone with two six gun holsters strapped to their waist, and the guns in hand about 20% of the time.

Regards,

Bill P

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Has anyone on this forum had a chance to read this book for themselves? I'm currently 400 pages into the book. It is phenomenal thus far! It's opened my eyes up on many issues, locally in the US and abroad.

It's easy to read with the book having a conversational tone. It makes it seems as though you are in the room during the many conversations between "Old Nick" and Jac. There are a great number of resources covered in the book, so it's easy to see that Nicholas Dykes has done his homework on this novel.

I plan on opening up a new thread in the coming months (I have other priorities at the moment) after I reread the book. I'm tempted to start each section as a short essay on my personal take as a budding O'ist - essentially to see if I'm getting the gist of it right.

I'd be happy to hear anyone else's take on this great novel.

~ Shane

I've read most of the book, also. (I'm currently on page 340.) My main argument is with the author's anarchism. (And with some of the foundations which lead to that anarchism) Whenever I read something from someone in this wing of libertarianism, I'm left with the lingering image of everyone with two six gun holsters strapped to their waist, and the guns in hand about 20% of the time.

Regards,

Bill P

Bill,

My favorite aspect of the book was the conversations. Jac playing Devil's advocate to drive some interesting points home (in my opinion, questions the author had with Ayn's standpoint).

What I truly see this book is a Q&A session between Nicholas and Ayn (Nicholas playing the part of Jac, writer and seeker of knowledge, and Ayn as Nick, holder of knowledge). I find it amusing that Old Nick is Russian. The parallels make me smile.

~ Shane

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Has anyone on this forum had a chance to read this book for themselves? I'm currently 400 pages into the book. It is phenomenal thus far! It's opened my eyes up on many issues, locally in the US and abroad.

It's easy to read with the book having a conversational tone. It makes it seems as though you are in the room during the many conversations between "Old Nick" and Jac. There are a great number of resources covered in the book, so it's easy to see that Nicholas Dykes has done his homework on this novel.

I plan on opening up a new thread in the coming months (I have other priorities at the moment) after I reread the book. I'm tempted to start each section as a short essay on my personal take as a budding O'ist - essentially to see if I'm getting the gist of it right.

I'd be happy to hear anyone else's take on this great novel.

~ Shane

I've read most of the book, also. (I'm currently on page 340.) My main argument is with the author's anarchism. (And with some of the foundations which lead to that anarchism) Whenever I read something from someone in this wing of libertarianism, I'm left with the lingering image of everyone with two six gun holsters strapped to their waist, and the guns in hand about 20% of the time.

Regards,

Bill P

Bill,

My favorite aspect of the book was the conversations. Jac playing Devil's advocate to drive some interesting points home (in my opinion, questions the author had with Ayn's standpoint).

What I truly see this book is a Q&A session between Nicholas and Ayn (Nicholas playing the part of Jac, writer and seeker of knowledge, and Ayn as Nick, holder of knowledge). I find it amusing that Old Nick is Russian. The parallels make me smile.

~ Shane

Replying to Bill P:

Ayn Rand published ~Atlas Shrugged~ in 1957. That is undeniable historical fact. Countless historical societies have lived peacefully without government, one example being the gold mining communities of the 19th century US. That is undeniable historical fact. Yet when someone proposes a purely voluntary society, basing his arguments partly on historical examples such as the above, Bill immediately assumes violence, gun law, etc. History and anthropology do not support your view, Bill.

What is it with Objectivists? They espouse a philosophy which heralds independence as a virtue, but whenever someone starts to think independently -- outside the limited government Objectivist box -- he or she is immediately dismissed or derided no matter how much their views are based on evidence and logic.

Objectivism is a philosophy of ~reason~. Reason only works with knowledge derived from objective reality, also known as ~fact~. And the ~facts~ of reality tell us that the concept of a purely voluntary society is not only proven by historical evidence to be completely valid, it is the only form of society to accord with the Objectivist principle of inviolable individual rights.

Ayn Rand was a great thinker and a great writer. I've been a devoted proponent of her ideas for 40 years. But as I have demonstrated in my essays "Mrs Logic and the Law" and "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government"; and recently in my philosophical novel ~Old Nick's Guide to Happiness~, Ayn Rand was mistaken in her view of government.

Great as Ayn Rand was, we will not advance her cause by defending her where she was wrong.

Nicholas Dykes

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Replying to Bill P:

Ayn Rand published ~Atlas Shrugged~ in 1957. That is undeniable historical fact. Countless historical societies have lived peacefully without government, one example being the gold mining communities of the 19th century US. That is undeniable historical fact. Yet when someone proposes a purely voluntary society, basing his arguments partly on historical examples such as the above, Bill immediately assumes violence, gun law, etc. History and anthropology do not support your view, Bill.

What is it with Objectivists? They espouse a philosophy which heralds independence as a virtue, but whenever someone starts to think independently -- outside the limited government Objectivist box -- he or she is immediately dismissed or derided no matter how much their views are based on evidence and logic.

Objectivism is a philosophy of ~reason~. Reason only works with knowledge derived from objective reality, also known as ~fact~. And the ~facts~ of reality tell us that the concept of a purely voluntary society is not only proven by historical evidence to be completely valid, it is the only form of society to accord with the Objectivist principle of inviolable individual rights.

Ayn Rand was a great thinker and a great writer. I've been a devoted proponent of her ideas for 40 years. But as I have demonstrated in my essays "Mrs Logic and the Law" and "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government"; and recently in my philosophical novel ~Old Nick's Guide to Happiness~, Ayn Rand was mistaken in her view of government.

Great as Ayn Rand was, we will not advance her cause by defending her where she was wrong.

Nicholas Dykes

Nicholas -

Good to hear from you.

I obviously disagree with you. You seem to be persuaded (current human behavior to the contrary) that people can live in modern times without governments. I think you have the prescription for looters running amok.

I do not find your arguments on this question at all persuasive.

By the way - I have greatly enjoyed the book, otherwise, so far.

Bill P

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Replying to Bill P:

Ayn Rand published ~Atlas Shrugged~ in 1957. That is undeniable historical fact. Countless historical societies have lived peacefully without government, one example being the gold mining communities of the 19th century US. That is undeniable historical fact. Yet when someone proposes a purely voluntary society, basing his arguments partly on historical examples such as the above, Bill immediately assumes violence, gun law, etc. History and anthropology do not support your view, Bill.

What is it with Objectivists? They espouse a philosophy which heralds independence as a virtue, but whenever someone starts to think independently -- outside the limited government Objectivist box -- he or she is immediately dismissed or derided no matter how much their views are based on evidence and logic.

Objectivism is a philosophy of ~reason~. Reason only works with knowledge derived from objective reality, also known as ~fact~. And the ~facts~ of reality tell us that the concept of a purely voluntary society is not only proven by historical evidence to be completely valid, it is the only form of society to accord with the Objectivist principle of inviolable individual rights.

Ayn Rand was a great thinker and a great writer. I've been a devoted proponent of her ideas for 40 years. But as I have demonstrated in my essays "Mrs Logic and the Law" and "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government"; and recently in my philosophical novel ~Old Nick's Guide to Happiness~, Ayn Rand was mistaken in her view of government.

Great as Ayn Rand was, we will not advance her cause by defending her where she was wrong.

Nicholas Dykes

Nicholas -

Good to hear from you.

I obviously disagree with you. You seem to be persuaded (current human behavior to the contrary) that people can live in modern times without governments. I think you have the prescription for looters running amok.

I do not find your arguments on this question at all persuasive.

By the way - I have greatly enjoyed the book, otherwise, so far.

Bill P

Thanks Bill, glad I have entertained you a bit at least!

Perhaps when you've finished you could elaborate on your disagreements -- if you've a mind to of course.

If you haven't already read them, I'd strongly recommend Bruce Benson's books. It was he who persuaded me to question the Gov't Ltd position -- after i read his ~Enterprise of Law~ in 1993. Perhaps you might find his academic approach more persuasive.

BTW: EVERYBODY, MY BOOK -- ~OLD NICK'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS ~ -- IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM LAISSEZ-FAIRE BOOKS AT US$19.95.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

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Replying to Bill P:

Ayn Rand published ~Atlas Shrugged~ in 1957. That is undeniable historical fact. Countless historical societies have lived peacefully without government, one example being the gold mining communities of the 19th century US. That is undeniable historical fact. Yet when someone proposes a purely voluntary society, basing his arguments partly on historical examples such as the above, Bill immediately assumes violence, gun law, etc. History and anthropology do not support your view, Bill.

What is it with Objectivists? They espouse a philosophy which heralds independence as a virtue, but whenever someone starts to think independently -- outside the limited government Objectivist box -- he or she is immediately dismissed or derided no matter how much their views are based on evidence and logic.

Objectivism is a philosophy of ~reason~. Reason only works with knowledge derived from objective reality, also known as ~fact~. And the ~facts~ of reality tell us that the concept of a purely voluntary society is not only proven by historical evidence to be completely valid, it is the only form of society to accord with the Objectivist principle of inviolable individual rights.

Ayn Rand was a great thinker and a great writer. I've been a devoted proponent of her ideas for 40 years. But as I have demonstrated in my essays "Mrs Logic and the Law" and "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government"; and recently in my philosophical novel ~Old Nick's Guide to Happiness~, Ayn Rand was mistaken in her view of government.

Great as Ayn Rand was, we will not advance her cause by defending her where she was wrong.

Nicholas Dykes

Nicholas -

Good to hear from you.

I obviously disagree with you. You seem to be persuaded (current human behavior to the contrary) that people can live in modern times without governments. I think you have the prescription for looters running amok.

I do not find your arguments on this question at all persuasive.

By the way - I have greatly enjoyed the book, otherwise, so far.

Bill P

Thanks Bill, glad I have entertained you a bit at least!

Perhaps when you've finished you could elaborate on your disagreements -- if you've a mind to of course.

If you haven't already read them, I'd strongly recommend Bruce Benson's books. It was he who persuaded me to question the Gov't Ltd position -- after i read his ~Enterprise of Law~ in 1993. Perhaps you might find his academic approach more persuasive.

BTW: EVERYBODY, MY BOOK -- ~OLD NICK'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS ~ -- IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM LAISSEZ-FAIRE BOOKS AT US$19.95.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Nicholas -

I've read quite a bit of Rothbard. Does Bruce Benson offer something beyond Rothbard?

Bill P

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Replying to Bill P:

Ayn Rand published ~Atlas Shrugged~ in 1957. That is undeniable historical fact. Countless historical societies have lived peacefully without government, one example being the gold mining communities of the 19th century US. That is undeniable historical fact. Yet when someone proposes a purely voluntary society, basing his arguments partly on historical examples such as the above, Bill immediately assumes violence, gun law, etc. History and anthropology do not support your view, Bill.

What is it with Objectivists? They espouse a philosophy which heralds independence as a virtue, but whenever someone starts to think independently -- outside the limited government Objectivist box -- he or she is immediately dismissed or derided no matter how much their views are based on evidence and logic.

Objectivism is a philosophy of ~reason~. Reason only works with knowledge derived from objective reality, also known as ~fact~. And the ~facts~ of reality tell us that the concept of a purely voluntary society is not only proven by historical evidence to be completely valid, it is the only form of society to accord with the Objectivist principle of inviolable individual rights.

Ayn Rand was a great thinker and a great writer. I've been a devoted proponent of her ideas for 40 years. But as I have demonstrated in my essays "Mrs Logic and the Law" and "The Facts of Reality: Logic and History in Objectivist Debates about Government"; and recently in my philosophical novel ~Old Nick's Guide to Happiness~, Ayn Rand was mistaken in her view of government.

Great as Ayn Rand was, we will not advance her cause by defending her where she was wrong.

Nicholas Dykes

Nicholas -

Good to hear from you.

I obviously disagree with you. You seem to be persuaded (current human behavior to the contrary) that people can live in modern times without governments. I think you have the prescription for looters running amok.

I do not find your arguments on this question at all persuasive.

By the way - I have greatly enjoyed the book, otherwise, so far.

Bill P

Thanks Bill, glad I have entertained you a bit at least!

Perhaps when you've finished you could elaborate on your disagreements -- if you've a mind to of course.

If you haven't already read them, I'd strongly recommend Bruce Benson's books. It was he who persuaded me to question the Gov't Ltd position -- after i read his ~Enterprise of Law~ in 1993. Perhaps you might find his academic approach more persuasive.

BTW: EVERYBODY, MY BOOK -- ~OLD NICK'S GUIDE TO HAPPINESS ~ -- IS NOW AVAILABLE FROM LAISSEZ-FAIRE BOOKS AT US$19.95.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Nicholas -

I've read quite a bit of Rothbard. Does Bruce Benson offer something beyond Rothbard?

Bill P

Yes indeed: a lot more evidence, different kinds of evidence, and lots of interesting analysis. Most importantly, from your point of view, his chief interest is in how to achieve a voluntary society in modern times. I'd say it was a must read for anybody, regardless of their point of view. Best, N

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Congratulations on your achievement! It sounds interesting. I will order it when I have the money to spare.

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If the brief and discontinuous excerpts on the Old Nick's web site are indicative of the book's writing, the superlatives from Hospers, Schoolland and others are puzzling.

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