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The new single-volume edition of Conceived in Liberty is here! After so many years of having to juggle four volumes, the Mises Institute has finally put it all together in a single book. This makes it easier to listen to and makes clearer just what a contribution this book is to the history of libertarian literature.

There's never been a better time to remember the revolutionary and even libertarian roots of the American founding, and there's no better guide to what this means in the narrative of the colonial period than Murray Rothbard. For anyone who thinks of Murray Rothbard as only an economic theorist or political thinker, this giant book is something of a surprise. It is probably his least known treatise. It offers a complete history of the colonial period of American history, a period lost to students today, who are led to believe American history begins with the US Constitution.

Rothbard's ambition was to shed new light on colonial history and show that the struggle for human liberty was the heart and soul of this land from its discovery through the culminating event of the American Revolution. These volumes are a tour de force, enough to establish Rothbard as one of the great American historians.

This book is a detailed narrative history of the struggle between liberty and power, as we might expect, but it is more. Rothbard offers a third alternative to the conventional interpretive devices. Against those on the right who see the American Revolution as a "conservative" event and those on the left who want to invoke it as some sort of protosocialist uprising, Rothbard views this period as a time of accelerating libertarian radicalism. Through this prism, Rothbard illuminates events as never before.

The volumes were brought out in the 1970s, but the odd timing and uneven distribution prevented any kind of large audience. They were beloved only by a few specialists, and sought after by many....

©2011 Ludwig von Mises Institute (P)2008 Ludwig von Mises Institute

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Great story read by a subpar narrator

Rothbard's monumental four-volume history of the history of the north-american colonies and their struggle towards independence is certainly one of the most ambitious and refreshing historical books I've ever read or listened to. He handily challenges the classical interpretations of the american revolution and dispels many of the still popular myths surrounding the great personalities of the time.
For those with a distaste for reading the author's personal opinion on historical events this might not be the book of choice, but for all others - even those who might not agree with Rothbard's interpretation - this book offers a refreshing new viewpoint on a somewhat stale and overcovered topic.
However:
- The format 'audio book' is not really suited for a narrative of 1700 pages
- One sorely misses the pictures, maps, tables etc. of the print version: especially if one does not possess comprehensive knowledge of north-american geography, state borders etc.
- Floy Lilley's narrative style takes getting used to: she reads slow and overemphasizes with her voice her own/the author's indignation/approval of certain historical events.