cover image Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty

Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty

James Bovard. Palgrave MacMillan, $85 (420pp) ISBN 978-0-312-10351-4

A critic of governmental hypocrisy in his exposes The Fair Trade Fraud and The Farm Fiasco , Bovard over-extends himself in this libertarian broadside against government interventions such as school condom-giveaway programs and the minimum wage. He makes worthy points, however, arguing, for example, that only those who can afford to sue can protect their property rights and that the need for drunk-driving checkpoints results from police incompetence in controlling previously convicted drunken drivers. But Bovard proffers sweeping statements like ``Civil rights law has gone from letting black people sit at luncheon counters to entitling people with infectious diseases to prepare and serve them lunch.'' Another shocker: ``The federal tax system has turned individuals into sharecroppers of their own lives .'' A bit less bluster and more discretion would have produced a more effective polemic. (Apr.)