Wĭthûr Wē by Matthew Bruce Alexander
Wĭthûr Wē by Matthew Bruce Alexander

Over at Ars Gratia Libertatis (Art for the Sake of Liberty), ADUCKNAMEDJOE has a list of what he considers to be the five best free libertarian novels. The first novel of our very own Matthew Alexander made the list.

  1. Alongside Night by J. Neil Schulman
  2. Wĭthûr Wē by Matthew Alexander (Help out the author and Prometheus Unbound by buying a copy.)
  3. Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt (Help out the Mises Institute by buying a physical or digital copy.)
  4. And Then There Were None by Eric Frank Russel
  5. A Lodging of Wayfaring Men by Paul A. Rosenberg

ADUCKNAMEDJOE also throws in as a bonus a free libertarian short story, “Lippidleggin’ by F. Paul Wilson, about circumventing food prohibition laws. Head on over to Ars Gratia Libertatis to read his descriptions of these stories.

What do you think of the items on the list? Is anything missing?


Also via Ars Gratia Libertatis, a couple of videos on the importance of art and culture for liberty:

J. Neil Schulman’s speech at Libertopia 2010

John Stossel on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, talking about the Atlas Shrugged movie

Learn out more about Ars Gratia Libertatis.

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About the Author

Geoffrey Allan Plauché Executive Editor

Geoffrey is an Aristotelian-Liberal political philosopher, an adjunct instructor for Buena Vista University, the founder and executive editor of Prometheus Unbound, and the webmaster of The Libertarian Standard. His work has appeared in Libertarian Papers, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, the Journal of Value Inquiry, and Transformers and Philosophy. He lives in Edgewood, KY with his wife and two children.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Andy Cleary December 8, 2011 @ 3:08 pm | Link

    Schulman is an IP Nazi, so I’m surprised as hell that he is giving away his book. Are you sure? His author page on amazon.com has him blathering about IP…

    I’ve read the last book, A Gathering of Wayfaring Men. It is horrible, and I say that as someone trying to wrote libertarian fiction myself and realizing how hard it is. He is still horrible. And while the story contains an agorist plot, it also contains some other wacky stuff that has nothing to do with libertarianism. But mostly, the author’s writing is just horrible. I think there are about a score of places where main characters “weep in joy”. Gimme a break.

    I really liked Withur We and that led me to talking to its author and joining a writer’s group with him, so maybe I’m no longer so objective. But it really explores AnCap ideas more than any other book I’ve read.

    I’ve never heard of the other two but would like to see a brief review before investing the time to do so.

    • Geoffrey Allan Plauché December 8, 2011 @ 3:32 pm | Link

      Yeah, Schulman is giving Alongside Night away for free in pdf format on his site. Go check it out. The Kindle version is $6.99 on Amazon.com. Is there no epub version?

      If you listen to that video, if I heard correctly, he’s apparently in talks to make a movie based on the novel with Kevin Sorbo as one of the leads.

    • Aducknamedjoe December 9, 2011 @ 1:14 am | Link

      Yes, Schulman is giving away Alongside Night (he’s making a little bit off of some ads on the front cover of the PDF) and it’s already been downloaded around 300,000 times.

      I tend to agree with Andy on Wayfaring Men, the writing style, while at times clear, can often get pretty wince-worthy.

      Withur We was an incredibly pleasant surprise and I can’t recommend it enough (once you get past the first 100 pages).

      As for the other two, And Then There Were None really is such a quick read you should just spend 40 minutes and do it, and Hazlitt’s piece has tons of reviews out there (its Amazon page has 6) and it’s a classic. Well worth the time investment.

      Andy, would also love to learn about the fiction you’re writing. Will it be out soon?

      • Andy Cleary December 13, 2011 @ 4:12 pm | Link

        Will my fiction be out soon? Nope. I’m an amateur hack trying to write his “novel”.

        FWIW, it’s an anarcho-libertarian setting basically. I avoid science fiction by setting it in a period of about 25 years surrounding the present day, as I feel like science fiction gets in the way of allowing people to imagine a real AL society. That’s really my goal: to make the concept less “unknown” and thus less fear-inducing. I’m not after the theory or the philosophy; I’m after believable predictions of what might evolve. I’m also not so interested in the “revolution” part: I’ll have to cover how things got this way, but I hope that to be mostly a flashback/prelude. I think others have done dystopian literature well, I think others have done revolutionary literature well, but what is missing for me is the “ok, so what happens *after* the revolution? Is it really “better”?” The few efforts I’ve seen along these lines are either so science fiction as to be unrecognizable (L Niel Smith) or don’t match my predictions of what society would be like (Smith sits here as well, with his focus on guns and violence; Stephenson’s attempts in Snow Crash and The Diamond Age are also more violent than I think the world would be and suffer from the same scifi problem).
        Instead, my novel will focus on things like: why and how do private institutions rise to fill in the gaps in the services and goods (mostly the former) that the state used to provide (if poorly)? What kind of additional societal structure will evolve? How will people align and identify themselves when they no longer have “the state” as their dominant identity? Why, in terms of believable human decisions, will we not see the rise of the various disaster-scenarios that folks envision: the mafia becomes a protection agency and runs roughshod over the populace, the “rich” will oppress and exploit the common-man, corporations will become international despots without the oversight of the state, wealth inequality will rise and we’ll become a class-based society complete with mass underaccess to food, education, and health for the poor, etc.

        So it’s an ambitious attempt, particularly for someone who hasn’t written before. I’ve been working on this for about 18 months, but I suspect that most of the text I’ve written will be thrown away before I’m done, as the conception of the novel keeps evolving (and my knowledge of writing keeps increasing).

        FWIW, the portion of the world that I’m writing about “becomes anarcho-libertarian/capitalist” by the viral spread of a contract/promise that some college students agree to to treat each other “peacefully”. This basically provides a “Non-aggression principle” type basis, and then the weakening of the state happens internally as people realize that the jobs they are carrying out as part of the state are incompatible with their agreement, and some start to choose not to do them. It’s important to my theme to show that a “libertarian world” does not have to be populated with self-conscious and self-identifying “libertarians”, because I don’t think that will ever happen: libertarianism as a political movement just isn’t all that powerful. However, *peace* is, I think, quite powerful: very few people voluntarily participate in violence, at least if they realize they are doing so (they generally don’t realize that the state is by definition violence). I don’t really posit that this idea would actually change the world, but it’s fiction, and I hope to at least be as convincing as possible that people might make these choices.

        Feel free to comment on any aspects of the planned book for good or ill. I’d rather hear those comments now than after I wrote it. 😉

        The writing group helps keep me motivated and will provide support if I ever actually get to the point of submitting some chapters to them. Hopefully I can conclude this at some point.

        Feel free to give your

        • Aducknamedjoe February 7, 2012 @ 1:25 am | Link


          I like the “peace” idea, but I wonder where the conflict in the novel will come from? It seems authors like Neal Stephenson include violence to add suspense and conflict to their novels, thus making the plots more interesting. I think you’ll have to work hard to maintain reader engagement if you’re dealing with the world after the revolution. Not saying it’s not possible, but you’ll have to get creative (for instance John C. Wright’s Golden Age Trilogy takes place in a peaceful Libertarian galactic society, but deals with murder and violence that occurs within it when statists seek to gain control).

  • Troy Camplin January 16, 2012 @ 6:05 pm | Link

    How about free libertarian poetry?
    Thyme and Time Again

  • aducknamedjoe October 2, 2019 @ 5:46 pm | Link

    FYI I’ve updated this list to be 23 free libertarian novels now! https://www.artforliberty.com/best-free-libertarian-novels/


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