Who is he: James Bovard is the author of nine books, including Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), The Bush Betrayal (2004), and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994). He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean. He is a contributing editor for American Conservative magazine and The Freeman and a regular contributor to Freedom Daily magazine.
The Wall Street Journal called Bovard "the roving inspector general of the modern state," the New York Times tagged him "an anti-czar Czar," and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a "one-man truth squad." His 1994 book Lost Rights received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the Freedom Fund Award from the Firearms Civil Rights Defense Fund of the National Rifle Association.
James Bovard's writings have been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General and the chiefs of the US International Trade Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, US Agency for International Development, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by the Sierra Club, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Post.
Born at the right time and possessed the proper talent – a combination of acute intelligence, skeptical humor and investigative discipline – James Bovard is a leading libertarian writer and free-market thinker.
Pre-Internet, of course, there were only a few voices explaining what had gone wrong, and James Bovard's was among the most unique. He delighted in taking on hypocritical bureaucrats and their programs and then confronting them with discordant truths. The mass of contrary evidence he turned up could make a reader's ears ring. As the years go by, the full measure of his efforts will gradually reveal themselves and his compositions will be increasingly admired.
Background: James Bovard was raised in the mountains of Virginia and was radicalized by watching watching Nixon devastate the economy with wage and price controls at the same time he took the US off of the gold standard. Bovard came to distrust politicians, a perspective that was enhanced by his own dealings with government agencies such as Virginia Highway Department, where he spent a summer "goofing off."
Bovard attended Virginia Tech off and on for two years and then dropped out. Around this time, he sold his first article to the New York Times Op-Ed page, at 22. Since then, he has been publishing books and articles regularly. His first effort used a kind of Swiftian approach to ask whether conscription (as opposed to elections) would give us a better quality of congressmen.
|09/25/11||James Bovard on His Famous Libertarian Books, America's Failing Freedom and 'Why Life Is too Short to Drink Bad Beer'|