The University of Buckingham Press

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Explaining Libertarianism

Jan Lester

This book’s four main theses:

(1) Interpersonal liberty requires an explicit, pre-propertarian, purely factual, theory.

(2) Liberty is—and need only be—morally desirable in systematic practice, not in every logically possible case. In practice, there is no clash between the two main moral contenders: rights and consequences.

(3) It is logically impossible to justify, ground, or support any theory of liberty or its applications. Theories can only be explained, criticised, and defended within conjectural frameworks.

(4) The state is inherently authoritarian and also negative-sum. It reduces welfare overall, with the losses compounding over time. Libertarian anarchic order is the positive-sum solution to illiberal political chaos.

"One typical snippet from this extremely interesting and trenchant book is this: ‘There is no "rich libertarian problem". But there is a confused-socialist problem.’ The ‘problems’ that so many authors purport to find in libertarianism are problems in those authors’ ill-considered formulations of what they claim to be criticizing. Lester straightens them out, and in the process shows that the alleged objections aren’t objections at all.’s rewarding reading."

Jan Narveson, author of The Libertarian Idea

“J C Lester wrote the ground-breaking libertarian book Escape from Leviathan, which expounds and defends the non-normative conjecture that interpersonal liberty, general welfare, and market anarchy are compatible. In this new book, Dr. Lester subjects various accounts of libertarianism to a thorough philosophical dissection and also confronts some of his critics in a clear, engaging, and cogent manner. This shows the power of his combination of critical rationalism and his own theory of libertarianism.”

Ray Scott Percival is the author of The Myth of the Closed Mind: Explaining Why and How People are Rational

"J C Lester is the most acute contemporary thinker on the fundamentals of libertarian philosophy. In the now-classic Escape from Leviathan, he shook libertarian theory loose from traditional assumptions. His iconoclastic claim that liberty can and must be theorized independently of self-ownership and property and yet implies them in practice has proved to be remarkably robust and fecund. In this new work, Lester dispatches his theoretical opponents with all the verve and ruthlessness of Sabatini’s Scaramouche."

David Ramsay Steele, author of From Marx to Mises and Atheism Explained


ISBN 978-1-908684-50-9

Price: £14.99

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Thring of Uppingham

Nigel Richardson

Edward Thring (1821-1887), who founded the Headmasters’ Conference of prominent schools in Britain in 1869, was the best-known headmaster of his generation.

Formed by a nature-loving childhood in rural Somerset, survival in the notorious Long Chamber at Eton, a fellowship at King’s College Cambridge and a harrowing curacy in the slums of Gloucester, he developed the conviction that education was God’s work. This in turn led him to a passionate belief in the potential of every child.

During 34 years from 1853 he transformed a small grammar school in Uppingham into a widely-celebrated boarding school with an international clientele. He battled against intransigent governors, growing debts and the encroachment of government control over every type of school. After facing potential disaster from a series of typhoid outbreaks he relocated his staff and pupils to Borth in mid-Wales for an entire year, returning only after securing radical improvements in Uppingham’s drainage and water supply.

Although dismissively labelled ‘the enthusiast Mr Thring’ by the Cambridge philosopher Henry Sidgwick and ‘King of Boys’ by other critics, his social conscience led to the founding of a mission in London’s East End, the first venture of its type. Through two books, Education and School (1864) and The Theory and Practice of Teaching (1883) he provided a blueprint for high-quality boarding schools, a broad curriculum and child-centred teaching methods at all age-groups in primary and secondary education. Teachers, educationalists and former pupils from home and abroad beat a path to his door. Late in life he became deeply interested in educational opportunities for women.

Despite his achievements Thring remained an establishment outsider, denied preferment by church, state and the academic world. His final years were marred by family sorrow and a bitter battle with his governors and the Charity Commission as, determined to remain his independence, he paid a high financial price for his principles.

This is the first modern biography of this multi-faceted and emotionally complex man.

ISBN 9781908684059

Price: £25.00

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Addicted to Distraction

Bruce Charlton

Addicted  to  Distraction  by  Bruce  G Charlton is a brilliant, pithy, and incisive analysis and condemnation of the modern mass media and its semipurposeful agenda of permanent revolution, permanent hysteria, and permanent chaos.

His comments are as cutting as the scalpel of a surgeon performing an autopsy, and his insights as bright and clear as the merciless lights in an operating theater.

Can a fish drown? Can it even notice the waters in which it lives and moves? No more than we can notice the totalitarian relativism of the modern mass media.

The Mass Media is a roaring, grinding attention-grabbing machine which operates with no set purpose; except the purpose to subvert, uncreate, mock and destroy. It does not matter what the media destroys. Pointless subversion is the point of the media, and the medium is the message.

By all means read and understand this book ... and then go out by yourself into the calm and silent wilderness for a year.
John C Wright

In this groundbreaking study, Bruce Charlton sheds brilliant light on basic features of our current situation. He develops Marshall McLuhan’s insight that “the medium is the message” into a deeply illuminating account of the mass media as a self-sustaining techno-cultural system that absorbs the whole of human life into a virtual world of willfulness and unreality.
James Kalb

Paperback ISBN 978-1-908684-41-7

Price: £10.00

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British Jewry since Emancipation 

Geoffrey Alderman

This is a comprehensive history of the Jews of the United Kingdom since emancipation in the mid-nineteenth century until the summer of 2013. Originally conceived as a natural sequel to the History of the Jews in England, by Dr Cecil Roth, which ended with the granting of full political equality in 1858, it is also an important onward departure from Professor Alderman’s previous work, Modern British Jewry.

Here Geoffrey Alderman takes the story forward, from an examination of the social structure and economic base of Jewish communities in Victorian England, through the great immigrations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the development of the Zionist movement in Britain, to address contemporary history and issues.

Taking account of the most recent research and based on a wealth of sources, here is the most authoritative and definitive history of modern British Jewry currently available.

Acclaim for Modern British Jewry

“This is an exceptional work, a classic of its genre”
Times Higher Education Supplement

“He writes with authority, his industry is impressive, his research is wide-ranging and thorough. He makes some startling revelations… Serious students of Jewish history will treasure it for its wealth of detail, its candour, and the light it throws on obscure corners of Jewish life”
Jewish Chronicle

“An engrossing book, lucidly written, scrupulously annotated”
New Statesman & Society

ISBN 9781908684387

Price: £45.00

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