Libertarian History/Philosophy

Laissez Faire Books: Back From the Dead


Although its owners had announced plans to lay the venerable mail order libertarian book seller to rest last month (see my earlier Hit and Run post eulogizing it), the International Society for Individual Liberty is going to take Laissez Faire Books on and keep it alive.

Good news for those who like one-stop shopping for information about, and opportunities to buy, their libertarian and individualist literature.

Hat Tip: Laissez Faire Books co-founder Sharon Presley.

NEXT: In Praise of El Jefe

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. It’s clear that Book Plug Brian is just shilling for Big Hope.

  2. HA good one Taktix

  3. Loompanics is gone forever though. That’s sad.

  4. Needless to say, I am very happy about this news. I know the ISIL folks–Vince, Jim E. and Jim P.–and think they will keep the spirit as well as the substance of Laissez Faire Books alive. They are dedicated and competent and deserve far more credit than they receive for their other ISIL activities. I have every confidence that they will carry on the Laissez Faire name admirably.

    You can check out the announcement at either or

    Sharon Presley
    Co-founder, Laissez Faire Books

  5. Good luck to those guys. I’ll probably continue to buy my books at with my Prime membership and get my books in 2 days. Hey, what’s more libertarian than going with the best provider of a service?

  6. Hey, what’s more libertarian than going with the best provider of a service?

    Supporting a business because of shared ideals that you wish to support with your money for reasons of your individualistic very own, dumbass.

  7. Yes!

    Kudos to Sharon Presley and kudos to ISIL!!

  8. Good luck to those guys. I’ll probably continue to buy my books at with my Prime membership and get my books in 2 days. Hey, what’s more libertarian than going with the best provider of a service?

    Correct me if I’m wrong please, but I would imagine that when purchasing a Laissez Faire-published book, Amazon is more a distributer.

    I doubt many publishing houses sell their books through Amazon without getting a cut…

  9. I am glad to see Laissez Faire Books will survive – as a life member of ISIL I am glad to see them taking it over.

    Good luck Vince. It is better to have many libertarian booksellers – including my own Renaissance Books @

  10. Good news, Sharon, thanks. But why’d you delete my Wikipedia edit saying the original form of organiz’n of the bookstore was as a church? Ralph says now that may not have been its original form, but that that was one of its early forms. And why’d you delete my addition of a “see also” pointing to the Libertarian Book Club?

  11. Marcvs: if you are only looking for a market transaction then do that. But ISIL and LFB will be doing more than that. They will be using proceeds to publish dozens of new libertarian books, which Amazon doesn’t give a flying f… about. They will be distributing libertarian books to schools, libraries, and worthy students — which Amazon would never consider.

    When you see LFB in the proper perspective it is not just a business. It is a non-profit educational organization that sells books to help cover the cost of doing its main job — which is to keep libertarian classics in print and to get books out to schools and libraries where they may do some good. For instance, someone can donate to ISIL to have LFB send books to any school they want. The donation is tax exempt — try getting that from Amazon. You need to think of this more the way you do the foundations and libertarian charities that exist and less like just a business transaction.

    One can get their new pdf catalogues by emailing

  12. Thank you, cls, you make EXCELLENT points. I couldn’t have said it better myself and in fact maybe not even as well! I have always maintained that LFB was and is much more than a mere bookstore. It was and is an important institution of the libertarian movement, as I have pointed out on the previous Reason blog about LFB’s “demise.” It deserves the support of anyone who cares about the crucially important task of keeping libertarian ideas in print, as you have pointed out so well. I personally think that is more important than saving a few bucks on a book.

    Gene: Yes, the more the better!

    Speedwell and Rick: Thanks!

    Robert: Because I think you misrepresented what occurred. I gave you a chance to reply privately by email. Please do so if you are unhappy with my edits on Wiki.

  13. Also: check out ISIL’s Philosophy of Liberty flash.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.