I’ve had this book on my shelf practically since it came out in 2010, but in hindsight, I’m glad I waited to read it until now. With eight years of the Obama administration behind us, it provides an interesting lens with which to view modern American politics, science and where we’re heading.
Ferris proclaims himself a classical liberal, and proceeds to lay out his assertions that economically and socially successful societies value freedom. It is liberty itself that allows the scientific advances to flourish, according to Ferris.
I greatly enjoyed the way the author delved into history and science to make his case, and generally I agree with him. As a student of political science, we were taught that political thought lay on a horizontal continuum, with fascism on one end and anarchy on the other. Today’s Republicans and Democrats lay along the center, one being just right of center and the other just left of center. For years, however, both parties subscribed to classical liberalism, more or less. But Ferris proposes a new diagram to explain political thought. It is a diamond: classical liberal is at the top, conservative and progressive are on respective sides, and totalitarian is at the bottom. He explains that both conservative and progressive leanings are equidistant from both the classical liberal and totalitarianism, and therefore just as likely to be swayed by either argument.
I enjoyed this book so much. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with Timothy Ferris now, with his reflections on the recent election and the changes in both political parties. I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in history, science, economics or politics.
5 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2010
Amazon Book Preview of The Science Of Liberty