Individualism is one of the most criticized and least understood ideas in social and political thought. Is Individualism the ability ot act independently amidst a web of social forces? A vital element of personal liberty and a shield against conformity? Does it lead to or away from unifying individuals with communities?
Individualism: A Reader provides a wealth of illuminating essays from the 17th to the early 20th centuries. In 26 selections from 25 writers, individualism is explained and defended, often from unusual perspectives. This anthology includes not only selections from well-known writers, but also many lesser-known pieces—reprinted here for the first time—by philosophers, social theorists, and economists who have been overlooked in standard accounts of individualism.
Both richly historical and sharply contemporary, Individualism: A Reader provides a multitude of perspectives and insights on personal liberty and the history of freedom.
George H. Smith writes a weekly column for Libertarianism.org. His fourth book, The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism, was published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. Marilyn Moore holds a PhD in English literature. She is an adjunct professor of English and rhetoric at Triton College (Illinois) and also works as a freelance editor.