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Sintesi dell'editore

When was the last time you were truly energized by ideas?

You can deepen your perspectives, knowledge, and insight through exposure to some of the world's most compelling thinkers. The growth of human freedom, and with it science, culture, and capitalistic prosperity, are explained through the works and ideas of some of our civilization's most brilliant thinkers.

This home-study course immerses you in the views of John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Adam Smith, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, Henry David Thoreau, Ayn Rand, F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and others.

Here are their groundbreaking ideas on liberty, justice, property, capitalism, peace, and more.

This self-paced program enables you to spend time with brilliant minds whenever or wherever you have an opportunity to listen and think. The narrators are professional actors and broadcasters, and the content is lively, dynamic, and truly thought provoking.

Portions of the audio programs were originally produced by Knowledge Products and have been adapted for the Home Study Course. Additional material was created specifically for each program and is available only through the Cato University Home Study Course.

©1996 Cato Institute; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

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  • Roy
  • 15 05 2009


In the Cato University Home Study Course "Learning About Liberty" you will find a wealth of insight, knowledge, and inspiration. The volume sets out, at the beginning, to define terms. This is not boring, but informative and very stimulating. Then in the following hours (which will pass quickly), ideas related to liberty and justice are outlined in a clear, concise, organized fashion.

The readings is great. There is a narrator and an individual who reads the quotations as they appear. This is very helpful and keeps interest. The writing is, of course, outstanding. Don't miss this wonderful introduction to some of the most wonderful thinkers we have seen. Do not be put off by the topic, wade right in. The water is fine!

5 su 5 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • John
  • 21 04 2009


Not only is the content fantastic (wonderful surveys of great works on freedom, free-market economics, the Constitution, etc.) but the quality of the production is first-rate.

Using different, talented speakers to form a seamless tapestry of sound and thought, the producers offer a compelling and engaging course which will entertain, educate, and enlighten.

A big FIVE STARS for the first audiobook I felt compelled to review.

Thank you CATO and Blackstone!

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Robert
  • 19 04 2009

The Intellectual Foundations of Libertarianism

This is the complete CATO University Home Study Course. It is an outstanding achievement, being a well-thought-out program of readings and commentary, focussing upon the seminal texts and their historical context. The course guide can be accessed at

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Daniel Beck
  • 09 04 2009

No matter your political stripe

I was skeptical on whether this would be an accurate series on liberty, how it was put forward in this country and the obstacles that face us in the future.
I believe this to be the best resource for the educated as well as the less educated for information on how governments and people create liberty.

3 su 3 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Dale
  • 13 10 2010

Fantastic Overview

I am an adult learner becoming increasingly interested in politics, policy and historical underpinnings. This course has been a remarkable help. It is a series of audiobooks and courses that march through the history and development of libertarian political theory. Many key documents and books (the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Common Sense, etc) are covered in detail. Most of the recordings seem to have been made in the mid-to-late 1980s but it is all still highly relevant for today's issues. There are many different readers throughout the course so it's difficult to comment on their overall quality. Most were quite good but one used Walter Cronkite and I found his famous voice a bit distracting. Otherwise, this is a brilliant course and I highly recommend it.

2 su 2 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Barry
  • 24 04 2014

Rich and entertaining

The first segment is very rich in depth of scholarship. It is a reminder of just how superficial the education system is in terms of touching on the vast range of intellectual thought in human history. If the entire series was like this, it would be daunting. Fortunately, the other 11 segments slow down and focus on smaller topics of interest. That isn't to say they are less intense. These are all carefully crafted essays. You may not agree with everything they have to say, but they make a compelling case in every instance.

The common theme through all the units is exploring the philosophical, political, economic, moral and ethical underpinnings behind the idea of liberty. Not so long ago, I wouldn't have thought such a course was necessary. I thought everyone appreciated liberty as the number one priority of society. But liberty is under assault by a number of other interests. People who, with the best of intentions, think that society would be better off if we could control people better. People who think other people can't be entrusted to make important decisions about their own lives. People who think they can reduce the amount of unfairness in the world by curtailing some liberties. People who think there are higher priorities than liberty. And people who are just outright opposed to the idea of liberty.

Learning about Liberty may not convince everyone that liberty should be the number one priority of society, but I hope it will at least convince anyone who listens to it that there is a good case for that.

I was sorry when it ended. I am hoping Cato will add more things like this to their library.

Just one comment about production values. The overall narration is very good, although there were times when it felt like one of those high school documentary films. The producers made the decision to have actors read the direct quotes from the authors cited. This adds some variety to the material, but sometimes it seems like the actors went a little over the top. For a couple of people, like Ludwig von Mises, the text was nearly lost in the thick accent. Overall though, I think this was a good choice.

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Utente anonimo
  • 20 03 2010


Excellent Study of Liberal Thought

1 su 1 utenti hanno ritenuto utile questa recensione

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  • Lee Robinson
  • 31 07 2015

CATO has made and selected some great materials

What did you love best about Learning About Liberty?

The theme is liberty and it stays on course with that. It does give comfort to libertarians to know that these ideas are old and true though consistently opposed. The perennial nature of liberty and its enemies gives one a clear focus when confronting the state worshipers in our midst.

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  • Scott Anderson
  • 30 04 2014

Very comprehensive

Would you consider the audio edition of Learning About Liberty to be better than the print version?

I might go back to certain sections of the book, but once was enough to listen from beginning to end.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

One of the best overviews of the foundations of liberty and freedom from the minds of the last 400 years.

Any additional comments?

If you want to know about liberty; why it is important; how it manifests; its strengths and weaknesses; then this is the place to start.

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  • MarketSmartLee
  • 20 12 2013


If you could sum up Learning About Liberty in three words, what would they be?

Comprehensive, hopeful, a must-read for anyone interested in the philosophy of liberty and freedom!

What did you like best about this story?

The thoroughness of the overview is excellent.

Have you listened to any of the narrator’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, this narrator is consistently solid and enjoyable.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found the entire presentation and content excellent.