Adam Bellow is the prominent HarperCollins editor and author of In Praise of Nepotism: A Natural History. Adam’s new book is New Threats to Freedom. In his new book Adam has assembled an all-star lineup of essayists to explore the subject captured in the book’s title. I invited Adam to write something that would allow us to draw this book to the attention of our readers. Adam addresses Power Line readers;
Scott Johnson has generously invited me to let you know about the publication of New Threats to Freedom, an anthology of 30 essays by a distinguished group of (mostly) conservative and libertarian writers who identify and explore an array of ideas and cultural trends that are limiting our freedoms. In my day job I am VP/executive editor at HarperCollins where I publish a list of conservative authors (most recently including Sarah Palin) but I was very pleased to edit and introduce this volume of lively and provocative essays.
Don’t look here, however, for contributions on obvious and overwhelming threats like Islamic extremism, the ballooning national debt, or the immigration crisis. These well-known problems are sufficiently described elsewhere. The essays in this volume focus on subtler and more insidious threats that tend not to be discussed or even noticed. The war on negative liberty. The rise of media self-censorship. The tyranny of “fairness.” The growing dependence on the state by single women. The creation of new classes of dependents by a vast social welfare bureaucracy. The loss of the freedom to fail. The sources of the regulatory urge. The assorted threats of ingratitude, complacency, and bad political theater. Not to mention behavioral economics, the 24/7 news cycle, and the UN Women’s Treaty.
Do we cover every conceivable threat to freedom in this book? Hardly. Is every threat we identify equally urgent and serious? No one would claim that they are. Rather what we hope to present is a model of the sort of active and engaged intelligence that is required of 21st century Americans faced with subtle assaults on our liberties, many of which are far less visible and concrete than they were in the past, and may even appear as beguiling forms of progress.
For a compete list of contributors, check out our web page at New Threats to Freedom.
With thanks for your attention,
Among the contributors to Adam’s book are Anne Applebaum (on the decline of American press freedom), Bruce Bawer (on the closing of the liberal mind), Richard Epstein (on the isolation of today’s classical liberal), Glenn Reynolds (on liberty and complacency), Christopher Hitchens (on multiculturalism and the threat of conformity), David Mamet (on the Fairness Doctrine), Jessica Gavora (on single women as a threat to freedom), Mark Helprin (on the rise of antireligious orthodoxy) and Stephen Schwartz (on sharia and the West). I think the book will be of interest to many Power Line readers.