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Learning About Liberty: The Cato University Home Study Course | [Cato University]

Learning About Liberty: The Cato University Home Study Course

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 05-15-09
    Roy Beaumont, TX, United States 05-15-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrific!"

    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 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Garland, TX, United States 04-21-09
    John Garland, TX, United States 04-21-09 Member Since 2007

    Avid audiobook listener since 2007. I've enjoyed thousands of hours while jogging, driving, and working around the house.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant!"

    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 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-09
    Robert Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada 04-19-09
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    "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 http://www.cato.org/university/.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Beck United States 04-09-09
    Daniel Beck United States 04-09-09 Member Since 2004

    Bachelor Chef and Mathematician. I don't bother with books shorter than 20 hours, not worth the effort.

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    "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 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale Pittsburgh, PA, United States 10-13-10
    Dale Pittsburgh, PA, United States 10-13-10 Member Since 2010
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    "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 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-20-10
    03-20-10 Listener Since 2009
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    "Excellent"

    Excellent Study of Liberal Thought

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 10-18-09
    Dan Greene CHATTANOOGA, TN, United States 10-18-09 Member Since 2008
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    "A Treasure Chest"

    This is a great series. I'm on the fourth or fifth presentation now - each one is different and thought provoking. This will help fill in lots of gaps in political philosophy for the history buff. Excellent presentation!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 06-23-09
    Caryl SPRING VALLEY, MN, United States 06-23-09 Member Since 2009
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    "GREAT !!!"

    This one I will read again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Anderson Davenport, IA USA 04-30-14
    Scott Anderson Davenport, IA USA 04-30-14 Member Since 2014
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 04-24-14
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 04-24-14 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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