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Publisher's Summary

The American way of life, built on individual liberty and limited government, is on life support.

American freedom is being gutted. Whether we are trying to run businesses, practice vocations, raise our families, cooperate with our neighbors, or follow our religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government - not because we are doing anything wrong but because the government has decided it knows better. When we object, that government can and does tell us, "Try to fight this, and we'll ruin you."

In this provocative book, acclaimed social scientist and best-selling author Charles Murray shows us why we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process. The Constitution is broken in ways that cannot be fixed even by a sympathetic Supreme Court. Our legal system is increasingly lawless, unmoored from traditional ideas of "the rule of law." The legislative process has become systemically corrupt no matter which party is in control.

But there's good news beyond the Beltway. Technology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities. The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives. People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans.

The even better news is that federal government has a fatal weakness: It can get away with its thousands of laws and regulations only if the overwhelming majority of Americans voluntarily comply with them. Murray describes how civil disobedience backstopped by legal defense funds can make large portions of the 180,000-page Federal Code of Regulations unenforceable through a targeted program that identifies regulations that arbitrarily and capriciously tell us what to do.

©2015 Charles Murray (P)2015 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Finally, some possible solutions

This book offers an outstanding education on the constitution including is creation and how it has been hijacked by progressives. Most importantly it offers real solutions to regain our liberty.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Maybe our only alternative

Author has some good ideas on civil disobedience, backed by a defense support group, that may reduce the authoritarian demands of the regulatory state. I think he's right that the politicians will never fix the problem.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Practical ways to destroy government overreach

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It is well-researched, compelling, and practical.

What was one of the most memorable moments of By the People?

When the concept of "The Madison Fund" was introduced. (If you Bing "the madison fund", he's not talking about the investment firm that you will find)

What about John H. Mayer’s performance did you like?

It has an authoritative tone, but with appropriate levels of expression and character

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

How the American people can de-incentivize the overreaches of the regulatory state

Any additional comments?

Wonderful book. I hope that the ideas expressed in this book come to fruition

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Hard to listen to because of the painful truth

Would you listen to By the People again? Why?

Yes, because it is important to understand, fully, the reasons for the problems that we as a society currently face.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are no characters to choose favorites from.

Which scene was your favorite?

No scene is Favorited. It is a grim reminder of our current course.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My view was further clarified through this book. My reaction was of sadness and frustration.

Any additional comments?

Listen to this book and try to change yourself and the people around you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Well reasoned.

Not what I wanted to hear, but I cannot argue Mr Murray's logic. This is a plausible blueprint for saving America.
Easy to listen to.

Narrator and audio quality are great.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of the best

By the people is a heavy book about the road ahead to reform. This reform is not just about progressive or conservative effort, but it is about the American people from every background standing together for liberty.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wow! very thoughtful and engaging

fantastic! I loved the way in which the author compared popular ideas to solve government overreach which cannot overcome key legal precedents. solutions are believable and realistic

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Challenging and engaging ideas

I found Dr. Murray’s argument interesting. I don’t entirely agree, but I can’t deny that many of his criticisms of government are valid. I would encourage both liberals and conservatives to listen with open minds. I think that his recommendations might have worked 40 years ago, but the oligarchs of today would quickly pervert them to suit their desires if the recommendations were enacted.

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Madison Fund Great Idea but Naive

What was one of the most memorable moments of By the People?

I always read/ listen to Charles Murray's books. He makes strong points and backs his assertions with data and sound logic; however, I think the idea of the "Madison Fund" as being a way to temper the "regulatory state" is a bit naive. His concept of Dental Shield fighting the over regulation would fail without having tort reform too. As soon as a Dentist Office did not meet all of OSHA's ridiculous regulations (even it complied with an Industry standard) a lawyer would use the lack of OSHA standards to file a suit from any patient with a grievance. I think the insurance companies any of the Dental Shield would balk at covering any practice that did not comply with the OSHA standards. I think if Tort Reform occurred with the Madison Fund Murray would really be on to something.

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Important book for all

An important book to read especially for those (like I) who don't fully agree with all of Charles Murray's views on certain historical and economic claims.