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Extended Audio Sample The Law Audiobook, by Frédéric Bastiat Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,953 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Frédéric Bastiat Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781470827960
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First published as a pamphlet in June 1850, The Law is already well over 150 years old, and it will still be read when another century has passed.

America now faces the same situation France did in 1848 and the same socialist-communist plans and ideas adopted there are now sweeping America—the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe notwithstanding. Bastiat’s explanation of and arguments against socialism are as valid today as they were when written, and his ideas deserve serious consideration.

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”—Frédéric Bastiat

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Full of truths that are not merely relevant but are absolutely vital to our future.”

    Dick Armey, former majority leader, US House of Representatives

  • “No work before or since has made such a compelling case for freedom. Bastiat’s message will influence students of liberty for years to come.”

    Laissez Faire Books

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob | 2/13/2014

    " Best single gale of libertarian rhetoric "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deanna | 2/8/2014

    " This is one of my husband's favorite books. He was so excited when he saw that I was reading it. He's read it several times. I thought the ideas were profound and I enjoyed reading about them. However a good portion of this book was over my head. I haven't been a student of government and the principles of government as my husband as. It talked a lot about communism and socialism. This book was much different than I expected. This deserves a second read by me later when I'm not immersed in studying for a college history midterm and a reading Greek history 2,500 years old. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anthony | 1/21/2014

    " How the state has perverted the law from an instrument to protect life, liberty, and property to an instrument of plunder. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine Curry | 1/12/2014

    " I really felt enlightened by this book, but please, take that statement with a grain of salt. When it comes to law and government and politics, this chick is pretty unenlightened. Having said that, I believe this book holds much truth. There was a big chunk in the second half of the book that was over my head, but I put it back on my book shelf knowing a lot more than I did when I picked it up. I would recommend it. And I know I will read it again. It is a quick, easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 1/9/2014

    " A little scary to think about--the situation in France in 1850 compared to the situation here in the US today. The parallels leading to socialism are obvious. Mr. Bastiat may be somewhat extreme on the other side, there probably needs to be a balance. But control by legislation, not necessarily based on the wishes of the citizenry, is becoming more prevalent, as is the expenditure of taxes to support people unwilling to give anything to the society as a whole. Interestingly, Mr. Bastiat uses the US (in 1850) as an example of the best governmental system, truly a system by the people for the people. An enlightening book for our times in our country. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 zikafus | 1/6/2014

    " My favorite book. Changed my life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 A.K. | 12/13/2013

    " Lucid and compelling work in the natural rights tradition. This is a short must-read for anyone interested in the philosophy of law. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 12/13/2013

    " Bastiat is particularly devestating as he considers the laws of nations. Bears reading at any time as food for philosophical thought. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claire | 12/4/2013

    " This book: a brilliant treatise on law and its true roots in God-given liberty. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marge | 11/23/2013

    " I love this book. Mr. Bastiat makes much much more sense than any politician I ever heard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donald | 11/7/2013

    " Candy for the mind that loves books about individual liberty. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 11/6/2013

    " great book for beginners on how the law applies to liberty "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenni | 10/22/2013

    " This is an absolute must read for everyone. If you have even a slight interest in government, and especially where our country is headed, you should read it. Written by a brilliant man during (right before?)the French Revolution. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Smith | 10/1/2013

    " This should be required reading. In my opinion one of the most important essays ever written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob | 8/26/2013

    " This was one of the most influential books I have ever read. Yes, the man is French. He offers good insight into political theory, backed up with decent arguments. Reading this made me want to read the Federalist Papers and other founding documents of my own country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Drew Danko | 7/20/2013

    " Bastiat presents an entertaining anti-socialism message in this book which is worth reading no matter what your political leanings are. If you are against paternalism, legal plunder by the government and forced economic equality you will really enjoy this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristy | 7/2/2013

    " This is the BEST book for someone getting started in understanding good government. I buy multiple copies and give them to anyone I think might be interested. I HIGHLY recommend that every American read The Law. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher George | 6/9/2013

    " Powerfully succinct! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaron Hohenbrink | 4/20/2013

    " Great book; great message. Hard to believe it was written in the 19th century (and in France). Reads like it could have been written recently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jose Miguel Guerrero | 2/28/2013

    " Although it was written more than 100 years ago this book still provides the truth about the law and how it is used by socialist governments to affect the society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Dumas | 1/19/2013

    " Should be required reading for EVERYONE! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Misty Lynne | 12/16/2012

    " Greatest book on freedom I have ever read! "

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About the Author

Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850) was a nineteenth-century French economist and journalist, famed for his pro–free-trade writings. He staunchly believed in free trade and, for its promotion, established the Association pour la Liberté des Échanges (Association for Free Trade) in 1846.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.