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From the Publisher“A compelling history of one of the government’s most radical, if largely forgotten, domestic programs. . . . Maloney has managed to finely balance the duties of the historian with the role of storyteller. Instead of being bogged down by the (impeccable) research that provides the book with so much valuable detail, he uses this plethora of information to strong effect, highlighting the human stories and the bigger picture impact that Arthurdale had on both the area and the country, so that the reader feels less like he is reading an economic history than a fascinating story with a profound historical lesson. The writing has a smoothness and ease that evades most books of similar historical depth. . . Perhaps even more importantly, the book reveals a great sympathy and understanding for the impoverished people who signed up to live in a government-funded town. . . By sticking to the astonishing historical record, Back To The Land avoids the pitfalls that plague the ideologues who too often direct the national debate. Ultimately, what makes the book so successful is that the story is able to speak for itself.”
— The Brooklyn Rail
“Capably reveals the certain costs of central planning, thus making Back to the Land an essential story for the political class to understand better. As for the many who view government spending as an economic good in its own right, Maloney's tale of the costly creation of Arthurdale, West Virginia (a town built by the federal government as a model for the nation) will surely give them pause. . . Back to the Land is an interesting book, and even better it's an important one for showing up close the bungling ways of government officials. . . skillfully reminds us why we shouldn't entrust our lives or treasure to those who work in government.”
— Real Clear Politics
“Enlightening, well-written, and very timely book. . . . In the year 2006, the mayor of the town of Tal Afar, Iraq, chastised the government that invaded his country — the government of FDR's heirs — by stating, "What you are doing is an experiment, and it isn't right to experiment on people." No it is not, which makes books like this one so important. Those who do not know and understand history are condemned to repeat it. . . Books like Maloney's that are factually accurate, economically consistent, and engagingly written can help to reverse this disturbing trend.
—Ludwig von Mises Institute