BN.com Gift Guide

Overview

In 1946, oil baron William F. Buckley Sr. sent his extremely bright son Bill to Yale University. The father wanted to pass on one book to prepare him to think independently. His household had thousands of books on hand. The book he chose was Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, by a family friend named Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) , perhaps the most brilliant American essayist of the 20th century, and certainly among its most important libertarian ...
See more details below
Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (LFB)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.00
BN.com price

Overview

In 1946, oil baron William F. Buckley Sr. sent his extremely bright son Bill to Yale University. The father wanted to pass on one book to prepare him to think independently. His household had thousands of books on hand. The book he chose was Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, by a family friend named Albert Jay Nock (1870–1945) , perhaps the most brilliant American essayist of the 20th century, and certainly among its most important libertarian thinkers. Nock had died three years earlier, but left this autobiography, almost a private family treasure.

The father knew exactly what he was doing. Nock had written that "the effect of keeping good company in literature is exactly what it is in life. Keeping good company is spiritually dynamogenous, elevating, bracing. It makes one better. Keeping bad company is disabling; keeping indifferent company is enervating and retarding."

The young Bill Buckley devoured the book. He carried it all through school. He read and reread it constantly. It shaped him and helped him find an intellectual identity. At the end of his college experience, he wrote God and Man at Yale. It was a literary sensation, or scandal, depending on your point of view. He said what no one else was willing to say: The economics faculty was teaching the Keynesian malarkey that free enterprise doesn't work, and the religion faculty did not really believe in God. The alumni association was mortified. Shock waves lasted for years. This book launched his career.

Whatever else you can say about William F. Buckley Jr., he defied the conventions, even through his later years when this conservative icon came out against the drug war and refused to enlist in the culture war.

Nock, an innate anarchist who seemed to turn all known truth on its head, was his muse. You can see it in the style; the aloofness; the distance he maintained from the passing fads; the disdain with which he held the mainstream media; the dismissive attitude he had toward the intellectual class and the mandarins of the civic religion; and, most of all, the love of liberty. This was the spirit of Nock at work in Buckley's life.

More than just a biography, Memoirs of a Superfluous Man presents a full theory of society, state, economy, and culture, and does so almost inadvertently. His stories, lessons, observations, and conclusions pack a very powerful punch — so much so that anyone who takes time to read carefully cannot but end up changed in intellectual outlook. One feels that one has been let in a private club of people who see more deeply than others. This is truly an American classic.

To search for titles from Laissez Faire Books, enter a keyword and LFB; e.g., Economics LFB
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/albert-jay-nock-3/memoirs-of-a-superfluous-man/#review
A cerebral autobiography, reflective, contemplative, peppery, salty, dealing with mental explorations and discoveries. What the author thinks and how he came to think it.… Journal of These Days, in 1934, introduced Albert Jay Nock to readers who found his style refreshing, his point of view invigorating. This will appeal to the same audience -- definitely a literate and independent thinking audience.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014884143
  • Publisher: Laissez Faire Books
  • Publication date: 8/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Albert Jay Nock (October 13, 1870 – August 19, 1945) was an influential American libertarian author, educational theorist, and social critic of the early and middle 20th century.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)