The Lysander Spooner Reader by Lysander Spooner, George H. Smith
Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) was one of the great individualists of his era. He practiced law in violation of state law and then successfully petitioned to change the law. When the United States Post Office claimed a monopoly on first-class mail, Spooner opened a competing agency that forced the post office to lower its rates. Spooner was a great opponent of slavery but at odds with many abolitionists of his day. He defended reason, natural law, and individual freedom.
Also included are a foreword by Sheldon Richman, an introduction by George H. Smith, and an obituary written by Spooner's compatriot, Benjamin Tucker (1854-1939), originally published in Tucker’s newspaper, Liberty, May 28, 1887. Lysander Spooner was one of the most important early libertarian thinkers in the individualist tradition. Even after a full century his work is amazingly relevant today.
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Lysander Spooner (January 19, 1808 – May 14, 1887) was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, Unitarian abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S. Post Office with his American Letter Mail Company, which was forced out of business by the United States government.