Robert LeFevre

Robert LeFevre

"Truth Is Not a Half-Way Place"


Carl Watner,

Karl Hess

Book Club members' rating

Click any button below to buy or to see prices and Amazon reviews:

Log in to add to wishlist, library or to rate the book


This is the only biography of Robert LeFevre -- a giant within the freedom movement for decades and creator of the Freedom School.

It is a measure of the breadth of LeFevre’s influence and character that so many will remember him for so many different reasons. Teacher. Schoolmaster. Consultant. Businessman. Philosopher. Soldier. Religionist. Social Theorist. Debater. Author. Socratic Goad. Experimenter. Maddening Demander of Consistency. Searcher. Finder. Good Friend. Implacable Foe. All of that is detailed in this book.

Bob’s civility was majestic. It made him seem as a great rock around which angry waves could crash, but which they could never submerge or move.
Bob actually acted as though humans, being rational, would recognize thoughts that coincided with material reality, and then act accordingly. That belief, that informed thought will move an individual — an institution — a people — to action is one of the human race’s most enduring optimisms.
But many develop cynicism, seeing such a belief as an illusion. Others, doubting people will change themselves, see it as a rationale for imposing their ideas on others.

LeFevre seemed to me to be an alternative. He acted on his beliefs. He certainly encouraged others to do the same, to understand what he understood. But he neither despaired cynically of the project, or roared in frustration for a crusade to teach the heathen. He saw the world in terms of individuals. His appeal was not to society. It was not to history, or humanity, or future generations, or to any such abstraction.

His differences would be with you. His agreement would be with you. He did not want to change the world. Individuals changing were the only way the world would ever change. And he felt that only you could change yourself. He did not, to cut to the core of it, want intermediaries of coercion in that process. Life, in his view, should be a matter of self-controlled, volitional actions between free humans.

Of all the intermediary forces that LeFevre despised and abhorred, violence was foremost. According to him, violence — certainly not money — was the root of all evil. Without violence, for instance, all humans would be free to make up their own minds about their own lives. The alternative to violence was infinitely more exciting: the opportunities for self-owned and self-controlled individuals to make voluntary agreements among themselves.

LeFevre’s main point, which he once summed up in an interview, was that each of us should “Do as you please — but harm no other in his person or property.”

From that position can be extrapolated everything that LeFevre taught and talked about. He tenaciously held that the individual was the key to it all. Not tides of history. Not winds of war. Not storms of ideology. Not pressure of politics. The individual must and does make up his or her own mind whether to be free or controlled. The person who submits to outside control `believes” that some one or some institution has the authority, the right to control the person. But, LeFevre believed that by nature humans are free, unique, and if they will it, absolutely able to control themselves.

LeFevre’s whole world view was a wonderfully comprehensive one. This is best seen by his attitude toward politics and government. He did not believe for an instant in the possibility of good coming from political action, nor did he harbor any illusion about “improving” an institution so dependent upon violence as the State. The institution was beyond redemption, in his view, since — even with angels at the controls — it would still depend upon violence to enforce its actions.

He realized that some people want to be controlled by government. He never suggested that they be denied the fulfillment of that need. He never suggested overthrowing the politics that fed that need. He did advocate withdrawing from it completely. “Let the State exist for those who want it, but let it not harm me or any other who does not want it.”

Great Deals!

Do you want to get this and many other paperback/hardcover books delivered fast and free? Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial or give the Gift of Amazon Prime to someone who'd love it!

The FREE Kindle Reading App lets you read your favorite eBooks on most devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.). Click here to get the FREE Kindle Reading App.
However, you could read this and countless other books on a brand new Kindle E-reader for less than the price of a cup of coffee per week. Click here to choose your favorite Kindle E-reader.
And the best thing is that most Books of Liberty eBooks are actually available through Kindle Unlimited. Join Amazon Kindle Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial to read from over 1 million ebooks and listen to thousands of audiobooks, all for one fixed, low price.


Similar Books


Related Starting Points

Philosophy of Freedom

Within this topic you’ll find a wide variety of books, many of which we hold in the highest regard. These books are also associated with other topics, such as anarchist traditions and practical liberty. All your great libertarian manifestos, books that discuss individual liberty, the non-aggression principle, laissez faire, objectivism, etc. are found within.

Anarchist traditions would be a great shortcut to find books specifically calling out anarchist principles. The name "anarchist traditions" is purposefully broad, because in addition to anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism, there are books on anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism or other forms of collectivist anarchism, as well as egoism and other schools of thought.

Practical liberty has a hodge-podge of awesome content, from the great anti-war and abolitionist books to theoretical treatises on private defense and private law; from whistleblowing and WikiLeaks to other forms of activism and civil disobedience; from secession to jury nullification and describing revolution and resistance. We’ve even thrown in some interesting "how to" books on affecting change to further one’s activist ends.

The topic of philosophy is closely associated, as many of the books tagged to the philosophy of freedom contain deep philosophical arguments from ethics and epistemology to political theory and religion. A wide variety of ideologies are represented and critiqued within the pages of the books linked here, covering the full political spectrum: whether it is Fascism versus Communism; Neoconservatism versus Progressivism or Liberalism; Nationalism and Nazism versus International Socialism and everything in between.

A note from the curator: You may see throughout the site banners promoting Liberty Classroom. As a very satisfied Master Member, I cannot recommend enough the courses within Liberty Classroom, all of which are imbued with the philosophy of freedom, including How Freedom Settled the West and History of Conservatism and Libertarianism. In full disclosure, Books of Liberty will get a small advertising fee for purchases made through our link.


While all books technically fall under this topic, we’ve reserved this mostly as a way to easily filter through the many hundred titles to find works of fiction (whether it be science fiction or dystopian novels), humor, poetry or quotes. The great manifestos are clearly labeled, as are Festschrifts, which are collections of writings published in honor of a scholar. Finally, we've included a range of biographies and autobiographies that shed light on some key individuals.

A note from the curator: With a variety of literature homeschool courses the Ron Paul Curriculum homeschool program does not disappoint. Western Literature, American Literature and Classic Autobiographies are covered in the high school years. My experience of literature in public school was horrendous and I wish I had the curriculum and approach provided by Ron Paul’s program instead. Books of Liberty gets advertising fees for those who purchase through our links.

Other classifications

To make things easier to find, we created a few groupings that allow you to narrow down certain topics that include a large number of named individuals, geographical locations, or geopolitical entities. We created the topics: people and groups; areas and nations; economists; and politicians (who, within it, include also nation state leaders and US presidents).

And if you want a book that seems to have a wide variety of topics, you may just want to filter with the word smorgasbord and see what books come up.