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Book Reviews

New information added on September 13, 2014

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Essential Books & Publications
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Ending "Big Sis" (The Special Interest State) And Renewing the American Republic
By James DeLong
(Pub. June 2012)

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by Carol W. LaGrasse

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To Order: Ending "Big SIS " (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic

Wolves in Russia:
Anxiety Through the Ages

By Will N. Graves
Edted by Dr. Valerius Geist, Ph. D.

Wolves in Russia unmasks the Disneyesque view of wolves propangandized in the U.S.
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Seaside Dream Home Besieged, by T G. Berlincourt, Trafford Publishing, 2010 (paperback, photo illustrations, 298 pp.)
The author and his wife, Margie, residents of Virginia, purchased a magnificent eleven-acre promontory high above the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino County, where they intended to build their dream house. Opponents took their case to the California Coastal Commission. The compelling book details the six-year battle against injustices and human obstruction, with a vision for private property rights undergirding the author's viewpoint
Available at with black & white illustrations (ISBN 978-1-4269-0478-3) for $19.67; or with color illustrations (ISBN 978-1-4269-0483-7) for $42.88

In the Presence of Our Enemies
Ellen McClay
An exposé on the United Nation's UNESCO organization.
(AuthorHouse 2006)

Economic Freedom of the World - 2003 Annual Report,
James Gwartney & Robert Lawson, with Neil Emerick, Frazer Institute, Van Couver, Canada (2003)

Bernard H. Siegan, Property Rights: From Magna Carta to the Fourteenth Amendment (Social Philosophy & Policy Center/Transaction Publishers, 2002) Immediately acclaimed analysis of the importance of property rights in the Anglo-American constitutional tradition. Full Synopsis
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Robert H. Nelson, A Burning Issue-A Case for Abolishing the U.S. Forest Service (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000)
Examines the history of government management of National Forests, from the near-century of bureaucratic incompetence to the present-day philosophy of
"management" toward imagined pre-colonial conditions, leading to catastrophic wildfires.

James Bovard, Feeling Your Pain (St. Martin's Press, 2000)
The explosion and abuse of government power in the Clinton-Gore years

Ron Arnold, Undue Influence (Free Enterprise Press, Bellevue, Washington, 1999). Arnold reveals how the wealthy foundations, grant-driven environmental groups, and zealous bureaucrats are working to dismantle roads, dams, logging, mining, ranching, farming, and fishing.

(James Bovard, Freedom in Chains (St. Martin's Press, New York, 1999)
"James Bovard has become the roving inspector general of the modern state..." - The Wall Street Journal

Defending Illusions - Federal Protection of Ecosystems
By Allan K. Fitzsimmons
3192 Rivanna Court
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 491-5615
This book examines the science, philosophy, and law of ecosystems management and shows how
efforts to make federal protection of ecosystems the centerpiece of national environmental policy are driven by religious veneration of Mother Earth wrapped in a veil of science.

The Noblest Triumph - Private Property and Prosperity Through the Ages - By Tom Bethell (St. Martin's, 1998)
Traces private property through history and shows that for almost two centuries economists
increasingly ignored private property while approving socialism. Demonstrates the triumph of private property in promoting prosperity, and compares experiences throughout the world.

The Property Owner's Experience-New York's Arbitrary and Excessive Environmental Regulation of Private Land and Resources: Observations and Recommendations for Reform - by Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA 1998)
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Bernard H. Siegan, Property and Freedom—The Constitution, The Courts, and land-Use Regulation (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick 1997)

Ron Arnold, EcoTerror: The Violent Agenda to Save Nature—The World of the Unabomber (free Enterprise Press, Bellevue, Washington, 1997)

Bernard H. Siegan, Property and Freedom—The Constitution, The Courts, and Land-Use Regulation (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick 1997)

The APA Shell Game: How New York's Adirondack Park Agency is Becoming the World's Foremost Environmental Snoop - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, 1994)
This unique report about the power of GIS for enforcement of land-use regulations resulted from a study of the APA's internal documents behind its annual financial reports. LaGrasse outlines the many different data bases that are being put into the APA's GIS (geographic information systems), which is a computerized system of overlays of digitalized maps.
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James Bovard, Lost Rights
(St. Martin's Press, New York, 1994)

Bernard H. Siegan, Land Use Without Zoning - (Bartholdi & Lazarus, Houston, 1993)

Michael S. Greve and Fred L. Smith, Jr., Environmental Politics: Public Costs, Private Rewards (Praeger, New York, 1992). See especially Chapter 6, "Private Enforcement, Private Rewards: How Environmental Citizen Suits Became an Entitlement Program," by Michael S. Greve.

The Asbestos Racket:An Environmental Parable
Michael J. Bennett
Free Enterprise Press (1991)
Bellevue, Washington

Richard A. Epstein, Takings—Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1985)

Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals (latest ed. Random House, New York, 1971). After two generations. Alinksy's book is still considered the pinnacle of insight and advice for grassroots organizing.

Additional Resources
Additional Resources

Positions on Property: From 1994 through 2000, PRFA analyzed and exposed land-use controls, pre-zoning, and acquisition plans in New York State; the capacity for environmental goals to control land without limitation; the National Park Service's land-use controls and acquisition agendas; UNESCO Biosphere Reserves; the power of the land trusts; the Farmer's Home Administration locking up land which could be used for agriculture; the land acquisition methods of the U. S. Forest Service in New York's Finger Lakes; the Forest Legacy and Northern Forest Lands program; the National and American Heritage Areas; American Heritage Rivers Initiative; Zoning and Building Codes; and Conservation Easements.
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In-Depth Information

  • "Setting the Record Straight on Wolves," Book review by Carol W. LaGrasse, president of Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc., January 2014. Review of:The Real Wolf: The Science, Politics, and Economics of Co-existing with Wolves in Modern Times, By Ted B. Lyon and Will N. Graves, (Publ. Far Country Press, Helena, Mt. or 1-877-Ted-Lyon, 368 pp., oversize, color photos, maps. Softcover $21.00. Hardcover $30.00)
    A review can only hint at the depth and importance of this masterpiece setting the record straight about wolves. It awaits world-wide readers who long to know the truth about wolves. In its twenty-one chapters devoted to essential topics by individual authors, The Real Wolf presents an encyclopedia array of information about the history and nature of wolves, as well as the army of methods by which the wolf was sold to the general public and the tragic effects on livestock producers and on wildlife since introduction of the Canadian wolf to the Northern Rockies.
  • Peter J. LaGrasse"The Mythological Native American" - Cannibalism, Headhunting and Human Sacrifice in North America, A History Forgotten by George Franklin Feldman (Alan B. Hood & Co., Chambersburg, Penna. 2008), Book Review by Peter J. LaGrasse, full version of edited review that appeared in the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse Vol. 17, No. 2 (PRFA, July 2013)
    Contrary to common perceptions, pre-Columbian Native Americans were far from noble in their actions toward each other and often had a profoundly negative impact on the environment. To try to restore the landscape to pre-Columbian "wildlands" is a deception.
  • "Saving Land: Who Benefits and Who Loses" - by Susan Allen, A book review of Eco-Fascists: How Radical Conservationists Are Destroying Our National Heritage by Elizabeth Nickson (N.Y.: Harper Collins 2012)
    How the environmental movement broke the rural economy. The result of an international journalist's research across North America and beyond after she delved into what was behind the preservationist obstruction of the building of her eco-sensitive house in British Columbia.
  • Susan Allen"The Politics of Dispossession" - by Susan Allen,
    A book review of Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York by Samuel Zipp (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010)
    Samuel Zipp analyzes the tragic displacement of our 12,000 ethnic Europeans from their well-kept neighborhoods along with the industry where they worked in the Gas House District of lower Manhattan to build the Stuyvesant Towers apartment complex envisioned by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. All the interconnectedness of people and businesses of working class neighbors was replaced by giant impersonal structures, unaffordable to the former tenants.
  • "Greenism Anatomized" - Book Review by Jigs Gardner (Property Rights Foundation of America, Summer 2011) Green Hell: How Environmentalists plan to control your life and what you can do to stop them. By Steve Milloy, 2009, 235 pp. Regnery, $27.95
    "A wonderful book, written with great intelligence, force, and clarity, recommended to all my readers." - Jigs Gardner.
  • Brief Review
    Cool It, The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming, by Bjorn Lomborg (Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 2008)
    "A Book that Leads Nowhere," Brief Essay by Jigs Gardner, March 22, 2011
  • "A History Lesson" - Book review by Jigs Gardner
    Progress and Property Rights: From the Greeks to Magna Carta to the Constitution, Walter F. Todd (American Institute for Economic Research 2009, 98 pp.)
    The plain, cogent style of this account of the development in practice of the idea of property rights in the West make this "the book to read." Highly recommended.
  • "The Human Side of Eminent Domain" - Book Review by Jigs Gardner
    Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict
    Reprinted from New York Property Rights Clearinghouse, Vol. 13, No. 2 (PRFA, Spring 2009)
    The story of Susette Kelo, the corruption of the City of New London, and the destruction of a neighborhood for municipal and corporate ambitions, to no purpose, as the neighborhood now stands as an empty wasteland, unprotected by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • "Why the Assault?" - Book Review By Jigs Gardner (PRFA, June 2008)
    Government Pirates: The Assault on Private Property Rights And How We Can Fight It by Don Corace (Harper Collins, 288 pp., $14.95 paper)
  • Nate Dickinson"Planning - Good or Bad" - Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson (Property Rights Foundation of America®, April 2008)
    The Best-Laid Plans, How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future, By Randal O'Toole (Cato Institute, 2007)
    In this surprising review of a popular conservative title, rather than focus on the issues of land use planning, urban renewal, smart growth and the like, where the author explores the need to reduce government's excessive control over people and the diminishment of their freedom, our reviewer analyzes the author's approach to planning with respect to wildlife issues, where more, rather than less, planning is needed.
  • "The Yukon Cleansing" - Book Review: A Land Gone Lonesome, By Dan O'Neill, Counterpoint, a Member of Perseus Books Group, 2006
    Review by Susan Allen, Reprinted from the New York Property Rights Clearinghouse (Vol. 11, No. 3, Summer 2007, PRFA)
    After the ANILCA settlement divided Alaska's wild country among native, state and federal holdings, the National Park Service controlled vast federal landholdings. The Park Service told the people living on the wild lands that they could go on with their accustomed "subsistence lifestyle" as hunters, trappers, placer miners, and the like, but the agency cut off access and instituted regulations and an insurmountable permit application process, which made it impossible for the people to live in the wilds anymore. Old cabins were burned, only to be rebuilt by the Park Service as historic reconstructions.
  • "The Dangerous Craze of Environmental Irrationality" - Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson (PRFA, Mar. 27, 2007)
    Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism is Hazardous to Your Health, By John Berlau, (Nelson Current, 2006)
    The Greens constantly play on the emotions of gullible people to promote their agenda. But the thing to fear is not human activity, but the focus by the Greens on restoring the planet to untrammeled nature, a focus whereby they obstruct worthwhile and life-saving progress.
  • "Warriors for Our Time" - Book review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson, Property Rights Foundation of America, March 2007
    Review of Warriors for the West by William Perry Pendley (Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2006)
    Perry Pendley, president and chief legal officer of Mountain States Legal Foundation, chronicles the heroic battles of westerners for freedom and land rights in the face of bureaucrats, environmental groups and judges who are destroying the rights to land, the viability of local communities, and freedom itself.
  • "Inalienable Private Property Rights Being Revoked" - Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson, PRFA, October 17, 2006)
    During the Twentieth Century, private property rights, the cornerstone of freedom, were greatly diminished in exchange for government power under environmental law, regulatory takings, rent control, scenic regulations, historic preservation, architectural review, and eminent domain abuse. The radical left is winning.
  • "The Truth About Environmentalism" - Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson, PRFA, August 2006
    The Green WaveEnvironmentalism and Its Consequences, by Bonner Cohen, Capitol Research Center, 2006
    Environmentalists have a stranglehold and, if things continue the way they are going, they will prevail and destroy traditional society.
  • "Fact, Fiction, and Opinion" - Book Review by Nathaniel R. Dickinson (PRFA, July 2006)
    The Essential Grizzly by Doug and Andrea Peacock (Lyons Press, 2006)
    Presumptions cripple this book on grizzlies. A blend of facts and fiction, politics and advocacy, this compendium of essays on grizzlies and the authors
    ' opinions on their importance to man wastes an opportunity to compile reams of knowledge into a credible work.
  • "Misconceptions Make this Book Beastly" - Book Review by
    Nathaniel R. Dickinson, (PRFA, April 11, 2006)
    The Beast in the Garden, David Baron, W. W. Norton and Company, 2004
    Killings of human beings by cougars in areas near built-up suburbs have led Baron to advocate for action by public agencies and private groups to preserve more open space, rather than identify problems and needs. In addition to accounts of encounters with cougars, Baron's writing includes a hodgepodge ranging from a study of deep-seated fear of cats to discourses on multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism and Native Americanism. The strict preservationist stance displays a lack of appreciation of the natural world.
  • Carol W. LaGrasse"How Subsidized Housing Keeps the Poor Down" Book review by Carol W. LaGrasse, April 9, 2005
    Review of: America's Trillion-Dollar Housing Mistake-The Failure of American Housing Policy By Howard Husock (Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 2003)
  • "The Rampant Injustice of Eminent Domain" - By Nate Dickinson (PRFA, November 14, 2004)
    Review of Abuse of Power—How the Government Misuses Eminent Domain by Steven Greenhut (Seven Locks Press 2004)
    Master planners are using "blight" declarations and urban redevelopment to sack neighborhoods in a nationwide nightmare of eminent domain. People are fighting back to protect their private property rights.
  • "Dispossessed" - By Susan Allen (PRFA, September 2004)
    Book Reviews: Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It by Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove and Mists of the Couchsacrage: Rescue from State Land by Alden L. Dumas
    Dr. Mindy Fullilove's Root Shock captures the mid-20th-century horror of loss of home in her documentation of urban renewal. The story Mists of the Couchsacrage by Alden L. Dumas is haunted by the banished hunting camps destroyed by New York State's insatiable lust for wilderness, which it creates by eliminating the rural culture.
  • "A Professional and Intellectual Journey" - Book Review by Nate Dickinson (PRFA, April 13, 2004)
    A review of Give Me a Break — How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media by John Stossel, Harper Collins, 2004
  • The Power Broker — Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro. Book Review - by Susan Allen, Editor and Publisher of the Adirondack Park Agency Reporter (PRFA, February 2004)
    Surveying all from above, Robert Moses wielded eminent domain to achieve his grand plans, wiping out New York neighborhoods in his way. He invented the modern "power authority," with its legacy of "public benefit corporations" having the force of government but virtually immune from citizen supervision.
  • "A Novice's Reaction to a Smart Growth Discussion" - By Nate Dickinson, Wildlife Biologist (PRFA, December 12, 2003
    Review of "Outsmarting Smart Growth - Population Growth, Immigration, and the Problem of Sprawl" by Beck, Kolankiewicz, and Camarota (Center for Immigration Studies, 2003). Dickinson questions the assumptions underlying the report, and asks whether planners are interested in changing the complexion of a free society. Statistics for agricultural acreage show that the U.S. A. is getting wilder, contrary to the report's drift. He states that the report's immigration statistics prove the need to rethink immigration policy. Illegal immigration must be simply halted.
  • "An Attempted Perspective - Good Faith Fails to Bridge the Adirondack Gap" - By Carol W. LaGrasse (PRFA, Dec. 3, 2002)
    A review of the issues, accuracy and fairness in Barbara McMartin's new book, Perspectives on the Adirondacks - A Thirty-year Struggle by People Protecting Their Treasure (Syracuse University Press, 2002). In her book packed with information of varying accuracy about the opposing sides in the Adirondack struggle, McMartin sympathetically seeks harmony through utopian planning while increasing the protection of nature. But she fails to understand the human needs for private property rights and equal protection under the law.

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