Jeff Tucker says of Rollback, “It is a very different book from what you would expect. Once again, Thomas Woods dealt with a publisher that packaged his book for a particular niche market but if you pay attention to the packaging, you miss the substance. In this case, and probably once again, the target is the Tea Party. But the substance? This is the book that tracks its target like a hound on the chase, and the prey is the central government and the myths that surround it. In some way, I really do hope that Tea Party people buy it. They will leave this book much enlightened, changed, and even radicalized.
“This book is certainly going to make most readers uncomfortable and that’s all to the good. It takes on both liberal and conservative conventions and their habits of mind. The objective of the work is dramatically ambitious but never quite stated outright. I would describe it this way: Woods works with relentless precision, like an intellectual surgeon, to convince the reader that the government is not what it says (the source of security, prosperity, peace, justice, health) it is but is rather the opposite and thereby we can and should do without it precisely in the name of promoting security, prosperity, peace justice, and health….
“Woods debunks the myth of good government and makes clear that the goal of all reform must not be to make government work better but to disengage it completely from society and economic life. Whereas the previous sections might have educated many readers on facts that they did not know, this section, the largest of the book, deals with the core of the American civic religion. This is also where the scales being to fall from the eyes. His point is that there is nothing that the government does that improves our lives relative to how freedom might handle the same issue, that there is nothing that needs to be done in society that freedom cannot do better than bureaucracies. Now, obviously, this section represents a dramatic departure from every political convention. It takes us out of the framework of ‘limiting government’ and into the area of radical freedom.
“Woods draws on every resource, and the best resources too, to make the case, and never shrinks from taking on the really hard issues. He is a serious scholar with an editor’s strategic sense. He knows what issues to discuss and he knows the best arguments to explain them from the point of view of freedom. In so doing on issue after issue, he helps the reader imagine life without power. Without his thousands of specifics, he demonstrates that radical liberty is not just a beautiful theory; it is a beautiful and essential practice. I can easily see this book as this generation’s Common Sense: a book that enlightens and emboldens people to see the practical urgency of liberty in our times and in our world.”