Paradoxes of Freedom

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by Sidney Hook
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Hook has been called "an intellectual street fighter." To him, survival was not necessarily the greatest human good. He debated the major political issues of the twentieth century throughout his life, and he insisted on the freedom to debate them. 

Early on, Hook adhered to Marxist philosophy. He recognized the crimes of communism long before most intellectuals, some of whom disdained his outspoken anticommunism. In closing The Paradoxes of Freedom, he challenged those of his conteporaries who held to the cold-war dictum "Better red than dead," those who said "that if the defense of freedom imperils peace, then better life under Communism despotism, with all its evils, than the risk of destruction. To which, I reply, invoking in all humility the values of the Jeffersonian tradition: Those who will never risk their lives for freedom will surely lose freedom without surely saving their lives; that unless we prize something in life which is more precious than mere life, we have renounced the human estate, that in our precarious world, intelligence and courage have proved to have greater survival value than hysterical fear..."

In 1987 Hook received the presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan.

This volume is photographically reproduced from the original edition of 1962.

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