Sunday, April 29, 2018

USA Today Review of an Excellent, Must-see Movie, “Little Pink House.”

By Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Opinion columnist April 16, 2018
 Susette Kelo's 'Little Pink House' movie shed lights on an often-ignored subject: Whether or not the government has the right to take your property.

Like some sort of HGTV dream, Susette Kelo found a house in the perfect location and within her budget.  She lovingly restored and updated it, and lived there happily ever after. Well, until she was thrown out, to be precise.  Because it wasn’t an HGTV dream, but an eminent domain nightmare.

Her “little pink house” (the color was actually called “Odessa Rose”) was condemned to make space for an industrial development project. She fought the condemnation all the way to the Supreme Court but — in what was something less than the usual rosy Hollywood ending —she lost. Her home was taken, her neighborhood was demolished, and then, adding insult to injury, the industrial redevelopment fell through and it turned out to have all been for nothing. . . .

I was fortunate enough to get an advance screener, and showed the film, which opens later this week, to my Constitutional Law class at the University of Tennessee. (You can see a trailer here.) My verdict: Little Pink House is an outstanding and moving treatment of a legal issue that gets far too little attention: The extent to which the state can take your property away just because it thinks it has a better use for it.

The Bill of Rights is supposed to protect your property. It provides that private property can’t be taken from its owners except for public use, and with the payment of “just compensation” to its owners. But the way that both of those concepts have been applied by the courts is problematic, to say the least.

Few people have problems with taking private property for obvious public uses like roads, bridges, or schools. But courts have interpreted “public use” to mean pretty much anything the government says is for the benefit of the public, or for a “public purpose.” . . .

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Remembering Dr. Edith Packer

Clinical psychologist Dr. Edith Packer has passed away. The world has lost a magnificent person. She was my longtime friend and mentor. She was the one who encouraged me to write fiction, which changed my life and greatly enhanced my happiness.

For those of you who knew Dr. Packer, there is a beautiful eulogy for her that her husband, Dr. George Reisman, wrote, posted on his blog. Included in it is the heroic story of how she escaped the Holocaust. The link to the eulogy is:

Dr. Packer wrote a ground-breaking book on psychology, available as a Kindle ebook. It’s called “Lectures on Psychology.”

Below is an excerpt from my Amazon review of her book. I hope you’ll want to read “Lectures on Psychology,” an important work for anyone interested in understanding the psychological requirements for achieving happiness and for living in a free society.

From Amazon review, posted by Winged Victory Press (Gen LaGreca):

The lectures describe Dr. Packer's theories and methods, many of which are original and ground-breaking. Throughout the narrative the author clarifies and illustrates her points with numerous examples from her clinical practice. The result is a book that offers new and important concepts for professionals in the field, as well as a remarkably easy-to-read text for laymen to understand and digest.

In a world awash with irrationality, as our world seems to be, we are prone to suffer at least some degree of psychological damage. Starting in our formative years and continuing into adulthood, we can be pulled down into the quicksand of inexplicable emotional reactions, fear of failure, self-doubt, anxiety, debilitating anger, and other psychological downslides. Dr. Packer's work provides a lifeline to the solid ground of reason, self-esteem, values, and the pursuit of happiness, where human life thrives.

One of Dr. Packer's many insights that I found to be extremely helpful is her identification of "happiness skills," i.e., her therapeutic techniques for helping a patient to overcome his fears, to think for himself, to identify his values, and then to take action toward achieving them.

Another breakthrough concept is the way in which Dr. Packer demystifies emotions. She explains how emotions are not causeless, and how they can be traced back to past evaluations we've made. This puts our emotions within our cognitive control to understand, to evaluate, and, if necessary, to change.

All of her methods put us in control of our lives in a fundamental way and help us to achieve self-confidence and happiness.

In giving us the psychological tools to create a healthy mental state, Dr. Packer also gives us the necessary foundation of a healthy political state and society. She shows how to become the kind of person that is suited to living in a free society---a person who is self-sufficient, able to take responsibility for his own life, and supremely eager, confident, and happy to be the master of his own fate.

This is a book that applies and integrates the philosophy of reason to the field of psychology. In doing so, it is a pivotal work in our journey toward a new Age of Enlightenment, i.e., toward a rebirth of the ideas of reason, individualism, and freedom. For a free society to exist, we not only have to have rational philosophical, political, and economic ideas. We also have to have healthy individuals who possess the mental resources to live by reason, to be self-reliant, to take care of themselves, and to prosper and thrive in a free society. Such individuals embrace their freedom and wouldn't have it any other way. "Lectures on Psychology" paves the way toward this brighter future for the individual and for society.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pioneer vs. Welfare State

My Kindle e-book, "The Pioneer vs. the Welfare State," is FREE today on Amazon. It's #1 in Political Freedom on Amazon Free Books today.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Gen LaGreca's Novels Take 2 Awards in 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards

The 2017 Eric Hoffer Book Awards are in, and A DREAM OF DARING won an award in Legacy Fiction and FUGITIVE FROM ASTERON won an award in Young Adult Fiction.

A DREAM OF DARING and Life Under a Master Then and Now

The link below is to a 60-minute talk I recently gave at Americans For Prosperity-Indiana, titled: “A Dream of Daring, a Novel of the Old South, and Life Under a Master Then and Now.”

The first half is about my novel of the Old South, A Dream of Daring. The winner of six literary awards, including a Foreword Book of the Year and Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction Finalist, A Dream of Daring delves deeply into the conflicts of the period that still plague the world today—the clash between progress and control, between freedom and servitude, between the creative human spirit and the forces that work to suppress it—giving the story a relevance and immediacy in our own time.

In the second half of the talk, I discuss the findings of my research: the 10 eerie parallels I found between the freedom-stifling climate of the Old South and the threats to liberty that we face today.

I hope you find it informative.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

NOBLE VISION is #5 Amazon Best Seller in Medical Fiction

This week NOBLE VISION hit #5 Amazon Best Seller in Medical Fiction. It’s also #9 Amazon Kindle Best Seller in Political Fiction. This suspenseful, eye-opening, provocative thriller is challenging prevailing ideas about mixing government with medicine.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Author of the Day: Gen LaGreca - To Savor Freedom

Today I'm the Author of the Day at Many Books. See the in-depth interview: Gen LaGreca - To Savor Freedom

Below are excerpts. For the full-length interview, please go to Many Books, Gen LaGreca - To Savor Freedom

Gen LaGreca is the award-winning author of several Amazon bestsellers that were all written in different genres - or so it seems. Her first book might be a contemporary medical thriller, the second a murder mystery set in the Old South and the third a sci-fi thriller, but they all share similar themes such as freedom, individuality and being ahead of your time. As our author of the day, LaGreca talks about what she calls the "Gen-genre", reveals her writing habits and chats about why she likes to let her books stew a bit before publishing.

 Please give us a short introduction to what Fugitive from Asteron is about

 The story begins on Planet Asteron, which is a grim world of tyranny controlled by a despot named Feran. The Asteronian people are on the verge of starvation, and the only thing in abundance is misery.

 One young man named Arial is a pilot on Asteron. He struggles to have a real life for himself in an environment completely hostile to that. In a place where the life of the individual is suppressed and where everything he does is controlled by a ruler, Arial tries to pursue his own interests and take his own direction. He loves flying, and although people’s work is assigned to them by the leaders and Arial’s assignment did not involve flying, he managed to skewer the records so that he became a pilot in the military. He yearns to travel to other worlds and is fascinated by the stars he sees in the Asteronian sky, wondering if a better world exists out there. He’s curious about everything, but there’s little opportunity to learn the answers.

 On Asteron, mates are assigned to people. Romance and love have been taken out of sex, and there is no intimate family life to speak of, just communal life. In that setting Arial falls in love with someone of his choice, the beautiful Reevah, who’s a rebel like himself, with a proud attitude and a defiance and scorn for their rulers. He secretly meets her in the dead of night, and their encounters are the high point of his life.

 So, in this bleak world, Arial has two things that he cares about: flying and Reevah. Then he loses them both. One day Reevah disappears. She no longer meets him in their secret place, and he doesn’t know what happened to her. (He finds out in a shocking scene.) Then as a military pilot, he’s ordered to drop bombs on a village that’s in revolt. He can’t do it. When he fails in his assigned mission, he’s stripped of his pilot’s job, beaten, and thrown in jail for sedition. He’s sentence to an unbearable future. That’s when he decides to escape from Asteron—or to die trying. He knows that Feran is about to embark on a secret mission of great importance, so Arial devises a scheme to escape from his cell, steal Feran’s spacecraft, and take off. Against all odds, he succeeds.

 There’s a mysterious cargo onboard the spaceship that Arial has stolen. It’s a seemingly impenetrable metal box like nothing he’s seen before, which Feran was taking with him on his mission.

 The spaceship takes Arial on Feran’s pre-programmed course to a world completely unknown to him, an opposite world of peace and freedom—the future Planet Earth. There, humans like him live, and shockingly, are in control of their own lives and have freedoms unimaginable to him. Even more shocking, the people he meets speak his language, which he calls Asteronian but they call English. (The astonishing relationship between Earth and Asteron is revealed as the story unfolds.)

 As the wounds from Arial’s past start to heal and he establishes a new life, he realizes that Feran is in hot pursuit of him and the mysterious cargo—and closer than he thinks.

 Arial’s life is about to change forever—and with it, the fate of two planets.

 Tell us about Arial. Who is he and what makes him so special?

He’s a 21-year-old, handsome, daring pilot, and very brave in general. He’s a rebel. He can never conform to a life of drudgery on Asteron. He can’t buckle down and obey. He gets in a lot of trouble. But he never gives up on the idea that there’s something better out there, and he wants to find it. He fights and risks his life for the things and the people he loves. He’s a great hero for teens and young adults, which makes the novel a good crossover for that audience.

When Arial arrives on Planet Earth, he’s an abused, angry, emotionally scarred young man. He meets a young woman who sees a deeper potential in him and helps him. We’re with him as he discovers his newfound freedom. He learns about many things that we’ve known all of our lives and take for granted, but that he’s experiencing for the first time as an adult. For example, he ate tasteless dried protein cakes in his starving homeland, but now he gets to try food unimaginable to him, like cheesecake, which he consumes with great enjoyment. He gets a job doing what he loves as a pilot, and amazingly he can choose his own work from innumerable other opportunities. He earns money for the first time, and buys things he wants with it. He discovers that he can date anyone he wants to and no one can stop him. But just as he’s learning what it means to be happy, he realizes that Feran and his spies are on Earth, in hot pursuit of him for the mysterious cargo. Arial, his new girlfriend, and his oasis on Earth are in danger. He needs to summon all his skills and courage to outwit his pursuers and uncover the mystery of the cargo and Feran’s mission to Earth.

 Does the book contain an underlying message? What do you hope your readers will take away from Fugitive From Asteron?

 The broad message of all of my novels is that good people, who have courage and passion, and who want to live to the fullest, can fight for their world and win. I want to entertain people and leave them with hope. Although grim things happen and there are villains in my novels to be sure, my focus is on the good, on the great potential of people in the exciting adventure of life. I want to inspire and lift people up.

 More specifically, the important theme in Fugitive From Asteron is the need for freedom of the individual. When we control our own lives, we can set our own values and goals, and work to achieve them. That leads to a fulfilling, happy life. When we don’t control our lives and others dictate to us what we must be and do, then we’re subjugated. We’re defined by something outside of ourselves. Freedom makes happiness possible. We have to be masters of our own lives in order to define and attain our own happiness. We see this message vividly in the adventures of Arial on the 2 planets.

 On Asteron, Arial loses all his values and wants to escape, or else to die. On Earth, he’s free to choose what his life will be like. He can take a job and pick a woman of his choosing. He can have his own apartment and not have to live communally. He can come and go as he pleases, and he doesn’t have to account to guards and always fear their punishment. He finds he can experience something new to him: pleasure. The message is: We should never take freedom for granted. We should savor it, as Arial does.

You’ve written 3 novels, all in very different settings and genres. Tell us about them and why you chose to write such diverse stories.

 Perhaps it’s unusual among contemporary authors, but I love to write in different genres. My first published novel, Noble Vision, is a contemporary medical thriller set in New York City. My second novel, A Dream of Daring, is a murder mystery set in the Old South. And now my third novel, Fugitive From Asteron, is a sci-fi adventure, set on two planets in the future. I find that these different contexts and settings are a fascinating canvas on which to paint my stories.

 Noble Vision is the story of a young neurosurgeon with a new cure for nerve injury and an injured ballerina who needs the treatment as her only hope, but the doctor’s efforts to help her are thwarted by bureaucratic red tape. When I did my research, I got to be in the OR and see surgery performed, to interview neurosurgeons and work out the plot, to read books and journal articles on neurosurgery, to learn about the political controversies that doctors and patients can face, and to learn about the life and career of a ballerina. It was all fascinating.

 My second novel, A Dream of Daring, takes place in Louisiana in 1859. It exposed me to a completely different world from anything I had known. The story is about a young inventor who develops the precursor of the tractor and foresees the new age of mechanized farming that will replace slavery. This puts him in intense conflict with the planters of his town, who want to keep their world of slave farming intact. Tensions mount, and his invention is stolen and someone dear to him is murdered. In my research for that novel, I got to tour and stay at historical Louisiana plantations, go to many museums and historical collections, learn about cotton farming, the history of the internal combustion engine, and many other things. In a special archives collection, I held in my white-gloved hands the plantation journals from cotton planters who actually lived in the 1850s in Louisiana. It was exciting to journey back in time a century-and-a-half through their handwritten accounts.

 Then for Fugitive From Asteron, I got to use my imagination and create my own world, or 2 worlds to be exact. The main character is a pilot, and there are daredevil flying scenes in this novel, so I got to study aerobatics and fighter planes. I also got to learn about space travel and about certain scientific issues involved in creating the “mysterious cargo” in the novel. All of that fascinated me.

 Although my 3 novels might seem very different because of their diverse settings, I think that on a deeper level they’re all similar. I call it the Gen-genre. First, all 3 novels are thematically related; they all involve characters who think outside the box, are struggling to achieve their freedom and individuality, and they’re ahead of their times and the societies they’re living in. Second, all 3 novels involve a scientific invention or discovery of some kind. I have an undergraduate degree in chemistry and worked early in my career as a pharmaceutical chemist, so the breakthrough medical discovery in Noble Vision, the prototype tractor in A Dream of Daring, and the mysterious cargo in Fugitive From Asteron (which involves a surprising scientific discovery) all appeal to me. Third, all 3 novels have strong romance—love triangles and conflicts that are interwoven in the plots. Those similarities in my approach explain why novels set in the past, present, and future feel as if they came from the same heart and soul.

Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve a clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?

 Yes! I love fiction’s power to dramatize ideas and to clarify important issues. This has been true throughout history, starting with ancient mythology and continuing to modern times. For example, in the 1850s, it was a novel Uncle Tom’s Cabinthat galvanized people against slavery. During the American Revolution, when our troops were suffering great hardships at Valley Forge, George Washington turned to fiction. He had the highly influential play of his time, “Cato, A Tragedy,”—about a Roman hero of republicanism who opposed the growing tyranny of Julius Caesar—performed for his troops to motivate them to fight on. People turn to fiction for inspiration, for a refueling of their spirit. That’s why good novels are treasures.

 I also love the emotional impact that fiction has, how it puts us right there in the action in an unforgettable way. For example, how do we remember Sherman’s march on Atlanta during the Civil War?—through a textbook account, or through the dramatic scene in Gone With the Wind, with Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in a teetering wagon pulled by a half-dead horse, desperately trying to escape Atlanta in the middle of Sherman’s siege, with the entire city wildly ablaze and in utter chaos?

Once I discovered fiction-writing, I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do more than to write novels. The work is what I call a sweet torture.

 Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

 No, I don’t block out the work that way. The research and the outline come first. So, for months I don’t do any writing. Then once I have a really good chapter-by-chapter outline, I start writing. When the story is well thought out in advance, it saves me from having to rewrite. I’m a strong plot writer, so I subscribe to what people say about the theater: If you see a gun on the fireplace mantel in Act One, you can be sure that gun is going to go off in Act Three. I write like that. I like to drop clues early in the story, which you can be sure will all play a part later, hopefully in unexpected and surprising ways.

 When I start writing, scenes will deviate somewhat from my outline, but I’ll definitely know the ending, key characters, and the essential progression of events at the outset. Yes, I do set deadlines, but the writing always takes longer than I expect.

 What has your journey as an author been like? Was there ever a defining moment when you suddenly realized "now I am an author"?

 Yes, there was! I worked for a while as a management consultant. One of the things I did for clients was to write and produce videos for staff training. I found that these videos were becoming more and more imaginative and plot-oriented. Finally, one of my clients, the publisher of a magazine for the foodservice industry, said to me, “Gen, I can’t have romance in this video about restaurant sanitation!” That was when I thought to myself, “Hey, I ought to try writing a novel.” And so I did.

 What are you working on right now?

I’m working on my fourth novel, which is called Just the Truth. It’s a contemporary political thriller about the world of journalism. The story explores the question: Is truth still the ruling principle in today’s world of journalism and politics, and what are the forces working against it? In this story, a young female journalist will be the leading character.

For the full-length interview, please go to Many Books, Gen LaGreca - To Savor Freedom

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fugitive From Asteron, Book Review by John Dick

Here's a review that I love of my new novel, FUGITIVE FROM ASTERON, by John Dick at Tabula Comica.
Please check out this great site.

"Fugitive from Asteron"
Book Review by John Dick

I love it when I read a new book whose story grabs my attention from the start and captivates me through to the end. It is rare, but I have just read such a book.

Fugitive from Asteron, the latest novel by author Gen LaGreca, is not only a well written and fast-paced science fiction adventure story, it is also a story about love and the rebirth of one man’s attitude and spirit about life as a free individual who was enslaved for years in a faraway tyrannical world. The novel’s basic intrigue, however, arises from the age-old universal struggle of tyranny versus individual freedom, in the eventual conflict of these two opposing worlds, and which of these worlds will survive.

But what I personally loved most about this new novel was Ms. LaGreca’s continual injection of the amazing wonders discovered in the world of freedom by the novel’s main character, Alex, despite his own heroic struggles to save that world. Ms. LaGreca’s wonderful descriptions of the free world’s inventions, private property, prosperity, and the inhabitants’ character and relationships were so enticing. I found myself wanting to learn more and more about the story’s world of freedom, a place where I would want to live.

We normally don’t get to taste such a view of how things could be in a free world from contemporary literature. It is always so refreshing when we do. And my impressions were confirmed from this particular quote in Fugitive from Asteron:

“… I laughed – easily, freely, lavishly, the way we Earthlings do.”


Posted by

Book of the Day: NOBLE VISION

My novel, NOBLE VISION, is the Book of the Day on Ereader News Today.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I love this review of my new novel, FUGITIVE FROM ASTERON, because it succinctly describes both the plot and theme.

An Action Adventure Story Of Individualism And Love
By Randall Saunders

"Fugitive From Asteron" is Gen LaGreca's third published novel, but the first that she wrote. I've been looking forward to it since I had an opportunity to see a very early draft. It has been worth the wait.

"A science fiction adventure story for young adults and the forever young," she describes it, but it is much more than that. It is a grand picture of two opposites: a world of totalitarian oppression versus a world of individual freedom.

The picture is in the form of a fast-paced story of mystery, intrigue, and love. The mad ruler of the world of oppression seeks to solve the problems of his world by conquering and taking over the free world—and the free world does not even know it is being threatened. Only one man is able to discover the nature of that threat, but he is from the world of oppression. Only one person is able to help him but she is from the free world and hates anyone or anything from the world of oppression.

The inevitable clash of cultures that occurs when they meet furthers the unlikelihood they will be able to prevent the destruction of the free world.

This is a wonderful, fast-paced, science fiction yarn, especially for those who enjoy depictions of individualism and a heroic battle for freedom.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fugitive From Asteron is Now Published

My New Novel is Now Published! FUGITIVE FROM ASTERON is an inspiring tale of first love and high adventure with a thought-provoking theme. A great choice for young adults and the forever young!

The ebook edition is on sale this week at Amazon Kindle for $0.99.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

There is a Goodreads Giveaway going on now to win a free paperback copy of my new novel, Fugitive From Asteron, coming out in January. Please follow the link below to enter the contest:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Conservative Book Club Features NOBLE VISION

The Conservative Book Club is now featuring Noble Vision, the medical thriller that dramatically portrays the dangers of government healthcare. This award-winning novel makes a great holiday gift.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fugitive From Asteron

My new novel, Fugitive From Asteron, will be published in January 2016. This is a science-fiction adventure story for young adults . . . and for the forever young.

Here's the description of this liberty-themed novel of high-adventure, first love, and unyielding courage:

In a grim world of tyranny, one man struggles to defy the norms. In a place where life is cheap, he prizes his. Where work is drudgery, he gets the one job he wants. Where passion is extinct, he loves a beautiful woman. Then he loses everything.

Fugitive From Asteron

Arial is an ace pilot who is imprisoned for sedition by Feran, the brutal ruler of Planet Asteron. The young rebel is pushed to desperation when he’s sentenced to undergo an unbearable punishment.
Feran is about to embark on a vital mission that is shrouded in the highest secrecy. But in a death-defying escape, Arial steals his ruler’s spacecraft, foiling his plans. The ship takes the fugitive on Feran’s pre-programmed course, with a mysterious cargo aboard.
Arial’s life is about to change forever—and with it, the fate of two planets.
During the stormy events that seize his life, Arial is drawn to two women. Reevah is the proud Asteronian whose strong will sets her apart in a society where all must obey. She lives for her stolen moments with Arial. But will her love for him seal her doom?
Kristin is the high-spirited woman of another world who falls in love with the handsome stranger who lands on her planet. But will she discover the secret of his past that will make him her mortal enemy?
Fugitive From Asteron takes you on a journey to two opposite worlds on the brink of a collision. It’s a tale of exotic adventure, of first love, of grit and courage, of harrowing danger, and of a shocking mystery unfolding. At heart, it’s the story of a young man’s struggle to heal the wounds of a brutal past, to learn what makes human existence possible, and to claim his own life.
Stay tuned for more details as the January 2016 publication date approaches!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A DREAM OF DARING Entered in New Fiction Contest

To fans of A Dream of Daring,

The Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance is a new group dedicated to supporting fiction authors who reflect pro-liberty values and who are struggling for recognition in today’s left-of-center cultural scene.

My novel, A Dream of Daring, has been nominated for the CLFA’s Book of the Year Award. Please click on the link below at Survey Monkey to vote for it. You DO NOT need to log in or give your name or email address or any personal information. Just click and vote. Thank you so much for helping A Dream of Daring, an exciting novel that pays tribute to the creativity, achievement, and glory of the individual.

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO VOTE: The deadline for voting is Feb. 28.

A Dream of Daring is a ForeWord Book of the Year Finalist and winner of five literary awards.

A Dream of Daring, Synopsis:

In the South before the Civil War, one man’s radical ideas and breakthrough invention threaten the townspeople’s privileged way of life, based on slavery and power.

Tom Edmunton, the science-minded son of a cotton planter, has designed the precursor of the tractor in antebellum Louisiana. He foresees a new age of mechanized farming that will empty the fields of men and replace the South’s slavery system. But the planters of his town don’t like his big ideas about changing their world or the intensity with which he’s pursuing them. As Tom hears the call of the new age, he also feels the pull of two women. Rachel, a senator’s daughter, loves him, but will she break with her family to stand by his side if the town rebukes him? Solo, a rebellious mulatto slave, despises Tom, along with every other master. Rachel is free, but is her spirit chained? Solo is chained, but is her spirit free? Tensions between Tom and the planters peak, and the tractor is stolen. “Then a shocking murder sets into motion inextricably linked events and revelations that will change life as they know it for Tom, Rachel, and Solo” (Booklist).

Murder, forbidden love, and the bitter clash of two ages unfold in this gripping mystery set during the tumultuous lead-up to the Civil War. A Dream of Daring is a haunting tale of the Old South, with its lush fields of white-gold cotton, its majestic plantations, its elegant gentry, and its embattled slaves. The novel delves deeply into the conflicts of the period that still plague the world today—the clash between progress and control, between freedom and servitude, between the limitless reach of the human spirit and the forces that work to suppress it— giving the story a relevance and immediacy in our own time.

Friday, August 8, 2014

A DREAM OF DARING Wins 5 Book Awards

My historical novel, A DREAM OF DARING,  which blends murder and intrigue with questions of freedom and human dignity, has won the following awards:

Book of the Year Finalist

Finalist in Historical Fiction
Midwest Book Awards

Finalist in Romance
Midwest Book Awards

Finalist in Regional Fiction
2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

Finalist in Multicultural Fiction
2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards

A visionary inventor builds a prototype tractor to replace slave farming—and the town's planters vow to destroy him. This raging struggle between a freedom-loving innovator and a privileged elite that desperately clings to power is packed with lessons for our own time.

Click on the edition to see more information and to order on Amazon:
Paperback or Kindle

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In Memory of John Blundell

The spark that began so many of the free-market organizations and think-tanks that we have today has passed away. Sadly, the world has lost economist, author, and historian, John Blundell. John was a personal friend who supported and encouraged my work. For a tribute to John's illustrious career and accomplishments, see the Atlas Network's "In Memoriam, John Blundell": .

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Why I Love America

by Gen LaGreca 
As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember the many reasons to honor America—and to fear for its future.
I love America for being the place where an upstart group of colonists, imbued with the ideas of liberty, launched an impossible battle against the Goliath British Empire, the most powerful force in the world—and won.
I love America for establishing a revolutionary new country in which a person’s life is his and his alone to live as he chooses and for his own sake, where a person has complete sovereignty over himself and his possessions, and government’s only purpose is to protect that sacred right.
I love America for recognizing that not only is it illegal for a criminal to steal your property, rob you of your liberty, or hijack your life, but the government cannot do these things to you, either. I love America for being the first country in history to establish through its founding charter that government cannot act like a common criminal, but must be accountable to moral law, which means it must respect the rights of the individual.
I love America for igniting a firestorm of liberty that ultimately led to the abolition of slavery, the suffrage of women, and the spread of freedom around the globe.
I love America for unshackling the minds of its people so that they could think, dream, create, and achieve, triggering an explosion of scientific and industrial advancement and a standard of living unmatched—and unimaginable—in history.
I love America for being the place where wealth was created and earned, rather than looted and plundered, a place where it was understood that if persons were to be free, then their economic activities had to be out of the grip of government.
I love America for being the place where it was possible for genius to flourish, where the Henry Fords, the Thomas Edisons, the Wright Brothers, and many other innovators formed ground-breaking new industries that moved mankind forward.
I love America for spawning the American Dream, the worldwide symbol of the boundless opportunity and achievement that results from the freedom to carve one’s own destiny.
I love America for offering freedom and opportunity to so many of our ancestors who arrived as immigrants, who came here to work—not to collect handouts or to terrorize—and who knew that in America nothing was owed to them and everything had to be earned, and who rose to the challenge, creating a spectacularly better life for themselves and for us, their descendants.
I love America for its vision of a truly civilized society, one of independent, resourceful, industrious, wealth-creating, and life-loving people, who live in peace and good will toward their fellow man because no one can stake a claim to anyone else’s life, wealth, or property.
I love America for being the country where people could work hard, rise, and be proud of their success, because production, profit, wealth, and achievement were life-giving values to attain and enjoy, not to envy and loot.
The America I love is fast becoming a distant memory. Every day we wake up to frightening new assaults on our rights—on our industries, our freedom of speech, our freedom to control our own lives, our food, our healthcare, our children’s education, our homes, our businesses. Every aspect of our lives is under assault by an ever-growing, intrusive, liberty-killing government. The root of all of these attacks is the notion that a person no longer owns and controls his own life. It is in the hands of a menacingly growing government to control for its own ends.
No matter how much our country has swayed from its ideals today, I will never forget that I am an American. I will never forget that our ancestors forged a continent not with public aid and bailouts but with the shining vision of a better life and the self-reliance to attain it. Our forebears created wealth, progress, and achievement on an unprecedented scale. No government fed our pioneers, inspected their wagons for safety, certified their chickens, meddled in their businesses, looted their wealth, or subjected their lives to endless controls, permissions, and regulations.
The time has come to reclaim our legacy from the meddlers, moochers, expropriators, and budding tyrants who are hammering away at Lady Liberty, knocking her down bit by bit, and ready to topple her completely.
When we enjoy our barbecues and fireworks on Independence Day, let’s remember the real meaning of this holiday. The day America was born is the day the individual broke free of the shackles of government to forge his own life. The result was unprecedented and spectacular. The cause was liberty; the effect was the flourishing of human life. Today we see everywhere a new force at work: the destruction of liberty. The effect is the destruction of our cities, our industries, our schools, our healthcare, our energy, our wealth, our power.
We the people must pick up the pieces, make our Lady whole again, and return her to her pedestal as the country we love and honor, the country of liberty.

This essay is excerpted from the author’s e-book, The Pioneer vs. the Welfare State: Essays on Liberty in Peril. Get your FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK on AMAZON KINDLE, now through July 5 .

Gen LaGreca is also the author of two novels that celebrate individualism and liberty, Noble Vision and A Dream of Daring, available on Amazon.

Copyright© 2014 by Genevieve LaGreca. Permission to reproduce this essay is given with attribution to the author.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson

On April 13th every American should raise a Champagne glass to toast the farmer, architect, scholar, revolutionary, and American president born that spring day in 1743: Thomas Jefferson. One of our greatest Founding Fathers, Jefferson carved much of the government and character of his precious gem, America.
He penned numerous documents extolling the revolutionary ideas of his time, including the stirring words on the parchment that created the new nation of America, “The Declaration of Independence.” Yet how many of our current citizens—and elected officials—truly understand its meaning? This is why it’s necessary to explain its great principles of individual rights and limited government.
The Declaration launched the first country in history based on the principle that every individual possesses certain “unalienable” rights. According to Jefferson's writings, “free people claim their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their Chief Magistrate.” No tyrant has the authority to violate the rights of man, nor does any majority in Congress. “...the majority, oppressing an individual,” says Jefferson, “is guilty of a crime . . . and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.”
Our rights belong to us as individuals, with each of us possessing the same rights. There are no “rights” of groups to any special favors or privileges. It is inappropriate, for example, for pizza eaters to lobby Congress for a “right” to a free pizza every Thursday. If Congress grants their wish, out of concern for their nourishment or their votes, it acts outside of its proper function. According to Jefferson, “Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated [in the Constitution].”
Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness are rights to take action; they are not entitlements to the goods and services of others. Jefferson defined liberty as “unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” This means we may act in our own behalf, for example, to earn money and buy a house, but we may not expect the government to tax others to provide us with a house for free.
Life requires productive work and effort to sustain it, a fact that Jefferson considered to be our glory. When his Monticello farm fell on hard times, he began producing nails, and did so proudly because “every honest employment is deemed honorable [in America]. . . . My new trade of nail-making is to me in this country what an additional title of nobility . . . [is] in Europe.” He scorned the “idleness” of the European aristocracy, calling their courts “the weakest and worst part of mankind.” What would he think of our current government's grants and handouts to countless special-interest groups, a practice that rewards people for non-effort?
Our right to property means we have the right to keep the things we acquire. Does a rich person have less of a right to property than a poor person? According to Jefferson: “To take from one because it is thought his own industry . . . has acquired too much, in order to spare others who . . . have not exercised equal industry and skill is to violate the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” What would he think of the persistent cries of today's politicians to “tax the rich,” thereby depriving them of their property and the pursuit of their happiness?
Jefferson ardently championed the spiritual and intellectual independence of the individual. He was so proud of authoring the “Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” in Virginia that he had this fact etched on his tombstone. The bill ended the practice of paying the clergy with public funds because “to compel a man to furnish . . . money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical.” Jefferson believed that religion was a completely private matter and fought for a “wall of separation between church and state.” He was “against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another”; and he swore “eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” What would he think of special interests and politicians of both parties, past and present—from advocates of Prohibition to faith-based initiatives—who try to dictate public policy and spend taxpayer money to promote religious objectives? And what would he think of the current administration's unprecedented power over religious organizations that provide health insurance, forcing them to offer benefits that violate their conscience?

Because we possess rights, governments are instituted. Wise government, explains Jefferson, “shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” Government acts only to protect us from acts of force or fraud, apprehending perpetrators who pick our pockets or break our legs; otherwise, it does not regulate or control our lives in any way. Jefferson was “for a government rigorously frugal and simple . . . and not for a multiplication of officers and salaries merely to make partisans . . . ” What would he think of the swarms of agencies, bureaus, commissions, and departments that today swallow more than 40-percent of our national income?
Jefferson believed citizens to be capable of self-sufficiency because they possess reason. “Fix reason firmly to her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.” He expected people to use their minds to overcome obstacles and control their own lives. He gently chastised his 15 year-old daughter when she had difficulty reading an ancient text on Roman history without the aid of her teacher. “If you always lean on your master, you will never be able to proceed without him. It is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate—to surmount every difficulty . . . ” Americans, he continued, “are obliged to invent and to execute; to find the means within ourselves, and not to lean on others.” To do otherwise, his daughter would be “thought a very helpless animal, and less esteemed.” What would he think of today's entitlement programs, which destroy a person's capacity to think and act for himself, and transform him into a helpless dependent?
Within a mere page in the calendar of history, the powerful doctrine of individual rights led to the abolition of slavery, the suffrage of women, and the spread of freedom to many countries around the globe. It all began with the founding of America.
Jefferson fought for a country in which the government had no power to encroach on the mind, the life, the liberty, and the property of the individual. He fought for a country in which the individual was unshackled for the first time in history and could live for the pursuit of his own happiness, instead of being a pawn in the hands of the state. The way to pay tribute to Jefferson—and to ourselves—is to protest the hammering of our rights by officials who can't tell a diamond from a rhinestone, to hold dear the jewel that is America, and to polish the ideals for which Jefferson and the other signers of the Declaration pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
This essay is excerpted from the author’s e-book, The Pioneer vs. the Welfare State: Essays on Liberty in Peril, available on Amazon Kindle. Gen LaGreca is also the author of two novels that celebrate individualism and liberty, Noble Vision and A Dream of Daring, available on Amazon.
Copyright © 2014 by Genevieve LaGreca. Permission to reproduce is given with proper attribution to the author.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

5-Star Reviews of My New Book from George Reisman and Edith Packer

I was honored to receive the following reviews from two people I highly admire. They appear on Dr. Reisman's blog:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Available at Amazon in Kindle format. 99¢.

A New Declaration of Independence
This is a wonderful book. It evoked despair when the author described the conditions of our welfare state. At the same time, and especially as the result of the next-to-last essay “Why I Love America,” it evoked great admiration for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and resulted in my having hope for the America I also love. Hopefully, the author’s projected “New Declaration of Independence” will someday become a reality. This book should be required reading in all the high schools and colleges of this country.


Strangling the Pioneering Spirit

The essays in this book are gems of excellent, powerful writing in a great cause. Again and again, when the book describes the original, pioneering spirit of America, it brings the reader to a mountaintop of admiration for freedom, for the unimpeded action freedom makes possible, and for the genius of our Founding Fathers in establishing a country dedicated to freedom. And again and again, when it describes the very different spirit that prevails today—the spirit of the welfare state—it plunges the reader into the depths of despair. Here, the reader is made to confront such things as the entitlement mentality run amok and the results of the 700,000 pages of stifling arbitrary rules and regulations that have been promulgated and accumulated in The Federal Register since 1936.

One cannot read this book without a sense of tragic loss over what has gone so terribly wrong in our country. The author concludes with a call for a “NEW Declaration of Independence.” One can only hope that someday it will happen. But for now and the foreseeable future, it would have the greatest difficulty in finding signers, let alone a sufficient number of soldiers willing to fight for a renewal of the ideals on which our country was founded. But enough people reading this book would certainly help to improve the odds.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

If Government Healthcare is So Great, How About “Foodcare”?

With Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid, plus countless state mandates and other regulations of the private medical care and health-insurance market, we are rapidly moving toward a total government takeover of medicine in America. Advocates of a totally state-run and state-funded system—“single payer”—claim that medical treatment should not be dictated by a person’s ability to pay and everyone should receive the same level of care as a birthright.
Really? One could make the same assertion for any human need, such as food: The rich shouldn’t get any better food than the poor. Every person is entitled to get the food he needs as a birthright. Therefore, the state will provide universal Foodcare. What would happen if such a claim were made? It would be touted as a moral ideal, motivated by kindness toward the needy. Opponents would quickly be vilified as callous, merciless sadists who enjoy watching people starve to death—oh, and they’d also be branded as racists and misogynists, as well. Before the American people knew what hit them, a bill would be introduced, and it would become a law. Welcome to Foodcare, the new government program that provides you with food, and you need never do anything except open your mouth.
Initially, the state gives you a deluxe food plan, which it touts as superior to the allegedly immoral, low-quality food that the unfettered free-market “fat-cat” vendors tried to pass off on you. The lobster you bought only on your birthday becomes your regular fare, as does your favorite imported cheeses, exotic vegetables, and beef made from cattle massaged with rice wine. You need no longer watch your pennies now that your appetite and wallet have parted company.
Because the same idea occurs to 300 million others, Foodcare’s costs skyrocket to ten times its budget, and a Foodcare crisis develops. Big Brother can no longer passively foot the bill for your busy mouth. Now he will dictate when, where, and what you are allowed to eat. This requires numerous new government agencies, thousands of bureaucrats, and a 110,000-page rulebook.
One provision of Foodcare covers restaurants. You visit your favorite one to find it is not what it used to be. Gone are the tablecloths, flower displays, and cheerful hostess to greet you. In the past you gladly paid for these enhancements in the price of your meal; but now the U.S. Department of Restaurants has eliminated them as a wasteful indulgence of the people’s resources. You seat yourself and peruse the menu, which has been drastically reduced to a few simple offerings. Missing are the savory specials of the talented chef, whose last creation required five years and 30 pounds—not of ingredients but of paperwork—to gain approval from the New Recipe Administration.
You want to order steak, but serving it requires that the chef call a central office to obtain pre-authorization. Because your are allotted only 30 minutes to dine, with a long line waiting to slide into your barely warmed seat, you order hamburger instead. You notice your neighbor eating steak—and sitting at the best table. You remember a time when he was unemployed and you bought him dinners. Then, he thanked you for your charity and quickly got another job. But that was before he had “rights” to his food. Now, he has permanently quit working and spends his time milking the system so that he can eat off your tax dollars.
You barely recognize the frazzled chef sitting in a corner, buried in paperwork. The once lively, happy figure doting over your every need now slaves for a new master, one that runs him ragged, denying his fee for serving Cognac, second-guessing his decision to make soufflĂ©, requiring a special certification to buy a new oven. You know that under Foodcare he works twice as long for half the pay and merely bides time till retirement. When he goes, you doubt he’ll be replaced because enrollment in chef’s schools has dipped as the number of bureaucrats hounding them has risen.
Having dispatched your restaurant ration, you proceed to the supermarket to exercise your "rights" under another provision of Foodcare, which covers retail operations. Since you are now a public-aid case and no longer a customer, there is little need for customer service. Gone is the kaleidoscope of colors, tastes, and smells in the gastronomical paradise that was the American supermarket. No more bountiful rows of edibles that were a testament to the prosperity and individual tastes of the patrons and to the entrepreneurial genius of the providers. You rummage through splinter-ridden crates that keep food hidden so that you will not take too much and burden society with your mastication. Your once welcomed business is now dreaded by the manager, since the Foodcare Utilization Board fined her for giving you too much salmon and denied her payment for the steak she let you have without first checking with her regulator.
You settle on chicken, a creature as hapless as you. The gourmet coffees and chocolate cakes you loved were removed from the formulary. Because Foodcare could not afford to give them to everyone for free, now no one can buy them at any price. You join a line of hungry masses—your once proud, self-supporting neighbors who now live off the public dole, waiting for cheerless checkers to process their identification cards and claim forms.
Time passes, and everyone forgets how it happened, but the quality of food and service deteriorates. The taxes you pay for Foodcare far exceed the bills you once paid when you bought your own food and did not obtain it for “free.” Then, you didn't pay for bureaucrats, inspectors, and agencies to tell you what to eat, or for those milking the system like your neighbor. Besides emptying your wallet, you realize that Foodcare has drained all the pleasure you once derived from eating.
You notice that the worse the crisis gets, the more the politicians play the blame game. It seems that everyone is at fault but them and their program. The big food companies are to blame, so laws are passed to cut their prices and seize their profits, causing them to stop offering new products or to go out of business. The big retailers are to blame, so laws are passed to regulate them even further, which is costly for them, so the price of food skyrockets from what it was before Foodcare was enacted. The chefs and grocers are to blame, so laws are passed to cut their pay, insuring that none may ever have a Mercedes in his garage while anyone goes hungry, causing more of them to flee their profession.
You realize that the food industry has been destroyed. But the statist politicians are unmoved by it. They have achieved their moral ideal of giving people free food as a "birthright." You wonder: Is there something wrong with this picture? The ideal isn't wealth, prosperity, happy chefs and grocers who earn a good living in return for the financial risk they take in their businesses, and satisfied customers who enjoy a Shangri La of readily available, affordable food. The ideal isn't a spectacular abundance, with no one starving, with everyone's standard of eating—including the poor—raised dramatically, and all of this achieved without victims, i.e., without the use of government force to fleece the taxpayers and to rob consumers and suppliers of their freedom to make their own choices and deal with one another voluntarily. The ideal isn't the private system, in which the American house pet—with no "birthright to food" guaranteed by any government—eats better than the citizens of countries with actual Foodcare programs, such as North Korea.
Instead, the moral ideal is to transform self-governing, self-reliant, free Americans into state-controlled puppets, not allowed to think or act for themselves. Who gains from this? The Wizard-of-Oz pretenders to status that are the statist politicians, who show no scruples in trampling over our freedoms for the sake of their power grab. Who else gains? Those motivated by envy, who resent a person's ever acquiring anything more than anyone else—even a cup of gourmet coffee. This is what's touted as a moral ideal.
The Foodcare scenario described here is actually playing out in medicine. Once the gold standard of the world, American medicine and the health insurance industry are falling to their knees from decades of crippling regulation, with the final blow to come from “single payer,” the ultimate dream of the statists—the total replacement of private enterprise with a complete government takeover of medicine. To stop this tyranny we must repudiate the allegation that healthcare is a "birthright." Liberty is our birthright. And liberty is, in Thomas Jefferson's words, "unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." This means we have a right to act, i.e., to get a job (if someone is willing to hire us) and earn money to pay for the things we need. We do not have any "birthright" to seize the money of others and control their activities, thereby violating their liberties, in order to provide for us.
If a thief picked our pockets and claimed it was for a good cause, we'd reply that there can be no good cause whose means is thievery. When our government picks our pockets and claims it's for a good cause, our reply should be the same. Universal healthcare is based on a bogus "birthright" to medical treatment that can be achieved only by government coercion and plunder of innocent citizens. It is neither benevolent nor moral. It is tyranny.
Genevieve (Gen) LaGreca is the author of Noble Vision, a ForeWord magazine award-winning novel about a doctor's fight for freedom in a state-run health system. She may be contacted at genlagreca[at]hotmail[dot]com.

An earlier version of this article was published in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, 6/27/07, titled “New Meaning for ‘Sicko’: Universal Healthcare is a Prescription for Disaster.”

Copyright © 2014 by Genevieve LaGreca. Permisssion to reprint is granted with proper attribution to the author.