New Books Network

Iain Murray

The Socialist Temptation

Regnery Gateway 2020

NBN Book of the DayNBN Special SeriesNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & Society September 8, 2020 Kirk Meighoo

Just thirty years ago, socialism seemed utterly discredited. An economic, moral, and political failure, socialism had rightly been thrown on the ash heap of...

Just thirty years ago, socialism seemed utterly discredited. An economic, moral, and political failure, socialism had rightly been thrown on the ash heap of history after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

But a generation of young people who don’t remember the misery that socialism inflicted on Russia and Eastern Europe is embracing it all over again. Oblivious to the unexampled prosperity capitalism has showered upon them, they are demanding utopia.

In his provocative new book, The Socialist Temptation, Iain Murray of the Competitive Enterprise Institute explains:

  • Why the socialist temptation is suddenly so powerful among young people
  • That even when socialism doesn’t usher in a bloody tyranny (as, for example, in the Soviet Union, China, and Venezuela), it still makes everyone poor and miserable
  • Why under the relatively benign democractic socialism of Murray’s youth in pre-Thatcher Britain, he had to do his homework by candlelight
  • That the Scandinavian economies are not really socialist at all
  • The inconsistencies in socialist thought that prevent it from ever working in practice
  • How we can show young people the sorry truth about socialism and turn the tide of history against this destructive pipe dream

Sprightly, convincing, and original, The Socialist Temptation is a powerful warning that the resurgence of socialism could rob us of our freedom and prosperity.

Iain Murray directs the Center for Economic Freedom at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., where he is vice president for strategy and a senior fellow.


Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.