The Freedom Manifesto: A Tiny Review

In my last post I mentioned one of my favorite little books, The Freedom Manifesto, by  British author, rural smallholder, and Idler editor Tom Hodgkinson. If you’re looking for some intelligent delight and fine essaying, I hope you’ll pick it up yourself.  How could you resist, with chapters like:  “Banish Anxiety; Be Carefree,” “The Tyranny of Bills and the Freedom of Simplicity,” “Reject Career and all Its Empty Promises,” “Cast Off Your Watch,” “Submit No More to the Machine, Use Your Hands,” “In Praise of Melancholy,” “Self-Important Puritans Must Die,” and “Sail Away from Rudeness and towards a New Era of Courtesy, Civility, and Grace,” among many others? And advice like:  “Be bohemian,” “Play the ukulele,” “Use a scythe,” and “Stop moaning, be merry?”  Hodgkinson grounds his counter-cultural thinking in history, philosophy, and a winning way with language.  Whenever I dip into this book, my day gets better.  Or merrier, actually.  Enjoy.




  1. How to be Idle was a bit rough around the edges but pretty good but I really enjoyed How To Be Free!
    Actually my wife and I read it out loud to each other on as we drove from Darwin to Alice Springs and back! At the time I had been under a fair bit of stress… I think that book saved my sanity! We laughed a lot on that trip.
    What a dude, he’s quite an ostentatious fellow isn’t he!
    Thanks for recommending this book.

    1. lyanda

      Yes, I agree this one is quite a bit better than How to be Idle (though if a person finished “Freedom,” and is jonesing for more Hodgkinson, “Idle” is fun,too). And perfect for reading aloud–thanks for sharing. Glad your sanity has returned!

  2. I love this book, too. The only disconnect I feel with Tom’s works is in his ability to get healthcare even while banishing anxiety and being carefree. Definitely a UK perspective, and one I envy. 🙂

    btw: Lyanda, did you happen to know that Tom Waits was reading your book when he was recently interviewed by the Guardian UK? I just read the piece which is what brought me back to your blog:

    1. Ingrid, first–thank you for sending me the Guardian link! I had not seen it, and it totally made my day–a Waits fan, of course!

      And yes, your are absolutely right, there are a few “How nice for you…” moments reading Freedom Manifesto, health care being one of the big ones.

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