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Preface - Anthony de Jasay, The State 
The State (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998).
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Though this book leans on political philosophy, economics, and history, it leans on each lightly enough to remain accessible to the educated general reader, for whom it is mainly intended. Its central theme—how state and society interact to disappoint and render each other miserable—may concern a rather wide public among both governors and governed. Most of the arguments are straightforward enough not to require for their exposition the rigour and the technical apparatus that only academic audiences can be expected to endure, let alone to enjoy.
If nothing else, the vastness of the subject and my somewhat unusual approach to it will ensure that specialist readers find many parts of the reasoning in need of elaboration, refinement, or refutation. This is all to the good, for even if I wanted to, I could not hide that my object has been neither to provide a definitive statement nor to solicit the widest possible agreement.
The reader and I both owe a debt to I. M. D. Little for scrutinizing the major part of the original draft. It is not his fault if I persevered in some of my errors.