This Hemisphere of Liberty

A Philosophy of the Americas


As nations undergo radical transformation in every quarter of the world, we have a greater need than ever before to re-examine the sources of strength and weakness in our political, social and economic institutions. This book explores fundamental questions of wealth and poverty, of freedom and responsibility, and traces our ideas about them to their sources in Aristotle, Aquinas, and the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Novak shows how an understanding of these sources can liberate human potential for creativity, reinvigorate our institutions and lay the foundations for economic progress. Special attention is given to the roots of Latin America's problems of debt, capital flight, and poverty in its religious and philosophical outlook.

Originally Published: 1992


“A provocative and original attempt to link the socially oriented communitarianism of the Catholic tradition with the creativity and dynamism represented by the economic liberalism of Adam Smith and David Hume.”

Paul E. Sigmund
Princeton University

“For the first time a North American writer offers to the world an outstanding and accurate analysis of the Latin American spirit. It is a philosophical link between North and South America that will help the integration of our continents.”

Carolina de Bolivar, President
Ludwig Von Mises Institute Mexico City

“In very attractive language, Michael Novak stresses the moral foundations of liberty and capitalism through what he calls the Catholic Whig tradition. A book very much needed in Latin America.”

Dr. Alberto Benegas Lynch, Jr., Dean
Graduate School of Economics and Business Administration University of Buenos Aires