For centuries past, the quest for liberty has driven political movements across the globe, inspiring revolutions in America, France, China and many other countries. Now, we have Iraq and the idea of liberation through preemption. What is this liberty that is so fervently pursued? Does it mean a private space for individuals, the capacity for free and rational choice, or collective self-rule? What is the difference between positive and negative liberty, or the relationship between freedom and coercion? Reflecting on these questions reveals a surprisingly rich landscape of ideas - and further questions. "The Liberty Reader" collects twelve of the most important and insightful essays on issues of freedom currently available. It is essential reading for students of social and political theory, political philosophy, and anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the variety of ideas and ideals behind perennial human strivings for liberty.