A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear
The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (And Some Bears)
PublicAffairs, September 2020
A tiny American town’s plans for radical self-government overlooked one hairy detail: no one told the bears.
“Every once in a while, a book comes along that is so darkly comedic, with such a defined sense of place and filled with characters that range from the fascinating to the bizarre to the earnest, that partway through reading, it hits you: This has got to become a Coen brothers movie…Hongoltz-Hetling is a master of the turn of phrase. His voice is breezy and critical, with a finely tuned eye aimed at the absurdities as well as at the earnestness of the Free Town Project.”
“Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling’s wild and wonderful blend of small-town America and large-scale ideals, imparted with humor and insight reminiscent of Sarah Vowell and Bill Bryson, is an unpredictable and endlessly fascinating feat of immersive reporting, filled with singular characters and doughnut-eating bears.”
―Michael Finkel, bestselling author of The Stranger in the Woods