first novel by noted non-fiction writer Boston T. Party, Molôn
Labé! tells the story of a man with a plan to restore
liberty to at least one small corner of the United States of
the novel, James Preston is a military veteran and a decent
man whose faith in the government and the American justice system
is severely shaken when a local man goes on trial. The man is
accused of a crime Preston doesn't see as being a criminal act,
and adding insult to injury is the fact that some on the side
of the prosecution are so anxious for a conviction that they
step well over an ethical line.
Together with some like-minded locals, Preston begins to formulate
a plan that will see his state - Wyoming - become a place of
freedom for those willing to live and work there. But such a
road isn't an easy one, and government officials actively work
to discourage such actions once they become aware of them. Meanwhile,
it's not just Preston and his camp that find certain developments
in government frightening or just plain unconstitutional. A
few take action of their own, including an heroic elderly man
who has decided that he's had just about enough.
all of the previous writing experience Boston can bring to bear,
he manages to avoid many of the pitfalls of first-time fiction
writers. He doesn't overuse particular phrases, and his background
information doesn't contradict itself from one scene to the
next (of course, his substantial knowledge base of his topic
also helps). It may be tempting to say that his characters aren't
adequately fleshed out, and to an extent that's true; on the
other hand, it's so largely because there are a number of characters
involved in a substantial and complex story, and to flesh them
out fully would consume significantly more pages than the 454
pages that it does. Despite that, each of the main characters
are well-established enough that what happens to them next does
matter to the reader.
T. Party's other books are so popular in part because they're
educational. He seems to be a natural teacher, and that also
comes through in Molôn Labé! as you go along.
In fact, the final pages of the book are background material
that one character or another mentions in the book, or which
go to support plot points. While that does make the story even
more real, there are a few occasions when characters within
the story itself tend to expound rather than to simply speak
like we might to each other. But the circumstances usually make
it plausible, so I can't say it interrupted the flow of the
story. And I suspect that with a little more practice in the
fiction arena, such information will in the future be delivered
to the reader more naturally.
Molôn Labé! is a compelling read, not simply
because the story itself will hold your attention but because
it does bear some resemblence to the real-life Free State and
Free State Wyoming Projects. While you'll be able to use this
book as many other novels as an enjoyable escape of sorts, I
suspect you'll also find it an interesting commentary on today's
America, and how we might address the problems that we see.
I enjoyed Molôn Labé! very much. I've been
moved to tears or laughter by books before, but I must confess
that Molôn Labé! is the first I've read
that actually moved me to hope.
* * *
with Boston T. Party on Fiction, Freedom, and Free State Wyoming
Liberty is pleased to be able to publish this exclusive interview
with noted libertarian advocate and author, Boston T. Party.
His previous books include such valuable references as Boston's
Gun Bible, Bulletproof Privacy, and Hologram
of Liberty; his most recent literary effort is that
of his first novel, Molôn Labé! (see also
our book review of Molôn
Labé!). Boston T. Party is currently working
on, among other things, the Free State Wyoming project. For
more information on Boston T. Party's available books, to purchase
books online, and updates on Free State Wyoming, visit the Javelin
Liberty: Boston, you're known as a successful writer of
non-fiction books. What made you decide to try your hand at
writing a novel?
T. Party: After finishing Hologram of Liberty I concluded
that our only chance of freedom was to geographically concentrate
on a small conservative state and liberate it politically. After
even the barest of research, it became obvious that Wyoming
was tailor-made for such an effort. When I envisioned what it
would take to convince thousands of serious liberty-lovers to
relocate to Wyoming, I knew that only a novel could possibly
offer that kind of inspiration. A sort of Galt's Gulch blueprint,
if you will.
in 1997 I penned a couple of chapters to see if I thought I
had the basic skills of a novelist. I liked the rough cut, and
so did my family and friends. Although I had insufficient appreciation
for the difficulty of a novel's construction, the necessity
of the book and its artistic challenge made Molôn Labé!
Did you find all of the research you've done for previous books
to be helpful in writing this book?
Inasmuch what research Molôn Labé! demanded,
certainly. However, research is not writing, and clearly not
Did you find your past history as a researcher helped or hindered
you in writing the book?
Probably not so much my past history, but what was more difficult
was more fundamental: my own nature, as a writer and as a person.
I'm mostly a teacher at heart, and this obviously shined through
in my first eight books - which were all non-fiction. A teaching
propensity is generally not an advantage in a novel. In the
case of Molôn Labé! the story was primarily
about ideas and action (versus characters), so the book was
expected to educate as well as entertain. Hence, I think I skated
under the wire with all those details I couldn't help myself
Molôn Labé! is a pretty thorough guide on
how just 40,000 of us could "liberate" Wyoming, readers
should understand that it's an unusual book for a singular purpose.
How long has the story idea been in the back of your mind, and
what finally made you start writing it?
Since the summer of 1997. I felt that I had no choice but to
write it, as Wyoming was my vision. And, at that time, the entire
free state idea was pretty much my own vision. Only 2-4 years
later did I begin to hear of others arriving at the same conclusion.
Molôn Labé! took about 6 calendar years,
and of that nearly 3 years of full-time work.
There's some surface similarity between your book and the real-world
Free State Projects. Do you consider your book to be predictive
in any way? If so, in what ways?
Any similarities are only surface deep. Being a fan of Nikolai
Tesla, the whole thing reminds me of him having invented, in
his mind, alternating current electricity years before Edison
had put much of New York City on the vastly inferior direct
current. Tesla's AC won out, as it should have, though not before
he had to prove his case against Edison's DC which was already
being used. I think that my Free State Wyoming, whose timing
was dependent on the prior publication of Molôn Labé!,
is quickly becoming known as the superior free state choice
over the Edisonian/DC Free State Project. Oftentimes, an earlier
manifestation of an idea is not the best.
Labé! was not so much predictive, rather than the
FSP was independent and parallel. When an idea is ready to be
born, it is gestating in many wombs simultaneously. This is
why Nobel Prizes are often shared amongst independent, concurrent
discoverers. In short, the idea of a libertarian migration to
a small state was so right, so logical, and so inevitable that
others were bound to come up with it. A good idea is always
predictive of itself, and when its time has come, it will
find the best mother.
In the Appendices of the book, there's a good deal of information
about Wyoming as well as the rationale for the "Free State"
plan you write about in the novel. Does this plan resemble greatly
your real life plans?
Yes and no. Where the details of Molôn Labé!
can obviously be used in real life, then it's a valuable guide.
Where they do not, such as 9,000 free staters waiting with their
engines running (and backed by a brilliant multi-millionaire
family), then such were clearly part of the story.
western free staters have mistaken Molôn Labé!
to be some 100% blueprint of action, which I never meant the
book to be. Now, if we already had millionaire James Preston
onboard - and 9,000 people with bags packed - Molôn
be the blueprint...
How much do you relate to the book's main character (James Preston)?
How alike are the two of you?
He's older, more financially successful, a combat vet, and he
has Juliette and two children. I think of Preston sort of like
an older brother whom I admire and emulate. And we certainly
Obviously, you have to make a story believable if you want it
to resonate with your readers. But just how much of the general
background of Molôn Labé! is already reality,
and how much might be on its way?
Much of Molôn Labé! is beginning to come
true. Not that I am that good of a prognosticator, but history
is generally repetitive and thus fairly easy to forecast - at
least in the broad strokes. What will make Molôn Labé!
real is the fact that I decided late last year to spearhead
an actual migration, which I call the Free State Wyoming. Though
my preference was that the Free State Project members had decided
on Wyoming - and it was a rather close election considering
that not even half voted - it is apparently my duty to see this
through. In fact, my entire writing career as Boston T. Party
retrospectively makes much more sense, as I believe in such
concepts as fate and destiny.
always knew that I would do interesting and important things
throughout my life, and have, but they pale in comparison to
the ripe possibilities of Free State Wyoming. While writing
books is very satisfying, my reputation can be harnessed to
greater things than that. There is much more I can do, much
more I can offer than ink on paper. My nine books have been
prelude and boot camp for a very exciting real-world goal: The
creation of America's first free state since the 18th century.
Do you think the real-world triggers for some of the events
depicted on Molôn Labé! are already in place?
And do you suppose the most likely result of such events will
bear much resemblance to those described in the book?
If the triggers aren't already in place, they likely soon will
be. I don't know the future, but I am absolutely confident of
1) the federal government will not relent in its continued
compression of the American people, and
many Americans will at some point resist their unlawful and
a train wreck is on the horizon. While I hope that our masters
wake up and realize that they're pushing this country over the
cliff in a mutually tangled mess, their arrogance will likely
prevent such an awakening. They are much more likely going to
foment an insurrection, at least regionally in the Rural South
and Inland West. How they cannot know this just astonishes me.
They must really believe that they'll win, which is even more
astonishing given that America has a revolutionary past, and
is the largest potential guerrilla base in history. Never before
have an oppressed people been so well suited - intellectually,
spiritually, and physically - to slough off their own masters.
Did you intend Molôn Labé! to be as much
a lesson of sorts as a good story?
Ah, well, if it was intended to be a lesson, then it would be
inappropriate for me to say what that lesson should be. I'll
just leave that up to the reader.
What do you most hope readers will get from reading your book?
That you are not what you believe in; you are what you will
fight for. That Thought is a means to the end of Action.
That those who profess to love freedom must be capable and willing
potential foes of tyranny. It doesn't matter that one
is a libertarian; they'll let us all read Atlas Shrugged
in the camps. What matters is how much one will defend liberty,
and at what price. Only when an oppressed people are angry or
desperate enough to fight, can they avoid the fight. We cannot
read or think our way back to freedom. We must be willing and
able to fight for it.
is perfectly clear on this. Because Americans are not yet willing
and able to fight, our bluff is called at every opportunity.
We need to stop bluffing and get serious about liberty - or
finally throw in the towel and quit this "home of the brave/land
of the free" charade. We're arrived at an embarrassing
point of resting on our laurels, bragging about our past like
Egyptians boasting of their wealthy past during the Pharoahs.
Americans must one day at last simply decide if we will be free,
and then act. Until that point, we are like the queasy drunk
hugging the toilet who refuses to stick a finger down his throat
to vomit out the poison. Sure, the act is awful to contemplate,
but he would feel so much better, and quickly.
What's been the preliminary reaction to the book?
Overwhelmingly positive across the board. Nearly every reader
has not only enjoyed it, for all its faults, but got a lot out
of it. I can't ask for more than that, especially for my first
What would you like to say to everyone who has read your book?
That liberty has always required planning, action, and sacrifice.
That there is no "Liberty" on life's remote control
- we'll have to actually get up out of our reclining chair.
For example, I've heard from some people that Wyoming is too
cold. That means they've placed a higher priority on the weather
than freedom - it's that simple, sorry. Well, as far as I know,
all the tropical states have already been taken and are filled
to bursting with people. A small, cold state is all that is
left to us because Americans didn't wise up three generations
ago and take California or Florida for liberty.
no locale can be perfect, Wyoming is good enough for most folks
serious about our last and best shot for freedom. And it means
moving there, which is inconvenient at best. But that's a price
of liberty. Convenience and ease are usually the temptations
of oppression. Don't think, don't act, don't speak out, don't
risk...and you'll be safe.
What message would you like to give those people who haven't
read the book yet?
That Molôn Labé! offers a very interesting
and compelling story for those feeling hopeless for the future
of freedom. That such a story can actually happen if only a
few thousand of us will do it. Our American ancestors crossed
an ocean in wooden boats to be free. Wyoming is just
a few days' drive away. Our future can be in our own hands,
if we will dare to take it. I'm going to grab life's reins and
Do you have anything to say to those who don't think they want
If they are supposedly fascinated by a free society, why wouldn't
they want to? Especially since there is so little freedom fiction
Will you be writing more fiction in the future? Asequel to Molôn
Labé! perhaps, or something entirely new?
I'm completely hooked on writing fiction! Hemingway once said
that writing is something you can never do as well as it can
be done, and that's dead-on true. But what a challenge! Like
martial arts, it's not a destination, but a journey, and I love
the continuous development and honing of my craft. Non-fiction
was beginning to bore me - stylistically, I mean - but fiction
is like using colors instead of grays.
already piecing together the sequel to Molôn Labé!
in my mind, and am learning how I can improve my writing. I
look forward to much more character development, for example.
Much more "showing" vs. "telling" (which
is my nature).
a novel seems to me like painting with oils, insofar as the
layers involved. The art is using the surface as a portal
for the layers underneath, which are more subtle, complex, interesting,
and poignant. That was difficult for me at first, but it slowly
became more natural to me later on. A novelist takes the reader's
senses over by remote control - possesses the reader by permission
- and that's an incredible scope of license! One which I was
quite unaccustomed to. Taking such strings in hand and molding
the reader's visualization to engender a specific response was
a very heady sensation for me. Words are the most powerful narcotic
we have, and the dispensation of them is an enormous power.
I take this very seriously.
just got a letter from a reader of Molôn Labé!
who paid me the highest compliment I could ever hope to receive
as a novelist. During a character's death scene, she confessed
that she sobbed. When a novelist hears that, he knows
that he has written well. After dozens of rewrites and revisions,
for the novelist the magic and suspense is gone, so hearing
that readers were actually moved to tears or fury or laughter
is incredibly rewarding.
still many things to say and many ideas to convey, and I am
very grateful to have discovered the joys of writing fiction.
My future novels will be written with loving care and concern-
never just to pay the rent by spewing out "entertainment."
To me, words are far too precious. If what I write doesn't change
hearts and minds, if what I write doesn't affect history - then
I'm not doing my job. A mere living I could make somewhere else,
and should. Being a writer is an honor, and I will not
squander it on any focus unworthy of that honor. To do so would
insult my readers. Even if they did not know it, I would, and
I just won't live that way.
by Lady Liberty and ladylibrty.com. All rights reserved. Reprints
available by permission of the author only. To request permission,
send e-mail to email@example.com.
Labé! is available for
purchase directly from Javelin
Liberty runs Lady
Liberty's Constitution Clearinghouse.
this Review to a Friend
more book reviews