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Boaz was born in Mayfield, Kentucky.
He is the author of Libertarianism: A primer, published in 1997 by the Free Press and described by the Los Angeles Times as "a well-researched manifesto of libertarian ideas." He is also the editor of The Libertarian Reader and co-editor of the Cato Handbook for Congress (2003) and the Cato Handbook on Policy (2005). He frequently discusses such topics as education choice, the growth of government, the ownership society, his support of drug legalization, and the rise of libertarianism on national television and radio showsTemplate:Citation needed.
Boaz's March 1988 New York Times op-ed on the high cost of the drug war generated much debate over the decriminalization of drugs.Template:According to whom His articles have also been published in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Review, and Slate. He has appeared on ABC's Politically Incorrect, CNN's Crossfire, NPR's Talk of the Nation and All Things Considered, Fox News Channel, BBC, Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other mediaTemplate:Citation needed. Boaz, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981.
- Market Liberalism: A Paradigm for the 21st Century, Editor with Edward H. Crane, 1993.
- Libertarianism: A primer, Free Press 1997.
- The Libertarian Reader, Editor, Free Press 1997.
- The Politics of Freedom: Taking on The Left, The Right and Threats to Our Liberties, 2008.
- The Libertarian Vote: Swing Voters, Tea Parties, and the Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal Center (with David Kirby and Emily Ekins). 2012.
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- Works by or about David Boaz in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Biography of David Boaz at Cato Institute
- Booknotes interview with Boaz on Libertarianism: A Primer, January 26, 1997.
- David Boaz discusses the ownership society with Robert Siegel on NPR's All Things Considered
- David Boaz's entry "libertarianism" at the Encyclopædia Britannica
- "Deregulating Education" by David Boaz, in The Politic
- David Boaz's Amazon page