Anthony Lewis Books
The Third Revolution - Reviews

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The Third Revolution

The Third Revolution was written by Anthony F. Lewis. It describes the plight of a governor after the federal government tries to take over the functions of the states. Montana Governor Benjamin Kane is popular, both for his work in politics and for his local restaurant, but when the President of the United States signs the One Nation Act into law, Ben is faced with a decision that will have severe consequences either way.

The people of Montana, furious with the federal government for trying to federalize the police, the teachers, and even daycare workers, elect a state legislature that is willing to fight back. When they pass a law that nullifies the One Nation Act, Ben signs it in hopes that the federal government won’t do anything drastic. But when American troops are killed in an accident at a local motorcycle rally, it sparks an intense showdown between the federal government and his state. As tensions rise, Ben and his circle try to find a way to deal with the feds and maintain state sovereignty without creating a confrontation that will cost lives. He must also decide what is more important: his loyalty to America or his loyalty to American ideals.

The Third Revolution is both suspenseful and educational. If you believe in states rights and the importance of nullification, this book will motivate you. If you believe in libertarian ideals and the importance of freedom, this book will inspire you. Anthony F. Lewis has written a novel that is both timely and timeless and will make you think about politics without making you feel like you just sat through a political science lecture.

This is the first book in a two-part series that is continued in the book, Middle America.

The Third Revolution

Postby tanstaafl  Tue Jan 11, 2011 3:52 pm

This is a novel that takes place in 2013 and 2014. It's a well written story by Anthony F. Lewis that deals with the state of Montana wanting to maintain its sovereignty when dealing with a new set of laws about to be implemented by an oppressive Federal government. A recently elected Libertarian govenor and even more Libertarian state legislature won't have it.

The novel is full of behind the scenes politics, good subplots, and some comic relief. A nice read, especially for you Libertarians out there.

Fiction: The Third Revolution
04-22-2010, 10:41 AM
Just finished a book by Anthony F. Lewis.

This novel takes place in Montana, 2013 -2014. It's about a Libertarian governor who is against a new federal law being implemented by the White House, nationalizing much of what the states have long, constitutionally, controlled.(sound familiar). It is a moral dilemma, in that, does the governor go against the U.S. government or follow the principles laid out in the constitution?

This book was written in 2004. However, it is almost prophetic considering what is going on today in Washington. The book is an easy, well flowing read with good characters. It gets into the inside workings of government and legislation in an entertaining and informative way, without being tedious.

Consider it for a summer read.

Hi Mr Lewis,

I just thought I would share with you that I immensely enjoyed your two 
works of fiction which I finished a little over a month ago. I had 
always been fascinated with the State of Montana and the people that 
live there and I believe you did an excellent job in painting the 
landscape. You did such an excellent job at doing it that I turned to my 
wife and said lets get out of California and go! So we literally booked 
a weekend away to see what it was like there and I am proud to say we 
turned around and bought property in Montana after visiting and meeting 
the people and seeing how fiercely independent the folks are just like 
you described in the book.

My wife and I can hardly wait to start building our new home there and 
getting out of California, it was like we discovered the real America we 
had always read and heard about compared to living in this God forsaken 
state we are currently "subjects" of.

Anyways I just figured I would reach out and let you know that your 
books really hit home with me and I really hope there is a third novel 
in the series in the works!

November 20, 2009

Sunni's Salon, July 2005

The Third Revolution, by Anthony F. Lewis

"We can't force liberty and responsibility on a population who view those things as being selfish, as somehow unfair and dangerous. And we can't afford to be wiped off the earth in the process of trying -- the ideas we're fighting for are too big, are too important. We cannot fight; we must lead."

   Anthony Lewis' protagonist utters these sentences fairly early in The Third Revolution, giving an indication of what the reader is in for. But all that transpires between page 31, when they're spoken, and the end of The Third Revolution packs plenty of wallops. In his first novel, Lewis has crafted what other accomplished novelists have failed to, for me anyway: a realistic near-future story involving a major Libertarian Party elected official. Not surprisingly, the novel is set in Montana; the pro-freedom governor finds himself in Helena not by improbable turns of events nor by dint of his fully rational, excruciatingly detailed speeches, but by slowly working his way there and being poised to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

   Not surprisingly, given current events, the federales in Lewis' world are working hard to push some more nationalized nonsense upon the populace. While several states' governors bitch and moan about it, they cave as the prospect of losing some of their pork looms. Not only does Montana Governor Ben Kane not cave, he butts heads with the President, escalating their staredown until ... Well, I won't give away what happens, but I will say that Lewis knows how to create and sustain tension in a plot!

   Now, those of you who know me, or who visit my blog, know that I'm a hardcore anarchist -- so what am I doing praising a book that focuses on electoral politics as a means of achieving greater liberty? The Third Revolution is a ripping read, for starters; and it offers some great pointers for party believers to make use of if they're serious about getting Libertarians elected. I'm also not one of those libertarians who has to have everything my way before I'll play along. The real world is messy, and complicated; some tactics work better than others in certain situations. If someone's strategy is genuinely advancing liberty then I'm all for it, even if I won't actively join in. I don't think electoral political action can make a huge difference, but if someone carries that football a good ways, I'm happy to pick it up from there and try to go for the touchdown.

   Lewis keeps a tight rein on the plot throughout The Third Revolution, so there's not a lot to say without giving significant developments away. That doesn't mean, however, that the story is full of politicking. Despite the main character being a state governor, and giving speeches as the story develops, there's precious little of the eye-glazing speechifying or tedious explanations that can plague pro-freedom fiction. What is there, is done deftly, and fairly convincingly, so that nonlibertarians who don't blanch at the L-word are likely to be persuaded rather than put off by reading the novel. Lewis also succeeds in giving the story roots, focusing on the land, the buffalo, and the Native Americans in a parallel story line that more than once brought tears of homesickness to my eyes.

   While the story zings along tightly, the characters aren't exactly easy to warm up to -- rather like many Westerners I know from living in Wyoming. I was able to empathize with many, including Governor Kane, but the ever-heightening drama seemed to leave little room for a lot of human warmth to shine through. However, toward the end of The Third Revolution hints of nonpolitical sparks begin to fly, somewhat unexpectedly ... and yes, Lewis is at work on a sequel. Given how reluctant I was to put down The Third Revolution, I'm avoiding the sample chapter he's offering -- I know I'll want more!

   Lewis shines with his first novel; despite a few typos of the sort that slip through spell-checkers, he weaves a tight story with solid prose, on occasion rising to the level of craftsmanship of Ray Bradbury or F. Paul Wilson. Realistic heroes, smarmy villains straight from today's Washington D.C., and the lovely backdrop of the mountain West -- it's solid reading for pro-freedom individuals and a great candidate for fiction outreach. The Third Revolution is, I hope, a hint of future good things to flow from Anthony Lewis.

 Visit Sunni Maravillosa at: Sunni's Salon


A "Third Revolution" is here.

The Third Revolution, by Anthony F. Lewis. Ten Mile Press.

348 pages, soft-cover, $16.95. Available at and at

Reviewed by J. Daniel Cloud

LP News Editor


While there are many books about libertarianism or that deal with libertarian ideas, there aren't many works of fiction about Libertarians. Anthony Lewis's first novel certainly fits that bill, and it does so in unapologetically frank style.

   Lewis explains a good deal of libertarian thought -- delving into market-driven economics, allowing his characters to expound on the evils of over-taxation, and showing through narrative the natural outgrowth of government regulation.

   "If you don't do things our way, if you break the law, you run the risk of death," the Big Government proponents make clear in the book -- and the perils faced by libertarian activists seem very real.

   The Third Revolution presages a radical rise in anti-federal sentiment and a connected concern for state (and individual) rights, prompted by federal legislation in 2012 that would federalize "all teachers, day care workers, police, social workers...and prosecutors as so-called 'national agents of social enforcement.'"

   Known as the "One Nation" proposal, this intrusive piece of legislation is opposed by the more conservative Republican legislators and others who recognize it as reaching too far into the states' rights.

   But it is Montana's Libertarian Governor Ben Kane who must decide whether to remain the firebrand he was in his days as a state representative, standing with the people of his state in opposing the One Nation, or whether he will go along with the American masses in supporting the federal government's ambitions.

   In some ways this book is reminiscent of Robert Ludlum's fiction, with its highly principled yet still-very-human hero whose flaws make him all the more likeable and believable.

   But where Ludlum's heroes use primarily physical action to effect change, The Third Revolution'smain characters are driven by libertarian philosophy -- by their compelling desire to regain personal freedoms and responsibilities -- and proceed via political channels to achieve their objectives. Kane is an imaginative political figure who is frustrated by the status quo and takes drastic action to attempt change in his world.

   When lawmakers pontificate in this book, Lewis differentiates between the Libertarians -- like Kane -- who would make changes via the established political methods -- and the radical Libertarians who insist on immediate changes via the "Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead!" route.

   But either way, Libertarian Party members will recognize the speech, the occasional jargon, and the looming hatred of Big Government; legislative sessions (in Lewis's world) begin to sound like a Libertarian convention.

   As one Libertarian legislator says in a heated speech, "In the name of health, they take our freedom. In the name of safety, they take our freedom. In the name of security [and compassion and fairness and jobs and progress] they take our freedom. My God, in the name of Freedom, they take our freedom!"

   Another: "You may well think your generation has no draft. Oh, you have a draft, all right. If you intend to be working and paying taxes for the next 30 years, believe me, you've been drafted...They just haven't told you yet."

   Polemic like this doesn't dominate The Third Revolution, however; not all characters are out for federal blood. That is Kane's personal battle, as he is torn between serving his state's residents in his elected position and simply returning to his earlier life as a purveyor of micro-brewed beer and buffalo burgers at a Helena eatery.

   In an author's note at the end of the book, Lewis explains that "actual flesh-and-blood Libertarians don't advocate revolution," as the characters in the book do.

   LP members and other lovers of liberty will recognize this without reading the note; some non-libertarian readers may not believe it, disregarding the fact that the book is fiction and assuming -- like fans of Oliver Stone's movies -- that it is a documentary based on facts to which no one else is privy.

   The Third Revolution reads easily and well, flowing through 17 months of Governor Kane's term and giving enough backstory to inform the reader without burdening us with minutiae. Lewis does at times over-elaborate on side issues -- the process of micro-brewing beer among them -- but for the most part he avoids non-integral material.

   Is this book to be regarded as a lesson in Libertarian apologetics? No, and its not intended to. But The Third Revolution is an enjoyable, sometimes belligerently libertarian book, and it deserves to attract the attention of Libertarians and fiction lovers alike.



Sure, I'm a diehard non-political, non-voting, anti-party, Left-Rothbardian anarchist. But I'm still gonna recommend Anthony F. Lewis' political novel,The Third Revolution, even if it does exhort using political means to reach libertarian ends. In an era when TV networks grind out Beltway-worshiping pap like "The West Wing" and the upcoming "Commander-in-Chief" (about the first - gasp! - female U.S. president), Lewis has written a novel that convincingly talks about the Real Deal: what liberties Americans have lost and how they might get them back.

In a nutshell: it's 2013, and President Robert Henderson pushes through his "One Nation" legislation, federalizing everything and leaving the states and their legislatures powerless. Only one state, Montana, fights back. Encouraged by a group of fed-up state lawmakers, libertarian Governor Ben Kane goes head-to-head against the president. Montana votes to nullify the federal law. The Supreme Court, unsurprisingly, declares the One Nation law fully constitutional. Powers in Washington consider military options and even martial law. Montana moves toward secession. The novel's scenario is absolutely credible, its characters are well-drawn, and the suspense is nail-biting.

You might expect lengthy Galt-like political speeches in a story like this. There aren't any. You might expect black-and-white good guys and bad guys. Well, there's no question who we're meant to root for in this book, but solutions aren't presented as simple, and Lewis' characters are driven as much by messy circumstances as they are by ideology.

The Third Revolution didn't convince this anarchist to vote Libertarian, or to participate in electoral politics at all. But it did give me a couple of days of feverish reading. And it's good to hear that Lewis is now working on a sequel. I can't wait to find out what happens next!


Wally Conger's blog can be found here : out of step


Review in Progress: The Third Revolution

I've been planning to experiment with a different review style -- a running "review in progress" on the blog, instead of an all-inclusive article elsewhere -- for some time now. I'm not certain how the form will work out, but I suspect it may give me more range to "connect the dots" between books and current events, and to show how a book grows on a reader over the course of the reading.

I've chosen Anthony F. Lewis's first novel, The Third Revolution, to begin with. As always, there's a reason: I've been trying to finish the book for some time now, but events unrelated to the book continually drag me away at inopportune moments. So, the different review style fits my schedule, which is a nice way to begin an experiment.

Not that The Third Revolution is easy to put down. Far from it. It's just that every important phone call, unexpected guest and "family emergency" that's come along in the last month has, for some reason, coincided with the times I've picked up the book and opened it. Unless there's some supernatural angle I'm not privy to, however, this doesn't reflect on the novel's quality.

So, here I am, a little less than 100 pages into The Third Revolution ... and already Lewis has addressed no fewer than three matters of current interest to me (and, presumably, to many other libertarians). The novel follows Ben Kane, Libertarian governor of Montana, as the "One Nation" bill faces filibuster and is then passed into law.

What's that, you say? A Libertarian governor? Ah, it's science fiction!

Well, no. Lewis handles the ascent of a Libertarian Party candidate to the position of state executive in a very realistic manner. A well-known, popular restaurant owner, elected to an open seat in the state legislature -- the kind of guy who could have been elected on any party's ticket, not just a perennial paper candidate -- works his way up through fortuitous coincidence (of the kind which happens all the time -- no smoke and mirrors here), by working and playing well with others, and by actively building a constituency outside his district. I hesitate to offer this bit of back story as a blueprint ... but then, from where I sit, it looks an awful lot like Carl Milsted's proposal for a realistic third party strategy, combined with some common sense attributes of a good candidate which Libertarians should be paying attention to (community involvement, name recognition and such prior to seeking office are the big ones).

Bringing out the "One Nation" bill as a parallel to current events may be a bit of a stretch, but not much. In the novel, the bill effectively federalizes a number of government activities formerly falling under the purview of the states. It's not the same issue as the recently adopted "Real ID" act, but some of the same principles(federalism, states' rights, encroaching federal power) are at stake ... and there are similarities between what I foresee developing in the novel and what's hopefully coming together right now with the Real ID Rebellion.

Finally, there's the filibuster. In The Third Revolution, Lewis has a Republican minority in the US Senate threatening one versus the "One Nation" bill. Presumably the "nuclear option" wasn't looming as Lewis penned the book. As I write this, however, the Senate is taking up debate on the judicial nominations which are bringing the issue of filibuster to a head ... and it's nice to be reading a novel that retrospectively predicts a win for the good guys in preserving some minority power in the Senate.

So, where are we ... ah, yes ... the filibuster has flopped, the "One Nation" bill has passed the Senate, and Governor Kane is quickly becoming the central figure in state resistance to its federalization of education, etc. So far, I'm really enjoying this book. Lewis is working firmly within the realm of the plausible, but keeping it interesting. He's also keeping his characters sympathetic, but not perfect. I've not yet managed the deep personal identification with any of the characters that really puts a novel over the top ... but I don't normally do so this early in a novel anyway. I think that's coming.

I'll be back after another 50-100 pages to share my continuing impression. So far, however, I'm enjoying the book very much and heartily recommend it (and I would even if its author wasn't advertising it here!).



Review in Progress: The Third Revolution, part 2

When last we discussed Anthony F. Lewis's The Third Revolution, I'd read about a hundred pages and was already thinking of it as a pretty solid novel. If I'd known what was coming, I'd have locked myself in a room to forestall any further interruptions.

The first hundred pages of the book are good, solid fiction with a realistic foundation. The rest of it is pure gold -- without sacrificing realism, Lewis cranks up the stress on Governor Ben Kane as Montana and the US government careen toward each other on a collision course. At every point Lewis keeps you wondering who's going to cave and who's going to stand firm. Will the feds blink? Will Montana secede? I'm not telling. The book is plotted too tightly for me to offer a lot of details without spoiling it, but I can tell you that you're in for a ride.

I do, however, want to offer you more than a "buy this book," so I'm going to talk a little bit about sub-plot. The main thrust of the book, as I said, fits together like a Swiss watch, but Lewis did the right thing when he decided to literally surround the core conflict with, of all things, bison and Blackfeet (and Crow, but dammit, I needed the alliteration). Running parallel to, informing, and sometimes intersecting, the conflict between Montana and DC are other stories: The story of a proud people, how they live and what they want after 150 years under the thumb of a far-away bureaucracy. The story of an animal which once roamed -- and might yet again roam -- a vast continent. These stories don't detract from the plot -- they complete it. The Third Revolution would have been at best a middling piece of work without them.

As I mentioned in part one, I hadn't developed a strong identification with any of the characters over the course of the first hundred pages. Lewis's characters take time to grow, and to grow on the reader ... but, over the course of the story, they do. Ben Kane doesn't come off as a plaster philosopher king. As the story proceeds, he's occasionally whiny, never too sure of himself, but ready to get his back up when he knows it needs to be done. He really does wish that he'd stuck to brewing beer and running his restaurant instead of going into politics, especially after a bunch of people like him run for office and ... well, you'll see. Joe Adams, his restaurant manager and right-hand man, also strikes a strong chord with me. Joe's not exactly political, but he isn't apolitical either. He's the man in the middle. He's not everyman, but he's what everyman might be if everyman had a 1972 Norton Commando and some common sense.

I have only one real bitch about The Third Revolution, and it's a minor one: In the last part of the book, a love story begins. It doesn't exactly end; it doesn't even really develop. That may be because the novel's end sets up for a sequel, which Lewis is writing right now and which I'm eagerly anticipating. Until that sequel arrives, though, the love angle (and not the obvious triangle, something I think other readers will also expect) is just ... there ... and it doesn't feel right. Fortunately, it plays such a seemingly minor role in the story that it doesn't really hurt anything. And I think Lewis probably already had something in mind. If that's the only thing wrong with the book -- and, quite frankly, it's the only thing I found wrong with it -- then it's not a real problem. Lewis has succeeded in writing an absorbing, suspenseful, realistic novel about liberty's future.

Thomas L. Knapp's blog can be found at: Knappster



Sun - April 16, 2006

The Third Revolution (redo)


Libertarian novel

I've been disappointed with libertarian novels.

Somehow the heros always seem to be in perfect mastery of their emotions with deep reasoning skills. They're full of esoteric martial arts training and know enough about weapons to run their own armory. And of course their charisma and sexual powers are unquestioned.

Except life doesn't work that way. It's messy with all sorts of things left hanging. The good guy doesn't always get the perfect girl, or ANY woman, or even the perfect guy. There are times when even the soundest reasoning runs smack dab into the mob passions.

The Third Revolution by Anthony F. Lewis is different.

The hero is a governor who misses being a state legislator. He misses running his bar and restaurant even more. He doesn't recognize the influence that he has had on other people. In the novel when the Federal government decides to nationalize all functions of State governments, he feels that as governor there isn't a lot he can do.

Fortunately the maverick lawmakers that he has helped inspire don't feel that way.

This novel doesn't go the Rand route and bury you under endless discussions of political philosophy. The characters are practical above all.

And the buffalo. Ah yes, the buffalo.

It's obvious that the author intended the buffalo to be a metaphor for the power of individuals. Big, ponderous, and capable of thriving if only they are left mostly alone.

While the governor makes the right choice, it isn't the easy one. Dealing with the consequences without launching a full scale war, well, that is the mark of adults living in a civilized society.

Highly recommended.

Pagan Vigil "Because LIBERTY demands more than just black or white"

Posted: Sun - April 16, 2006 at 08:04 PM

Hi There!

I just wanted to send you a quick email and let you know how much I enjoyed
"The Third Revolution" & "Middle America". My dad read them a couple years
ago, and he passed them onto me finally. :-) He is a HUGE fan as well. But
I do have a question. Do you ever plan on writing another Ben Kane book? It
broke my heart when I asked my dad for the third and he responded that
there wasn't one.

Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed them immensely and hope that maybe
one day I'll be reading about Ben Kane again!

~Northern Idaho
January 2, 2012