At Last, a Political Thriller that Libertarians Can Love

If Jim Bowden pens political potboilers reflecting the perspective of the evangelical wing of the conservative movement (See “At Last, a Political-Thriller that Cultural Conservatives Can Love”), Matt Carson reflects the libertarian wing. In his slender, self-published novel, “On a Hill They Call Capital,” Carson places a gang of wise-cracking, tobacco-chewing good ol’ boys from Rappahannock County at the center of a plot to spark a second American revolution.

In the world of Matt Carson, president of a Warrenton web development firm, government has become the leviathan state. The governing class, in the words of Ronald Reagan, has taken on the attitude, “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” In a post 9/11 twist, government doesn’t threaten only economic liberties, it undermines their civil liberties. To Carson, the Patriot Act aims a double-barreled, sawed-off shotgun at the Bill of Rights.

In this fast-paced novel, Cat, a bubba philosopher king, organizes his beer-drinking buddies into a conspiratorial brotherhood they name the Grandsons of Liberty. Launching a night-time raid into Washington, D.C., reminiscent of the Boston Tea Party, they hurl PCs out of the windows of the Internal Revenue Service headquarters building. As a follow-up, they roam the East Coast abducting Congressmen, whom they bring back to their compound in the Virginia hills and hold in a redneck re-education camp. Unlike real bad guys, though, the Grandsons of Liberty wouldn’t hurt a flea.

“On a Hill They Call Capital” has a breezy, humorous style full of allusions to popular culture, but it mines a deep vein of disenchantment with the political system. As Carson writes:

“We wanted to do something to make a real and lasting difference. Cat was right, enough bitching, we didn’t want to live the rest of our lives in fear of the tyrants in DC. We’d voted, some of us had written letters, we’d talked to our friends and families – Spanky even called in to John Stewart. Ultimately, we had tried the routes available to us and no inkling of change was in sight – so now were going to hold them accountable.”

In the fictional world of the novelist, the grand-standing stunts of Cat and his red-clay compadres succeed in igniting the popular imagination. If only… In the real world, the media would portray Carson’s rollicking revolutionaries as deluded and dangerous fanatics, and the authorities would hunt them down like terrorists. In the real world, the majority of the population would be too stupefied by government-engineered wealth transfers or too consumed by mortgages, car payments and other obligations to ever heed the call. In the real world, the American population is too beset by historical amnesia for the name “Grandsons of Liberty” to resonate with them in any way. Americans are incapable of launching the kind up uprising that Carson imagines. But, hey, it’s fun to fantasize that a few daring men might try.

To read more about the book, visit the website at

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5 responses to “At Last, a Political Thriller that Libertarians Can Love”

  1. Groveton Avatar

    This sounds like a fascinating book. I’ll definitely get a copy and read it.

    However, I have a very nit-picky question.

    Isn’t the Hill called Capitol rather than Capital?

    Maybe that’s explained in the book.

    I was taught that Thomas Jefferson was looking at the plans for the new Congress building to be built in what is now Washington, DC. He saw that the building was to named The Congress. He scratched out that name and remaned it The Capitol in honor of the Capitoline (sp?) Hill in Rome. Mr. Jefferson supposedly felt that the new center of democracy should have some linkages to the old centers of democracy. After that, the building and the hill were renamed Capitol.

    Perhaps Cat, the Bubba philosopher king, missed that lecture in his high school Virginia history class.

    Or maybe I have Jefferson-itis (an irrational addiction to all things related to Thomas Jefferson to exclusion of fact or reality).

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    I just read the book, flat out amazing! And yes, Capital with an “a” is explained in the book which was one of my original questions as well, it gives a country-style history lesson with the explanation.

    My only gripe is I wish the book wasn’t so short, but it leaves room for a sequel, I guess, at least I’m hoping…

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    I would add libertarian to liberal and conservative in the EMR post on the book by James Atticus Bowden.

    Alpha Zoro and Zora

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    I think the author is using a play on words by using an a in Capital instead of the o like with capital crime or “political capital” or something possibly along those lines. Or, maybe I’m just reading too far into things…

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Did anyone pick up on the date near the end of the book? It reads Oct 2008, kind of eerie, is it a typo or is it there for a reason? If it’s not a typo that’s a gutsy move on the part of author.

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