March 23, 2020 Print

Armenian journalist and blogger Lucy Kocharyan (left) and Lusine Zakalashvili (right) at a book launch event for the Armenian translation of Why Liberty. Kocharyan has shared Why Liberty with her online audiences.

First published seven years ago, Dr. Tom G. Palmer’s Why Liberty has found an audience in Armenia after a recent translation made it accessible in the local language. Independent translator Lusine Zakalashvili worked with Atlas Network to translate and distribute the book to over 1,400 people, providing more context for a robust defense of economic liberty and personal freedoms in their native language.

Why Liberty is a collection of essays relating the ideas of liberty through the lenses that affect everyday life, such as culture, health, entrepreneurship, and philosophy. The book, which was edited by Dr. Palmer and includes chapters by John Stossel, Students for Liberty founders Alexander McCobin and Sloane Frost, economist Sarah Skwire, and others, was first published in 2013 and is currently available in nine other languages. Zakalashvili’s translation into Armenian makes the book and its important arguments accessible to a new population.

With the translation in hand, Zakalashvili distributed the book across the country and organized small- and large-group discussions. One man who received a copy said, “Now I think there are maybe even better books on my ideology that I cannot read just because I don't know English. Maybe I should start learning.”

Why Liberty reached Armenian language journalists and influencers, many of whom expressed their enjoyment and appreciation of the book. Present at the introductory event for the translation was Lucy Kocharyan, recipient of the 2020 International Women of Courage Award, a distinction given by the U.S. Department of State.


Lucy Kocharyan (center) is presented with the U.S. Department of State’s annual International Women of Courage Award by First Lady Melania Trump (left) and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right) for her courage in speaking up about children with mental health challenges and giving a voice to those victims of psychological, physical, and domestic violence. Lucy is the first Armenian woman to receive the award.  

Zakalashvili understands the importance of the ideas of Why Liberty in the Armenian-speaking world. “Why Liberty is the best example for Armenians to understand that there are ways to economic freedom and liberty in general,” she said. “The book discussion in all the regions of Armenia led people to the understanding that Armenia cannot go far without economic freedom. The challenge that we are currently facing is directly connected to Eurasian Economic Union, but we still believe that there is a way out and that we can one day reach economic independence and freedom.”

As passionate and enterprising individuals like Zakalashvili continue to champion liberty in their communities around the world, new groups can come to understand its importance be inspired to pursue economic freedom.

Atlas Network supported this translation of Why Liberty.