Adapted from the introduction
ONCE UPON A TIME ...
... there was a town called Hardyville. Truth to tell, it wasn't much of a place. The nearest freeway passed about 200 miles away — and kept right on passing. It didn't have a single sign of what people in the real world might have called civilization or culture. It was just one dusty intersection with one lone stoplight, a few encircling residential streets, a fair number of surrounding ranches, and a whole lot of nothing, all located in a red-rock valley 600 miles west of the precise geographic middle of nowhere.
Hardyville was also — from 1997 to 2007, on and off — located on the Internet, first on a news site and then on the website of Backwoods Home magazine.
Given the town's absolute lack of conventional appeal, you might ask, "Why the heck would anybody want to be there?" There are reasons — about 1776 of them.
Hardyville does have one really, really great thing: some of the most smart, cussed, stubborn, independent, clear-headed people you'd ever want to meet. And Hardyville doesn't have one really, really awful thing most of the rest of the world is saddled with: too damn much government.
Hardyville managed to scrape its way into the twenty-first century almost entirely without politicians, bureaucrats, or any of their Evil Spawn. It is, in other words, what America once had a chance to become — and didn't.
So what happens when the immovable objects of freedom and sheer, bloody stubbornness are slammed by the (so we are taught to believe) irresistible forces of faux-democracy, bureaucracy, and a whole army of other -ocracies and -isms?
Read on and you'll soon know ...