James Bovard is the author of eleven books, including Last Rights: The Death of American Liberty (2023), Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), The Bush Betrayal (2004), and Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994). He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, New Republic, Reader's Digest, and many other publications. His books have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, and Korean. He is a Libertarian Institute fellow, a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors, a contributing editor for American Conservative, and a frequent contributor to the New York Post, the Future of Freedom Foundation, and other venues.

The Wall Street Journal called Bovard "the roving inspector general of the modern state," the New York Times tagged him "an anti-czar Czar," and Washington Post columnist George Will called him a "one-man truth squad." His 1994 book Lost Rights received the Free Press Association's Mencken Award as Book of the Year. His Terrorism and Tyranny won the Lysander Spooner Award for the Best Book on Liberty in 2003. He received the Thomas Szasz Award for Civil Liberties work, awarded by the Center for Independent Thought, and the National Rifle Association's Freedom Fund Award.

His writings have been publicly denounced by the chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the chief of the Transportation Security Administration, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Postmaster General, and the chiefs of the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Agency for International Development, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as by the Sierra Club, American Federation of Government Employees, American Civil Liberties Union, Washington Post, Washingtonian magazine, Washington City Paper, Huffington Post, and numerous congressman and other malcontents. The Justice Department covertly pressured USA Today to cease publishing his attacks on the Attorney General in 2015.