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The Cato Institute is primarily a libertarian think tank and public policy research foundation. Founded in 1977, the institute is named after Cato's Letters, libertarian pamphlets distributed throughout the colonies prior to the American Revolution.

The institute publishes many libertarian-oriented public policy books and articles, available on the Cato website, http://www.cato.org. The institute is famous for publishing The Cato Handbook for Congress, a guide for each new congress of the United States and distributing it free to every congressional representative. The handbook is a timely guide to the issues facing the new congress and suggestions from the Cato Institute's researchers on how to approach the problems. The Cato Handbook for Congress is available on their website in both paper and free electronic versions.

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