The Essential Rothbard

28 February 2007 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

My admiration for the great libertarian polymath Murray N. Rothbard is no secret. Indeed, I would name Rothbard and Oliver E. Williamson as the most important influences on my own intellectual development. So I was delighted to receive a copy of The Essential Rothbard, an overview of Rothbard’s intellectual contributions by former O&M guest blogger David Gordon. David makes use not only of Rothbard’s published works — a bibliography, included at the end of the book, fills 53 pages of small type! — but also a huge collection of unpublished correspondence, memos, and manuscripts. (Justin Raimondo’s biography An Enemy of the State is also worth a read, but focuses more on Rothbard’s political activities than his core scholarly contributions.)

Particularly interesting is the 9th chapter, “The Unknown Rothbard: Unpublished Papers,” covering Rothbard’s thoughts on Leo Strauss, Willmoore Kendall, and Ernest Nagel (one of Rothbard’s teachers at Columbia) along with generally negative reviews of Hayek’s Constitution of Liberty, Anthony Downs’s Economic Theory of Democracy, and Douglass North’s Economic Growth of the United States, 1790-1860, among other books.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Austrian Economics, Recommended Reading.

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