Liberty Fund was founded in 1960 by Pierre F. Goodrich, an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman, to the end that some hopeful contribution may be made to the preservation, restoration, and development of individual liberty through investigation, research, and educational activity.
Great books are the repository of knowledge and experience. Liberty Fund seeks to preserve the wisdom and learning of the ages and to strengthen our understanding and appreciation of individual liberty and responsibility.
For over four decades, Liberty Fund has made available some of the finest books in history, politics, philosophy, law, education, and economics—books of enduring value that have helped to shape ideas and events in man’s quest for liberty, order, and justice.
By Roger Sherman
Edited and with an Introduction by Mark David Hall
Roger Sherman (1721–1793) was the only founder to sign the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution. He served 1,543 days in the Continental Congress and was a member of the five-man committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence.
These resources are designed to further Liberty Fund’s educational activities. They include classic works in the tradition of limited government, as well as lively current discussions of how classical-liberal principles apply in today’s world.
Cardiologist and author Eric Topol talks about his book Deep Medicine with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Topol argues that doctors spend too little face-to-face time with patients, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is a chance to emphasize the human side of medicine and to expand the power of human connection in […]
We are settling into a lasting pattern of both parties in Congress assuming it is the courts’ job, not their own, to protect their institutional power.
The Best of the OLL No. 72: “Three Agreements of the People” (1647-49) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2016).
If President Trump called off an Iranian attack in order to save innocent civilians, he deserves praise. Render to God what is God’s, and to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But, as a Wall Street Journal editorial emphasized, there is something off in this story (“Iran Calls Trump’s Bluff,” June 21, 2019):
It’s important to understand how extraordinary this is. The Commander in Chief ordered ships and planes into battle but recalled them because he hadn’t asked in advance what the damage and casualties might be? While the planes were in the air, he asked, oh, by the way? This is hard to take at face value. …
More likely, he changed his mind because he had second thoughts about the military and political consequences of engaging in a conflict he promised as a candidate to avoid.
Strategic threats have long been modeled with the help of game theory. A classic is economist Thomas Schelling’s 1960 book, The Strategy of Conflict (Harvard University Press). In game-theoretic terms, if you play a chicken game without having credibly committed to staying in the middle of the road, expect to lose one way or another: the other player is likely not to swerve; and you will have to swerve yourself, or else a crash will occur.
Policy-makers must deal with the realities of coalition-building and pleasing one’s constituency, realities that academics may not fully grasp.
Of the final cause of this Irregularity of Sentiments
At this link is a 22-minute talk that economist Alan Reynolds gave at Harvard in 1987. The other participants were John Kenneth Galbraith, Barry Bluestone, Lester Thurow, and Frank Levy.
There is so much content in this one short talk that it impossible to summarize without losing a lot of content. It’s also funny and you can see that many people in his audience seemed to enjoy it too.
The topic is “The Disappearing Middle Class.”
Notice at about the 5:30 point, Lester Thurow seems to enjoy one of Alan’s zingers.
Great pithy line at the 19:43 point to 19:55
In the course of putting together a multi-volume collection of over 240 Leveller Tracts I came across some very interesting title pages which used typography and occasionally woodcuts to add graphical force to the political and economic arguments being made by the authors. The pamphlets were published in their thousands during the 1640s and 1650s - the London bookseller George Thomason collected 23,000 of them over a period of twenty years and these comprise a major collection which is held by the British Library.
Though usually Edmund Burke is identified as the first to articulate the principles of a modern conservative political tradition, arguably he was preceded by a Scotsman who is better known for espousing a brilliant concept of skepticism. As Laurence Bongie notes, “David Hume was undoubtedly the eighteenth-century British writer whose works were most widely known and acclaimed on the Continent during the later Enlightenment period. Hume’s impact [in France] was of undeniable importance, greater even for a time than the related influence of Burke, although it represents a contribution to French counter-revolutionary thought which, unlike that of Burke, has been almost totally ignored by historians to this day.” The bulk of Bongie’s work consists of the writings of French readers of Hume who were confronted, first, by the ideology of human perfection and, finally, by the actual terrors of the French Revolution. Offered in French in the original edition of David Hume published by Oxford University Press in 1965, these vitally important writings have been translated by the author into English for the Liberty Fund second edition. In his foreword, Donald Livingston observes that “If conservatism is taken to be an intellectual critique of the first attempt at modern total revolution, then the first such event was not the French but the Puritan revolution, and the first systematic critique of this sort of act was given by Hume.”
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (The Oxford Shakespeare), ed. with a glossary by W.J. Craig M.A. (Oxford University Press, 1916).
On War, trans. Col. J.J. Graham. New and Revised edition with Introduction and Notes by Col. F.N. Maude, in Three Volumes (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & C., 1918). Vol. 1.
Letters on the Factory Act, as it affects the Cotton Manufacture (London: B. Fellowes, 1837).
With the completion of a draft of Liberty Fund's new translation of Frédéric Bastiat's economic treatise on Economic Harmonies we have invited a group of scholars who know Bastiat and his work to reassess his contributions to economic theory some 160 years after the book's first appearance in 1850-51. Bastiat is widely known for his brilliant economic journalism (the series of Economic Harmonies) but less so for his contributions to economic theory. As an economic theorist, Bastiat has suffered from being misunderstood (even by his colleagues and contemporaries), neglected and forgotten (by most economists since his death), being subjected to abusive or dismissive criticism (Marx and Schumpeter), and being damned with faint praise (Hayek). David Hart, the Academic Editor of Liberty Fund's Bastiat translation project, argues that out of a list of 18 or so key economic ideas Bastiat can be said to have made significant contributions to 11 of them, and so must be considered a serious economic theorist. He is joined in the discussion by Donald J. Boudreaux, professor of economics at George Mason University; Jörg Guido Hülsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France; and Joseph T. Salerno, academic vice president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and professor emeritus of economics in the Lubin School of Business of Pace University in New York City.
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