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.
Our countdown of Liberty Fund’s Top 10 Bestselling titles continues. Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville (2 vols.) shows up as #7 on the list. Today only, save 50% off online orders + free U.S. shipping of this title with promo code LFTOPTEN7.
The Liberty Fund edition of Democracy in America represents a landmark in Tocqueville scholarship. The translation and editorial material make visible the extraordinary complexity of Tocqueville’s text and allow the reader to see how Tocqueville proceeded with the elaboration of the main ideas of this book.
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.
Education and the State first appeared in 1965 and was immediately hailed as one of the century’s most important works on education. In the thirty years that followed, the questions this book raised concerning state-run education have grown immeasurably in urgency and intensity. Education and the State re-examines the role of government in education and challenges the fundamental statist assumption that the state is best able to provide an education for the general population.
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.
The contention that non-profit management and government funding expands the arts is hardly defensible.
The genre of introductions to Austrian economics has always been a troublesome one. Leaping right into the core books of the school has frequently been a problem for non-specialists. Thankfully, the last decade or so has seen several attempts to fill this gap, and all five of the books I’ll discuss below are worth your time for different reasons. My list proceeds from the most “introductory” to the least and tries to provide a sense of their differences and their appropriateness for different audiences.
Howard Baetjer, Free our Markets, 2013. Written for the most general of readers, this book uses Austrian insights, ably presented for newbies in the first few chapters, as a framework for analyzing a variety of economic policies, including a whole section in the 2008 financial crisis. Baetjer’s goal is clearly ideological, as the title suggests, but the book does serve as a very effective introduction to a handful of foundational Austrian ideas, and is a very easy read for the non-specialist.
Gene Callahan, Economics for Real People, 2004 (second edition). Callahan’s book is much more explicitly Austrian than Baetjer’s and covers the school in a topical fashion. Like Baetjer’s, in applies those ideas to a variety of policy questions in very effective ways. The book is very readable and offers more theoretical depth than Baetjer’s. For many years, this was really the only option for this sort of introduction, and the only weakness it has now is that the newer ones can cover things like the financial crisis and other more recent applied topics.
Charles Moore has written a splendid conclusion to his life of Margaret Thatcher.
Political Scientist and author Terry Moe of Stanford University talks about his book, The Politics of Institutional Reform with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Moe explores the politics and effectiveness of educational reform in the New Orleans public school system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Moe finds that policy-makers turned to charter schools for pragmatic […]
If the principle of national sovereignty is incompatible with the policies of economic nationalism, national conservatives have a problem.
The Best of the OLL No. 9: Sir William Blackstone, “Of the Absolute Rights of Individuals” (1766) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).
Technology, at Dictionary.com
In his obituary for the late Norman Stone, Niall Ferguson noted that “Europe Transformed 1878-1919 was a masterpiece of synthesis and has proved an invaluable guide to our own times. Ever wondered why tariffs have made a comeback, or why Italian politics is so hard to predict? It’s all there, and the fun Norman had with the Italian word trasformismo has come in handy time and again.” I have tried to build on this insight in a piece for the City Journal.
Norman Stone’s Europe Transformed is a remarkable exercise in highlighting synchronous trends in history. Beautifully written, it is tremendously rich in ideas that may helps us in trying to solve this dilemma: how come that the European civilization, after it reached unprecedented levels of well-being and enjoying almost a century of peace (albeit interrupted by some war episodes, that nonetheless did not escalate), destroy itself by marching into WWI?
The book is as erudite as brilliant and funny – as Stone was. I met him thanks to John O’Sullivan, in Hungary, a couple of times and tremendously enjoyed his conversation. I remember him singing the Kaiserhymne (the hymn of the Austrian Empire) in Italian, as a tribute to my nostalgia for the good old days when we Lombards, who are good at quite a few things but not at politics, were exempted from the burden of administering ourselves.
Did the flexibility of the UK's unwritten constitution facilitate changes that have made governing almost impossible?
Since about 1970, an important strand of economic research, sometimes referred to as information economics, has explored the extent to which markets and other institutions process and convey information. Many of the problems of markets and other institutions result from costly information, and many of their features are responses to costly information.
Many of the central theories and principles in economics are based on assumptions about perfect information. Among these, three stand out: efficiency, full employment of resources, and uniform prices.
At least since Adam Smith, most economists have believed that competitive markets are efficient, and that firms, in pursuing their own interests, enhance the public good “as if by an invisible hand.” A major achievement of economic science during the first half of the twentieth century was finding the precise sense in which that result is true. This result, known as the Fundamental Theorem of Welfare Economics, provides a rigorous analytic basis for the presumption that competitive markets allocate resources efficiently. In the 1980s economists made clear the hidden information assumptions underlying that theorem. They showed that in a wide variety of situations where information is costly (indeed, almost always), government interventions could make everyone better off if government officials had the right incentives. At the very least these results have undermined the long-standing presumption that markets are necessarily efficient.
There are numerous illustrations in the British edition of the Frederick Douglass. They are of three types: pictures of famous abolitionists, Douglass visiting graves and memorials of those who had struggled against slavery, or horror pictures of the treatment of slaves.
Author of The State, Anthony de Jasay, has been described as one of the few genuinely original minds in modern political philosophy. He breaks new ground with Justice and Its Surroundings - a new collection of essays that seek to redefine the concept of justice and to highlight the frontier between it and other notions which are mistakenly associated with it, such as fairness, equality, or moral intuition.
The Best of the OLL No. 21: Jeremy Bentham, “The Greatest Happiness of the Greatest Number” (1830) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2013).
Of those Systems which make Virtue consist in Propriety
Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, being a Reproduction in Facsimile of the First Folio Edition 1623 from the Chatsworth copy in the possession of the Duke of Devonshire, K.G. with an Introduction and Census of Copies by Sidney Lee (Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1902).