Liberty Fund

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.

Download our collection of 2020 subject catalogs today for detailed descriptions of our titles and insights into the following topics:

Books

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.

Featured Book The Economics of Politics

By Gordon Tullock
Edited and with an Introduction by Charles K. Rowley

The Economics of Politics is the fourth volume in Liberty Fund’s The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock. This volume includes some of Gordon Tullock’s most noteworthy contributions to the theory and application of public choice, which is a relatively new science that links economics and political action. This volume combines the best parts of two of his books, Private Wants: Public Means and On Voting, as well as his famous monograph The Vote Motive.

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The Economics of Politics

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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.

Law & Liberty June 4, 2020

A Badge of Discrimination

The British National Health Service has spoken: Wear the badge or declare yourself to be a bigot.

EconLog June 3, 2020

Transaction Costs are the Costs of Engaging in Economic Calculation

This year marks the 100supth/sup anniversary of the publication of Ludwig von Mises’s seminal article, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” which marked the first salvo in what later became the socialist calculation debate. Though the contributions of F.A. Hayek to that debate, and to economic science more broadly, have been well recognized, what is somewhat forgotten today is that the fundamental contributions of another economist were also born out of the socialist calculation debate. I am referring to none other than Ronald Coase.

Law & Liberty June 4, 2020

Sweet Land of Tyranny

More democracy is not always the best solution to the problems of democracy, but in the case of a pandemic, it may be our best hope of reasoned action.

Law & Liberty June 4, 2020

Undermining Competitive Federalism

To preserve our federalism the national government must refrain from paying for the past and present fiscal mismanagement by state governments.

EconLog June 4, 2020

A Humble State with No Motocarde

In many ways, the modern world, including economic freedom, was born from the fear of tyranny and the institutions (not always successful) to prevent it. In Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships (Basic Books, 2000), famous economist Mancur Olson had interesting historical remarks about Italian city-states in early modern times:

Sometimes, when leading families or merchants organized a government for their city, they not only provided for some power sharing through voting but took pains to reduce the probability that the government’s chief executive could assume autocratic power. For a time in Genoa, for example, the chief administrator of the government had to be an outsider—and thus someone with no membership in any of the powerful families in the city. Moreover, he was constrained to a fixed term of office, forced to leave the city after the end of his term, and forbidden from marrying into any of the local families. In Venice, after a doge who attempted to make himself autocrat was beheaded for his offense, subsequent doges were followed in official processions by a sword-bearing symbolic executioner as a reminder of the punishment intended for any leader who attempted to assume dictatorial power. As the theory predicts, the same city-states also tended to have more elaborate courts, contracts, and property rights than most of the European kingdoms of the time. As is well known, these city-states also created the most advanced economies in Europe, not to mention the culture of the Renaissance.

AdamSmithWorks August 9, 2018

The Theory of Moral Sentiments: Part VI, Section III

Of Self-command

EconTalk June 1, 2020

Sarah Carr on Charter Schools, Educational Reform, and Hope Against Hope

Hope-Against-Hope-200x300.jpg Journalist and author Sarah Carr talks about her book Hope Against Hope with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Carr looked at three schools in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and chronicled their successes, failures, and the challenges facing educational reform in the poorest parts of America.

OLL | Liberty Matters May 4, 2020

Sarah Morgan Smith, ““To Covenant and Combine Ourselves into a Civil Body Politic”: The Mayflower Compact @ 400 Years” (May 2020)

Liberty MattersIn this edition of Liberty Matters, Sarah Morgan Smith, an Ashbrook Center Fellow, General Editor of Ashbrook’s Core Documents Collections, and co-director of the Center’s Religion in American History and Politics project, helps the Online Library of Liberty to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact by considering its significance —and that of related documents from the same year— in the history of republican self-government and American religious tolerance. Morgan Smith argues that the Mayflower Compact was not just a natural outgrowth of the Separatists’ religious beliefs. Instead it contains the seeds of some of America’s most important political principles.

Law & Liberty June 4, 2020

Local Democracy, Elite Preferences

The authors of Reconstructing Democracy support some level of popular control, but seem unaware of their own refined condescension.

EconLog June 3, 2020

Five (More) Books: Economic, Political and Social Ethnography of Soviet Life

In my previous two posts, I offered recommendations for reading on the Russian Revolution and the Soviet economy. Today, I’d like to turn our attention everyday life in the Soviet Union.

My most cherished comment on one of my books dealing with the Soviet system was from then Department Chair of Economics at Moscow State University, who upon reading my discussion of the contrast between how the system was supposed to work and how it really worked wrote to me to tell me that my description fit perfectly with the daily life that he and his family had to endure.  I had done my job then.  I think the purpose of economic theory is to aid us in our task of making sense of the political economy of everyday life.  Not theorems and graphs on blackboards and textbooks, but the lived reality out the window in the social settings we find ourselves exploring as social scientists and scholars.

OLL | Liberty Fund Books November 21, 2011

Hobbes on Civil Association (Michael Oakeshott)

Oakeshott HobbesHobbes on Civil Association consists of Oakeshott’s four principal essays on Hobbes and on the nature of civil association as civil association pertains to ordered liberty. The essays are “Introduction to Leviathan” (1946); “The Moral Life in the Writings of Thomas Hobbes” (1960); “Dr. Leo Strauss on Hobbes” (1937); and, “Leviathan : A Myth” (1947). The foreword remarks the place of these essays within Oakeshott’s entire corpus.

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