Two Books of the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence was Pufendorf’s first work, published in 1660. Its appearance effectively inaugurated the modern natural-law movement in the German-speaking world, establishing Pufendorf as a key figure and laying the foundations for his later major works.
John Taylor of Caroline (1753–1824) was one of the foremost philosophers of the States’ rights Jeffersonians of the early national period. In keeping with his lifelong mission as a “minority man,” John Taylor wrote Tyranny Unmasked not only to assault the protective tariff and the mercantilist policies of the times but also “to examine general principles in relation to commerce, political economy, and a free government.” Originally published in 1822, it is the only major work of Taylor’s that has never before been reprinted.
In this volume, Mises argued that economics is a science because human action is a natural order of life and that it is the actions of humans that determine markets and capital decisions. Since Mises believed these links could be proven scientifically, he concluded that economics, with its basis on that human action, is indeed a science in its own right and not an ideology or a metaphysical doctrine.
Calhoun’s most important constitutional and political writings are now available as complete, unabridged texts and in a single volume, many for the first time since the 1850s. These writings address such issues as states’ rights and nullification, slavery, the growth of the Federal judicial power, and Calhoun’s doctrine of the “concurrent majority.”
“No one has ever done price theory better than Alchian—that is, no one has ever excelled Alchian’s ability to explain the reason, role, and nuances of prices, of competition, and of property rights. And only a precious few—I can count them on my fingers—have a claim for being considered to have done price theory as well as he did it.” —Donald Boudreaux, George Mason University
St. George Tucker’s View of the Constitution, published in 1803, was the first extended, systematic commentary on the United States Constitution after its ratification. Generations learned their Blackstone and their understanding of the Constitution through Tucker.
This is a new edition of Edmund Burke’s first work, originally issued anonymously in 1756 as a letter attributed to “a late noble writer.” In 1757 Burke produced a revised version with a new preface but still did not attach his name to the work.
Vindiciae Gallicae was James Mackintosh’s first major publication, a contribution to the debate begun by Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. The success of Mackintosh’s defense of the French Revolution propelled him into the heart of London Whig circles. Following the September 1792 massacres Mackintosh, along with other moderate Whigs, revised his opinions and moved closer to Burke’s position. The Liberty Fund edition also includes Mackintosh’s Discourse on the Law of Nature and Nations, Letter to William Pitt, and On the State of France in 1815.
Editor Charles Rowley calls Gordon Tullock “an economist by nature rather than by training.” Tullock attended a one-semester course in economics for law students at the University of Chicago but is otherwise self-taught. Tullock’s background has enabled him to analyze economic problems with an open mind and to deploy his formidable intellect in a truly entrepreneurial manner.
Edward Shils was one of the leading intellectual defenders of freedom in the twentieth century. In these nine essays, he explores the importance of civility and tradition to a free society. The essays’ significance is enormous, for Shils was one of the first and assuredly one of the most courageous writers to examine the nature of civility and civil society and their relation to a free, ordered, liberal democratic society.
The Virtues of Capitalism lays the foundation of his views and theories of capitalism and its alternatives. The first part, Corrigible Capitalism; Incorrigible Socialism, was first published in 1980. It explains why, Seldon believes, “private enterprise is imperfect but redeemable,” but the “state economy promises the earth, and ends in coercion to conceal its incurable failure.”