Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Encyclopedia of Libertarianism

I don't yet have my copy of CATO's Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. I do want to note, though, that I wrote the entry on George Washington. There is a preview on googlebooks; but my GW entry is not yet included in the preview (I think it's on p. 535). However you can see my name on the contributor list here. And let me say it's an honor to be included in a project with such distinguished authors.


Anonymous said...

The current financial crisis shows the bankruptcy of libertarianism. Ayn Rand, Greenspan, Graham, McCain - and unbroken chain of economic charlatanism.

In economics, a libertarian is just the same as the GOP.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Hey Anon: 11/09/89.



Brad Hart said...

Congrats on the publication, Jon! I look forward to reading it!

Jonathan Rowe said...

Thanks. Check out the preview now; I think you now read it that way.

Eric Alan Isaacson said...

Congratulations Jonathan!

Is this an encyclopedia of "libertarianism" in the broad sense, that runs from Emma Goldman, Peter Kropotkin, and Noam Chomsky, on the left, to Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman on the right?

Or does only the right end of the libertarian spectrum get covered?

Yours in liberty,


Eric Alan Isaacson said...

Seeing the Encyclopedia is offered by at a $21 discount, I'm pleased to say I've placed my own order, and look forward to reading your work Jonathan.

In liberty, as always,


Jonathan Rowe said...

Thanks Eric for placing the order. From what I know the work tries to be expansive (for instance, we got former libertarian now traditionalist conservative Ed Feser to write the "conservative" critique of libertarianism), but in positing the notion of libertarianism, we consider what you would consider the more "rightward" libertarianism (that is that which embraces economic liberty) to be authentic "libertarianism." This is the Cato Institute, after all.

Eric Alan Isaacson said...

I recall that Karl Hess and Murray Rothbard once hoped to bridge the divide between the libertarian left and right, but it seems to me that it's deeper and wider today than ever.

By the way, one of my favorite anthologies of libertarian thought is Henry J. Silverman's American Radical Thought: The Libertarian Tradition (Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath & Co, 1970), which traced the antiauthoritarian currents in American thought, from the American Revolution to the Civil Rights, Black Power, and Vietnam War-era antiwar movements.

Silverman’s book began with Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Paine, then traced the spirit of liberty through the writing of the great Transcendentalists, Ralph Waldo Emerson (“Self Reliance”) and Henry David Thoreau (“Essay on Civil Disobedience”).

Silverman’s sampling of libertarian strands in nineteenth century thought included the individualist anarchists, represented by Josiah Warren and Benjamin Tucker, and the mutualists, represented by Lysander Spooner and William B. Greene, as well as the Christian Nonresistance of the Rev. Adin Ballou (and the antebellum William Lloyd Garrison).

Silverman included the libertarian far left as well: Alexander Berkman, Voltairine de Cleyre, and Emma Goldman, whom J. Edgar Hoover declared the “most dangerous woman in America,” and who was stripped of her American citizenship and deported in 1919 for opposing the insanity of the First World War.

Bringing libertarian thought up to the 1970s, Silverman included essays by Ammon Hennacy (of the Catholic Worker movement), Staughton Lynd and Thomas Hayden’s antiwar rhetoric, the “libertarian aesthetic” of Allen Ginsberg, the Young Americans for Freedom “Tranquil Statement,” Karl Hess’s “Death of Politics,” Murray Rothbard’s “Confessions of a Right-Wing Liberal,” and Paul Goodman’s “Touchstone for a Libertarian Program.”

He wrapped things up with a chapter on “The Black Rebellion,” featuring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Malcolm X’s “the Black Revolution,” and the Black Panthers’ “Panther Statement.”

Now that was an anthology of libertarian thought, one of breathtaking sweep and breadth. I know, Silverman probably should have included Ayn Rand and the Objectivists. Still, most anthologies of libertarian thought look cramped and unbalanced by comparison to Silverman’s extraordinary collection.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I like Murray Rothbard a lot. An atheist and a Thomist. My kinda guy.