Mises Wire

Rothbard A to Z

Are you a Murray Rothbard fan? Do you love his writing? His clarity and style? His razor-sharp economic analysis? His penchant for slaying sacred cows?

Then you’ll want to be part of our exciting new project — but we need your help to make it happen.

The Mises Institute hopes to publish an epic Murray Rothbard compendium, tentatively titled Rothbard A to Z. It will be the ultimate Rothbard reference book, and your single source for his best excerpts and quotes on all the core subjects: his full range of economics, of course, but also philosophy, epistemology, ethics, history, law, and libertarianism.

As a Rothbard aficionado, you already know Rothbard wrote about everything. His 62-page bibliography spans nearly half a century, from 1949 to 1995. He wrote 30 full-length books. He contributed 100 full chapters for edited works. And he authored more than 1,000 scholarly and popular articles.

Prolific and radical hardly begin to describe him — but his important work has never been brought together like this.

This is the Rothbard reference book the world needs. It will combine all his diverse subjects and sources together in one easy to search encyclopedia. Consider it the index to his career, both a reference guide and a fun book you can open at random for the best “Murrayisms” on any topic!

If you’re like me, you probably own several Rothbard books. Ever find yourself searching for that one great quote or sentence, trying to remember where to find it? Looking at dog-eared pages and underlined passages? Can’t find that great line of his on Romanticism or monopoly or Keynes or Say’s Law? You know you read it somewhere, but with the sheer volume of Murray’s output wouldn’t a single reference leading you to the original source be great? 

That’s why an alphabetical encyclopedia is so important. I remember as a young man buying a copy of The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z. I never became an Objectivist, but it was a great resource for Rand’s statements and core principles. I still have it to this day.

Rothbard’s systematic thought needs a similar guide. This massive book will clock in at over 500 pages, a daunting task to edit. Fortunately we have Edward W. Fuller and our own David Gordon on the job, bringing it all together. And they’ve included some fun and rare material you’re unlikely to have in your collection, from sources like the Libertarian Forum, Murray’s memos written for the Volker Fund, and his little-known essays like Science, Technology, and Government.

Here are just a few teasers from what they’ve compiled so far:

  • Deflation, far from being a catastrophe, is the hallmark of sound and dynamic economic growth.
                    Deflation — Making Economic Sense, p. 16
  • ...throughout history, despots and ruling elites of States have had far more need of the services of intellectuals than have peaceful citizens in a free society. For States have always needed opinion-moulding intellectuals to con the public into believing that its rule is wise, good, and inevitable; into believing that the “emperor has clothes.”
                    Intellectuals — For a New Liberty, p. 14
  • Integration cannot be achieved by law and coercion; it must first come willingly into the hearts of men.
                     Racism — Left and Right, p. 491
  • Professor Mises has keenly pointed out the paradox of interventionists who insist that consumers are too ignorant or incompetent to buy products intelligently, while at the same time proclaiming the virtues of democracy, where the same people vote for or against politicians whom they do not know and on policies which they scarcely understand. To put it another way, the partisans of intervention assume that individuals are not competent to run their own affairs or to hire experts to advise them, but also assume that these same individuals are competent to vote for these experts at the ballot box.
                    Democracy — Man, Economy, and State, p. 886
  • Secession is a crucial part of the libertarian philosophy: that every state be allowed to secede from the nation, every sub-state from the state, every neighborhood from the city, and logically, every individual or group from the neighborhood.
                    Secession — Libertarian Forum v. 1, p. 17

This project promises to be an important addition to our mission of promoting real economics and real liberalism, using Rothbard’s uncompromising words — brought together as never before. The result will be worthwhile both for deep Rothbard fans and those just being introduced to him.

We’d love to have this book ready before Christmas, and we’d love to have your name on it. Consider a listing in memory of someone special, in honor of your children, or even an important mentor in your life. Imagine the Rothbard fan in your life seeing their name in this landmark work!

All donors of $500 or more will be prominently listed in the book. But any amount will help bring this important book to the public, and we welcome your support at any level.

Please donate today.

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

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