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The Hospers-Tannehill Correspondence


Recently there fell into my lap 80 pages of fascinating correspondence between two of the most influential libertarian intellectuals of our time: the recently-deceased John Hospers, author of Libertarianism: a political philosophy for tomorrow and the first presidential candidate of the Libertarian Party (in 1972), and Morris Tannehill, the reclusive co-author (with his wife Linda) of the provocative and influential anarcho-libertarian book The Market for Liberty.1

Nicholas Dykes sent the manuscript to me earlier this year; it contains the mostly typewritten correspondence between Tannehill and Hospers from August 1970 to November 1971. Hospers died earlier this year, and according to Dykes:

I think Morris died years ago in a car crash, but I’m not sure about that. There was an article in Liberty about him and Linda, in the 90s I think. Linda retired to New Mexico and made sandals.

I have not been able to verify this about Tannehill, nor find the article in Liberty–if anyone knows more please add to the comments or email me, and I’ll update this post. [Update: Jesse Walker informs me that the piece Dykes had in mind is probably "Freedom Now," by Linda [formerly Tannehill] Locke, from the March 1991 issue of Liberty.]

Hospers sent this all to Dykes a while back because he liked one of Dykes’s books (Old Nick’s Guide to Happiness), and gave Dykes permission to publish the papers. He considered doing a book but sent them to me, as editor of Libertarian Papers, to handle as I thought fit. I may have the material converted to text and copyedited and published in Libertarian Papers or otherwise at some point, but saw no reason to withhold the raw material. So, here it is. Enjoy!


Stephan Kinsella

Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.

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