An Old History of Leviathan


In 1972 the libertarian economist Murray Rothbard edited an anthology with the historian Ronald Radosh, who at that point was still a man of the left. The book, A New History of Leviathan, has been almost impossible to find in recent years, and that's a shame: It contains several excellent essays on the history of corporate liberalism, some written by veterans of the New Left and some written by libertarians.

The Mises Institute has now posted the book online as a pdf file. Besides the editors, the contributors include William Appleman Williams, Martin Sklar, and Leonard Liggio, among others.

Elsewhere in Reason: My review of Radosh's memoirs.

(Hat tip: Joel Schlosberg.)

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  1. Good one Jesse, and in that same vein, this is an interesting version of The Road to Serfdom that was originally published as a booklet by General Motors (Thought Starter Series) and it also appeared in Look Magazine (there’s a blast from the past). Frankly, TWC is surprised because I thought those guys at GM were always centrist-leaning supporters of big government’s control of the economy through trade restrictions, regulations, and corporate welfare schemes. GM does Hayek. Go Figure.

  2. That cartoon is trippy, especially coming from GM. And I think the illustrations on the pages numbered 3 and 4 pretty much capture the sum of the human political experience.

  3. WOW…It’s nice to see Reason bring up one of the founding fathers of Libertarians. Don’t see that around here to often.

  4. It’s a shame that with solid intellectuals like Ronald Radosh to draw on, libertarian activists embrace crackpots like Aaron Russo. Rodosh’s brilliant work of the Spanish Civil War was a great corrective to leftist romanticism.

  5. I own the volume. It’ a very interesting left and right attack on the state in a history examining motif.

    It’s a shame that with solid intellectuals like Ronald Radosh to draw on, libertarian activists embrace crackpots like Aaron Russo.

    Libertarian appreciation of Radosh and Russo isn’t mutually exclusive. Russo did some valuable work in his publicizing of current state distortions. Radosh did some valuable work in researching and publicizing historical state distortions.

    Radosh is not a libertarian, as Rothbard was. But truth is where you find it. But as of late, Radosh seems to have forgotten the lessons of “A New History of Leviathan” and joined the other side.


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