Mini-Review: Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty

So, I’ve been reading this book for two months, and I finally finished it.

I mostly only read on the Metro on the way to work and back, and lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking instead of reading, due to recent events. Whenever I bring my book into work, people ask “what are you reading?” and I know there are at least a few people who I had to tell it was the same book four or five times. I don’t know what this says about the book, it’s not *that* long, but it speaks more to my state of mind lately.

The book itself is a history of the libertarian movement, specifically focusing on four of the leading lights in the movement: Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek. Everyone I tried to explain this to had only heard of Rand, and only vaguely, but I was already familiar with the works of all four. I, of course, recommend that everyone know who they are, but doubt that anyone will.

Two things struck me about the book, mainly. First: every name that could have been dropped, was. I think this is a testament to the amount of research that went into the book, and is also indicative of my second point: the movement, from the 50’s to the 80’s, seems so small and so interconnected. Anyone who was a libertarian was at most two steps away from someone mentioned in the book. Nowadays it’s so different. I don’t really correspond with anyone in the movement, I just learn about it on the internet.

And that meant I didn’t know the history of the movement, until now. I think the book is definitely useful for people like me where that is the case.

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2 Responses

  1. I think the movement is on the rise. I am constantly getting students in my classes asking me about Austrian economics, Von Mises, etc… Maybe I should tell them to go ask Greg. Also can you tell from my frequent postings that I am seriously avoiding all work tonight?

  2. I know very little about economics, as you can tell from my two or three posts on the subject. So, don’t send them to me. Have you read Mises? I haven’t, but I have read Hayek’s Road to Serfdom and it was quite good, it definitely holds up.

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