Friday, May 12, 2006

The Complete Libertarian Forum

Last summer, the Mises Institute was kind enough to offer us absolutely free access to a complete, 1969-1984, downloadable PDF archive of Murray Rothbard’s The Libertarian Forum, representing the glorious early years of the modern libertarian movement. Well, now they’ve collected all those wonderful newsletters into a two-volume, softcover set titled The Complete Libertarian Forum. I haven’t seen this edition yet (I just this minute ordered it myself), but even so, I’ll scamper out on the proverbial limb and say that this collection belongs in the reference library of every radical Rothbardian. Here’s what I wrote about the newsletter last summer:

Murray’s Forum reported in ‘real time’ the libertarian break with the conservative Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) in 1969. It presented month-by-month Murray’s flirtation with the New Left and his efforts (and eventual failure), between 1969 and 1971, to build a Left-Right anti-state/anti-war coalition. Shortly after his break with Goldwater Republicans and his union with the New Left, the great Karl Hess wrote some wonderful and highly radical columns for LF in its first two years of publication; Karl’s gradual split with Murray over style and strategy is quietly documented in these early issues. Many philosophical and tactical arguments were fought and documented in the pages of The Libertarian Forum. For example, early battles about launching a ‘Libertarian Party’ vs. non-political libertarian action took place in the Forum. Besides Rothbard and Hess, other celebrated contributors to LF included Leonard Liggio, Jerome Tuccille, Roy Childs, Butler Shaffer, and Walter Block.”

Tons of long out-of-print Rothbard writings are now available for easy reference. If you haven’t yet visited the online archive of The Libertarian Forum, do so. Better yet, do so and buy this indispensable bound collection. You won’t find a better method for studying the history of This Movement of Ours.


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