Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Rothbard book now shipping

I just received word from the Mises Institute that my copy of The Betrayal of the American Right has shipped. I’ve been chompin’ at the bit for this book since last March, when I first heard its publication was scheduled for “sometime this year.” Betrayal is a previously unpublished 1970s era manuscript by the late Murray Rothbard, and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., who wrote the book’s introduction, says it’s the closest thing to a Rothbard memoir we’ll ever see. Writes Woods: “It is not just a history of the Old Right, or of the anti-interventionist tradition in America. It is the story — at least in part — of Rothbard’s own political and intellectual development: the books he read, the people he met, the friends he made, the organizations he joined, and so much more.” And for us radical Rothbardians (aka Libertarian Leftists), there is also this, from the Mises Institute press release:

“How many [historians] know that the left and right changed place from the late 50s through the 1960s? Very few indeed. What Rothbard shows is that the cause of peace is our heritage, and that free markets has been united with the antiwar cause from the founding fathers through the Old Right and as late as the 1950s.

“There is so much in this book to appreciate but especially valuable are his comments on the left in the 1960s. There might have seemed to be some hope for some type of collaboration. They were against the war and for civil liberties at a time when the right was becoming increasingly imperialist and warmongering. Rothbard explains his attempt to educate the left on economics. Alas, there was no hope. He had to go it alone and forge a completely new movement called libertarianism.”

When it arrives in a few days, The Betrayal of the American Right goes right to the top of my “to read” stack.

Update: I see that the Mises Institute already has a free PDF download of Betrayal available. God bless those glorious Austrian bastards! (Buy the hardcover edition anyway. The Mises folks really deserve our support.)

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