Few economists manage to produce a body of work that boasts a serious following 20 years after their deaths. Murray N. Rothbard is a rare exception. More than two decades since his passing, his influence lives on, both in the work of a new generation of social scientists, and among a growing number of the general public.
One reason for Rothbard's continuing popularity is his ability to reach across disciplines, and to connect them: unlike many contemporary economists, who specialize in increasingly narrow fields within the science, Rothbard's research agenda was expansive and interdisciplinary, covering most of the social sciences and humanities.
Some listeners of this book will already be familiar with Rothbard's major works, such as his path-breaking treatise on economics, Man, Economy, and State. Yet Rothbard also produced hundreds of shorter works for both academic and popular audiences. Unfortunately, many lack the time to explore his writings; what's more, his oeuvre is so enormous it is often difficult to know where to begin.
This book aims to solve these problems by providing a window into Rothbard's achievements in the social sciences, humanities, and beyond. It includes introductory, intermediate, and advanced material, to ensure the book can be enjoyed by listeners of all levels of understanding and familiarity with Rothbard's work. Therefore although it is intended primarily for newcomers, veteran listeners will also find much to discover or re-discover in these minutes.
The individual articles in this collection can be heard in any order; with that in mind, we propose two ways to explore them. Those new to Rothbard's writing may want to begin with the shorter, more accessible chapters that interest them most, before continuing on to more difficult topics. However, we have intentionally arranged the articles and sections so that listeners who prefer a systematic discussion.
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Introduction to libertarianism