Sunday, March 8, 2015

Leonard Read's collected works online at FEE

The Digitization of Leonard Read : Blog : Foundation for Economic Education - Jeffrey A. Tucker:

March 2, 2015 - "The collected works of FEE’s founder are now on! We are super excited about this development because it gives new and permanent life to some of the wisest writings on freedom you will ever read....

"At the height of the New Deal, and four years before US entry into World War II, a new intellectual voice appeared on the national scene. His name was Leonard E. Read, head of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. His book was Romance of Reality. It was a large book on economics published by Dodd, Mead, & Co., a prestigious publishing house, and it came out in 1937, just as hope that government planning would end the Depression was waning.

"Read’s approach to economics was different from almost anything else you could get your hands on at the time. It completely dismissed FDR’s New Deal in all its forms, but it went much further. It rejected all forms of control of people’s right to peacefully create, bargain, and associate. It saw government intervention, which he saw as the policy application of the principle of violence, as contributing nothing positive but only draining human energy from the project of creating prosperity.

"It was a defense of free enterprise on different grounds than most people would expect. It sounded different, and it felt different. There was nothing 'reactionary' about it. His prose was humane, with an emphasis on the future. His focus was on ethics. It traced the roots of the national problem to a failure of imagination. His proposed reform was not a political program but an intellectual and spiritual enlightenment....

"Romance of Reality appeared nearly a decade before that great moment in 1946 when Leonard Read would take the dramatic step of founding the Foundation for Economic Education. This was the realization of the dream he mapped out in this marvelous 1937 book. FEE was the nation’s first market-oriented think tank. In the postwar environment, FEE became a sanctuary for dissident European intellectuals like Ludwig von Mises, a platform for journalists like Henry Hazlitt, and a publishing venue for emergent geniuses like Milton Friedman....

"Throughout all his years at FEE, Leonard remained an active writer and intellectual force. His most famous essay on the division of labor, 'I, Pencil,' is a timeless classic, but his writings include so much more, on every topic you can imagine. His works were pored over by a generation of businesspeople and professionals who so badly needed inspiration in dark times. He provided it with his continuing themes: celebrating human creativity, warning against all forms of control, calling for individual improvement as a path toward freedom, eschewing politics as a workable solution, and pursuing the path of peace in all aspects of life."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

Read's books can be accessed from the Libertarianism wiki - GD

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