The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism


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About the Book

Libertarianism has had its Primer, its Reader, its Freewheeling History—now at last it has its encyclopedia: The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. This comprehensive book, years in the making, will instantly become the standard guide to libertarian people and ideas. The Encyclopedia begins with an introductory essay offering a historical and thematic overview of key events and thinkers in the development of classical liberal and libertarian thought. It includes more than 300 succinct, original articles on libertarian ideas, institutions, and thinkers. Contributors include James Buchanan, Richard Epstein, Tyler Cowen, Randy Barnett, Ellen Frankel Paul, Deirdre McCloskey, and more than 100 other scholars.

About the Editor

Ronald Hamowy is Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History at the University of Alberta. He is the editor of Trenchard and Gordon’s Cato’s Letters, and the author, among other works, of The Scottish Enlightenment and Spontaneous Order and The Political Sociology of Freedom: Adam Ferguson and F.A. Hayek, and of numerous articles on 18th-century British and American political theory and on public health during the Progressive Era.

What Others Have Said

“The volume can be used as a straight reference, but it’s at least as valuable as an intellectual curiosity. It’s a product of the Cato Institute, that Beltway beachhead for sober free market thinking. However, it is intended to be broadly representative of libertarian thought and history. It usually succeeds at hitting that target. This book will appeal to libertarians of all stripes, of course, and intellectual history buffs, as well as to anyone who has ever wondered, “I wonder what libertarians would think about X,” or even “Why would libertarians think that?” Though if you have, my friends, let me just warn you: it’s a slippery slope.”
—Jeremy Lott, The American Spectator

“A significant book that ought to be acquired by anyone with a serious commitment to fair and open debate. An important reference book that shows the depth, range, and lasting significance of libertarian ideas.”
—Martin Morse Wooster, The Freeman

“Editor Ronald Hamowy’s heroic attempt to squeeze the Individualist vision into one volume has yielded a book that is big by every measure: 664 pages, 76-page index, 163 contributors, 327 entries. Yes, the price is also big. But it is just right if you are buying the book for that special individual: Yourself. As one might expect, the entries in this work are not standardized but individualistic. There are many true gems here, produced by assigning the right author to the right topic. In addition to the articles I found superb, I also encountered some wonderful surprises: articles that opened up for me entirely new lines of thought.”
—Roger Donway, The New Individualist


Number of Pages: 
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2008