Liberty Review

A Project of Liberty Fund

“A Dictionary We Do Not Want”: Defining America against Noah Webster, 1783-1810


In this excellent essay reviewing the early reception of Noah Webster’s efforts to provide a dictionary of American English, the author has overturned a longstanding myth that Webster was always the celebrated champion of an early American identity that sought not only political but cultural independence from England. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: History

More on Recent Evidence on the Effects of Minimum Wages in the United States

NBER WORKING PAPER No. 20619 (October 2014)

Abstract: A central issue in estimating the employment effects of minimum wages is the appropriate comparison group for states (or other regions) that adopt or increase the minimum wage. In recent research, Dube et al. (2010) and Allegretto et al. (2011) argue that past U.S. research is flawed because it does not restrict comparison areas to those that are geographically proximate and fails to control for changes in low-skill labor markets that are correlated with minimum wage increases. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics

Mark Twain and Economy


The entire Fall issue of American Literary Realism is about Mark Twain’s Economy. An excerpt from the introduction to that volume argues that, “the essays collected in this special issue of ALR encourage us to reassess Mark Twain’s purported economic naivete. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

The Poet, the Skeptic, his Witches, and their Queen: Political Theology and Poetic Charms in Sidney’s Defence

ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY 81.3 (2014): 733-756

Abstract: This article puts the Defence of Poesy’s critique of poetic prophecy alongside the efforts of contemporary Protestants like Reginald Scot to disenchant the idols and thereby undermine certain aspects of Tudor political theology. The political theology of sovereignty thrived on the belief that witches, charms, and idols were real conduits of spiritual evil. The idea that idolaters represented devils on earth gave support to the notion that sovereigns gained their authority directly from God. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

Libel and Satire: The Problem with Naming

ENGLISH LITERARY HISTORY 81.3 (2014): 889-921

Abstract: Literary historians have accounted for gutted names (like J—- S—- for John Smith) in eighteenth-century satire in legal terms, arguing that such typographical ruses prevented actions and prosecutions for libel. But the legal record shows that gutted names served no legal function. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Arts & Literature

Debt Erosion and the Market Process

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS 34.3 (2014): 370-378

Abstract: This paper explores the effects of debt erosion on the market process. Debt erosion is the attempt by government to lower the real value of its debt through the creation of unexpected inflation. In addition to the costs recognised by most economists, debt erosion through unexpected inflation can impair the price system’s ability to coordinate exchange activity and can result in costly capital misallocations. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Economics

Summaries Archive

Recent Posts: Liberty Review Books

Free: Why Science Hasn’t Disproved Free Will. Alfred R. Mele. Oxford University Press. 2014

Does free will exist? The question has fueled heated debates spanning from philosophy to psychology and religion. The answer has major implications, and the stakes are high. To put it in the simple terms that have come to dominate these debates, if we are free to make our own decisions, we are accountable for what […]

Leo Strauss: Man of Peace. Robert Howse. Cambridge University Press. 2014.

Leo Strauss is known to many people as a thinker of the right, who inspired hawkish views on national security and perhaps even advocated war without limits. Moving beyond gossip and innuendo about Strauss’s followers and the Bush administration, this book provides the first comprehensive analysis of Strauss’s writings on political violence, considering also what […]

The End of Socialism. James Otteson. Cambridge University Press. 2014

Is socialism morally superior to other systems of political economy, even if it faces practical difficulties? In The End of Socialism, James R. Otteson explores socialism as a system of political economy – that is, from the perspectives of both moral philosophy and economic theory.

Recent Posts: Liberty Review América Latina

El Crédito y la Libertad Bancaria en un Régimen de Reserva Fraccionaria

ALEJANDRO N. SALA REVISTA DE INSTITUCIONES, IDEAS Y MERCADOS 60 (2014): 5-31 En relación al régimen crediticio, en la Escuela Austríaca de Economía hay dos grandes posturas: la que defiende un encaje o Reserva total, del cien por ciento, y la que prefiere un encaje o reserva fraccionaria.

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