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Nov 6, 2004 3:29 pm

Garet Garrett Fifty Years Later

Garet Garrett died fifty years ago today. Garrett was an exemplar of the"old right" which opposed both U.S. entry into World War II and the Cold War. Before that, he had been a figure of some note as a novelist, editor of The Conference Board, and the economics essayist for the Saturday Evening Post.

Not long before his death, he penned the following lament:"We have crossed the boundary that lies between Republic and Empire. If you ask when, the answer is that you cannot make a single stroke between day and night; the precise moment does not matter. There was no painted sign to say: 'You are now entering Imperium.' Yet it was a very old road and the voice of history was saying: 'Whether you know it or not, the act of crossing may be irreversible.' And now, not far ahead, is a sign that reads: 'No U-turns.'" (People's Pottage, 117)

Fortunately, it addition to a fiftieth anniversary volume of the People's Pottage, Bruce Ramsey has edited two excellent compilations of Garrett's work: Salvos Against the New Deal, and The Antiwar Editorials of the Saturday Evening Post, 1939-1942.

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David T. Beito - 11/6/2004

I heard from Richard Cornuelle, who knew him well along with Rothbard, that his body was found lying in a pile of galley proofs on the floor. I like that version best! Interestingly, Cornuelle says that Garret urged him to go and see poverty first hand, before making judgments, by visiting the coal fields of West Virgina. A lot of us could benefit from that lesson.

Kenneth R Gregg - 11/6/2004

The Freeman published an obituary of his death. I remember how sad I felt when I came across it. As I recall, he had died of pneumonia from living in a cave in New Jersey. Disgusted with the world of irrationality, he sought refuge in nature.