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Jeffrey Rogers Hummel


  • Originally published 09/29/2013

    Let's Drink to Good Grades

    Jonathan Zimmerman

    Students think of college as a opportunity to improve social skills and network, not study.

  • Originally published 09/25/2013

    Searching for Madame Nhu

    Katie Baker

    Lyndon Johnson flirted with her. JFK hated her. Historians blamed her for South Vietnam's downfall.

  • Originally published 09/24/2013

    Cliodynamics?

    Could a new data-driven theory of history be truly transformative?

  • Originally published 09/24/2013

    I found real Abraham Lincoln!

    ‘Armchair historian’ disputes 2007 claim, says he’s found the actual 16th President in famed Gettysburg Address photo

  • Originally published 07/23/2014

    Review of Claire Conner’s Wrapped in the Flag

    Liberty and Power

    I recently posted a review at Amazon of Claire Conner’s Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America’s Radical Right. (The paperback edition changed the subtitle to What I Learned Growing Up in America’s Radical Right, How I Escaped, and Why My Story Matters Today.) The review begins below and continues under the fold. The review unfortunately is buried within a stack of over a hundred favorable reviews. But anyone who wants to read it at Amazon can go here. Then if you find it worthy, you can click the button that says the review is helpful and move it up in the queue: I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite myself. The author, Claire Conner, entertainingly interweaves a personal story of her growing up with parents who were avid and prominent members of the John Birch Society with a history of the Birch Society itself. I am only four years younger than Conner, and my own story has many intriguing parallels to hers. My parents never joined “the Society,” as its members referred to it, but they (particularly my mother) became what could be called Birch Society “fellow travelers,” involved in right-wing politics after the election of 1960. Many of their friends were Society members. I therefore imbibed much of the same literature as Conner, listened to similar public lectures, and was taken to and participated in similar events. She and I both, for example, were peripherally involved in the 1964 Goldwater campaign.

  • Originally published 07/15/2014

    Tabarrok on "Bernanke vs. Friedman"

    Liberty and Power

    Alex Tabarrok has a very flattering post at Marginal Revolution about my 2011 article,  “Ben Bernanke versus Milton Friedman: The Federal Reserve’s Emergence as the U.S. Economy’s Central Planner." It seems that the President of the Richmond Fed has independently just made a similar argument. (Update: broken link fixed.)

  • Originally published 06/29/2014

    Ed Lazear's WSJ op-ed on California's water problems

    Liberty and Power

    Ed Lazear had an outstanding op-ed, "Government Dries Up California's Water Supply," in the June 26 Wall Street Journal. It brings me back to 1982, when I first moved to California from Texas. Less Antman had the California Libertarian Party hire me as research director, and one of the biggest political issues at the time was water. The fight was over a ballot initiative authorizing construction of a Peripheral Canal around the San Joaquin-Sacramento River delta to divert more water to Central Valley farmers and southern California. It would have been an enormous, expensive boondoggle that united environmentalist and libertarians in opposition. I ended up not only writing but speaking before all sorts of audiences about the issue. My studies made me quite familiar with the socialist bureaucracy, much of unelected with taxing power, which manages California's feudalistic water system, severely mispricing and misallocating water.

  • Originally published 06/27/2014

    Surowiecki on Intellectual Piracy 

    James Surowiecki had an excellent article in the June 9 issue of the New Yorker about countries committing intellectual piracy. It includes a nice summary of how "stealing" patented ideas played a major role in the early economic development of the United States. In the process, it surveys some of the considerable historical evidence debunking the widespread myth that intellectual property is necessary for, or even makes a contribution to, economic growth.

  • Originally published 06/27/2014

    Surowiecki on Intellectual Piracy 

    James Surowiecki had an excellent articlein the June 9 issue of the New Yorker about countries committing intellectual piracy. It includes a nice summary of how "stealing" patented ideas played a major role in the early economic development of the United States. In the process, it surveys some of the considerable historical evidence debunking the widespread myth that intellectual property is necessary for, or even makes a contribution to, economic growth.

  • Originally published 06/27/2014

    Surowiecki on Intellectual Piracy 

    James Surowiecki had an excellent articlein the June 9 issue of the New Yorker about countries committing intellectual piracy. It includes a nice summary of how "stealing" patented ideas played a major role in the early economic development of the United States. In the process, it surveys some of the considerable historical evidence debunking the widespread myth that intellectual property is necessary for, or even makes a contribution to, economic growth.

  • Originally published 06/27/2014

    Surowiecki on Intellectual Piracy 

    Liberty and Power

    James Surowiecki had an excellent article in the June 9 issue of the New Yorker about countries committing intellectual piracy. It includes a nice summary of how "stealing" patented ideas played a major role in the early economic development of the United States. In the process, it surveys some of the considerable historical evidence debunking the widespread myth that intellectual property is necessary for, or even makes a contribution to, economic growth.

  • Originally published 06/24/2014

    My REASON review on the Panic of 1837

    Liberty and Power

    My review of Jessica Lepler'sThe Many Panics of 1837: People, Politics, and the Creation of a Transatlantic Financial Crisis appears in the July issue of Reason. It has now been posted online.