What are good starting books for Mencken, Rothbard and Hayek
December 4, 2006 7:45 PM   Subscribe

Winter reading (Mencken, Rothbard, Hayek)

I'm going to try to read some books by H.L. Mencken, Murray Rothbard, and F.A. Hayek. These authors are all very prolific, and I'm wondering where to begin. What are some of the seminal works by these authors?
posted by JamesJD to Law & Government (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Many of Rothbard's and Hayek's works are available for free on mises.org , so you could look around for a bit.

Man, Economy, and State is the seminal Rothbard book, and The Road to Serfdom is Hayek's best-known work.

As far as Mencken goes, he wrote a lot. Amazon lists a few anthologies, which may be a good place to start.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:09 PM on December 4, 2006

The Road to Sefdom is Hayek's most accessible work; I also recommend handful of his essays, particularly The Intellectuals and Socialism. All his works are good and well worth reading, but The Constitution of Liberty and Law, Legislation and Liberty are ceratinly more work. There's also a reader's digest condensed version of Serfdom that sold a gazillion copies back in the 40s and 50s and is obviously a very quick read if you're looking for the quickest, easiest way to get acquainted.

As for Mencken, start with one of the edited collections - The Vintage Mencken or A Mencken Chrestomathy. Excellent stuff.
posted by Heminator at 8:54 PM on December 4, 2006

Second Vintage Mencken.

Here the general average of intelligence, of knowledge, of competence, of integrity, of self-respect, of honor is so low that any man who knows his trade, does not fear ghosts, has read fifty good books, and practices the common decencies stands out as brilliantly as a wart on a bald head, and is thrown willy-nilly into a meager and exclusive aristocracy.

posted by Brian James at 9:08 PM on December 4, 2006

I'm partial to The Vintage Mencken.
posted by OmieWise at 6:03 AM on December 5, 2006

If you're reading with kids, try The Road to Serfdom, the cartoon version (seriously).
posted by rkent at 6:43 AM on December 5, 2006

Maybe OT but I really enjoyed Terry Teachout's 2002 biography, The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken.
posted by maniabug at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2006

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