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Jun 1, 1983

Roy A. Childs, Jr.: A History of the Libertarian Movement

Roy A. Childs, Jr. was an essayist, lecturer, and critic. He first came to prominence in the libertarian movement with his 1969 “Open Letter to Ayn Rand,” and he quickly established himself as a major thinker within the libertarian tradition. Childs edited Libertarian Review from 1977 to 1981 and was a Cato Institute scholar from 1982 to 1984. He wrote and edited hundreds of book reviews for Laissez Faire Books from 1984 until his death in 1992.

In this lecture from a 1983 Cato Summer Seminar at Dartmouth College, Childs gives the history of the modern American libertarian movement from the 1920s to the establishment of the Libertarian Party in 1971 and the publication of Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick and the establishment of the Cato Institute in 1974. Other highlights include Childs’s thoughts on the lives and works of great 20th century libertarian thinkers such as Rand, Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Rothbard, Nock, Reed, Paterson, Lane, Chodorov, and many more.