The purpose of these Excursions is to explore the fascinating and complex history of libertarian ideas. Over four decades of reading, writing, and lecturing on the history of libertarianism have taught Smith an important lesson, namely, that the theories of some early libertarian thinkers were sometimes better and more sophisticated than the theories we take for granted today.

William J. Watkins, Jr.

William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America’s First Constitution (2016). He has served as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, and has practiced in various state and federal courts.