Leonard P. Liggio: An Intellectual Autobiography

[Created: 2 November, 2014]
[Updated: January 17, 2017 ]
c. 1981
At George Mason University (n.d.)



This oral history of the life of LPL first appeared in three parts at the Liggio Legacy Project. It is reproduced here in one piece.

Original Source at the Liggio Legacy Project website: Leonard Liggio: A Snapshot


Leonard P. Liggio: An Intellectual Autobiography

My progress to Classical Liberalism began as a child. Until the Summer of 1941 we lived in Miami Beach, Florida. Then and until the early 1950s there were many 15-minute radio commentaries on politics on the four radio networks. My parents listened to them and the news broadcasts. They held opposing views. My father was an Al Smith Democrat (Smith was NY governor & 1928 Dem presidential candidate) and opposed the Republican party on its immigration restriction, its protective tariffs, its alcohol prohibition, etc., which created the FDR majority. He adhered to the Democratic tradition of Personal Liberty. My mother favored sound money and lower government spending as did the Republicans. My father blindly followed FDR’s leadership to take the US into World War II. My mother’s conservatism led her to support Republican traditional non-interventionism. She opposed any alliance with Stalin’s Soviet Union. My mother viewed FDR as she did Bill & Hillary Clinton (which is not printable). The facts from 1941-45 led me to agree with my mother. My mother was strongly opposed to Progressive Education and enrolled my brother and I in a Catholic primary school (and later high school and university) even though my mother was Lutheran. The Bronx was a Communist stronghold with more Communist Party district offices than Republican ones.

In 1945 the Communists elected two members to the New York City Council as well as a number of Communist-front members; the Communists had cells at Time and at many newspapers. (My father finally turned against the Democrats in 1952 when he saw that ‘Our Soviet Allies’ had been spying on the US as in the Hiss Trial. He finally accepted that it was the graduates of Jesuit universities which had to discover the spies from the Ivy League universities, such as Harvard and Yale.)

When the family returned to NYC in 1941 we regularly read most of the daily newspapers. On Sundays we read the Daily News, Hearst’s Daily Mirror and Journal-American; World-Telegram & Sun, New York Times, and New York Herald Tribune. (In addition we listened daily to the radio commentators such as Hans von Kaltenborn, Fulton Lewis, Jr. and Felix Morley on SUNOCO Three-Star-Extra). The most valuable columnist was John O’Donnell of the four million circulation New York Daily News. His exposures of FDR’s plots to enter the war led FDR during a small news conference in his office to pin an iron cross on his suit. (When I was a student at Georgetown and the Washington Times-Herald was closed (aChicago Tribune affiliate), I arranged daily delivery of the NY Daily News to my door in the GU dorm to know each morning what I should think by reading O’Donnell. Other important sources were Hearst columnists, Karl von Weigand and George Sokolsky in the New York Journal-American.

I was particularly happy with the Republican victory in November 1946, winning the House and Senate as well as governorships. In my northeast Bronx district, David M. Potts scored a victory in winning the Congressional seat. Sen. Robert Taft became the chairman of the Labor Com and passed the Taft-Hartley Labor Relations Act of 1947 creating the Right to Work which freed 22 states from Union Tyranny. It was passed over Truman’s veto and I listened as the Senate vote to override was broadcast on the radio. Taft strengthened the Republican tradition against foreign and domestic intervention.

In December 1950,the American Historical Association held a major debate on FDR’s taking the US into WW II. Charles C. Tansill had published his BACK DOOR TO WAR (Regnery) on FDR getting the US into war in Europe through the back door of the Pacific (those were Herbert Hoover’s words). He was joined by Harry Elmer Barnes who later published Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace. They were opposed by two Harvard apologists for FDR. John O’Donnell reported on the AHA debate in Chicago.

In high school I read the works of Hilaire Belloc and Lord Acton and continued when I decided that Georgetown University with Charles C. Tansill was the university for me to attend. GU Foreign Service dean, Edmund Walsh S. J., was the leading US geopolitican; and Tibor Kerekes was Chairman of History and Political Sc. Department. (In addition to Henry Regnery Publishers, there were Devin-Adair in NY (publisher ofChodorov: One is a Crowd; and The IncomeTax: The Root of All Evil(introduction by Gov. J. Bracken Lee of Utah) and Caxton Publishers in Caldwell, Idaho, publishing classics by Herbert Spencer (Man Against the State) and Albert Jay Nock (Our Enemy The State).

After arriving at Georgetown I joined Students for Taft and became acquainted with its leaders in NYC, Ralph Raico and George Reisman at the Bronx High School of Science. Ralph called to my attention theFoundation for Economic Education in 1952 after Taft’s defeat for Republican presidential nomination during the June, 1952 Chicago convention. Leonard Read and F. A. Harper were always hospitable to our visits to FEE and Harper would invite me to FEE to attend seminars that they were having when I was in NYC. Harper continued to communicate with me as occasions arose. Ralph discovered Ludwig von Mises’ Human Action in the summer of 1952 and insisted I read it. Through FEE Ralph with George Reisman went to visit Mises at NYU to ask admission to his graduate seminar as auditors. Mises tested their German and admitted them while Ralph translated Liberalism, and George translated Heinrich Ricket’s Science and History (the English translations were published for the Volker Fund by Van Nostrand, in Princeton.

In Spring 1953, I began to sit in on Mises’ graduate seminar during vacations at Georgetown. Mises’ seminar lectures were the manuscript he was preparing for his publisher, Yale University Press, which wasTheory and History. Of course, I was particularly interested in this aspect of history, which was foretold in parts of Human Action; and I read the manuscript translation of Ricket’s Science and History. Mises analyzed the foundations of historical sciences in the science of human knowledge.

The ‘sciences of laws’ was contrasted with the ‘sciences of events’ in Wilhelm Windelband’s Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft, a source for Ricket and Mises.

Since I was with Ralph Raico and George Reisman, maybe they introduced me to Mises. Mises’ Seminar was followed by a weekly visit to the Lafayette Café on University Ave. and 8th St. The actual students went home and the ‘real’ students stayed to discuss the seminar; it was there that I met Murray N. Rothbard. Thereafter, during the summer and after I returned to NYC to study at Columbia University law school, a group gathered around Murray Rothbard and his hospitable wife, Joey: Ralph Raico, George Reisman, Bob Hessen, and LPL. Among the regular participants in the weekly Mises NYU seminar were: Bettina and Percy Greaves, Bill Peterson and M. Stanton Evans. Through FEE I began to read Frederic Bastiat’s The Law, and then his other valuable writings.

The three persons with whom I have had the longest intellectual association were…

1. Joseph R. Peden who sat in front of me when I started High School freshman year (1947) at All Hallows Institute and with whom I was in discussion until his death on February 12, 1996. Joe majored in American Studies (& Italian Renaissance) at Fordham University, in American History (& Middle Ages) for his M. A. at Columbia U. For his Ph. D. studies at Fordham University he pursued Roman/Christian and Medieval History.

Joe Peden studied medieval money and medieval institutions, as well as opposition to government education in US and Europe. For many years he was an intellectual and social friend of Murray N. Rothbard. Joe taught European history almost thirty years in the history department of Baruch College (City University of New York).

2. Ralph Raico and I met through Students for Taft; he introduced me to FEE, Human Action, and Mises’ NYU seminar. Mises sent him for his Ph. D. with Hayek at Univ of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. His work on Acton, Tocqueville and Constant has added to our knowledge, as have his studies of German, French and Italian Liberalism.

3. Murray Newton Rothbard was a polymath and larger-than-life intellectual. During forty years I always learned something from him. He had boundless intellectual interests and was open-hearted in welcoming persons who shared his inquiries. He had an interest in the contributions of French authors to Classical Liberalism.: J. B. Say, Cantillon , Turgot, Condillac, Ch. Dunoyer and Charles Comte, and Frederic Bastiat. He encouraged me to study the work of Charles Dunoyer (1786-1863), who, with Ch. Comte, was a disciple of J. B. Say. To that end, he presented me for academic achievement, Ch. Dunoyer’s La Liberte du Travail (1845). In the middle 1960s, Murray and I began writing the history of colonial America which became the multi-volume Conceived in Liberty. Murray was the principle author as he was senior and had a fluent writing style.

I was the second author on the first two volumes of Conceived in Liberty. Murray already had a background as his Ph. D. dissertation was published as The Panic of 1819, on the crisis caused by central bank credit expansion in the early American republic. We taught each other a lot during the research and writing of Conceived in Liberty. Classical Liberalism lost a giant with Murray’s death in January, 1995.

Early at Georgetown College, I met Frank Chodorov who was associate editor of Human Events, then a weekly newsletter of four pages of Washington news, and a four page essay by Henry Hazlitt, Felix Morley, George Morgenstern (Pearl Harbor: The Story of the Secret War (Devin-Adair, 1947), Walter Trohan (book on UN), Chesly Manly (The Twenty-Year Revolution from Roosevelt to Eisenhower (Henry Regnery Company, 1954) (all three of Chicago Tribune), Mises, Hayek, John Chamberlain, William Henry Chamberlin, John T. Flynn, etc. My conversations with Chodorov were very informative and we worked on his idea for a libertarian university student organization which became the Intercollegiate Society of Individualists (Individualism is the defense of person’s rights against Socialism, Statism or Collectivism).

Chodorov put me in touch with Capitol Hill staffers who often had been denied rehiring at universities by the Communist cells. I was able to draw on them for lectures at GU as I was an officer for several years of the GU International Relations Club of which Tibor Kerekes was faculty advisor. These included some staffers of Sen. William E. Jenner of Indiana : Edna Lonnigan and Willis Ballinger. At Georgetown I appointed myself president of the film society and showed films with some politics; each year I showed Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.

At Georgetown I benefited from top refugee teachers: Tibor Kerekes had been Otto von Habsburg’s tutor; coming in the early 1920s; Heinrich Rommen left Bonn in the 1930s and taught Modern Political Thought from Locke, using his book on Natural Law (Herder; Liberty Fund). I had full courses in English and in American Constitutional History. I had logic and epistemology taught by John Toohey, S. J. then in his late eighties, who was a strong teacher of Thomist epistemology (Cf, Notes on Epistemology). The crowning course was by Charles C. Tansill concerning the strategy of the Battalion-of-Death Senators who defeated the ratification of Wilson’s Versailles Treaty. Tansill swore me into Phi Alpha Theta, the national history fraternity, followed by dinner at the Cosmos Club with an address by George Washington University dean, Henry Grattan Doyle.

Another source of ideas was the semi-monthly magazine: The Freeman.It was edited (1950-54) by Henry Hazlitt, John Chamberlain, Suzanne Lafollette, and Forrest Davis. It had articles on current issues, including by Ludwig von Mises. On the radio there were commentaries by George Sokolsky and the Manion Forum of Notre Dame Law, Dean Clarence Manion. Col. Robert R. McCormick spoke during the intermission of the Saturday pm broadcast of the Chicago Light Opera sponsored by McCormick’s Chicago Tribune.

When I attended Columbia University law school, every law student in America had to take the course on the History of Legal Institutions (now it is hardly taught as an elective and few concern European legal institutions). The professor of legal history was the renowned Julius Goebel. Legal history was the course I liked the most, but I did not imagine that since 1990 I would be teaching the seminar on the history of legal institutions at a law school. It was in 1983 that I encountered the other major legal history influence: Harold Berman’s (then at Harvard U. & now at Emory University at the age of 89 years) Law & Revolution is the most influential book on European legal history. I have the pleasure of visiting with him whenever Berman comes to Washington.

An additional legal history influence was Richard Epstein (who studied Roman Law at Oxford) who I first encountered at a Liberty Fund/IHS seminar at the University of San Diego in 1979. Epstein led me to a deeper understanding of Law Merchant in his explanation that true Roman Law (before the backward Justinian Code of the Bas Empire) was judge-made like Common Law. He had already explained in his essay on “Strict Liability in Torts” that the true Roman Law had very advanced ideas on torts.

Henry Veatch, philosophy chairman at Georgetown University also lectured in the San Diego seminar.

At Columbia law school I studied with the top law professors in the US: Julius Goebel, Patterson, Allan Farnsworth, Jones, Jack Weinstein, Herbert Wechsler, Charles Black (his wife, Barbara Black, later dean of Columbia law school, was my tutor). A few years later I joined the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on the History of Legal and Political Thought. It was a monthly meeting at the Columbia faculty club of which Joe Peden and Murray Rothbard were members. There I was able to further develop research areas I had already initiated such as Peace of God movement, the Fairs of Champagne, and Law Merchant. The origin of my interest was the works of the great professor at the University of Ghent, Henri Pirenne (who wrote his two volume medieval economic history from memory while incarcerated in a German castle as a World War One prisoner-of-war).

I studied International Law which helped me since international private law is a modern version of the Law Merchant. I was able to study the work of John Bassett Moore, his beloved student, Edwin C. Borchard (whose law students at Yale founded the America First Committee (Gerald Ford (future president), Potter Stewart (future Supreme Court Justice), R. Douglas Stuart, Jr. (Quaker Oats CEO), Kingman Brewster (later president of Yale University & ambassador to London) and R. Sargent Shriver (later vice presidential candidate of Democrats in 1972, and brother-in-law of JFK (who joined AFC at Harvard)) and Philip Jessup. These authors influenced Robert A. Taft’s view which he built on William Howard Taft’s.

The interest of Murray Rothbard and Joe Peden also in medieval economic institutions and thought had been encouraged by our encounters with Raymond de Roover who was a close friend of Ludwig von Mises. One of the students of Mises’ seminar followed Mises’ advice and organized a monthly dinner of the Mises Circle at the NYU faculty club. Each month someone would speak: Henry Hazlitt, F. A. Hayek, Fritz Machlup, Raymond de Roover, Philip Courtney, Sylvester Petro, etc. De Roover was from Antwerp and an accountant. He taught at Boston College Graduate School and then City University of New York). His accountancy permitted him to decipher the Florentine bankers’ accounts (Medici Bank) and to discover that they received interest through having payment, for example, in Florins and contracting in letters-of-exchange for repayment in Venetian Ducats or maybe dinars. He wrote very important studies of the medieval Canonists’ writings on the permissible of interest for risk including repayment in a different coinage. De Roover was a close associate of Joseph Schumpeter and Schumpeter’s treatment of medieval and early modern economists reflects de Roover’s impute. Murray Rothbard, Joe Peden and I spent occasional hours with de Roover with beer after the Mises’ dinner when de Roover came to NYC from Boston, and later when he joined Brooklyn College.

At Fordham University graduate school I built on the foundations given at Georgetown. The graduate history department had been created in the 1930s with Hilaire Belloc as a visiting lecturer with senior professors from NYU, Pennsylvania and Harvard. Then the harvest of scholars who were refugees from Europe. There is nothing today comparable to the education that I received. The history professors were hardly-achievable models. I was examined in my final comprehensive exam in three fields of my Major of Modern European History: History of International Relations, French History, and East-Central Europe; & two Minor fields: Medieval History, and American Diplomatic History. Fordham professors included: Ross J. S. Hoffman (English history during the American Revolution and history of international relations), A. Paul Levack (French History) (Hoffman and Levack were the editors of Burke’s Politics (Knopf, 1949) which was the revival of Burke studies); Oskar Halecki (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Habsburg Monarchy and Versailles Conf.; he attended Jagiellonian University and was dean at the University of Warsaw), Gerhard Ladner (Medieval Reform Movements; he came from Austria and won the 1959 Haskins Gold Medal for his Harvard University book on The Idea of Reform in the Church Fathers); Fr. Vincent Hopkins, S. J. (American history; wrote the book on the 1857 Dread Scott Decision). I took four yearly seminars with Halecki, as well as courses. Halecki introduced me to conservative historian John Lukacs.

At the beginning of 1958 Ayn Rand, whom Murray Rothbard had known some years earlier, invited him to bring his friends to meet Ayn Rand and her friends following the publication of Atlas Shrugged. Since my graduate studies at Fordham University often involved spending all day at the NY Public Library before going to late afternoon class, I was not suited to her late hours. Famously, I fell asleep at 3am while she was speaking. Since I was a theist, I did not continue to join the meetings. A crisis emerged in late spring. Nathan Brandon had sought to convince Murray’s wife, Joey, on atheism, which she did not accept. Murray was told he most divorce his theist wife. which he declined.

At that point Murray was expelled from the “Randian Collective” on the grounds that his new article, “The Mantle of Science”, failed to footnote Ayn Rand as his source for the concept of reason. Murray had cited scholarly books on rational philosophy which predated Ayn Rand’s writings, not to mention that he was a graduate of Columbia College’s famous Civilization course taught by some world famous philosophers. Ralph Raico and I were called upon on July 4, 1958 to repudiate Murray, which we did not. Murray wrote the article for a William Volker Fund conference at Sea Island, GA.

In late summer 1958, Murray and I were invited to be guests at the first MPS general meeting in the US, held at Princeton University Graduate College. Since I was the youngest guest, Jasper Crane, a vice president of Dupont and organizer of the MPS meeting, and his wife, a Dupont heiress, invited me to sit with them at the opening dinner. Jasper Crane’s brother, Edward Crane, was the publisher of Van Nostrand in Princeton which was the publisher of the Volker Fund Series in the Humane Studies, including Mises, Kirzner, Rickett, etc. The 1958, Princeton MPS meeting was an occasion to widen my contacts. The MPS meeting demonstrated the cosmopolitanism of Classical Liberalism.

In June 1959, I was invited to attend the Volker Fund seminar in political economy, which was directed by Professor Clarence Philbrook (treasurer of the MPS) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. These seminars lasted for almost two weeks with three lecturers. At Chapel Hill, F. A. Hayek lectured from the manuscript of the Constitution of Liberty and when University of Chicago Press published the next year, the Volker Fund sent each participant a copy hot off the press. The second lecturer was Professor Harrell de Graff, American economic historian at Cornell University. They did not have a senior third lecturer, so it was split between two younger professors: James Buchanan of University of Virginia on Contract Theory and Unanimity; and H. Gregg Lewis of University of Chicago, a labor economist. I was the only graduate student there. Israel Kirzner attended this summer seminar. Each year, the Volker Fund held three summer seminars on political economy; Chapel Hill with Clarence Philbrook; Wabash College with Benjamin Rogge at which Milton Friedman delivered the manuscript of Capitalism and Freedom; and Claremont Mens’ College in California with Arthur Kemp (later treasurer of MPS) at which Mises, Frank Knight, Felix Morley, David McCord Wright, and Bruno Leoni lectured (Freedom and the Law was recorded there).

I was appointed to a post-doctoral fellowship in European Economic History at New York University. It was a rich scholarly program with visiting faculty: Howard Adelson (chairman of the CUNY Graduate History Department) on early medieval coinage; Raymond de Roover on medieval letters of exchange and interest; Herbert Heaton on the roll of textile industry in early Industrial Revolution; Forrest McDonald on the economic issues in the debate on the US Constitution; Ludwig von Mises on methodology of social sciences; F. A. Hayek on Industrial Revolution and the Historians; Milton Friedman on US monetary history; Murray N. Rothbard on US monetary history, esp. from his book, America’s Great Depression; Israel Kirzner on economic theory, from Economic Point of View.

After the Chapel Hill seminar I had more contact with the William Volker Fund. F. A. Harper had already left the Foundation for Economic Education to join the Volker Fund where he worked on the project for the Institute for Humane Studies in which he included me. I also began to discuss history with Kenneth S. Templeton of the Volker Fund when he came to NYC. Ken had been a classmate and friend of Forrest McDonald when they were graduate students at odds with the leftwing American history faculty at the University of Wisconsin. Among the historians with whom Ken Templeton worked were UC Santa Barbara historians, Donald Dozer and Philip Wayne Powell, who with Volker Fund support wrote the Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations with the Hispanic World (Basic Books, 1971) which introduced me to the work of the American History Association President, Lewis Hanke, Bartolome de Las Casas (U of Penn Press, 1952) and the Ghent historian, Charles Verlinden (The Beginnings of Modern Colonization (Cornell U. P., 1979)). In the summer of 1960, Ken pressed me to accept appointment to the history faculty of Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. I had to teach five three hours a week (15 hours) classes of Western Civilization. I left after one year, and Joe Peden was able to take the history position at Iona College.

I was appointed to a position as analyst or reader for the William Volker Fund. The senior analysts were Murray Rothbard who did economics and philosophy and Frank S. Meyer who did political science and sociology. I did American and European history.

The analysts read journal articles and books to discover any remnant of classical liberals in academia. If the article looked promising, we would send a report and copy of the article to the William Volker Fund. Its staff would follow up with contact or a visit. He or she might be invited to one of the summer seminars, and might apply for a grant for leave to write a book. The Volker Fund method was established by Herb Cornuelle, who was succeeded at Volker Fund by his brother, Richard Cornuelle. Herb had been seconded to assist Leonard Read at FEE and at the first MPS meeting which Volker helped to fund.

When the Volker Fund’s staff was disbanded in Spring 1962, Pierre F. Goodrich arranged for appointment of F. A. Harper as professor of moral sciences at Wabash College, Indiana.

As Mr. Pierre Goodrich was very involved in the conception and founding of the Institute for Humane Studies, he was seeking to give it a base where Ben Rogge was the dean. Harper immediately organized a conference for the new Liberty Fund, Inc. at Wabash for the last few days of December, 1962. I took the Broadway Limited sleeper to Chicago to do research at the Newbury Library and attend the American History Association meeting at the Conrad Hilton Hotel. I took the Illinois Central RR to West Lafayette where I was met by Harper’s student assistan, Jim Bond (later Law Dean at Puget Sound University and University of Seattle).

The LF seminar was “On Power” with readings from Book of Samuel, Lord Acton, and de Jouvenal. I remained in Crawfordville several days to meet with Dr. Harper and Pierre Goodrich about the future of Institute for Humane Studies. Harper returned to CA in 1963.

After the Volker Fund was disbanded, Ken Templeton became the vice-president for research and education at the Eli Lilly Endowment and I did research for him. I was a research fellow of the Foundation for Foreign Affairs. Murray and I were given a grant to prepare a book on American colonial history and the American Revolution/Constitution. Conceived in Liberty was published during the Bi-Centennial in 1976.

In the summer of 1966, I attended the IHS seminar at Appleton, Wisconsin organized by the IHS chairman of academic council (of which I was member) A. Neil McLeod, who had been a Ph. D. student of F. A. Harper at Cornell University. Speakers included Henry Manne, Harold Demsetz, Louis M. Spadaro, Sylvester Petro and Ben Rogge (Pierre F. Goodrich attended as did Fr. James Sadowsky, S. J. of Fordham University. Pierre Goodrich expressed strong concern about the threat of inflation as President Johnson was hiding the costs of the Vietnam war by printing money.)

I was appointed to the history faculty of the City College of New York (CUNY) in 1968, by two European refugee historians (Thomas Goldstein (Austria) and Herbert Stauss (Bavaria)) to teach American history (Yhey knew I worked on Conceived in Liberty) because they trusted my European history credentials. Soon I was teaching Modern European history. In using Hayek’s Capitalism and the Historians as a textbook, I told the students that Hayek was a radical opposing feudalism and mercantilism. There were other European scholars in the CCNY history faculty of which the department chairmen were Howard Adelson (Byzantine gold coinage & medieval Christian imagery); and Herbert Gutman (Black Freedmen’s Strong Families favorably reviewed by Thomas Sowell in Fortune).

There were a few occasions at which I met with Mises in his last years. Murray and Joey Rothbard would have the Mises’ to dinner on occasion. The last time was a few days after Christmas in December, 1972. Mises was in good form and talked about German history, Bismarck, etc. Mises died at the end of September 1973, and I drove the Rothbards to the cemetery in Hawthorne, New York where Mises was buried.

I presented a paper at a NEH conference on Racism at Tuskegee Institute on “The English Origins of Early American Racism.” It was published in the Radical History Review. It had gained interest from Forrest McDonald and Eugene Genovese with whom I was in correspondence. I had been directing the IHS programs in History, and in Social Theory (these were alongside IHS programs in Law, in Economics, and in Private Education. In 1973, I organized for IHS a seminar on US economic history at Cornell University with Forrest McDonald and Murray Rothbard as the lecturers to young faculty and graduate students. On the return, I drove Ken Templeton and R. J. Smith to Woodstock, NY to call on Mrs. Frank Meyer following his death, and before her death.

In the summer of 1974, I was a Liberty Fund fellow at IHS in Menlo Park, CA to prepare a research agenda on economic history for IHS. John Blundell had come to IHS for the summer from England after attending the first Austrian Economics conference at South Royalton, VT. In November, 1974 I organized a week-end series of lectures by Max Hartwell (visiting at University of Virginia) on the Industrial Revolution at Fordham Lincoln Center with the cooperation of the graduate business Dean, Louis M. Spadaro (who did his Ph. D. at NYU with Mises).

In April 1975, I was assigned by Liberty Fund to meet Professor and Mrs. Hayek at JFK (Professor Ludwig Lachman, then visiting professor at NYU, accompanied me in order to speak in German with Mrs. Hayek). Hayek spoke at NYU and in Washington he appeared on Meet The Press, having won the 1974 Nobel Prize. He went to California as Liberty Fund scholar at IHS which overlapped with the LF summer seminar in economic history which I directed. After Hayek’s departure, Professor Gunter Smolders of the University of Cologne was the visiting scholar. In addition to the young historians, the economists included: Gerald P. O’Driscoll, Genie and Gary Short, Richard Ebeling and Sudha Shenoy. Again, in the summer of 1976, I was director of the LF summer seminar in diplomatic history. In 1977, I was moving to San Francisco to join the CATO Institute, and the LF summer seminar was directed by the new president of IHS, Louis M. Spadaro, the retired dean of the Fordham University Graduate School of Business, and former chairman of the Fordham Economics Department where Jerry O’Driscoll and Mario Rizzo were students.

In November, 1976 a Libertarian Scholars’ Conference was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC through the generosity of the Liberty Fund (In 1975, it was held at Princeton University, and earlier at the Williams College Club in NYC). I had written an extensive review in the Libertarian Review of Books of Robert Nisbet’s The Twilight of Authority, which I consider his best book, and at the conference I presented an analysis and Nisbet commented. (I had corresponded with Nisbet when he had written an important article in the Wall Street Journal on US presidency becoming like Roman imperialism; the WSJ published my response noting that Nisbet’s critique paralleled that of Robert A. Taft.)

In 1977, I directed a long planned IHS conference at Fordham Lincoln Center on The Politicization of Society (later published by Liberty Fund) which was a discussion by scholars of each’s previously published essay, in which Robert Nisbet, John Lukacs, Giovanni Sartori, Jonathan Hughes, Murray Rothbard, among others, participated.

In January, 1973 Howard Adelson was deposed as chairman of the CCNY history department by the left and I was immediately not reappointed by the acting chair who was a labor historian, who felt I did not limit myself to one field. Immediately, the executive committee of the history department reversed the decision as they highly appreciated my scholarship. I happened to be at the Columbia University faculty club for a Legal and Political Thought seminar, when the senior CCNY history faculty was hosting a dinner for the future chairman of the CCNY history department, Herbert Gutman of University of Rochester. The new CCNY president was a physicist from University of Rochester (CCNY had the Science Ph. D. school of CUNY), and he selected Gutman. In the club lobby I greeted a couple of my colleagues, when Gutman asked who I was, and when told, he greeted me on behalf of Eugene Genovese (who told Gutman that I was a very valuable historian on the CCNY faculty). It made some colleagues unhappy, especially as Gutman put me on committees alongside the more senior historians, including the committee to revise long standing history requirements, chaired by the graduate dean, Oscar Zeichner, historian of Conn. Federalists.

Herbert Gutman’s important book, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, was highly praised as showing that neither slavery nor freedom destroyed the Black family

(Thomas Sowell in a review in Fortune Magazine, noted that Gutman ended with the 1925 census, and said the destruction of the Black family was due to the New Deal welfare system). Gutman was chairman of the NY Council for the Humanities and recommended me to the Rockefeller Foundation to be director of a proposed Center for Cultural Diversity. It was a consequence of Michael Novak as director of Humanities at Rockefeller Foundation following his working with R. Sargent Shriver’s 1972 vice-presidential campaign and Novak’s The Un-Meltable Ethnics. The Center for Cultural Diversity would work with scholars on research and curriculum development in the City University of New York on European-American Ethnic histories.

After the 1969 minority student take-over of CCNY, new Departments were created: Black Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Jewish Studies, and Asian Studies. The new Open Admissions did not mean more Black and Puerto Rican students, but less Jewish students. In addition to more Asian students in the sciences, there was a flood of white ethnic New Yorkers who had thought CCNY too hard when it had had mostly Jewish students (Jews had moved from NY to suburbs or preferred to leave NYC homes to enroll in the many new universities created in upstate New York by governor N. Rockefeller).

(An hypothesis: the publication of Kevin Phillip’s Emerging Republican Majority (1969) focused on Northern ethnic Democrats and Southern Democrats. Kevin Phillips grew up in the same north Bronx congressional district as I did, but he lived in an apartment house and not a private home as did the majority of voters (making them Republicans). He worked for Republican Congressman Paul Fino (1952-68) who was not opposed to the New Deal. Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 strong election caused a focus on the 2nd wave of white ethnic former Democrat voters who began voting Republican (the 1st was after the 1945 Yalta Betrayal by FDR). The Democrats did pick up on it by focusing on the second/third generation of ethnics, often suburban voters, while the Ford White House looked to the 1940s game plan of foreign language-speaking first generation voters.

The loss by Ford to Carter in 1976 in Ohio by 20,000 votes may be so explained. Similarly, the loss by Conservative Party Senator James Buckley to Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan in NY. Moynihan had written the classic book on ethnicity in New York, with Nathan Glazer, Beyond the Melting Pot (1963). With Carter in the White House, Rockefeller Foundation did not renew the project and, advised by Senator Moynihan, made the grant to Harvard (where he had been a professor) for an encyclopedia of US ethnicity (Harvard U. P. 1980) edited by Stephen Thernstrom and Oscar Handlin.)

Michael Novak (who I did not know at the time) was succeeded at Rockefeller by Joel Colton, a professor of French History at Duke University and author of the biography of French premier, Leon Blum. More importantly he was co-author with Robert R. Palmer of Modern Europe, the most recommended survey textbook (no longer used due to its high quality). Since I had been a member of the Society for French Historical Studies since 1960, when I was introduced by Fordham professors, A. Paul Levack, John Olin and Msgr. Joseph Moody (later professor of modern European history at Catholic University of America), Joel Colton knew I was a known scholar.

At the 1960 Society for French Historical Studies conference at University of Rochester, there was a major session on the French Revolution featuring Peter Gay (Columbia, then Yale University) with a radical or Jacobin position; Robert R. Palmer (Princeton, then Yale University and author of Catholics and Unbelievers in 18th Century France (Cornell, 1939)) representing his two volumes, The Age of the Democratic Revolutions (Princeton, 1957); and Crane Brinton (Harvard) representing Voltairian Skepticism. A. Paul Levack had been the first student at Harvard of Crane Brinton. In September 1993, I enrolled in a weekly Folger Library seminar on the “Orthodox Sources of Unbelief in Early Modern Europe” presented by Alan C. Kors (University of Pennsylvania) who had been the last student of Crane Brinton. (Lenore Ealy and John Pocock (Johns Hopkins) also participated each week.)

My studies of US foreign policy involved the domestic political influences of European ethnic groups on decision-making, especially in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War which involved Lutheran, Catholic and Eastern Orthodox as well as Jewish Americans. There were many faculty who wished to teach such courses, or to conduct research for their courses for which I held conferences and workshops. A German linguist came to me to help him find Jewish old age homes to conduct research on Yiddish, a medieval form of German. I worked with Fr. Tomaso Silvano who headed the journal and center for Migration Studies in Staten Island; he later became the secretary of the Vatican Council on Migrants, and now heads the Vatican UN office in Geneva, Switzerland. The office of the Center for Cultural Diversity was located on West 42nd Street between CUNY Graduate Center (across from NY Public Library) and the Rockefeller Foundation on Avenue of the Americas.

While I was directing the 1976 LF summer seminar at IHS in Menlo Park, CA, I was invited by Liberty Fund to join Ed McLean (Wabash College), Bill Dennis (Denison University) & Charles King (Pomona College, CA) to spend a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico to observe the Socratic Seminar techniques at the Great Books curriculum at St. John’s College in Santa Fe (affiliated with the historic Great Books college, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD) Ed, Bill, Charles and I were to back up Ben Rogge who had been the sole LF discussion leader, now that LF had expanded its colloquia programs.

In the summer of 1977, I joined the new staff of the CATO Institute on Montgomery Street in San Francisco, and was the editor of the bibliographical quarterly journal, Literature of Liberty. The first issue was January 1978, with a picture of George Mason (1726-1792) on the cover. The lead essays were Forrest McDonald, “A Founding Father’s Library,” and Murray N. Rothbard, “Modern Historians Confront the American Revolution” which were kindly provided by the Liberty Fund who assisted in the planning stages of Literature of Liberty. Among the notable essays were John Gray on Hayek, Norman Barry on Spontaneous Order, and Robert Nisbet on the Idea of Progress (leading to his book: History of the Idea of Progress (Basic Books, 1980)).

In late 1978, Kenneth S. Templeton left IHS to be executive director under President Neal McLeod at the Liberty Fund. I left CATO to replace him at IHS. A future report…