Henry Hazlitt (28 November 1894 – 9 July 1993) was an American journalist who wrote about business and economics for such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, The American Mercury, Newsweek, and The New York Times.
According to Hazlitt, the greatest influence on his writing in economics was the work of Ludwig von Mises, and he is credited with introducing the ideas of the Austrian School of economics to the English-speaking layman. Hazlitt also helped introduce F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom to the American reading public.
Unlike many other writers of his generation from the political right, Hazlitt never experienced a period when he was a socialist or communist, or a significant change in his classical liberal political views. He was the founding vice president of the Foundation for Economic Education, which also acquired his large personal library in the 1980s. Established by Leonard Read in 1946, FEE is considered to be the first “think tank” for free-market ideas.
Lew Rockwell called Economics in One Lesson (1946) Hazlitt’s “most enduring contribution”. With a million copies sold and available in ten languages, conservative, free market and libertarian circles consider it an “enduring classic”. Ayn Rand called it a “magnificent job of theoretical exposition,” while Congressman Ron Paul ranks it with the works of Frédéric Bastiat and F. A. Hayek. Hayek himself praised the work, as did fellow Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman, who said that Hazlitt’s description of the price system, for example, was “a true classic: timeless, correct, painlessly instructive”.
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