One of the oldest free-market organizations in the U.S., founded in 1946 to study and advance the freedom philosophy
See also:
  • FreedomPedia
  • Foundation for Economic Education

    The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) is a libertarian economic educational organization dedicated to the "economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society," FEE publishes books and hosts seminars and lectures.


    Home Page

    Home | Foundation for Economic Education
    Includes events, articles from their flagship magazine (The Freeman), resources and store


    Atlanta, Georgia


    The Early History of FEE, by Henry Hazlitt, The Freeman, Mar 1984
    Excerpted from Hazlitt's remarks at the Leonard E. Read Memorial Conference on Freedom, November 1983
    "In 1946 Leonard [Read] had raised the money, set up the Foundation for Economic Edu­cation here at Irvington, [New York] and invited me to become one of his original trustees and officers. ... Another effect of Leonard’s initiative soon followed. Other libertarian foundations were set up in emulation. ... FEE opened its doors on March 16, 1946. Most of the spring and summer was spent in the library, as reno­vation continued on the main building."


    About: Foundation for Economic Education
    "FEE's mission is inspire, educate, and connect young adults with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society."

    Staff and Associates

    Donald J. BoudreauxPresident, 1997-2001
    Richard EbelingPresident, 2003-2008
    Bettina Bien GreavesResident Scholar, Trustee
    F. A. HarperEconomist, 1946-1958
    Ludwig von MisesEconomic Advisor, 1946-1973
    Edmund A. OpitzStaff member, 1955-1992
    Leonard ReadFounder and first President, 1948-1983
    Lawrence ReedPresident, 2008-2019
    Hans SennholzPresident, 1992-1997


    The Freeman, Publisher, 1956-2016


    A Call to Activism, by Margit von Mises, The Free Market, Jun 1984
    Speech delivered 27 Feb 1984 at a Mises Institute dinner in her honor; calling her late husband an "activist of the mind" and encouraging others to become likewise
    "Think of Leonard Read, the late founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, who — after meeting my husband and reading all of his books — gave students as well as teachers the opportunity to learn about individual freedom and the free market. Out of his foundation came great men like Baldy Harper, who founded the Institute for Humane Studies, and George Roche, who is now president of Hillsdale College ..."
    A Salute to Bettina Bien Greaves, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jul 1997
    Written for Greaves' 80th birthday to show an appreciation and the extent of her work for liberty
    "Bettina Bien Greaves is an extraordinary, unsung resource for liberty. Now FEE's Resident Scholar, a FEE Trustee, Freeman Contributing Editor .. she spearheaded FEE's pioneering program to provide libertarian material for high school debaters—information which wouldn't be found in local libraries. ... Bettina helped students further by ... editing Free Market Economics: A Basic Reader (1975) with 81 choice selections by such authors as ... FEE founder Leonard E. Read, and FEE president emeritus Hans F. Sennholz. Countless people have visited FEE and expressed heartfelt thanks to Bettina for helping them find their way."
    Floyd Arthur 'Baldy' Harper, RIP, by Murray Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, May 1973
    Biographical remembrance of "Baldy" including his involvement in FEE, the Volker Fund and the IHS
    "Ever since he came to the Foundation for Economic Education in 1946 as its chief economist and theoretician, Baldy Harper, in a very real sense, has been the libertarian movement. ... And so Baldy simply set out, in his quiet and gentle way, to create a body of students and followers. In those early days at FEE, for example, almost every staff member had been brought into the movement by Baldy: W.M. Curtiss, Paul Poirot, Ivan Bierly, Ellis Lamborn, all students of Baldy at Cornell."
    Frederic Bastiat, Ingenious Champion for Liberty and Peace, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Jun 1997
    Lengthy biographical essay, covering those who influenced Bastiat as well as those influenced by him, his writings (including correspondence with his friend Félix Coudroy), his roles in the French Constituent and Legistative Assemblies and his legacy
    "In 1946, former Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce General Manager Leonard E. Read established the Foundation for Economic Education and resolved to make Bastiat's work better known. He persuaded economics scholar Dean Russell to prepare a new translation of The Law. Over the years, it has sold several hundred thousand copies."
    Harper, Floyd Arthur "Baldy" (1905-1973), by Will Wilkinson, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "In 1946, ... Harper left the academy and joined the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) ... While at FEE, Harper produced a number of significant works. In 1951, FEE published Harper's powerful antiwar pamphlet, In Search of Peace ... In his 1957 monograph, Why Wages Rise, Harper lucidly explained the various causes of the gains in labor productivity that enable the growth of wages ... Harper's most remarkable work, however, was his earlier book, Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery, published by FEE in 1949, in which he laid out his comprehensive, natural law-tinged libertarian philosophy."
    How I Became a Liberal, by Alejandro Chafuen, 19 Dec 2003
    Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; Chafuen recalls his grandparents and parents, his youth in Argentina, and the people who influenced him most
    "Benegas Lynch had led the center in the direction of the Foundation of Economic Education (FEE), in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York. ... it would be Leonard Read and Sennholz who were to have the biggest influence on my road to liberty. When I met them, as a late teenager, I had read all the books, or at least 90%, of the books published and disseminated by FEE. A small group of Argentines have been carrying the FEE torch in Argentina. ...I believe that it was in 1978 when I asked Bettina Bien Greaves and Bob Anderson, then at FEE, if they could give me [Ayn Rand's] address so I could go and see her."
    How to Become a Teacher [PDF], by Robert LeFevre, The Voluntaryist, Feb 1983
    Autobiographical summary of the events in LeFevre's life that led to the founding of the Freedom School, including LeFevre's relationship with Baldy Harper and the offer for him to lead the School
    "One set of writings impressed me in particular. A man named Leonard Read had organized a Foundation at Irvington-on-Hudson in New York. ... The Foundation ... was issuing a series of tracts, which, in simple, understandable terms spelled out logical and scientific reasons why private enterprise is superior to a centrally controlled system. ... The organization was housed ... in a magnificent old mansion where Read had assembled some of the finest brains in the country. ... such persons as Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Frank Chodorov, Suzanne LaFollette, John Chamberlain, James Rogers ..."
    In Memoriam [PDF], by Jeff Riggenbach, ALF News, 2006
    Biographical and memorial essay covering Joan Kennedy Taylor's varied career
    "At the Foundation for Economic Education in the mid-1980s, she served as editorial director of the book publishing program and as an editor of its venerable monthly magazine, The Freeman."
    Leonard E. Read (1898-1983), Religion & Liberty, Jul 1996
    Biographical sketch, part of the series "In The Liberal Tradition"
    "Leonard E. Read was the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, one of the original pro-freedom think tanks. Through his tireless efforts in that organization ... he was largely responsible for the revival of the liberal tradition in post-World War II America. ... After that he went to work for the California Chamber of Commerce where he became a vocal critic of policies limiting freedom and expanding government. His struggles in these fights prompted the idea of the Foundation for Economic Education, which promoted the freedom philosophy through lectures, seminars, research, and its publication The Freeman."
    Related Topic: Leonard Read
    Leonard E. Read: A Portrait, by Edmund A. Opitz, The Freeman, Sep 1998
    Memorial and biographical essay, focusing mostly on Read's life before founding FEE; written for the centennial of his birth
    "Leonard finally came to the conclusion that the institution he envisioned as a proper vehicle to advance the freedom philosophy could not operate as a facet of another type of institution ... it had to be autonomous. The bout with Bill Mullendore started it all. ... He firmly grasped the profound truth that the advancement of human liberty is a learning process and not a selling problem. What the freedom philosophy needed was 'a local habitation and a name.' Fifty-two years ago, in 1946, it found both in Irvington, New York. FEE has been a wellspring of ideas of liberty since its inception—and the tradition continues."
    Leonard Read, the Founder and Builder, by Mary Sennholz, The Freeman, May 1996
    Biographical essay written by Read's secretary in the early days of FEE, as well as author of Leonard E. Read : Philosopher of Freedom
    "... David Goodrich, Chairman of B.F. Goodrich Company ... raised a simple question: 'If you had an organization of your liking, what would it look like?' Leonard went home, dazed and puzzled, with renewed courage and hope. He went to his typewriter, and between 3 p.m. and midnight wrote a description of the organization he envisioned. On that day in January 1946, the idea of the Foundation for Economic Education was born. ... On March 7, 1946, seven founders ... met ... for the inaugural meeting ... Read, Donaldson Brown ... Fred R. Fairchild ... Leo Wolman ... Henry Hazlitt ... Claude Robinson ... and Goodrich himself."
    Ludwig von Mises, socialism's greatest enemy, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay on Mises, including details on Menger and Böhm-Bawerk
    "Around 1944, the National Association of Manufacturers sent Mises to California where he delivered some lectures. He was invited to a barbecue at the home of tall, trim Leonard E. Read, General Manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. Two years later, Read established the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), a think tank for liberty, and Henry Hazlitt persuaded him to retain Mises as an advisor, author and lecturer. ... Read explained, 'I invited him to visit FEE — this was in the summer of 1946. I asked him to join the staff, at $6,000 a year, with the understanding that he was to continue his own work.'"
    UpdMilton Friedman (1912-2006), by Richard Ebeling, Sheldon Richman, 17 Nov 2006
    Memorial tribute, highlighting Friedman's role in opposing Keynesianism, and his books and other public activities
    "The 1976 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and an early associate of FEE, Friedman did more than any single person in our time to teach the public the merits of deregulation, privatization, low taxes, and free trade ... In 1947 Friedman was ... invited by F. A. Hayek to attend the founding meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society ... Leonard Read, FEE's founding president ... also participated in that meeting ... Friedman co-wrote (with George Stigler, who also later won the Nobel Prize) one of the first publications FEE released, the 1946 pamphlet "Roofs or Ceilings? The Current Housing Problem," a critique of rent control."
    Paul Poirot, RIP, by Gary North, 21 Feb 2006
    Memorial essay
    "Poirot had a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell. He was one of several FEE employees who had come out of Cornell's program in agricultural economics, including F. A. 'Baldy' Harper, who had been on the faculty. ... FEE was a place where small businessmen, high school teachers, and college undergraduates could come to hear a few lectures. There was no place in 1955 for them to extend their knowledge beyond what FEE provided. ... There is a photo hanging in FEE's headquarters. Ronald Reagan is reading a copy of The Freeman, with Mrs. Reagan's head on his shoulder."
    Read, Leonard E. (1898-1983), by Donald J. Boudreaux, Nick Slepko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Leonard E. Read ... is best known for originating the oldest existing free-market nonprofit in the world, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). ... In 1946, he acquired property in Irvington-on-Hudson, a suburb of New York City, and he set up FEE. It was to be an organization that would inform people about the consequences of government meddling. By now Read, 47, was a firm believer that government should go no further than protecting everyone equally against aggression, both domestic and foreign. He also believed that, in addition to pointing out the perils of socialism, FEE should present 'the positive free market alternative.'"
    Spotlight: Founding Father, by Patrick Cox, Reason, Aug 1980
    Brief profile of Leonard Read, his accomplishments, his influence and his outlook for the future of liberty
    "In 1946, Read formed the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) ... Murray Rothbard has often been published by FEE. ... FEE paid Ludwig von Mises's salary at New York University. ... In 34 years, the foundation's influence has reached all over the world. FEE has given over 250 seminars in 22 foreign countries. Read has spoken at most of them. ... Centers modeled after FEE have sprung up by the hundreds all over the world. ... In an interview in the September 1964 issue of Fortune, [Paulo Ayres] named FEE as the reason for the [1964 Brazilian] revolution."
    Related Topic: Leonard Read
    The Foundation for Economic Education: Success or Failure?, by Benjamin A. Rogge, Can Capitalism Survive?, 1979
    Chapter 3 of Part IX, "a tribute to one man and the organization he created—to Leonard Read and the Foundation for Economic Education"; delivered on FEE's 25th anniversary
    "Throughout this country, throughout the world there is 'activity of soul' underway that would never have been undertaken but for the work and the inspiration of Leonard Read and the Foundation for Economic Education. ... probably the most important part ... will come to light only in the decades and centuries ahead—and much of it will be done by people who will never have heard of this foundation and will have no awareness that the activity ... is the last link in a long chain that goes back to something that was started by this foundation in the middle of the twentieth century."
    Related Topics: Capitalism, Leonard Read
    The Legacy of Leonard E. Read, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Sep 1991
    Reflects on the influence of Read on the author and other "freedom devotees", recounting two illuminating examples of Read's "deep dedication to integrity and principle"
    "But Read finally realized that it was not sufficient simply to show the fallacies of the interventionist schemes. What was needed, he believed, was an organization which developed and advanced the positive moral and philosophical case for individual liberty and limited government. In 1946, at the age of 47, he founded FEE. FEE began by publishing pamphlets on different aspects of the freedom philosophy. Among the many authors were two young men from the University of Chicago — Milton Friedman and George Stigler ... In the 1950s, FEE took control of a national publication called The Freeman ..."
    Related Topics: Government, Leonard Read
    The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, who showed why private individuals can do just about everything that needs to be done, by Jim Powell
    Lengthy biographical essay
    "This attack on rent controls was published by the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington-on-Hudson, about 30 miles north of New York City. Stigler suggested that Rothbard might be interested in visiting the place. ... FEE had recently been established by former Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce General Manager Leonard E. Read as America’s first institute to promote ideas of liberty. At FEE Rothbard learned about contemporary libertarian journalists like H.L. Mencken, Albert Jay Nock, Frank Chodorov, Garet Garrett and John T. Flynn."
    The Nature and Significance of Economic Education, by Israel Kirzner, The Freeman, Oct 1998
    Explains why economic education of both the general public and politicians/legislators is needed and why a teacher, such as Mises, must remain scientifically detached (value free) even if passionate about the teaching goals
    "... this seeming paradox ... can provide us with the key ... to appreciating the special character and philosophy of the Foundation for Economic Education ... For Mises, economic education is the only tool we have with which to warn mankind of these terrible consequences. The content of this education is science. ... The purpose ... is to further human goals ... that human goal is of such overriding importance for the human race that passionate concern becomes well-nigh inevitable ... It is this fascinating fusion of austere objectivity with passionate concern that ... defines the philosophy of the Foundation ..."
    The Primacy of Freedom, by Brian Summers, The Freeman, Feb 1988
    One of over 20 essays in the anthology Ideas on Liberty: Essays in Honor of Paul L. Poirot (1987), discussing why the freedom philosophy and economic and moral education are important
    "This is a start. And FEE has played a major role in this growing understanding of basic economics. In fact, it can be argued that The Foundation for Economic Education has been the wellspring of this understanding. One can make an impressive list of the educators, journalists, clergymen, and political leaders who have received our publications and attended our seminars. ... The Foundation for Economic Education asks the important questions, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been influenced by this Foundation's work."

    Books Published

    Forgotten Lessons: Selected Essays by John T. Flynn
        by John T. Flynn, Foundation for Economic Education, 1995
    Partial contents: Whose Child is the NRA - The Case Against Deficit Spending - The Hand in Your Pocket - The War Boom Begins - Militarism: The New Slavery for America - Coming: A Totalitarian America - Eggheads through History - Two Rackets of the UN
    • ISBN 1572460156: Paperback, Foundation for Econ Education, 1st edition, 1995
    I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read, by Donald J. Boudreaux (afterword), Milton Friedman (introduction), Leonard Read, Foundation for Economic Education (publisher), 1999
    Read's most famous essay, in pamphlet form; electronic version at the Library of Economics and Liberty
    Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery [PDF], by F. A. Harper, Hans Sennholz (Foreword), Foundation for Economic Education, 1949
    Partial contents: The Nature of Liberty - Forms of Liberty - Liberty and Charity - Government in a Liberal Society - Democracy and Liberty - Liberty and Peace - A Measure of Liberty - The Extent of Lost Liberty - Special Privilege - Recovering Liberty
    Related Topic: Liberty
    • ISBN 0910614954: Paperback, Foundation for Econ Education, 2nd edition, 1993
    The Free Market and Its Enemies: Pseudo-Science, Socialism, and Inflation
        by Richard Ebeling (Introduction), Ludwig von Mises, Foundation for Economic Education, 2004
    Based on lectures delivered in 1951; partial contents: Economics and Its Opponents - Pseudo-science and Historical Understanding - Acting Man and Economics - Marxism, Socialism, and Pseudo-science - Capitalism and Human Progress - Money and Inflation
    Related Topic: Free Market
    The Law, by Frédéric Bastiat, Sheldon Richman (Foreword), Walter E. Williams (Introduction), Foundation for Economic Education, 1850
    Translated by Dean Russell. Partial list of headings (added by translator): Life is a Gift from God - What is Law? - A Just and Enduring Government - The Complete Perversion of the Law - A Fatal Tendency of Mankind - Property and Plunder
    Related Topics: Law, The Law
    Three Libertarian Essays
        by Daniel B. Klein, Foundation for Economic Education, 1998
    Contents: Go Ahead and Let Him Try: A Plea for Economic Laissez-Faire - Liberty, Dignity, and Responsibility: The Moral Triad of a Good Society - If Government is So Villainous How Come Government Officials Don't Seem Like Villains?
    Related Topic: Libertarianism


    Larry Reed Shares Why He Fights for Liberty & the Future Direction of FEE, by Pete Eyre, The Motorhome Diaries, 22 Jul 2009
    Larry discusses how he became involved in the liberty movement, and the history, role and future of FEE
    "In coming years, I suspect that FEE will reassert its long-standing position as a kind of ideological mothership of the broader freedom movement."
    Related Topic: Lawrence Reed

    Leonard Liggio on the Rise of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, by Jacob Hornberger, Leonard Liggio, 9 Mar 1995
    Talk given at Vienna Coffee Club (Future of Freedom Foundation). Liggio starts off with the New Deal and covers many events and individuals both at the core and the periphery of the modern libertarian movement


    The Cost of the War on Drugs, 17 Jun 2011
    Presents facts about the costs, economic and human, of the war on drugs, 40 years after Pres. Nixon declared having "turned the corner on drug addiction" in the U.S.
    Related Topic: War on Drugs

    The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Foundation for Economic Education" as of 29 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.