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Executive vice president of the Cato Institute, author of Libertarianism: A Primer
David Boaz

David Boaz (born 29 August 1953, Mayfield, Kentucky) is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute, an American libertarian think tank.

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29 Aug 1953, David Boaz, in Mayfield, Kentucky


Cato Institute, Executive Vice President
Center for Independent Thought, Board member
Students for Liberty, Board of Advisors
Eris Society, 1997, "Competition, Cooperation and Community"

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: David Boaz - Libertarian
Includes biography (from Laissez Faire Books) and photograph
He has written authoritatively on a wide range of issues for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Liberty and other publications. In his speaking as well as his writing, he displays wide knowledge and presents his material in a very appealing manner ... Humorist Dave Barry remarked, "I hope everybody reads this book. My only concern is that, if we ever do wise up and dump the federal government, I'll lose my biggest source of comic material." ... The Libertarian Reader provides 68 selections on seven topics, perhaps the most generous sampling ever published.
David Boaz | Cato Institute
Staff page at the Cato Institute, include photograph, profile and links to books, articles and other media
David Boaz is the executive vice president of the Cato Institute and has played a key role in the development of the Cato Institute and the libertarian movement. He is the author of The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom and the editor of The Libertarian Reader. Boaz is a provocative commentator and a leading authority on domestic issues such as education choice, drug legalization, the growth of government, and the rise of libertarianism. Boaz is the former editor of New Guard magazine and was executive director of the Council for a Competitive Economy prior to joining Cato in 1981.
Laissez Faire Books
Biographical and bibliographical summary
Boaz (b. 1953) is Executive Vice President of the Cato Institute. He has principal responsibility for Cato's phenomenal output of books, policy analyses and other informative materials on every imaginable national policy. This gives him exceptional perspective about developments affecting liberty today ... In 1987, he had two complementary books published Libertarianism: A Primer and The Libertarian Reader: Classic & Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman. ... Libertarianism explains the main elements of the philosophy of liberty, linking it to the glorious tradition of libertarian thinkers.


David Boaz - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Biographical profile published by The Daily Objectivist
David Boaz is one of the masterminds of the modern libertarian movement ... Boaz has helped erect a vast infrastructure of research and analysis that is propelling libertarian ideas and proposals into the mainstream of American political debate ... Boaz's interest in matters political goes back to childhood. His father "was a sort of Jeffersonian Democrat, so I learned to believe in limited government at a very early age" ... Boaz was a veteran of Libertarian Ed Clark's presidential campaign ... He suggests that many advocates of liberty tend to give short shrift to the practical policy end of promoting liberty.
Freeing the Education Market, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Mar 1993
Examines the effects of compulsory public education on literacy rates and suggests market alternatives
David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, points out that the record of the schools is revealed in the following facts: "25 percent of U.S. college freshmen take remedial math courses, 21[%] take remedial writing courses, and 16[%] take remedial reading courses. Meanwhile, a recent survey of 200 major corporations has found that 22[%] of them teach employees reading, 41[%] teach writing, and 31[%] teach mathematical skills. The American Society for Training and Development projects that 93[%] of the nation's biggest companies will be teaching their workers basic skills within the next three years."


'Anarchist' Idiocy, 14 May 2011
Discusses a Washington Post story about Greek so-called "anarchists" who were protesting the "rolling back of social safety nets"
The Washington Post splashes a story about "anarchists" in Greece across the front page today. The print headline is "Into the arms of anarchy," and a photo‐​essay online is titled "In Greece, austerity kindles the flames of anarchy." And what do these anarchists demand? ... Real anarchists, of either the anarcho‐​capitalist or mutualist variety, might have something useful to say to Greeks in their current predicament. But disgruntled young people, lashing out at the end of an unsustainable welfare state, are not anarchists in any serious sense. They're just angry children not ready to deal with reality.
Related Topics: Anarchism, Government, Greece
Ayn Rand at 100, 2 Feb 2005
Discusses the influence of Ayn Rand, after the publication of her two main novels, during the 1960s through the 1980s and to this day, with sales of about half a million of her books per year
Interest in the bestselling novelist‐​philosopher Ayn Rand continues to grow, 20 years after her death and 60 years after she first hit the bestseller lists with The Fountainhead. Rand was born February 2, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia ... Rand's work rests squarely within the libertarian tradition, with roots going back to Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Jefferson, Paine, Bastiat, Spencer, Mill, and Mises. She infused her novels with the ideas of individualism, liberty, and limited government in ways that often changed the lives of her readers.
Benjamin Constant, Eloquent Defender of Freedom, 25 Oct 2017
Tribute to Constant, written on the 250th anniversary of his birth, with quotes from his speech "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with That of the Moderns"
Today is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Constant, a prominent French liberal in the postrevolutionary era, whom Isaiah Berlin called "the most eloquent of all defenders of freedom and privacy." He is perhaps best known in our time as the author of an essay ... called "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with That of the Moderns." He argued that the ancient concept of liberty as political participation was not suited to modern society ... He concluded by exhorting his audience to insist that modern governments respect modern liberty and leave individuals free to make their own decisions ...
Clark, Ed (1930-), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Edward Emerson Clark is an attorney and the 1980 Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Ed Clark, a corporate attorney in New York and Los Angeles, opposed the Vietnam War while remaining a Republican, but when President Richard Nixon imposed wage and price controls in 1972, he joined the Libertarian Party and quickly became a member of its national committee ... Following the 1980 campaign, many of Clark’s key supporters appear to have lost interest in the party, and a number of them drifted away. Clark remains an active Libertarian, and his wife, Alicia, served as national chairman from 1981 to 1983.
Related Topics: Ed Clark, Libertarian Party
The Drug War Hits Home, Freedom Daily, Jan 1992
Reviews several cases of non-users caught in "the tentacles of the War on Drugs" and explains why civil forfeiture is attractive to law enforcers
Grady McClendon, 53, his wife, two of their adult children, and two grandchildren were driving a rented car through Georgia to their Florida home when McClendon made a wrong turn on a one-way street. Local police stopped him, checked his identification, and asked to search the car ... The only way to reduce the crime, corruption, and murder associated with the drug trade is ... to recognize that what adults put into their own bodies is no business of government. Until we do, prohibition-related crime is likely to increase, and our liberties will continue to recede.
Harmony: Lao-tzu, The Libertarian Reader, 1997
First section of part four, "Spontaneous Order"; includes a brief introduction and short excerpts of five chapters from the Tao Te Ching
Libertarian ideas of individualism, natural rights, and constitutional government arose in the West, though liberals and libertarians believe that they are applicable to all human societies. But elements of libertarian ideas in society can certainly be found in Eastern philosophy as well. One of the classic sources is the Tao Te Ching, thought to have been written in the sixth century B.C. by a scribe named Lao-tzu (or Lao Tse) ... Some libertarians consider the legendary Lao-tzu the first libertarian. These excerpts are from The Way and its Power: A Study of the Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought ...
Related Topics: Dào Dé Jīng, Lǎozǐ
Hospers, John (1918-2011), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
John Hospers is a philosopher and the first presidential nominee of the U.S. Libertarian Party. Hospers is best known to philosophers for his work in aesthetics, especially his book Understanding the Arts. He is the author of two widely used textbooks ... They ... had their greatest success when Virginia elector Roger L. MacBride cast his electoral vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Nixon and Agnew. Despite the lack of electoral success, Hospers's intelligent campaign did rally libertarians to the new party and lay the groundwork for greater success in the 1976 and 1980 elections.
The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder, One of America’s First Libertarians, Time, 9 May 2015
Focuses on Rose Wilder Lane's life and relates the influence of her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as Wilder Lane's influence on Roger MacBride
Laura Ingalls Wilder is a bestselling author again, 83 years after she began publishing her Little House on the Prairie books and 58 years after her death at age 90. Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography is a 472‐​page edition of Wilder's original memoir, for which she couldn't find a publisher in 1930. ... As Lane's heir, [Roger MacBride] ... wrote eight novels of his own about Rose's early life, continuing in the vein of Little House. Laura Ingalls Wilder lived American values. Her example inspired her daughter and her daughter's protégé to spend their careers defending those values.
Libertarian Voters and the Libertarian Party, 23 May 2008
Discusses the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate nominees, the views of libertarian-leaning voters and the prospects for the LP
The Libertarian Party is meeting in Denver to nominate a presidential candidate. Vying for the nomination are a former Democratic senator, a former Republican congressman, the author of the book Millionaire Republican, and a number of long-time party activists ... 44 percent of voters said yes to Zogby's question, "Would you describe yourself as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, also known as libertarian?" So there would seem to be a huge potential audience for a Libertarian candidate who could ... get media attention, create online buzz, and present a compelling and articulate case for peace, freedom, and limited government.
Liberty at the Movies, 20 Jun 2005
Short reviews of some of Boaz' "all-time favorite libertarian movies" from "Hollywood"
A few years back, I wrote about the libertarian themes of many of the movies nominated for Oscars. Now, for the summer, I thought I'd recommend some all‐​time favorite libertarian movies. I'm not going to discuss documentaries or educational films such as The Incredible Bread Machine, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, or John Stossel's superb ABC specials. Today's topic is libertarian movies from Hollywood — and there have been more than you might think. ... More information about many of these movies can be found in Miss Liberty's Guide to Film and Video: Movies for the Libertarian Millennium.
Related Topics: Amistad, The Castle, Films, Shenandoah
MacBride, Roger Lea (1929-1995), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Roger Lea MacBride was an author and the 1976 U.S. Libertarian Party presidential nominee. Roger MacBride was involved in classical liberal scholarship and activism virtually his entire life. As a child, he became close to Rose Wilder Lane, the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and he absorbed her libertarian philosophy ... Later he ... wrote several young‐​adult historical novels about Lane's childhood on a Missouri farm, including Little House on Rocky Ridge. MacBride put the Libertarian Party on the map with his electoral vote in 1972 and his vigorous and well‐​received campaign in 1976.
Nathan, Tonie (1923-2014), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Theodora (Tonie) Nathan was the first woman and first Jewish person to receive an electoral vote. Nathan was a radio-TV producer in Eugene, Oregon, when she attended the first presidential nominating convention of the Libertarian Party in 1972. She was selected to run for vice president with ... John Hospers. Although the ticket received only 3,671 official votes, Virginia elector Roger L. MacBride chose to vote for Hospers and Nathan ... making Nathan the first woman in American history to receive an electoral vote. Nathan remained active in the Libertarian Party and founded the Association of Libertarian Feminists in 1973.
Related Topic: Tonie Nathan
Paul, Ron (1935-), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Ron Paul is a member of Congress and was the 1988 U.S. Libertarian Party presidential nominee. For much of the period from 1976 onward, Paul, a physician from Texas, has been the only consistent libertarian in the U.S. Congress. He served briefly in 1976, from 1979 to 1985, and returned to Congress in 1996 ... In May 2007, Representative Paul announced his candidacy for the 2008 Republican nomination for president. He participated in the presidential debates held during 2007 and generated a surprisingly strong level of fundraising and intense support on the Internet and in other venues.
Related Topic: Ron Paul
RIP Andrea Rich, 1 Aug 2018
In memoriam
I am saddened to report that my dear friend Andrea Millen Rich died this morning at her home in Philadelphia at the age of 79 after a 19-year battle with lung cancer. She was, among many other things, the proprietor of Laissez Faire Books and the wife for 41 years of Howard Rich, the Cato Institute's longest-serving Board member ... After she got a summer job at CBS answering fan mail for Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle ("my handwriting was perfect for it, they said"), she never went back to school. For 18 years, she worked in television, including for Sid Caesar, Joe Pyne, and the NBC News election unit.
Time to Rethink the War on Drugs, Freedom Daily, Oct 1999
Lists several effects of drug prohibition and suggests using some common sense regarding drug legalization
Eighty-four percent of Americans say that possible cocaine use in his 20s should not disqualify Texas governor George W. Bush from being president. But if a cocaine user can go on to be president, why should we put young people in jail for using cocaine? Maybe ... people are ready for a more rational discussion ... [P]rohibition laws should be judged according to their real-world effects, not their promised benefits. It's time to let go of old ideas and recognize that the war on drugs has failed. We should try a new policy: Let adults make their own decisions about drugs.

Books Authored

Libertarianism: A Primer, 1997
Partial contents: The Coming Libertarian Age - The Roots of Libertarianism - What Rights Do We Have? - The Dignity of the Individual - Pluralism and Toleration - Law and the Constitution - Civil Society - The Market Process - The Libertarian Future
Related Topic: Libertarianism
The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman, 1997
Includes essays by Bastiat, Cobden, Milton Friedman, Hayek, Jefferson, Locke, Mencken, Nozick, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, Rothbard, Adam Smith, Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner, Alexis de Tocqueville, Laozi, Ludwig von Mises and Mary Wollstonecraft
Related Topic: Libertarianism
Toward Liberty: The Idea That Is Changing the World
    by David Boaz (editor), Cato Institute, Apr 2002
Partial contents: Ideas and Consequences - Economic Growth - The Welfare State - The Regulatory State - A World in Transition - Foreign Affairs - Trade and International Finance - Law and Liberty - Democracy and Culture
Related Topic: Liberty


Ben Franklin: Conservative, Libertarian, or Radical Democrat?, by David Boaz (moderator), Mark Skousen (speaker), 19 Jan 2006
Book Forum hosted by Boaz, with presentation by Skousen discussing Franklin's Autobiography, Skousen's The Compleated Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and under what political viewpoint would one categorize Franklin
Related Topic: Benjamin Franklin

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "David Boaz" as of 6 Jun 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.