Professor of economics and history at San Jose State University

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Laissez Faire Books
"Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is an expert on the American Civil War. He has explained why slavery probably would have ended even without the Civil War, which means it was a needless tragedy. He tells how the War ushered in the era of big government ... His controversial book Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men was published in 1996. He had previously written audiotape scripts for Knowledge Products on the Constitution (narrated by Walter Cronkite) and on American Wars (narrated by George C. Scott). His articles have appeared in Reason, Liberty, Independent Review, the Journal of Libertarian Studies, and the Journal of Austrian Economics."


Cato Institute, Adjunct Scholar
Independent Institute, Research Fellow
Foundation for Economic Education
Eris Society

Web Pages

Advocates for Self-Government - Libertarian Education: Jeffrey Rogers Hummel - Libertarian
Includes picture, biographical profile and quote
"Jeffrey Rogers Hummel is assistant professor at San Jose State University where he teaches both economics and history. In 2001-2, Jeff was the William C. Bark National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. ... He has contributed to the Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography and to a collection edited by Robert Higgs entitled Arms, Politics, and the Economy. Jeff served as a tank platoon leader in the U.S. Army. He earned his undergraduate degree from Grove City College and his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin. "
Hummel, Jeffrey Rogers | People | San Jose State University
Personal faculty page, includes picture, short profile, list of publications, courses, research interests and other details
"Jeff Hummel is the author of Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War (1996). He teaches both economics and history, and before joining the SJSU economics faculty in the fall of 2002, lectured as an adjunct at Golden Gate University and Santa Clara University. He served in the U.S. Army as a tank platoon leader during the early seventies, was Publications Director for the Independent Institute in Oakland, CA, in the late eighties, and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, for the 2001-2002 academic year."


Does Freedom Require Empire?, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Sep 2014
Critiques an essay by Daniel McCarthy justifying British and American imperialism by insisting that "power is the basis of the peaceful order upon which liberal democracy rests"
"As Jeffrey Rogers Hummel puts it in 'The Will to Be Free: The Role of Ideology in National Defense,' 'Ideas ultimately determine in which direction [people] wield their weapons or whether they wield them at all.' 'All successful States are legitimized,' Hummel writes. 'No government rules for long through brute force alone ... Successful ideas therefore can induce alterations in the size, scope, and intrusiveness of government.' If this is the case with respect to the government a population labors under, Hummel argues, then it is also the case with respect to potentially threatening foreign governments."


Garrison, William Lloyd (1805-1879), The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"William Lloyd Garrison was the most prominent of the young, radical abolitionists who burst on the American landscape in the 1830s. Garrison attacked black slavery, prevalent throughout the southern states, with unparalleled vehemence. Exasperated at the betrayal of the Revolutionary promise that all forms of human bondage would disappear in this new land of liberty and marshaling all the evangelical fervor of the religious revivals then sweeping the country, Garrison demanded no less than the immediate emancipation of all slaves. He ... also demanded full political rights for all blacks, whether in the North or the South."
Martin Van Buren: The American Gladstone, Reassessing the Presidency, 2001
Revised version of the 1999 essay "Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President", now a chapter in Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom (2001)
"Greatness must be measured against some standard. Let us begin our examination with foreign policy, the area where a president's individual traits probably can make the most difference in history's trajectory. Conventional historians tend to have a nationalist bias that makes them appreciate a strong executive who lastingly contributes to the growth of central authority. ... In contrast, presidents merit recognition for keeping the United States out of war, and Van Buren has the unique distinction of keeping the United States out of two: one with Mexico and another with Britain."
Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President [PDF], The Independent Review, 1999
Discusses the Van Buren presidency and why he should be considered "the greatest president in American history"
"President Martin Van Buren does not usually receive high marks from historians. Born of humble Dutch ancestry in December 1782 in the small, upstate New York village of Kinderhook, Van Buren gained admittance to the bar in 1803 without benefit of higher education. ... All will acknowledge, I believe, that Americans once enjoyed greater freedom from government intervention than any other people. For that accomplishment, Martin Van Buren deserves as much credit as any other single individual—and certainly more credit than any other president of the United States."
Not Just Japanese Americans: The Untold Story of U.S. Repression During 'The Good War', The Journal of Historical Review, 1986
Detailed and well-annotated survey of United States government's repression of civil liberties during World War II, both before and after the attack on Pearl Harbor
"The sad saga of civil liberties in the United States during the Second World War begins well before Pearl Harbor. The popular impression is that the Japanese surprise attack in December 1941 caught the U.S. government totally unaware. In an effort to counter this impression, countless revisionist historians have raked over the diplomatic events that preceded the attack. ... The internment of Japanese-Americans was not an anomaly. It was representative of a wartime administration that respected civil liberties only so far as political expediency required."
Taking the gloss off of the Great Emancipator, Chicago Tribune, 12 Feb 2009
Examines Lincoln's attitude toward the abolition of slavery as well as the effects of his war on the growth of government
"Abraham Lincoln is justly celebrated as the Great Emancipator. The Civil War freed nearly 4 million African-Americans from human bondage. It thereby fulfilled the promise of the American Revolution, eradicating a major coercive blight on the country. But unfortunately, Lincoln did almost as much to repudiate as to reaffirm the radical principles of the Declaration of Independence. ... [Lincoln] was a perplexing mixture of lofty ideals and political expediency. This portrait may not jibe with the popular hagiography, but that is often what happens when you replace blind hero worship with the complexities of history."

Books Authored

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War, 1996
Partial contents: Slavery and States' Rights in the Early Republic - Emergence of the Republican Party - The Confederate States of America - The War to Abolish Slavery? - Dissent and Disaffection-North and South - The Ravages of Total War