Founder of The Foundation for Economic Education
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  • Leonard Edward Read (26 September 1898 - 14 May 1983) was the founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), which was one of the first modern libertarian institutions of its kind in the United States. He wrote 29 books and numerous essays, including the well-known "I, Pencil" (1958).


    Read, Leonard E. (1898-1983), by Donald J. Boudreaux, Nick Slepko, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
    Biographical essay
    "Leonard E. Read, an activist, a fundraiser, and an administrator, is best known for originating the oldest existing free-market nonprofit in the world, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE). ... Read also was known for his writings in moral philosophy and as a gourmet chef and curling enthusiast, all of which he pursued avidly. Not surprisingly, statists disparaged him. Eleanor Roosevelt even commented that she was 'struck' by FEE's insinuation that there was some similarity between the welfare state and communism. But even with those who ordinarily allied with him against the welfare state, Read was uncompromising in his defense of the truth."


    Leonard E. Read (1898 - 1983): Founder and First President (1948 - 1983)
    Foundation for Economic Education
    Leonard E. Read (1898-1983), Religion & Liberty, Jul 1996


    Foundation for Economic Education, Founder and first President, 1948-1983


    Classical Liberalism in Argentina: A Lesson for the World, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Jul 1994
    Recounts highlights of Argentine history from the 1810 revolution to the late 20th century, arguing that the period from the ouster of Rosas in 1852 to the military coup of 1930 demonstrated the validity of Adam Smith's writings
    "The year 1958 ... a small group of Argentineans, led by a man named Alberto Benegas Lynch ... invited two Americans to deliver a series of lectures in Argentina. ... Read was the founder of The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), which had been established in 1946 with the express aim of reestablishing economic liberty in the United States. ... Read's lectures were published in a book entitled Why Not Try Freedom?"
    Iraqi Death by Political Abstraction, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Jun 2006
    Examines the causes of the 2005 Haditha killings, reflecting on Leonard Read's notable essay "Conscience in the Battlefield"
    "In 1951, during the Korean War, the libertarian Leonard E. Read, a veteran of World War I and founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, looked at this issue in a particularly moving way. In his essay 'Conscience on the Battlefield,' Read imagined a dialogue between himself as an American soldier dying on the battlefield and his own conscience. ..."
    Leonard E. Read: A Portrait, by Edmund A. Opitz, The Freeman, Sep 1998
    Leonard Read - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
    Leonard Read, the Founder and Builder, by Mary Sennholz, The Freeman, May 1996
    Spotlight: Founding Father, by Patrick Cox, Aug 1980
    Brief profile of Leonard Read, his accomplishments, his influence and his outlook for the future of liberty
    "It is difficult to get Read to talk about his accomplishments. He would rather discuss his shelty collie, whose ragged picture he is quick to produce from his shirt pocket, or his favorite golf course in Scotland. His goals in life include a fifth hole-in-one and seeing Halley's Comet a second time. The word integrity seems to come up whenever his friends talk about him. F.A. Hayek, Henry Hazlitt (the only original trustee of FEE still living), Benjamin Rogge, Hans Sennholz, and Antony Fisher are better sources of information about Read than Read is."
    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
    "It must have been sometime in 1944 or 1945 that a handsome man dropped in to see me at the New York Times, where I was then writing the economic edi­torials, and introduced himself as Leonard Read, gener­al manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The free-enterprise philosophy had already become almost a religion with him. He told me he was looking for a wider audience to which to explain that philosophy, and was thinking of setting up a libertarian foundation of his own."
    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
    "If any of you have seen FEE's mission as that of winning now and winning big, then you have no choice but to label it a failure. But as I have understood him, his thinking, and the organization he brought into being, I have always believed that Leonard Read saw his mission as something quite different from (and quite superior to) that of winning tomorrow’s election or next week's idea popularity poll. ... Stop worrying about such things, he tells us; 'the readiness is all.'"
    The Legacy of Leonard E. Read, by Jacob Hornberger, Future of Freedom, Sep 1991


    Conscience on the Battlefield, 1981
    Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, updated with prologue in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
    "War 'as a means to peace among nations' was then, and remains, a world-wide fallacy. Today, small wars go on in various parts of the globe, and there is the possibility that a big one is in the offing. ... Nonsense? Congress declares war in which millions may be killed. But every one of those legislators would be revolted by the thought of shooting a single innocent man. The nonsense is millions times one!"
    How To Get Action, The Freeman, May 1955
    I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read, Dec 1958
    Library of Economics and Liberty, Introduction by Milton Friedman, Afterword by Donald J. Boudreaux
    I, Pencil, The Freeman, Dec 1958
    William Henry Chamberlin: 1897-1969, The Freeman, Nov 1969
    "Though he wrote nearly a score of books, he remained essentially a newspaperman. In a career that spanned half a century, he traveled extensively, meeting people, asking questions, shaping and reshaping his own views. ... Through it all Mr. Chamberlin remained ebullient, ever confident that man, given time and proper leadership, could find his way through the wilderness."
    Related Topic: William Henry Chamberlin


    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

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