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Hero of the Day - Bettina Bien Greaves

Bettina Bien Greaves, a botany major, graduated from Wheaton College in the time of the Great Depression. During World War II she traveled in South America and Austria as a secretary for the Foreign Economic Administration. After the war, she remained for a year in Austria and witnessed the beginnings of the post-war revival in Europe.

Back in the United States, Bettina worked in a number of jobs before gravitating in 1951 to Leonard Read's Foundation for Economic Education—the educational institution that was a pioneering proselytizer of the ideas of liberty and which nourished and influenced many of the major advocates of liberty of this century. Her job there? "Reading, writing, and looking things up." For many years she gathered materials for high school and college debaters across the country. She is still on FEE's staff as a Resident Scholar, and also serves as Trustee.

Bettina has long been a thoughtful and determined champion of the work of Ludwig von Mises, the great Austrian-born economist (and leader of the so-called Austrian school of economics originated by Menger and Bohm-Bawerk). In the 50s and 60s she attended the famous Mises seminar in economic theory at New York University. She is the author of an authoritative two-volume Annotated Bibliography of works by and about Mises; has edited an anthology, Austrian Economics; and most recently, in 1998, edited the Mises collection Interventionism: An Economic Analysis.

At present she is completing work on a manuscript of her late husband, Percy L. Greaves, dealing with the ongoing Pearl Harbor controversy, The Seeds and the Fruits of Infamy. She is also finishing an abridgment of Henry Hazlitt's The Foundations of Morality.

In addition to other honors, Bettina received the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Lifetime Achievement. Upon accepting the Award she suggested that whatever fame she may have achieved rests on the coattails of Ludwig von Mises. But it is clear, also, that the renown and reputation of Ludwig von Mises has more than a little to do with the unremitting labors of his loyal student and literary executor, Bettina Bien Greaves.

Copyright © 2000, The Daily Objectivist - Reprinted with permission of The Daily Objectivist and

2 Jan 2009