About Jim Powell

"Jim Powell is doing more
than anyone else I know of to tell
the thrilling story of liberty."

-- Paul Johnson, author of Modern Times,
A History of the Jews, A History of the American People and other books

While researching The Triumph of Liberty, historian Jim Powell has visited libraries, booksellers, museums and historic sites in Europe, Asia and South America as well as the United States.

Powell has written more than 400 articles for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Constitution, Esquire, Architectural Digest, Barron's, Global Finance, Horizon, Saturday Evening Post, Science Digest, Family Circle, Travel/Holiday, Connoisseur, Town & Country, Bottom Line/Business, Money, American Heritage/Audacity, Reason, Liberty and other publications. His previous books were published by Putnam's and Macmillan.

Since 1988, Powell has been a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Since 1992, he has been editor of Laissez Faire Books, the world's largest source of books on liberty, with readers in 90 countries. He has done work for the Manhattan Institute, the Institute for Humane Studies, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the National Right to Work Committee and Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. He has lectured in Argentina, Brazil, England, Germany and Japan. He has delivered lectures at Stanford, Harvard and other universities in the United States.

Powell graduated from the University of Chicago in history. Among his professors were Rise of the West author William H. McNeill, economic historian Earl J. Hamilton and Daniel J. Boorstin who wrote The Americans, The Discoverers, The Creators and other books. At the University of Chicago, as an editor of New Individualist Review, Powell helped publish articles by future Nobel Laureates F.A. Hayek, Milton Friedman and George Stigler as well as other libertarian thinkers like Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt and Murray Rothbard. Powell performed research for future Nobel Laureate Ronald Coase.

Recent articles about the history of liberty, available online:

"Why has Liberty Flourished in the West?," Cato Policy Report, September/October 2000

"Heroes of Freedom," Liberty, October 2000

"The Miracle of Liberty," Washington Times, July 3, 2000

"20 most important books on liberty," LP News, May 2000

"Friedrich Hayek's extraordinary influence," Laissez Faire Books, May 1999

"Milton and Rose Friedman, capitalism's greatest living champions,"
Laissez Faire Books, July 1992

Additional articles:

Wall Street Journal calls The Triumph of Liberty -
"a literary achievement"

Voices for liberty in the ancient world
The first yearnings to be free were expressed in Greek epics, tragedies and comedies

The man who helped finance the American Revolution
During desperate years, merchant Robert Morris came through with money and munitions so that George Washington could win

Ancient Roman contributions to private property rights
The Romans replaced tribal property with private property and worked out the details about how ownership should be proven and transferred.

How toleration developed in modern Europe and America
Courageous individuals defied the terrors of the Inquisition and denounced religious wars.

The story of Magna Carta
King John's wars and taxes stirred England's barons to protect their interests by rebelling against him, and they set an enormously important precedent for liberty which benefited everyone.

The best of H.L. Mencken, witty American defender of liberty
This prolific newspaperman and literary critic still entertains and enlightens us today.

How private enterprise created modern Japan
The government's railroads, shipping, silk-reeling and other ventures all lost money. Private entrepreneurs achieved wonders.

Runaway slaves!
Far from being contented and docile, American slaves dreamed of liberty, and thousands rebelled or ran away. Inspiring resistance to oppression.

The strange battle for the U.S. Bill of Rights
Those who initially wanted it ended up voting against it, and those who never wanted it made it happen

Why has liberty thrived in the West?
This is where enough people stuck out their necks for liberty.

"Honor is a harder master than the law"
At 58 and in ailing health, Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) was plunged $94,000 in debt by business failures. True to his word, he repaid everybody.

Liberty as a woman
Throughout history, liberty has been depicted as a woman on coins, in engravings, paintings, statues and more. Here are illustrations from ancient Rome, France and America.

Private initiative spurred vital discoveries throughout history
Language, geography, science and other essentials of civilization were diffused around the globe by private initiative.Political liberty impossible without economic liberty
The life and times of F.A. Hayek. The New Yorker called the twentieth century "the Hayek century."

Political liberty impossible without economic liberty
The life and times of F.A. Hayek. The New Yorker called the twentieth century "the Hayek century."

Thomas Jefferson in perspective
How can friends of liberty still defend him after the relentless attacks of historians and biographers during the last quarter century?

How markets nurtured our civilization
Many people seem to imagine that markets and commerce are only about money, yet they made civilization possible. They brought people into contact with new ideas and things. Civilization has flourished where commerce has flourished.

Most dramatic orator in the American antislavery movement
Although Wendell Phillips isn't as well known today as William Lloyd Garrison, the pioneering journalist for abolishing slavery, or Frederick Douglass who provided the most compelling testimony, Phillips was more effective than anyone else stirring crowds against slavery.

Socialism's greatest enemy
How this great Austrian economist recognized the fatal flaws of a government-run economy 7 decades before the collapse of the Soviet Union made it obvious to all that he was right.

They created the first modern agenda for liberty
Dubbed the "Levellers" by their adversaries, these mid-17th century English rebels championed private property, religious toleration, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free trade, a rule of law, a separation of powers, a written constitution, and they opposed military conscription.

William S. Gilbert's wicked wit for liberty
Most quotable lines by the dramatist whose comic operas, created with composer Arthur Sullivan, are still going strong after more than a century (reportedly performed more than the work of any other songwriting team except the Beatles). Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken enjoyed Gilbert's barbs at bureaucrats and politicians.

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