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"Frédéric Bastiat : A Man Alone", by George Charles Roche (Arlington House, Architects of Freedom Series, 1971)


When following the ideas of Frederic Bastiat, the reader often wishes to know a bit more about the man himself. This applies to many thinkers of consequence - we find their ideas so interesting that we think their lives must be equally exciting and significant. Bastiat, however, has remained a shadowy entity, even to his few biographers. The same scant details of the man's personal life appear in each of the several sketches devoted to his career. In Bastiat's case, it appears that there is little to tell concerning most of his personal life. Bastiat apparently spent his first 45 years in quiet preparation for the enormous flash of productive activity which occurred during his last five years.


Acknowledgement is due all those who previously have examined aspects of Bastiat's life and thought, particularly Professor Russell. My editor and good friend at Arlington House, Llewellyn Rockwell, provided consistent encouragement from start to finish. The Foundation for Economic Education staff also did much to make this book possible. Mrs. Muriel Brown freely gave of both her secretarial assistance and her unbounded enthusiasm. Edmund Opitz provided several very helpful lines of thought which greatly improved my own understanding of Bastiat, while Paul Poirot generously provided his customary patience, insight, and good sense during all phases of the manuscript's preparation. Special thanks also go to Leonard Read, who years ago rescued Bastiat from the historical ash-heap and who was among the first to realize the enormous importance of Frederic Bastiat.


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