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Forty years ago, I was worried. I had had the honor of working with Ludwig von Mises. But, not long after his death, the greatest economist and defender of freedom in the twentieth century was being ignored.
Some years before, I had worked for the great Neil McCaffrey at his Arlington House Publishers. One day, I was called into his office and asked, “How’d you like to be Ludwig von Mises’s editor?”
I was to correct and bring back into print three of the great man’s books—Bureaucracy, Theory and History, and Omnipotent Government—and publish his new monograph on the history of the Austrian School.
When the books were published, Leonard Read held a celebratory reception, and I had a private dinner with Ludwig and Margit von Mises. They represented an old and better world.
I was just twenty-four, but I realized what an immense opportunity Neil was giving me. I thanked my boss and told him I was thrilled.
I was working, years later, for a “think tank” in Atlanta. Mises was mentioned occasionally, but there were far too many neoclassicals for me, though I was the number two person. Each day I had to drive past the CDC to get to work! My dad, a surgeon, despised the bureaucrats.
Finally, one day, I looked around and said to myself, “I can do this!”
So, I got to work on the future Mises Institute on weekends and evenings. First, I incorporated the Institute in Washington, DC, a great place, believe it or not, for such things. Then, I applied for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. When I got that, I gave my notice to the think tank.
Next, I wrote Mrs. Mises in New York City and asked her to lunch at her favorite restaurant, the Russian Tea Room. There, I told her of my plans and asked her to serve as our chairman. She agreed, but said, “I know you only want my name.”
“No,” I said. “I also want your guidance.” This great lady provided that for almost ten years.
Next, I asked the
Article from Mises Wire