The Socialist Tradition: Moses to Lenin
Alexander Gray (1882–1968) was a British economist with a particularly keen appreciation of the Austrian contribution to the history of ideas. As with others of his generation, he was super well-educated and an outstanding stylist of the English language. Even by standards of his time, Professor Gray excelled in depth of research and clarity of prose, and his classic treatise on the history of ideas is a prime example: it is a real page turner from first to last.
It was also Rothbard’s own favorite book on socialism, next to Mises’s own.
“Alexander Gray is my favorite historian of economic thought,” wrote Rothbard. “Gray’s demolition of socialist writers was apt and devastating. Gray was also a poet and a translator of poetry into the Scottish language; and we find that his translations into broad Scots of European ballads and of Heine were sensitive and much admired.”
Gray’s work is as learned as it is charming, a romp through intellectual history with a particularly British flare for the ironic turn of phrase. This book is smart, witty, and penetrating on every page.
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