Ralph Raico

Ralph Raico (/ˈrk/; October 23, 1936 – December 13, 2016) was an American libertarian historian of European liberalism[1] and a professor of history at Buffalo State College.[2]

Ralph Raico
Born(1936-10-23)October 23, 1936
New York City
Died (aged 80)
Academic background
Alma materUniversity of Chicago
InfluencesAyn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises
Academic work
Main interestsLibertarianism

Early life and education

Raico was from New York City,[3] where he attended The Bronx High School of Science. Through the Foundation for Economic Education, Raico and his classmate George Reisman arranged to meet with economist Ludwig von Mises, who subsequently invited them to attend his graduate seminar on Austrian economics at New York University.[4] There he met fellow seminar attendee Murray Rothbard, who befriended him.[5][6] Rothbard and his friends Raico, Reisman, Ronald Hamowy, and Robert Hessen formed a "self-conscious intellectual and activist salon" they named the "Circle Bastiat".[7][8]

In the mid-1950s, the Circle Bastiat also brought Raico into contact with novelist Ayn Rand and her followers, informally known at the time as "The Collective".[8][9] Raico attended the first lectures about Rand's philosophy of Objectivism.[10] Eventually relations between the two groups soured, leading to an incident in which the Circle parodied the Collective, performing a skit in which Raico played the part of Rand's protege Nathaniel Branden.[11] By the summer of 1958 Rand and Rothbard had broken off all ties, and the groups stopped associating.[10][11]

Raico received his B.A. from the City College of New York[3] and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, where his adviser was Friedrich Hayek.[12]


While at the University of Chicago, Raico founded The New Individualist Review, a libertarian publication which first published in April 1961 and produced 17 issues until it ceased publication in 1968.[13] Raico and other graduate students comprised the editorial board. Hayek and Milton Friedman and later, economist George Stigler, were on the advisory board. In 1981, Friedman wrote that he believed the publication had "set an intellectual standard which has not yet, I believe, been matched by any of the more recent publications in the same philosophical tradition."[13][14]

Raico later became senior editor of Inquiry magazine. He was an associate editor of The Independent Review, a journal published by The Independent Institute,[2] and a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which published his work on the history of liberty and the connection between war and the state.[15] Raico translated Mises' book, Liberalismus and various essays by Friedrich Hayek into English.[2]


Raico has spoken favorably of classical liberalism.[16]

On foreign policy, Raico was in favor of non-interventionism.[17][18]


Raico died on December 13, 2016 at the age of 80.


  • Gay Rights: A Libertarian Approach (1975), Libertarian Party OCLC 8887435, 863234248
  • Classical Liberalism in the Twentieth Century (1990), Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, OCLC 21573481, 732647331
  • "Classical Liberalism and the Austrian school" in The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics (1998), edited by Peter J. Boettke, Edward Elgar Publishing, ISBN 9781858787763, OCLC 485335367
  • Introduction to the 50th-anniversary edition of John T. Flynn's The Roosevelt Myth (1998), Fox & Wilkes; 50th edition, ISBN 0930073274. OCLC 41234390
  • Die Partei der Freiheit: Studien zur Geschichte des deutschen Liberalismus (1999), (Introduction by Christian Watrin; Gabriele Bartel, Pia Weiss, Jörg Guido Hülsmann, translators), Lucius & Lucius; 1st edition, ISBN 3828200427 ISBN 9783828200425. OCLC 52523633
  • "World War I: The Turning Point" and "Rethinking Churchill" in The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victories (1999), edited by John V. Denson, Transaction Publishers; 2 edition, ISBN 0765804875
  • Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal (2010), Ludwig von Mises Institute, ISBN 1610164377, OCLC 779146130
  • The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton (2010), ISBN 1610163680 – Book version of Raico's University of Chicago dissertation[19]
  • Classical Liberalism and the Austrian School (2012), Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, ISBN 9781610160032, ISBN 1610160037, OCLC 792741380

See also


Works cited

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