"The Law"

Frédéric Bastiat
Bastiat, Frédéric
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Dean Russell, trans.
First Pub. Date
Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.
Pub. Date
First published in French. 2nd edition. Introduction by Walter E. Williams, Foreword by Sheldon Richman, and "The Book and Author" by Bertrand de Jouvenel.

Translation and editorial content: Copyright ©: 1998 The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. (FEE). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. The Library of Economics and Liberty is grateful to FEE for permission to produce this book in electronic form.

Picture of Frédéric Bastiat courtesy of The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.

About this Book

I must have been forty years old before reading Frederic Bastiat's classic The Law. An anonymous person, to whom I shall eternally be in debt, mailed me an unsolicited copy. After reading the book I was convinced that a liberal-arts education without an encounter with Bastiat is incomplete. Reading Bastiat made me keenly aware of all the time wasted, along with the frustrations of going down one blind alley after another, organizing my philosophy of life. The Law did not produce a philosophical conversion for me as much as it created order in my thinking about liberty and just human conduct. [From the Introduction by Walter E. Williams.]