Did Gabriel Kolko Make His Case Well?
By David Henderson
Our authors say no.
Murray Rothbard’s estimate of Kolko’s business-government historiography was too hasty, perhaps because its anti-Big Business conclusions were simple and congenial for a libertarian worldview. Subsequent classical-liberal praise of Gabriel Kolko as “a socialist but nonetheless an historian with a respect for facts” is also unjustified. All historians need to be extremely wary of quoting Kolko.
This is one of two closing paragraphs of this month’s Econlib Feature Article “Gabriel Kolko’s ‘Political Capitalism’: Bad Theory, Bad History,” by Robert L. Bradley, Jr. and Roger Donway.
I learned a lot while editing this article. Both major sections of the piece,”Mistaken Theory” and “Distorted Evidence,” are well worth reading.