On three Tuesday afternoons last month, I was privileged to enjoy a thoughtful, engaging, and content-rich discussion with several people I’ve never met in real life.


It was Econlib’s first-ever VRG (Virtual Reading Group) in which we discussed Deirdre McCloskey’s latest, Why Liberalism Works. The three hours flew by, and left me wishing we had more time together. This is a new type of program for us, and we’re super happy with the results thus far. In fact, we’ve already scheduled our next VRG.


Starting Wednesday, March 11, we will meet virtually from noon to 1pm EST for three consecutive weeks to discuss a side-by-side reading of G.A. Cohen’s “Why Not Socialism?” and Jason Brennan’s “Why Not Capitalism?” Sessions are one hour each, and conducted via Zoom. Participants who successfully complete all three sessions will receive a $20 Amazon e-gift card after the group concludes. The schedule of readings is as follows:

  • March 11: Cohen, pages 3-45 and Brennan, pages 3-46
  • March 18: Cohen, pages 46-79 and Brennan, pages 47-69
  • March 25: Brennan, pages 70-99


If you’re not up to a live conversation (or our schedule doesn’t jive with yous), we hope you’ll consider weighing in on twitter or in our Facebook #EconlibReads group as we start our discussion of The Mandibles on Monday. In the first week, we’ll be talking about Part 1, chapters 1-5. In week two, we’ll discuss Part 1, chapters 6-10. Week three will deal with Part 1, chapters 11-14, and in our final week, we’ll turn to Part 2.


And if all of the above still isn’t enough, there’s still time to join the February VRG hosted by our sister site, AdamSmithWorks. This VRG meets for four sessions, beginning Thuursday, February 13 from 4-5pm EST. Participants will read and discuss selections from Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, his lectures on rhetoric, and Jane Austen’s Persuasion. As with the Econlib VRG, participants who successfully complete all four sessions will receive a $20 Amazon e-gift certificate. You can find more information, including the schedule of readings, here.


We hope to “see” you in one- or all- of these conversations!



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