Twice in the 1930s, censors in Washington, D.C., sent letters to the American Institute for Economic Research demanding that we shut down our presses. Twice our founder E.C. Harwood refused to do so. Twice government backed down.
What were we doing wrong? We had published articles taking issue with New Deal economic policy. Nothing more. In those days, however, dissent was rare, first because it was dangerous and second because there was such an overwhelming intellectual consensus in favor of the policies of Franklin Roosevelt.
The urge to censor is the tribute that government pays to the power of ideas. Here they were in Washington with all the regulators, all the guns, enough money to pay off potential enemies, a fawning press, and a monopoly on communication. Why were they so worried about some small newsletters and books being printed by AIER? Because ideas are ultimately more powerful than armies. Ideas can turn history on a dime, and in defiance of even the world’s most fierce states.
And so AIER kept it up, publishing constantly for decades – fully 86 years of our existence. AIER became the font of an entire intellectual revolution following the Second World War. The ideas spread ever further, resulting in more institutions, thinkers, meetings, books, and even further over the coming decades. In a strange way, the New Dealers who imagined the possibility of a completely planned society barren of authentic freedom were right to fear the work of AIER.
In recent years, however, the methods of distribution of AIER hadn’t kept up with the times. That has changed dramatically in the last six months under the leadership of Edward Stringham. We’ve been working to bring back old works, publish new books, and make them available in several formats. We are committed to using a Creative Commons license that is consistent with a genuine free-market approach.
Here is a quick list of what we’ve done in these last six months. They are all available on Amazon. They will enlighten you. Your purchase of these books also helps support our work here. And I can assure you that we’ve just begun. We hope to build this program into a mighty publishing machine. As for pricing, you know the ropes of academic pricing. No normal human being can afford to pay these prices. So we are keeping them extremely affordable.
And yes, we are open to receiving new manuscripts. We are currently working on 4 new books to publish by the summer but we are also interested in expanding in the coming year, with a focus on both scholarly and popular works. If you are an author with a book looking for a home, please consider AIER.
Two Treatises on Competitive Currency and Banking, by Lysander Spooner and an Introduction by Phillip Magness
Cause and Control of the Business Cycle, by E.C. Harwood and Introduction by Edward Stringham
Keynes vs· Harwood — A Contribution to Current Debate, by Jagdish Mehra
Gold and Liberty, by Richard M. Salsman
Breaking the Banks, by Richard M. Salsman
The Global Warming Debate: Science, Economics, and Policy, by American Institute for Economic Research with an introduction by Michael J. Rizzo
How to Avoid Financial Tangles, edited by Kenneth C. Masteller
Keep in mind, we’ve just begun.
And one final note: we are working to expand our in-house library. It is already impressive. But we want to make it a world-class research library. If you have book donations you are willing to give, please contact us. We would very much welcome them.