Cato Institute Book Forum: The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat, vol. 1


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Abstract: This was a talk I gave at the Cato Institute Book Forum on the occasion of the publication of vol. 1 of Liberty Fund’s 6 volume Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat in October 2011. The volume contains his correspondence and many political essays. In the correspondence we see him moving from being an obscure Provincial Magistrate in the south west of France to becoming one of the leading political economists in Paris. We also see a more personal side to Bastiat in some letters which touch on the topics of the condition of women, fashion, religion, and his considerable wit and humour. Some of the less well known political essays reveal his activity as a revolutionary journalist during the rioting of February and June 1848. It should read alongside a sampling of his correspondence which can be found at the OLL.