About the Author
into that long trajectory that would lead to George Bush. As Thomas Woods writes in the introduction, "It is not just a history of the Old Right, or of the anti-interventionist tradition in America. It is the story at least in part of Rothbard's own political and intellectual development: the books he read, the people he met, the friends he made, the organizations he joined, and so much more." Obviously, little of this has made it into the official history of the United States. The movement called the Old Right is rarely discussed or even acknowledged, except to be smeared as backwards and isolationist. Countless times we read that the American right was founded by National Review, and nothing of any merit existed before. In fact, the most consistent opponents of Harry Truman's early Cold War measures were on the ideological right. They saw the whole thing as a trick to keep government control and spending in place. They resisted every step. And they were precisely right: Truman's whole plan was to prevent Republican political advances by distracting people with trumped-up foreign threats. Among the resistors was Senator Robert Taft. He opposed the Truman Doctrine, Nato, the Marshall Plan, and he refused to back more military spending in times of peace. And who supported all these policies? It was people on the left, such as The Nation. The Left favored big government in the mode of FDR. The Right was against it. But how many historians know anything about these crucial years? How many know that the left and right changed place from the late 50s through the 1960s? Very few indeed. What Rothbard shows is that the cause of peace is our heritage, and that free markets has been united with the antiwar cause from the founding fathers through the Old Right and as late as the 1950s. There is so much in this book to appreciate but especially valuable are his comments on the left in the 1960s. There might have seemed to be some hope for some type of collaboration. They were against war and for civil liberties at a time when the right was becoming increasingly imperialist and warmongering. Rothbard explains his attempt to educate the left on economics. Alas, there was no hope. He had to go it alone and forge a completely new movement called libertarianism. Rothbard plays a much more important role in the history of American politics than is usually acknowledged. He is the link between the Old Right and the new libertarian movement of our times. It was Rothbard who brought Mises's work to the attention of a new generation, writing about his ideas and expanding them. It was Rothbard who worked not only as an intellectual but an activist. It shows what one man and a typewriter can do. This book has been the best-kept secret in political writing for the last half century. Now at last it can be revealed to the world. Betrayal of the America Right is the tell-all book that shows why and how the ideological world turned upside down.