First English edition, first printing. Publisher's original maroon cloth with titles in gilt to the upper board and spine. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with a couple of small red marks to the upper board, minor bumping to the top edge and corners and a little fading and marking to the spine. The contents with light scattered foxing and occasional pencil underlining are otherwise in good order and clean throughout. A nice example of a scarce title.
Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was a Belgian political economist and French Liberal School theorist associated with laissez-faire economists such as Frédéric Bastiat and Jean-Baptiste Say. Advocating the near-total abolition of government and viewing free markets and private property as the only basis for individual sovereignty and prosperity, his writings came to form one the very first expressions of anarcho-capitalist theory. In the present work, de Molinari discusses the historical development of states as malign forces, most prominently describing their role in the perpetuation of ruinous wars and conflicts. Originally published in France in 1899, its English translation made a notable impact on the American individualist anarchist Benjamin Tucker. Later in the twentieth century, de Molinari's writings came to be enthusiastically acknowledged by Austrian School economists, such as Murray Rothbard and Friedrich Hayek, as forming an important precursor to their own influential political and economic theories.
Stock code: 17806