An interview with Jim Powell

Here.  Powell remembers his school years at the U. of Chicago:

I decided to go to the University of Chicago because I received a subscription flyer for NEW INDIVIDUALIST REVIEW. I heard of several of the authors the journal published, mostly because I had subscribed to THE FREEMAN, a monthly libertarian magazine published by the Foundation for Economic Education. I decided the University of Chicago was where I wanted to go. Made my college decision easy. One of the first people I met at Chicago was graduate student Sam Peltzman who manned the NEW INDIVIDUALIST REVIEW table at student activities night, and I became involved with the publication immediately.

Even though I was a mere undergraduate at Chicago, and I ended up in the history department, I got to know students and professors in the economics department, the law school and the business school as well as the history department, because of our shared interests in liberty. It was a wonderful experience I will always cherish. The year I arrived in Chicago was the year Hayek left, so although he returned a number of times during my time in Chicago, and I talked with him on those occasions, I never got to know him well. He was a more remote, reticent personality in any case.

Milton Friedman was an outgoing and a dedicated crusader for liberty who was very generous with his time, explaining things and encouraging people. I was David Friedman’s roommate after he came to Chicago for graduate work, following his graduation from Harvard, and we went to Milton and Rose Friedman’s place for dinner on many weekends.

They ran circles around me, especially Milton and David, because they were so fast, but they were very sweet, and it was intellectually very stimulating. I remember Rose Friedman’s brother Aaron Director, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, visiting the apartment on Greenwood where David and I lived, and Aaron expressed admiration for my library, which was unusually extensive even at that time. Aaron was especially delighted to see my complete works of Herbert Spencer, the late 19th century English champion of laissez faire.

Milton Friedman was very different than my high school hero, William F. Buckley, Jr. – I attended the same high school (Millbrook) that he did, and I was probably as ideologically outnumbered as he was. I persuaded a couple Millbrook students and a faculty member (history teacher Rodney Johnston) to join me at the 1961 Young Americans for Freedom Rally for World Freedom, Madison Square Garden. As I recall, Buckley, Barry Goldwater and Ludwig von Mises were among the speakers.

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