Who Are The Top Hayekian Public Intellectuals in America?


Let me jump right in with the answer.  The top Hayekian public intellectuals in America are:

  1. Thomas Sowell — book author, syndicated columnist.  Introduced to Hayek by Milton Friedman at the U. of Chicago, but mostly self taught.
  2. John Stossel — TV personality, syndicated columnist, book author.  Self taught.
  3. Walter Williams — book author, radio personality, syndicated columnist.  Learned Hayek at UCLA.
  4. George Will — syndicated columnist, TV personality, book author.  Introduced to Hayek at Oxford & through the IEA in London, but mostly self taught.
  5. Mark Levin — book author, radio personality & legal foundation president.   Self taught.
  6. Russ Roberts — podcaster, book author & blogger.  U. of Chicago and self taught.
  7. Rush Limbaugh — radio personality, magazine publisher, book author.  Self taught.
  8. Thomas Woods, Jr. — book author.   Self taught.
  9. Robert Higgs — book author, blogger, journal editor.  Self taught.
  10. Ed Feulner — think tank president, book author, newspaper commentary.
  11. Peter Schiff — podcaster, TV personality, YouTube sensation, book author.   Self taught.
  12. Jeffrey Tucker — web site guru.  Self taught.
  13. Steve Forbes — magazine publisher, book author.   Self taught.
  14. Gerald O’Driscoll, Jr. — think tank economist.  Learned Hayek at UCLA.
  15. Robert Murphy — book author, think tank economist, blogger.  Learned Hayek at Hillsdale College and NY University.
  16. Don Boudreaux — blogger, newspaper columnist.  Learned Hayek at Auburn University.
  17. Newt Gingrich — political activist, TV personality, book author.  Self taught.
  18. Richard Ebeling — columnist, book editor.
  19. Lawrence White — think tank economist, bloggerLearned Hayek at UCLA.  Self taught.
  20. Stacy McCain — blogger, book author, magazine writer.  Self taught.
  21. Jonah Goldberg — book author, blogger, syndicated columnist.  Self taught.
  22. Virginia Postrel — book author, blogger.  Self taught.
  23. Richard Eptstein — book author, commentary.
  24. Mike Shedlock — blogger.
  25. Steve Horwitz — blogger.  Learned Hayek at George Mason University.
  26. Frank Shostak — think tank economist.
  27. Mario Rizzo — blogger.  Learned Hayek at the U. of Chicago.
  28. David Boaz — book author, think tank official, commentary.  Self taught.
  29. Peter Boettke — journal editor, blogger.  Learned Hayek at Grove City College and George Mason University.
  30. George Selgin — book author, commentary.  Learned Hayek at NY University.

So that’s my top 30.  My rankings are based on an intuitive weighting of all sorts of different factors:  breadth of reach, depth of understanding, soundness of thought, common touch, ability to engage other intellectuals, intellectual creativity, mastery of the ideas at hand, etc.

I’ve made my stab at it.  But I’m just one guy.  Together, we could to better.  So, who’d I leave out?  Who should have been left out?  Who’s underrated — and who’s underrated?  If I extended the list to the top 50, who should be added?  Comments are open.

ADDED:  Here are 30 more:

  1. Randy Barnett — book author, blogger, commentary.
  2. William Easterly — book author, commentary.
  3. Roger Garrison — book author, commentary.
  4. Deepak Lal — book author, commentary.
  5. Michael Novak — book author, commentary.
  6. Jason Lewis — radio personality.
  7. Mark Skousen — book author.
  8. Ron Paul — book author
  9. Cass Sunstein — book author
  10. Edward Crane — think tank president.
  11. Will Wilkinson — blogger.
  12. Sheldon Richman — editor, blogger, commentary.
  13. Lew Rockwell — research institute president, book author, blogger, commentary.
  14. Tom Palmer — blogger, free trade activist.
  15. Gerald Edelman — book author.
  16. Ronald Hamowy — book author.
  17. James Dorn — editor, commentary.
  18. Larry Reed — think tank president.
  19. Richard McKenzie — book author.
  20. James Grant — book author, investment analysis, commentary.
  21. Bruce Caldwell — book author, book editor.
  22. Roger Pilon — commentary.
  23. Michelle Malkin — blogger, commentary.
  24. Nassim Taleb — book author.
  25. D. W. Mackenzie — Amazon book reviewer.
  26. Leonard Liggio — think tank vice president.
  27. Ayaan Hirsi Ali — book author, public intellectual.
  28. Todd Zywikki — blogger.
  29. Steve Hanke — commentary.
  30. Joaquin Fuster — book author, lecturer.

UPDATE:  Lots of feedback is coming in.  Stacy McCain suggests adding Michelle Malkin.  Many in the comments section wonder why Ron Paul was left off the list.  An error on my part, likely.  Does Rush Limbaugh belong on the list?  You tell me.  A student of Richard Ebeling and Bob Murphy suggests adding not only Ron Paul, but also Israel Kirzner, Bruce Caldwell, Doug Bandow, Ivan Pongracic, Paul Cwik, and Larry Reed.  Jonah Goldberg believes Virginia Postrel belongs much higher on the list.  He’s probably right.

UPDATE II:  Many more comments on my list over at the Mises Blog.

UPDATE III:   Should Newt be voted off the Hayek island?  A sentiment for taking Newt off the list builds.

Van Eswara writes:  “Prof Edmund Phelps needs to be included. He has started a whole research center around Capitalism, gives much praise to the Hayekian insights, and in fact spends a lot of time talking up Hayek in his Nobel speech.”

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60 Responses to Who Are The Top Hayekian Public Intellectuals in America?

  1. paul Zeagler says:

    A number of people on the list are conservative. Hayek is a classical liberal. In the postscript of Constitution of Liberty he wrote why he he is not a conservative. This should narow the list.


  2. spokelement says:

    Does Dick Armey belong on this list? How about some of the younger free market politicians that seem to be fighting the good fight, like Paul Ryan, Mich Cantor, and maybe Paul Toomey?

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  4. To the folks in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and students in Wisconsin and Iowa, Patrick Barron is the Austrian Economics nonpariel. His address to the European Parliament was classical.

  5. To read Hayekian Intellectual Patrick Barron’s blogs— http://www.patrickbarron.blogspot.com
    Barron will stimulate and satisfy a thirsty conservative mind.
    Thank you, Alex F Wysocki

  6. That Patrick Barron should be on the list of Hayekian Intellectuals, all one needs to do is read his essays on—
    { http://www.patrickbarron.blogspot.com }
    Cheers from the USA, Alex F Wysocki

  7. Diane Borawski says:

    Where is Larry Schweikart? His book, THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVENTURE, is absolutely wonderful; a defense of not only the small business owner, but also big business moguls. His 48 LIBERAL LIES gets down to actual facts–unlike what we are hearing from the MSM and, more importantly, what is being adopted by school corporations all over America.

  8. Javier says:

    How anyone can seriously think that Mark Levin is higher up than Tom Woods, Roberts Higgs, Murphy, or Schiff just blows my mind away. This list strikes me as a comedy routine than as a serious effort to rank serious thinkers which Levin is not. His latest book is a third rate attempt to be a real defense of liberty. His citations are secondary sources anyone can get off the book shelf at a Barnes and Noble. Compare his weak book with Wood’s Meltdown, Higgs’ Against Leviathan, Crisis and Leviathan,and Depression, War, and the Cold War. Murphy’s Scores of articles and his two popular Politically Incorrect Books have a deeper bibliography than Levin’s. Schiff’s writings are also hard core. This list reflects the serious ignorance that most folks here have about who are the serious defenders of the markets. Having said that this may be seen as an acurate list since in many ways the writers I mentioned are probabley much more anti-statist and libertarian then Hayek was and therefore from that viepoint they may be seen as less Hayekian and more Miseian. But I doubt that folks here were thinking that way. Limbaugh? Cmon folks this is just too much. Just because you can summarize and defend Hayek shoudln’t qualify you as an “intellectual”. Then in that case Im the greatest Hayekian of all time!

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