The Teenage Murray Rothbard

[Editors note: Recently the Mises Institute received a box of documents belonging to Murray Rothbard from our friend Justin Raimondo. We will make new material available online as we work through the collection. The following is an autobiographical essay written while Murray was still a high school student. Fans of Rothbard will not only appreciate some of the personal details about his parents and upbringing, but also how his formative years clearly influenced his later work, including his critiques of public education. He also offers some of his political views he held during World War II, long before he became “Mr. Libertarian.”]

My Parents and Their Influence 

In order to understand the magnitude of the influence exerted on me by my parents, it is necessary to learn something of their character and background.

My father has a very interesting and complex character, combined with a vivid background. Born near Warsaw, in Poland, he was brought up in an environment of orthodox and often fanatical Jews who isolated themselves from the Poles around them, and steeped themselves and their children in Hebrew lore. As is common with lower middle class families, there were some people who were eager to better their lot and acquire culture and western civilization. One example was my grandmother, whose ambition was confined primarily to her children, whom she imbued with her own unfulfilled cravings.

Man, Economy, and Stat…
Murray N. Rothbard
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