I wish I could just instantly share with you everything I know about the history of political power in America.
I’ve been listening to a series of lectures on American History given by Professor Murray Rothbard back in the 1980’s – you’ll never find anything like this anywhere. It is so mind blowing I can guarantee there will be parts that have you falling out of your chair.
If you like political dirt, no one does political dirt like Rothbard – no one. This guy digs up all the goods on everyone. This guy mapped out all of the political-business connections between anyone of any significance in American history for the past 200 years.
You’ll hear stuff like the difference between the Hyde Park Roosevelts and the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, how the Morgans and Rockefellers came to power, who married who and for what reasons, which politicians were aligned with what corporations, how and why the railroad tycoons rose to dominate the political landscape, which politicians were taking kickbacks from what corporations, the real history of prohibition and why it was so important as a political tool, etc.. etc.. etc..
Rothbard gives a series of 13 lectures, averaging around an hour and half each. So roughly 20 hours of absolutely the most insane history you’ll ever hear in your life. This is all the crap the History Channel isn’t going to teach you.
Here’s a small example of the dirt you’ll learn:
-The railroads were put together almost entirely by political interests. The railroad builders would give the politicians stock in the construction firms responsible for building the rails – which were paid by the mile, not based on how efficient the route they created was. The construction was then heavily subsidized by tax dollars.
-The railroad owners were then granted huge amounts of land through eminent domain. All the land within 100 miles on either side of any track they laid was handed to them for free.
-If people wanted to live close to the railroad (which was like a highway today), they had to buy the land from the railroads.
-The railroads themselves were all money losers, but all the money generated from their construction went directly into the pockets of politicians and rail tycoons.
This historical lecture series will smash any myths you may have had about certain politicians being “good” and others being “bad”. – they are all bad. A trend that continues today.
You can listen to the lecture series free on the web here:
-START AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST AND WORK YOUR WAY UP-
The American Economy and the End of Laissez-Faire: 1870 to World War II
A series of lectures by Murray Rothbard
Presented in Fall 1986 at New York Polytechnic University. Recorded by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.
You can also download the entire series for free from the Mises Institute’s iTunes University page and play it on your MP3 player:
Everyone needs to hear this lecture series.
It will open your eyes to what real politics is all about.