By Frédéric Bastiat
I must have been forty years old before reading Frederic Bastiat’s classic
The Law. An anonymous person, to whom I shall eternally be in debt, mailed me an unsolicited copy. After reading the book I was convinced that a liberal-arts education without an encounter with Bastiat is incomplete. Reading Bastiat made me keenly aware of all the time wasted, along with the frustrations of going down one blind alley after another, organizing my philosophy of life.
The Law did not produce a philosophical conversion for me as much as it created order in my thinking about liberty and just human conduct. [From the Introduction by Walter E. Williams.]
Dean Russell, trans.
First Pub. Date
Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.
First published in French. 2nd edition. Introduction by Walter E. Williams, Foreword by Sheldon Richman, and "The Book and Author" by Bertrand de Jouvenel.
Translation and editorial content: Copyright ©: 1998 The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc. (FEE). All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. The Library of Economics and Liberty is grateful to FEE for permission to produce this book in electronic form.Picture of Frédéric Bastiat courtesy of The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.
by Dean Russell
This translation of
The Law was done by Dean Russell of The Foundation staff. His objective was an accurate rendering of Mr. Bastiat’s words and ideas into twentieth-century, idiomatic English.
A nineteenth-century translation of
The Law, made in 1853 in England by an unidentified contemporary of Mr. Bastiat, was of much value as a check against this translation. In addition, Dean Russell had his work reviewed by Bertrand de Jouvenel, the noted French economist, historian, and author who is also thoroughly familiar with the English language.
While Mr. de Jouvenel offered many valuable corrections and suggestions, it should be clearly understood that Dr. Russell bears full responsibility for the translation.
The parenthetical expressions and the italicized words throughout this book were supplied by Mr. Bastiat. All subheads and bracketed material were supplied by the translator.