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MEI collection highlights the contributions of classical liberal thinkers

Montreal, January 24, 2019 – The MEI is releasing a booklet today entitled 18 Essential Classical Liberal Thinkers that summarizes, using accessible language, the thought and contributions of some of the main classical liberal economists and intellectuals of the past century and a half.

“This publication serves our mission of economic education,” explains Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI. “The ideas of John Locke, Adam Smith, and Jean-Baptiste Say are not new. However, numerous thinkers have, more recently, made significant contributions to the vast body of knowledge that is classical liberal thought. They are the ones profiled in the collection we’re publishing today.”

The booklet contains short essays on the thought of Carl Menger, Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek, Mario Vargas Llosa, Deirdre McCloskey, Lawrence White, and Peter Boettke, among others. It is a window into the classical liberal universe as it stands today, seen through the eyes of its standard bearers, several of whom were awarded the Nobel Prize for their accomplishments.

Classical liberalism advocates civil liberties and the rule of law. It is generally understood to encompass free trade, the protection of private property, and limited government intervention in the economy, along with freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press.

“I am convinced that professors, students, and others will be interested in the content of this booklet, whether out of simple curiosity or for use in their work. The advancement of knowledge and the improvement of society depend on a better understanding of the ideas that have helped shape the modern world,” concludes Michel Kelly-Gagnon.

The booklet 18 Essential Classical Liberal Thinkers, illustrated with photos of each of the thinkers, is available online on the MEI’s website.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications and media appearances, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing reforms based on market principles and entrepreneurship.


Interview requests: Pascale Déry, Vice President, Communications and Development, MEI. Tel.: 514-273-0969 ext. 2233 / Cell: 514-502-6757 / Email: pdery@iedm.org

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