phil magness vs. nancy maclean: a knockout punch?

James Buchanan is not really that well known among economists. He is a boring speaker and a dense writer.

Milton Friedman will be turning in his grave if he discovered that all that work he put into newspapers and TV was a waste of time because James Buchanan was secretly running everything from his desk by doing nothing

nutter home school photo sept 1958 found by magness.jpgParents in Virginia continued to hold classes after segregationists successfully closed public schools. In September 1958,  UPI circulated this story about Virginia parents who opposed segregation and continued to hold classes in the home of economist Warren Nutter.

Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains, on James Buchanan and public choice makes a very disturbing claim. Namely, that James Buchanan, and other public choice scholars, were aligned with segregationists. If true, this is very important to know. But if it is false, the record needs to be cleared up. Immediately.

Phil Magness has been on a year long mission to verify and critique MacLean’s book. More so than any other critic, Magness has spent hour after hour hunting down sources and finding  new materials. In case after case, he finds errors. Some minor, some egregious. Phil recently announced that he’s found direct evidence that one of MacLean’s major historical claims…

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