Woods in February 2011
Thomas Ernest Woods Jr.
August 1, 1972
|Alma mater|| Harvard University (A.B., 1994)|
Columbia University (M.Phil., Ph.D.)
|Influences||Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ralph Raico, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Stefan Molyneux, H. L. Mencken, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Lew Rockwell, Walter Block, Robert Nisbet, Thomas Sowell, Scott Horton, Gene Epstein, Andrew Napolitano, Michael Malice|
Thomas Ernest Woods Jr. (born August 1, 1972) is an American author, historian and libertarian who is currently a senior fellow at the Mises Institute.Woods is a New York Times Best-Selling author and has published twelve books. He has written extensively on subjects including the history of the United States, Catholicism, contemporary politics, and economics. Although not an economist himself, Woods is a proponent of the Austrian School of economics. He hosts a daily podcast, The Tom Woods Show, and he formerly co-hosted the now defunct Contra Krugman .
Since completing his doctorate in history from Columbia University in 2000, Woods has mostly written for political and popular audiences. He first received media attention for writing the Politically Incorrect Guide to American History in 2004, which promoted a paleolibertarian interpretation of American history and was a New York Times bestseller.His subsequent writing has focused on promoting libertarian economics and political philosophy, and libertarian political figures such as former Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul. His 2009 book Meltdown , which attempted to exonerate free markets from blame in the 2008 economic crisis, also became a New York Times bestseller.
Woods was a founding member of the League of the South, a white supremacist and neo-Confederate organization which spreads conspiracy theories about Jews.Woods has also defended the position of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War and condemned the 19th-century abolitionist movement. Woods has argued that the League has changed its politics and was not racist or anti-semitic when he co-founded it in 1994.
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Woods holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, all in history. He is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and a member of the editorial board for the Institute's Libertarian Papers .Woods was an ISI Richard M. Weaver Fellow in 1995 and 1996. He received the 2004 O.P. Alford III Prize for Libertarian Scholarship and an Olive W. Garvey Fellowship from the Independent Institute in 2003. Woods received the 2019 Hayek lifetime achievement award from the Austrian Economics Center. He has additionally been awarded two Humane Studies Fellowships and a Claude R. Lambe Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. His 2005 book, The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, won the $50,000 first prize in the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards.
Woods is the author of twelve books. His book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History was on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperbacks in 2005.His 2009 book Meltdown also made the bestseller list in 2009. His writing has been published in numerous popular and scholarly periodicals, including the American Historical Review , the Christian Science Monitor , Investor's Business Daily , Modern Age , American Studies, Journal of Markets & Morality, New Oxford Review, The Freeman , Independent Review , Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines, AD2000, Crisis, Human Rights Review, Catholic Historical Review, the Catholic Social Science Review and The American Conservative .
Woods is a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist and paleolibertarian.
In a 1997 essay for the Southern Patriot (the League of the South's journal), Woods characterized 19th-century abolitionists as "utterly reprehensible agitators who put metaphysical abstractions ahead of prudence, charity, and rationality".
In an article for the Southern Partisan magazine in 1997 Woods writes: "The Bill of Rights, moreover, erroneously invoked by modern Civil Libertarians, was never intended to protect individuals from the state governments. Jefferson is far from alone in insisting that only the federal government is restricted from regulating the press, church-state relations, and so forth. The states may do as they wish in these areas."
Jake Jacobs, a conservative author and historian critical of Woods views argues that Woods's interpretation of the Bill of Rights fetishizes states' rights, and promotes them at the expense of the rights of individuals.
Woods was received into the Roman Catholic Church from Lutheranism.He wrote How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. For eleven years, he was associate editor of thr Latin Mass Magazine , which advocates traditional Catholicism. As a traditionalist Catholic, Woods is also recognized for his books attacking the post-Vatican II church. Woods advocates what he calls the Old Latin Mass and cultural conservatism.
Woods is a former neoconservative and has been critical of neoconservative support for an aggressive and interventionist foreign policy. In place of this, he has advocated non-intervention.
Woods makes a sharp distinction between paleoconservative thinkers, with whom he sympathizes,and neoconservative thinkers. In articles, lectures and interviews Woods traces the intellectual and political distinction between the older conservative, or paleoconservative, school of thought and the neoconservative school of thought.
These views have provoked a strong response from some conservatives. On the release of Woods' Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, the book was scathingly reviewed by Max Bootof The Weekly Standard . Boot accused Woods of being overly sympathetic with Southerners such as John C. Calhoun for his thoughts on a state's right to secede and state nullification (though northern politicians also advocated for nullification), while exaggerating the militarism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Bill Clinton. James Haley's Weekly Standard review of the book, in contrast, stated that it "provides a compelling rebuttal to the liberal sentiment encrusted upon current history texts..." the book is "ultimately about truth" and "[t]his is a book everyone interested in American history should have in his library". Woods concluded his reply to Boot's review by saying "[s]ince in my judgment Max Boot embodies everything that is wrong with modern conservatism, his opposition is about the best endorsement I could have asked for".
This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. (July 2020)
Woods is a controversial figure in the libertarian movement, owing to his alignment with paleoconservatism, the ideas and legacy of Murray Rothbard, and the Mises Institute. In 1994, Woods was a founding member of the League of the South for which he has been criticized. Woods has argued that the League has changed its politics and was not racist or anti-semitic in 1994.
Since September 2013, Woods has delivered a daily podcast, The Tom Woods Show, originally hosted on investment broker Peter Schiff's website. On the podcasts, which are now archived on Woods' own website, Woods conducts interviews on economic topics, foreign policy, and history.
In September 2015, Woods began Contra Krugman, a weekly podcast, with economist Robert P. Murphy that critiques The New York Times columns of economist Paul Krugman by analyzing Krugman's viewpoints through the lens of free market Austrian economics. The podcast sought to teach economics "by uncovering and dissecting the errors of Krugman."The podcast released its final episode on June 11, 2020.
...Mr. Woods, one of the founding members of the League of the South.
...the League of the South, a Southern nationalist organization of which Dr. Woods boasts he is a founding member. (The organization was formed in 1994; Dr. Woods was present at the founding and became a member of the League's Membership Committee, which was headed by the League's President, Michael Hill.) Dr. Woods has been a frequent contributor to the League's journal, The Southern Patriot, and has spoken at its conventions. (He has also spoken at similar meetings of other organizations, like the Southern Historical Conference and Bonnie Blue Ball, where he shared the lectern with speakers on the "Myths and Realities of American Slavery" and "Why Slaves Fought for Their South.")
It would include Dr. Woods' insistence that nineteenth century slavery abolitionists were "not noble crusaders whose one flaw was a tendency toward extremism, but utterly reprehensible agitators who put metaphysical abstractions ahead of prudence, charity, and rationality." It would include Dr. Woods' endorsement (in an essay appealingly entitled "Christendom's Last Stand") of the view that whereas those who sought the abolition of slavery were "atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, [and] jacobins, those who owned slaves were "friends of order and regulated freedom."
My personal favorite in this list is Martin Luther because I, myself, am a former Lutheran.
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