Liberty Fund's new six-volume The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat series, of which The Man and the Statesman is the first volume, may be considered the most complete edition of Bastiat's works published to date, in any country, and in any language. The main source for this translation is the seven-volume Oeuvres complètes de Frédéric Bastiat, published in the 1850s and 1860s.
The present volume, most of which has never before been translated into English, includes Bastiat's complete correspondence: 207 letters Bastiat wrote between 1819, when he was only 18 years old, until just a few days before his untimely death in 1850 at the age of 49. For contemporary classical liberals, Bastiat's correspondence will provide a unique window into a long-forgotten world where opposition to war and colonialism went hand-in-hand with support for free trade and deregulation. Bastiat's numerous letters to Richard Cobden, a Member of Parliament and best known today as the leader of the British Anti-Corn Law League, chronicle the profound effect the Anti-Corn League had on Bastiat. The League's success in mobilizing a popular movement in England to pressure the British government into abolishing the very protectionist "corn laws," in 1846, inspired Bastiat to emulate the League's success in France by starting his own free-trade movement.
The Man and the Statesman also includes articles and other writings on politics and current events that showcase Bastiat's talent as a theoretician, a pamphleteer, a journalist, and a deputy (Member of Parliament) of the nascent French Second Republic. Together with the correspondence, the writings in this volume fill an important gap in our understanding of the lesser-known Bastiat, who, in just a few short years, made a profound impact on French intellectual and political life in Paris.
Forthcoming titles in The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat series include:
*"The Law," "The State," and Other Political Writings, 1843-1850
Economic Sophisms and "What is Seen and What is Not Seen"
Miscellaneous Works on Economics: From "Jacques-Bonhomme" to Le Journal des* *Économistes
The Struggle Against Protectionism: The English and French Free-Trade Movements*
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) was born in the French port city of Bayonne and became one of the leading advocates of free markets and free trade in the mid-nineteenth century. A theorist of classical liberal political economy and an elected member of various French political bodies, he opposed both protectionism and the rise of socialist ideas.
Jacques de Guenin is president of the Cercle Frédéric Bastiat. He is a graduate of the École des Mines in Paris and holds a Master of Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean is a historian from the University of Bordeaux and a Bastiat scholar.
Dennis O'Keeffe is Professor of Social Science at the University of Buckingham, Buckingham, England, and is Senior Research Fellow in Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London.
David M. Hart received a Ph.D. in history from King's College, Cambridge, and is the Director of Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty Project.