Ralph Raico

Ralph Raico [send him an email] is Professor Emeritus in European history at Buffalo State College and a senior fellow of the Mises Institute. He is a specialist on the history of liberty, the liberal tradition in Europe, and the relationship between war and the rise of the state. He is the author of The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton. His latest book is Great Wars and Great Leaders: A Libertarian Rebuttal. You can study the history of civilization under his guidance here: MP3-CD and Audio Tape



With the onset of war in Europe, hostilities began in the North Atlantic which eventually provided the context – or rather, pretext – for America's participation. Immediately, questions of the rights of neutrals and belligerents leapt to the fore. In 1909, an international conference had produced the Declaration of London, …

The changes wrought in America during the First World War were so profound that one scholar has referred to "the Wilsonian Revolution in government."[1] Like other revolutions, it was preceded by an intellectual transformation, as the philosophy of progressivism came to dominate political discourse.[2] Progressive notions – of …

World War One’s direct costs to the United States were: 130,000 combat deaths; 35,000 men permanently disabled; $33.5 billion (plus another $13 billion in veterans' benefits and interest on the war debt, as of 1931, all in the dollars of those years); perhaps also some portion of the 500,000 influenza …

Wherever blame for the war might lie, for the immense majority of Americans in 1914 it was just another of the European horrors from which our policy of neutrality, set forth by the Founding Fathers of the Republic, had kept us free. Pašić, Sazonov, Conrad, Poincaré, Moltke, Edward Grey, and …

I’ve just watched for about the third time the 1962 film, The Longest Day, a great action movie on the Allied invasion of Normandy. Among its several pluses: an all-star male cast, including a young Sean Connery, as well as a brief segment starring a seriously good-looking woman bearing a …

The most spectacular episode of Harry Truman's presidency will never be forgotten but will be forever linked to his name: the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and of Nagasaki three days later. Probably around two hundred thousand persons were killed in the attacks and through radiation poisoning; …

These are boom times for histories of World War I. Like its sequel, though to a lesser degree, it seems to be the war that never ends...

Churchill as Icon When Professor Harry Jaffa proposed that Winston Churchill was not only the Man of the Twentieth Century but The Man of Many Centuries,[1] he found that many agreed with him. I did not. Personally, Man of Many Centuries sounds absurd. Was Winnie greater than Bismarck, than …

Embroiling America in War — Again In September 1939, Britain went to war with Germany, pursuant to the guarantee which Chamberlain had been panicked into extending to Poland in March. Lloyd George had termed the guarantee "hare-brained," while Churchill had supported it. Nonetheless, in his history of the war Churchill …

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark, HarperCollins, New York 2013, 697pp. The question of the causes of the outbreak of the First World War—known for many years during and afterwards as the Great War—is probably the most hotly contested in the whole history of …

The immediate origins of the 1914 war lie in the twisted politics of the Kingdom of Serbia.[1] In June, 1903, Serbian army officers murdered their king and queen in the palace and threw their bodies out a window, at the same time massacring various royal relations, cabinet ministers, and …

Not long ago a German friend remarked to me, jokingly, that he imagined the only things American college students were apt to associate with Germany nowadays were beer, Lederhosen, and the Nazis. I replied that, basically, there was only one thing that Americans, whether college students or not, associated with …

In 1783 the treaty ending hostilities between Great Britain and its rebellious colonies along the eastern seaboard of North America was signed in Paris. For their part the English proclaimed that, “His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations ...” …

The year 1898 was a landmark in American history. It was the year America went to war with Spain – our first engagement with a foreign enemy in the dawning age of modern warfare. Aside from a few scant periods of retrenchment, we have been embroiled in foreign politics ever …

"Speaking truth to power" is not easy when you support that power. Perhaps this is the reason why so few Western historians are willing to tell the whole truth about state crimes during this century. Last fall [1988 —Ed.] the Moscow News reported the discovery by two archaeologist-historians of mass …

Leon Trotsky. By Irving Howe. Viking Press, 1978, 214 pages. Leon Trotsky has always had a certain appeal for intellectuals that the other Bolshevik leaders lacked. The reasons for this are clear enough. He was a writer, an occasional literary critic — according to Irving Howe, a very good one …