The Turgot Collection: Writings, Speeches, and Letters of Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune
This outstanding book was ten years in the making, but it is finally here and the result is startling. It is a pocket edition, super economical, 525 pages of Turgot – the bulk of his life’s work, all beautifully organized.
He might have been the key influence on Jefferson but, in any case, he certainly was the great French liberal of the 18th century, not only a proto-Austrian but also a fantastic defender of human liberty in every respect.
Of course the book includes his famed and pioneering "Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth." But this volume covers economics, history, social theory, philosophy, and even religion. It also includes his correspondence with Voltaire, Hume, Condorcet, and others.
You will find yourself wrapped up in his worldview and thinking like a liberal French aristocrat of the time. Murray Rothbard's brilliant essay on Turgot is the preface. David Gordon wrote the lucid and helpful introductions to each section. Here you find not only his economics but his theory of history and life itself.
Turgot might be the greatest, least known of the enlightenment liberals. This volume should certainly contribute to making a revival possible.
As Murray Rothbard writes:
"Not only was Turgot a busy administrator, but his intellectual interests were wide-ranging, and most of his spare time was spent reading and writing, not in economics, but in history, literature, philology, and the natural sciences. His contributions to economics were brief, scattered, and hasty. His most famous work, “Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth” (1766), comprised only fifty-three pages. This brevity only highlights the great contributions to economics made by this remarkable man. In the history of thought, the style is often the man, and Turgot’s clarity and lucidity of style mirrors the virtues of his thought, and contrasts refreshingly to the prolix and turgid prose of the physiocrat school.
Introduction by Murray N. Rothbard
PART I: ECONOMICS
1. Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth
2. Letter to l’Abbé de Cicé, since then Bishop of Auxerre, on the Replacing of Money by Paper. Also Known as the “Letter on Paper-Money”
3. Remarks on the Notes to the Translation of Josiah Child
4. Fairs and Markets
5. In Praise of Gournay
6. Observations on a Paper by Saint-Péravey
7. Observations on the Paper by Graslin
8. Value and Money
9. Plan for a Paper on Taxation
10. Extracts from “Paper on Lending at Interest”
11. Extracts from “Letters on the Grain Trade”
12. Letter to l’Abbé Terray on the “Marque des Fers"
13. Six Projects of Edicts Which Suppresses the Corvée and Decrees the Construction of Highways for a Money Price Decreeing the Suppression of Craft-Guilds Which Repeals Certain Rules Concerning Grain Products Enacting the Suppression of the Exchange of Poissy Enacting a Change and Modification of Taxes on Suet Enacting the Suppression of Offices Connected with the Ports, Quays, Stalls and Markets of Paris
PART II: PHILOSOPHY
14. A Philosophical Review of the Successive Advances of the Human Mind
15. On Universal History
PART III: SOCIAL QUESTIONS
16. On Some Social Questions, Including the Education of the Young
17. Local Government and National Education
18. Religious Liberty “Le conciliateur”
19. Religious Equality 20. Endowments
PART IV: CORRESPONDENCE
To David Hume
To Mlle. de Lespinasse
To Abbé Morellet
To Dr. Josiah Tucker
To Dr. Richard Price
To du Pont
Appendix: Miscellaneous Extracts Sources Index