David Hart is an historian and a libertarian with interests in the history of the classical liberal tradition (especially the 19th century French political economists and the English Levellers), classical liberal / libertarian theory of class analysis, war and culture, and history and film.
He was born and raised in Sydney, Australia but left these shores as soon as he could to study in Germany, the U.S., the U.K., and the U.S. again. Along the way, David acquired a BA Honours degree from Macquarie University in Sydney, a masters from Stanford University in California, and a PhD from King’s College, Cambridge.
David eventually ended up in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide in South Australia where he taught for 15 years before moving to the US. There, he designed, built and managed the award-winning website “The Online Liberty of Liberty” for a non-profit educational foundation between 2001 and 2019. He is now an independent scholar and a keen observer of a large recreational waterway in the Northern Beaches region of Sydney.
I have four projects currently underway:
- editing and putting online a growing collection of the “Great Books” of the Western Tradition generally, and more specifically a collection of the “Great Books of Liberty”;
- turning a series of lectures into a book on the history of the classical liberal tradition by focusing on “ideas”, i.e. what liberals were “for” and what they were “against”, and “movements”, i.e. how they organised to put their ideas into practice, the strategies they adopted to do this, and their many success as well as failures.
- expanding a long monograph on classical liberal class analysis into a book which will examine what I believe has been a core belief of liberals from the very beginning, which predated Marxist and socialist theories of class by a couple of centuries, and which is a more coherent and complete account of exploitation and class rule than other theories of class
- continuing to explore the tradition of the “Paris School” of political economy in the 19th century with the intention of turning another long monograph into a book
I consider myself to be an “educator” and “learner” rather than a teacher. I see my role as helping young people become aware of their ignorance, prejudices, and erroneous beliefs by exposing them to the best and worst of human behaviour and thinking over long periods of time. Along the way, they help me become more aware of my own ignorance, prejudices, and erroneous beliefs. The hope is that together we can do something to rectify the situation by “building a freer and better world, one idea at a time.”
French, German, Latin - not spoken so much as read. Fluent in several dialects of English: Australian, British, and American.
- the history of the classical liberal tradition (especially the 19th century French political economists and the English Levellers),
- classical liberal / libertarian theory of class analysis,
- war and culture,
- history and film.
Some of my books, papers, talks and lectures: <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Index-Pages/papers.html>
An overview of what is on my website “The Digital Library of Liberty & Power: A Collection of Texts on the Intellectual Battle between Individual Liberty and Political Power” <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/index.html>
Recent additions to the website this year <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Index-Pages/recent-additions.html>. Last year <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Index-Pages/recent-additions-2022.html>
My growing library of key texts in the 500 hundred year evolution of the theory and practice of liberty: “The Guillaumin Collection” <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Books/index.html>. These texts are presented in their original language (English, French, or German), and are based upon either the first edition or the last edition published in the author’s lifetime. These books have been richly coded and have the original page numbers of the text, and a “citation tool” to help scholars cite a particular passage.
My bog “Reflections on Liberty and Power” <http://davidmhart.com/wordpress/>
My interest in the Great Books programs (plural); that of the “Western Tradition” as well as “The Great Books of Liberty.” <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/index.html#great-books>
My work on the “Paris School” of political economy during the 19th century <http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Index-Pages/paris-school.html>
History, Ph.D., University of Cambridge
Award Date: 16 Jul 1994
History, M.A., Stanford University
Award Date: 1 Jun 1983
History, BA (Hons), Macquarie University
Award Date: 1 Dec 1979
Director, Online Library of Liberty, Liberty Fund
2001 → 2019
Lecturer, University of Adelaide
1986 → 2001
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