Editor of Libertarian Review (1977-1981) and lead book reviewer for Laissez Faire Books (1984-1992)

Reference

Roy Childs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Roy A. Childs, Jr. (4 January 1949 – 22 May 1992) was an American libertarian essayist and critic. Childs counted among his early influences Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises, Rose Wilder Lane, and Robert LeFevre. In his essay, 'An Open Letter to Ayn Rand,' Childs rejected Objectivism as being true libertarianism, asserting that the establishment of government is in violation of self-ownership and the non-aggression principle. ..."

Images

TheAdvocates.org - Roy A. Childs Jr.
200x223 JPEG, grayscale

Born

4 Jan 1949, in Buffalo, New York

Died

22 May 1992, in Miami

Biography

Laissez Faire Books
Adapted from Joan Kennedy Taylor's "Biographical Sketch" in Liberty Against Power: Essays by Roy A. Childs, Jr.
"Many people only know Roy as the premier book reviewer for Laissez Faire Books, a job that he did from 1984 until his death in May 1992. .... many people wrote Laissez Faire some variation on the following ... : 'I had so much respect for him that only the books he chose to review were considered worth reading by me.'"

Awards Received

1974 Garvey Fellow, granted by Independent Institute
Topic: "The Moral Imperative of the American Private Enterprise System of Risks and Rewards"

Associations

Book review editor, 1984-1992, Laissez Faire Books
Founding member, corresponding secretary, Radical Libertarian Alliance

Web Pages

Roy A. Childs Jr. - Libertarian
Biography (from Laissez Faire Books) and photo
"Roy A. Childs, Jr. ... claimed to have been interested in political issues since the age of nine, and a libertarian since 1964, when, he said, 'I counted myself as an anti-Cold War Goldwaterite.' He began reading some of the classics of libertarian thought when he was in high school ..."

Articles

Liberty Against Power: Essays by Roy A. Childs, Jr., by Doug Bandow, The Freeman, Jun 1995
Reviews the subject book, with articles by Roy Childs, collected and edited by Joan Kennedy Taylor
"A leading libertarian writer, editor, and activist, Roy was also a good friend and tough intellectual sparring partner to the famous, like Milton Friedman, and a generous mentor to the obscure, like any number of college students. ... Although his words had boomed forth at a multitude of conferences, seminars, and speeches, and leaped off the pages of Libertarian Review, Inquiry, movement newsletters, and mainstream newspapers, he never wrote a book."
Roy A. Childs, Jr. - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Quotes about Roy and Liberty against Power from Thomas Szasz, Ralph Raico, Milton Friedman and others
"From 1984 until his death in 1992, Roy was Laissez Faire Books: he was its editor, chief reviewer, and overall animating spirit. ... But some of Roy's fans may be unaware of his earlier career as a libertarian writer and lecturer, or of the immense influence his essays and talks exercised on the libertarian movement. Now Joan Kennedy Taylor has made available to us, and to future generations, the best of Roy's written thought."
In Memoriam [PDF], by Jeff Riggenbach, ALF News, 2006
Biographical essay covering Joan Kennedy Taylor's varied career
"In 1977, she returned to political writing, taking a position as an associate editor on another monthly, The Libertarian Review. Over the next few years, she would follow this publication, and its eccentric, gifted editor-in-chief, Roy A. Childs, Jr., across the country and back, from New York to San Francisco and from San Francisco to Washington, D.C."
Jeff Riggenbach on Samuel Edward Konkin III, by Jeff Riggenbach, Freedom Network News: The Journal of the International Society for Individual Liberty, 2004
Lengthy biographical and memorial essay
"The second generation was made up of intellectuals born in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Out of this second generation there were to come two great libertarian journalists – Roy A. Childs, Jr. (1949-1992) and Samuel Edward Konkin III (1947-2004). Both were to die too young. Childs has been suitably memorialized in print with a fine collection of his magazine and newsletter essays and reviews, Liberty Against Power (San Francisco: Fox & Wilkes, 1994)."
Total Victory: How Sweet It Is! [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, 1983
Lengthy account and commentary on the 1983 Libertarian Party presidential convention
"With his flair for the pomposo, Craniac Roy Childs, after the Presidential vote, announced his immediate and eternal departure from the Libertarian Party. ... Whether Roy will continue in his role as Minister of Hate and Disinformation for the Crane Machine, which consisted largely of calling up my friends in the LP and boozily denouncing me at great length as being the quintessence of evil, only time will tell."

Writings

A Guide to the Writings of Ludwig von Mises, Dec 1990
At the original Laissez Faire Books; a suggested approach to reading Mises works, starting off with Planning for Freedom and leaving Human Action nearly last
"The great social theorist Ludwig von Mises was born one hundred and ten years ago, published the majority of his important works before midcentury, and died nearly twenty years ago, at the end of a staggeringly productive life. ... Reading through these will give you one of the great experiences of a lifetime, an understanding of the world that you will treasure forever, and a commitment to liberty that will be as precious to you as life itself."
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises
Ayn Rand - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Excerpted from a review of Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand
"Ayn Rand's life was the stuff of fiction. Consider her saga: She was born in Czarist Russia, lived through the Bolshevik revolution, and vowed to go to America. Barely two years after graduating from university, she did so. In 1926 she arrived in New York City alone, with about $50 in her pocket. She spent some months with relatives in Chicago, and then made her way across the continent to Hollywood, where she worked at odd jobs—stuffing envelopes, waitressing in a diner, and running a studio wardrobe department—until she could make a financial success of her writing."
Related Topic: Ayn Rand
Big Business and the Rise of American Statism, Reason, Feb 1971
Originally a speech given at first convention of the Society for Individual Liberty, 15-16 Nov 1969
"In any case, we have seen that (a) the trend was not towards centralization at the close of the nineteenth century ...; (b) there was, in the case of the railroads anyway, no sharp dichotomy or antagonism between big businessmen and the progressive Movement's thrust for regulation; and (c) the purpose of the regulations, as seen by key business leaders, was not to fight the growth of 'monopoly' and centralization, but to foster it. The culmination of this big-business-sponsored 'reform' of the economic system is actually today's system."
Henry Hazlitt - Hero of the Day, The Daily Objectivist, 2000
Biographical essay
"Henry Hazlitt died on July 8, 1993, just sixteen months short of his one hundredth birthday. ... By any standard, he lived one hell of a life. Journalist, author, literary critic, reviewer, editor, economist, moral philosopher, and one of the premier intellectual entrepreneurs for liberty of the twentieth century."
Related Topic: Henry Hazlitt
H.L. Mencken: An Appreciation
Short note written for Laissez Faire Books
"Who else would ignore the 'proper' form of an obituary, and rake some poor deceased politician over the coals one last time as Mencken did with William Jennings Bryan or Teddy Roosevelt? Or move us, as with his reflections after Valentino's death? Or inspire generation after generation of writers and readers with his humanity, wit, wisdom and panache? He's the most provocative writer you'll ever encounter. Discover Mencken today."
Related Topic: Henry Louis Mencken
Objectivism and the State: An Open Letter to Ayn Rand, Individualist, Aug 1969
Published by the Society for Individual Liberty; responds to five of Rand's arguments in her essay "The Nature of Government"
"The purpose of this letter is to convert you to free market anarchism. ... why should you adopt free market anarchism after having endorsed the political state for so many years? Fundamentally, for the same reason you gave for withdrawing your sanction from Nathaniel Branden in an issue of The Objectivist: namely, you do not fake reality and never have."
Personal 'Freedom': Review of Harry Browne's How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World [PDF], The Libertarian Forum, Apr 1973
While admitting that the book has many valuable insights, Childs chastises Browne on his definition of freedom and his views on morality and natural rights
"This is a very mixed book. In substance, if not in intention, this is Harry Browne's answer to Objectivism. his own personal philosophy of life. Like all books of that sort, it is a mixture of brilliant insights and shallow sophisms. At the outset. it should be stated that Browne is at his best giving certain types of concrete advice concerning what he calls 'how you can be free'; he is at his worst when he attempts to theorize about things, and to place them in a wide semi-theoretical context."
Related Topic: Harry Browne
Reading the Literature of Liberty, May 1987
Childs' selection of "great books", including works by Hazlitt, Bastiat, Rose Wilder Lane, Nock, Ayn Rand, Friedman, Hayek, Rothbard, Mises and Nozick
"Any listing of the 'great books' of liberty published in recent times must necessarily be a personal one. Libertarianism is first and foremost the doctrine championing individual freedom, private property, unfettered capitalism, and free trade. As such, it has never been captured fully in any one book or essay. As a doctrine, it lies scattered throughout the pages of countless books and articles; as a point of view, it has many variations."
The System Builder, 1974
Foreword to the 1974 edition of Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature and Other Essays. Compares Rothbard to Karl Marx as a "system builder" of anarchist thought.
"To students of anarchist thought there is something else present here: the first anarchist social philosopher who not only is on the level of Marx in terms of scope and originality, but who is a libertarian as well. For Murray N. Rothbard was one of the first truly free-market anarchists, and the only one so far to put forward an original system of ideology. Whether one agrees with Rothbard or not, his ideas are both original in important ways and also significant."
Related Topic: Murray N. Rothbard
Henry Hazlitt: An Appreciation, by Richard M. Ebeling, Roy A. Childs, Jr., Nov 1985
Tribute to Hazlitt on his 91st birthday, reviews his career and works
"The hallmark of everything that has flowed from his pen has been clear thinking, rigorous logic, and an unflinching defense of the free society. His classic work, Economics in One Lesson (1946) has influenced three generations of both economists and the general public."
Related Topic: Henry Hazlitt

Publications

The Libertarian Review
July 1977 to 1981, editor

Books Authored

Liberty Against Power: Essays by Roy A. Childs, Jr.
    by Roy A. Childs, Jr., Thomas S. Szasz (Foreword), Joan Kennedy Taylor (Editor), 1 Dec 1994
19 essays on political philosophy, policy analysis and book and music reviews; topics include capitalism, objectivism, libertarianism, property rights, the draft and the war on drugs
Related Topic: Liberty

Videos


Roy A. Childs, Jr.: A Tribute to Bob LeFevre, 1986
Eulogy for LeFevre given at a Free Press Association dinner in New York
Related Topic: Robert LeFevre

Roy A. Childs, Jr.: The Radical Libertarian Vision, 11 Apr 1981
Talk given at the Libertarian Party 10th Anniversary National Convention; Childs presents his vision of what the Party should be emphasizing and trying to accomplish
Related Topic: Libertarianism