The essays in Economic Sophisms have come to be recognized as among the most cogent and persuasive refutations of the major fallacies of protectionism-fallacies that are still with us today and that will continue to crop up as long as the public remains uninstructed.
The great lesson that all these essays teach, in one form or another, is the necessity of always looking at economic questions from the point of view of the consumer, rather than that of the producer.
With an introduction by Henry Hazlitt, the notes of the French editor, and explanatory comments by the translator designed to elucidate all references that the modern reader might find obscure, this edition contains abundant cross references to the two other works of Bastiat, Selected Essays on Political Economy and Economic Harmonies, also available from the Foundation for Economic Education.
Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) was a French economist, statesman, and author. He was the leader of the free-trade movement in France from its inception in 1840 until his untimely death in 1850. The first 45 years of his life were spent in preparation for five tremendously productive years writing in favor of freedom. Bastiat was the founder of the weekly newspaper Le Libre Échange, a contributor to numerous periodicals, and the author of sundry pamphlets and speeches dealing with the pressing issues of his day. Most of his writing was done in the years directly before and after the Revolution of 1848-a time when France was rapidly embracing socialism. As a deputy in the Legislative Assembly, Bastiat fought valiantly for the private property order, but unfortunately the majority of his colleagues chose to ignore him. Frédéric Bastiat remains one of the great champions of freedom whose writings retain their relevance.