Saturday, June 7, 2008

Some questions on Market for Liberty

I received a couple of questions over the last couple of weeks regarding the classic book The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill and thought I’d answer them here for the benefit of everyone.

One writer wanted to know if it was true that Linda and Morris Tannehill were pseudonyms and that the real authors were Dirk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. The other asked about what versions of the book exist. I’ll answer in that order.

I can assure the readers that Linda and Morris Tannehill were real people and the legitimate names of the authors. I recently read the files of correspondence between Laissez Faire Books and the Tannehills. Linda and Morris had split up as a couple and apparently Linda remarried. They were living in different states.

I was familiarizing myself with the history of the contract between LFB and the Tannehills since LFB republished the book in 1994 after purchasing the rights from the Tannehills. I saw letters from Linda and Morris and even have the photocopies of the payments they received when they sold LFB the rights to The Market for Liberty.

That brings us to question number two. There have only been two legitimate editions of The Market for Liberty -- if there are others floating around they would be pirated editions and actually the theft of LFB property (depending on when that was done).

The first legitimate edition was the one which the Tannehills published themselves. It was a paperback edition and printed with a yellow paper cover. If memory serves me it said it was printed in Michigan which is where they lived at the time.

The LFB edition of the book was a stark black cover. Those are the two legitimate editions. The first was published by the Tannehills, the authors and thus copyright holders. Later they sold the rights to the book to LFB. If there is another one I have not yet seen it. If it was printed years ago then it was the violation of the property right of the Tannehills. If it was printed recently then they have stolen LFB property.

By the way if you have one of the originals I would estimate its value at around $40 to $50.


Michael said...

I have the Fox & Wilkes edition from 1993, and I believe it has a purple cover. Certainly not a 'stark black' cover.

What about the edition put out by the Ludwig von Mises Institute?

LFB said...

Michael: If there is an edition put out by anyone else it is done in violation of rights. LFB purchased the rights from the Tannehills we have the photocopies of the cheques and the correspondence regarding this. We have not been contacted by anyone asking for permission to reprint the book so outside the edition by the Tannehills and the LFB edition (Fox and Wilkes was an LFB imprint) there are no legitimate editions.

The Fox & Wilkes edition is black and we have a few in stock. Perhaps there was some discoloration in one but I've never seen a purple edition.

Per Bylund said...

I would like to add that Linda and Morris contributed in different ways to TMFL. While Morris was the thinker and the pioneering mind, he did not have the patience nor the skill to write a book. The book was thus written mostly by Linda, while the ideas were mostly Morris'.

How do I know this? Simply because I've read number of Morris' letters and heard quite a few stories of how the book was written from a very good friend of mine. My friend was a friend of the Tannehills and also contributed to the TMFL - he is mentioned as Anthony I. S. Alexander in the Acknowledgements section of the book.

Russell Hanneken said...

I worked for LFB from 1995 to (I think) 2001, and I actually recall there being two different covers for the Fox & Wilkes edition of The Market for Liberty.

I can't quite remember what the first cover looked like, but my impression is that it was sort of brown. Maybe Michael is right and it was purple.

(On the other hand, my friend David Brooks doesn't remember that cover, and you'd think he would know about it, since he was the guy who did most of the work on the Fox & Wilkes projects, at least while I was there. I suppose I could be misremembering, but I'm not convinced of that yet.)

At some point we reprinted it, and the new printing had a different cover. It resembled the "stark black" cover you depict, but it had a big gray circle-A behind the lettering. I have a copy with that cover sitting in front of me right now.

The stark black cover is new to me. Perhaps Kathleen reprinted the book after she took over the company?

Russell Hanneken said...

I spoke to Andrea Rich and Anita Anderson yesterday. They both support my recollection that the Fox & Wilkes Market for Liberty went through two different covers. Andrea said the first cover had a "brick" pattern. That sounds right. Neither of them knew about the "stark black" version.

Anders Monsen said...

I have a stark black hardcover edition published by LFB from 1984. The inside cover states: "Reprint edition 1984 by Laissez Faire Books. Copyright 1970 by Morris and Linda Tannehill.
First Printing: March 1970
New edition printed November, 1984"
The foreword is by Karl Hess and the introduction by Douglas Casey. If there is a purple cover, might that be for the 1990s edition(s)?