Public Life Private Thoughts: A Memoir

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He had lost everything. His library had been burned. His papers were missing. He had no money.

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He would have to start over, writing and speaking in a new language. Making this transition would require all his moral courage. As he looked back over his life, he wrote the most moving, personal work ever to bear his name. It is one of the most inspiring books ever written by an intellectual—and it happens to be by one of the greatest intellectuals of all time. There is anger in this book but also inspiration. What strikes the reader is how Mises never lost his focus on the battle of ideas.

The enemies in this book are bad ideas. The answer, however, is not war or revolution or a new form of rule. For him, the path to liberty is through the right ideas. In this sense, this book is incredibly high minded, revealing his nobility and intellectual commitments to truth.

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Mises writes about his time as an economic advisor to Austrian officials; his battles against Bolshevism and the inflationism; and his attempts to prevent New Deal-like policies in Europe. He talks about his teaching and his seminar.

That’s Rufus – McFarland

He discusses corrupt politicians and central bankers, and all the shills for statism in academia and the media. He had almost singlehandedly stopped a Bolshevik takeover, and stopped Austria from following Germany into the inflationist abyss. And here he even writes of his one regret—that he compromised more than he should have!

The vault that held Mises's manuscript wasn't opened until after his death. He died in A German translation appeared. Hayek wrote the introduction. Four years ago, we commissioned a new translation that preserves his idiom and precision. The results are spectacular. Mises's memoirs have come alive as never before. With all the interest generated by the Mises biography that came out in , and with the current political trends in the United States, this is a perfect time to examine Mises's own autobiography. He tells of his strategy and teaching methods. He talks of his private seminar and the culture it fostered. Each was free to go the way his own law guided him.

He blasts the enemies of freedom. Of the German Historical School he writes that it "did not produce a single thought. It did not write a single page in the history of science. For eighty years it eagerly propagandized for National Socialism. Finally, he admits to feelings of despair: "From time to time I entertained the hope that my writings would bear practical fruit and point policy in the right direction….

I set out to be a reformer, but only became the historian of decline. Even with such feelings, he never gave in. He kept writing and teaching. And what a glorious legacy he left!

Whose struggle?

Public Life Private Thoughts: A Memoir - Kindle edition by Jim Hendrickson, Kathy Koenig, Michele Monson. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device. Public Life Private Thoughts: A Memoir eBook: Jim Hendrickson, Kathy Koenig, Michele Monson: Kindle Store.

In this prose, we have profound determination—moral determination. It wasn't enough that he was a genius of a scientist, that he made earth-shattering contributions to economics, history, philosophy, and more. They are each fine, decent and hard-working people. The book was not intended to hurt the family. Both my publisher and I regret any unintentional harm resulting from the publishing and marketing of Running With Scissors.

The best defense is a good offense. The First Amendment protects your right to free speech.

This protection applies to both the spoken and written word. Invasion of privacy lawsuits hinge on public disclosure of private facts.

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Private facts are sensitive information that the average person would not want to share with the general public; for example, medical records, adoption records, abuse, alcoholism, etc. The best defense against defamation is the truth. Suppose you write that your neighbor was convicted of axe murder. Before you write, make sure to check your facts.

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The second tip to avoid defaming your memoir characters is to frame controversial statements as your opinion. Your opinion needs to be balanced by evidence and supported by actual fact. In order to prevail in a defamation case, the defamed must prove others are able to identify him from your writing. People can claim defamation if one could reasonably identify them through their actions, clothing, quotes, physical appearance, address, or any number of identifying points.

The fourth tip is that defamation rests upon subjective principles. When in doubt, err on the side of caution about disclosing details that may or may not be true. The final tip is to print a disclaimer in your preface, intro, or acknowledgements. Just as with a defamation lawsuit, an invasion of privacy lawsuit turns on subjective opinions to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

This means that the individual facts of each case will decide the outcome. Common sense dictates that there are certain private facts, which a person would not want shared with the public. If a good friend had given up a child for adoption, and you were the only person she told, then disclosing that in your memoir would open the doors to an invasion of privacy lawsuit. The same would apply to sensitive information such as private health matters, abuse, addiction, or any information would not be readily accessible to the public.

Certain public or high profile individuals may have less protection against invasion of privacy. The legal theory is that because they have opened their lives to public scrutiny, then the bar is lower for privacy protection. If unsavory facts can be classified as public interest, then you may be able to disclose certain things about public individuals. There are several ways to avoid invasion of privacy lawsuits.

Our first tip is to get written permission from your characters. Our second tip is the same as with defamation: Change all identifying characteristics. Give your characters a different name, different job, different wardrobes—anything you can change to prevent them from being recognized by your words affords you a degree of protection.

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Some writers like to create an amalgam of characters to mix up identifying facts. Our third tip is tell the truth.

That’s Rufus

Our fourth tip is carefully weigh the impact of disclosing inflammatory, sensitive, or embarrassing information. Are such disclosures essential to your story? If so, tread carefully and use our rules for how to proceed with caution.