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For other persons named Thomas Woods see Thomas Woods
Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Born August 1, 1972 (1972-08-01) (age 37)
United States
Occupation Historian, scholar
Spouse(s) Heather Woods

Thomas E. Woods, Jr. (born August 1, 1972) is an American historian and New York Times bestselling author.[1]


Education and affiliations

He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is a senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute (LvMI) in Auburn, Alabama, as well as a member of the editorial board for the institute's Journal of Libertarian Studies[2] and Libertarian Papers[3]. He is also an associate scholar of the Abbeville Institute.

Woods was present at the founding of the League of the South,[4] and has contributed to its newsletter.[5] His past membership in the group has generated criticism,[6] but Woods asserts his involvement was limited.

He was an ISI Richard M. Weaver Fellow in 1995–96. [7] Woods was also the recipient of the 2004 O.P. Alford III Prize for Libertarian Scholarship and of an Olive W. Garvey Fellowship from the Independent Institute in 2003. He has additionally been awarded two Humane Studies Fellowships and a Claude R. Lambe Fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.[8]

Woods is co-editor of Exploring American History: From Colonial Times to 1877, an eleven-volume encyclopedia[9].

Catholicism, history, and political incorrectness

Woods' best-selling 2004 book

Woods is a convert to the Roman Catholic Church and author of The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. He was associate editor of The Latin Mass Magazine, which advocates traditional Catholicism, for eleven years. His 2005 book, How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, is the basis for The Catholic Church: Builder of Civilization, a thirteen-episode television series airing on EWTN in 2008. The series examines the Church's influence on law, morality, science, and scholarship.[10]

Woods's writing has appeared in numerous popular and scholarly periodicals, including the American Historical Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Investor's Business Daily, Modern Age, American Studies, Journal of Markets & Morality, New Oxford Review, The Freeman, Independent Review, Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, AD2000, Crisis, Human Rights Review, Catholic Historical Review, and the Catholic Social Science Review. He is a contributing editor of The American Conservative.

His most popular book to date was the 2004 New York Times bestseller[1] The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (Regnery Publishing, 2004). He was also the author of the 2009 New York Times bestseller[11] Meltdown (Regnery Publishing, 2009).

Views on conservatism

Tom Woods at CPAC in February 2010.

In articles he has written dealing with the political spectrum of Americans, Woods makes a sharp distinction between paleoconservative thinkers with whom he sympathizes, and neoconservative thinkers. In articles, lectures and interviews Woods traces the intellectual and political distinction between the older conservative, or paleoconservative, school of thought and the neoconservative school of thought. Of the latter he writes:

The conservative’s traditional sympathy for the American South and its people and heritage, evident in the works of such great American conservatives as Richard M. Weaver and Russell Kirk, began to disappear.... [T]he neocons are heavily influenced by Woodrow Wilson, with perhaps a hint of Theodore Roosevelt.... They believe in an aggressive U.S. presence practically everywhere, and in the spread of democracy around the world, by force if necessary.... Neoconservatives tend to want more efficient government agencies; paleoconservatives want fewer government agencies. They generally admire President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his heavily interventionist New Deal policies. Neoconservatives have not exactly been known for their budget consciousness, and you won’t hear them talking about making any serious inroads into the federal apparatus.[12]

Reception of Woods's work in academia

In June 2005 Thomas Woods gave a series of ten lectures at the Ludwig von Mises Institute entitled "The Truth About American History: An Austro-Jeffersonian Perspective" as part of a seminar devoted entirely to Woods and his own areas of interest in American history. Woods has called for a strict interpretation of the United States Constitution, or preferably, the Articles of Confederation.[13]

He also hosted an eight-lecture seminar covering the material in his book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, to the Auburn University Academy for Lifelong Learners, hosted by the Mises Institute.[14] On 14 February 2007, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute announced that Woods' 2005 book, The Church and the Market, was the winner of the top prize in the books category of the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards.[15]

Woods' Law

In August 2006, Woods coined "Woods' Law," which states that,

Whenever the private sector introduces an innovation that makes the poor better off than they would have been without it, or that offers benefits or terms that no one else is prepared to offer them, someone—in the name of helping the poor—will call for curbing or abolishing it.

He applied this law in an article[16] that discussed tax refund anticipation loans and efforts to halt such practices, which he argues are based on the assumption that such loans exploit the poor. Calcutta's daily, The Telegraph cited Woods's Law in reference to the potential effects of the expansion of Wal-Mart's ventures in India.[17]


As Author

  • The Great Facade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church (co-authored with Christopher Ferrara; 2002) ISBN 1-890740-10-1
  • The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era (2004) ISBN 0-231-13186-0
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (2004) ISBN 0-89526-047-6
  • The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy (2005) ISBN 0-7391-1036-5
  • How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (2005) ISBN 0-89526-038-7
  • 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask (2007) ISBN 0307346684
  • Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass (2007) ISBN 9780979354021
  • Who Killed the Constitution?: The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush (co-authored with Kevin Gutzman; 2008) ISBN 978-0307405753)
  • Beyond Distributism (2008) [18]
  • Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (February 2009) (ISBN 1-5969-8587-9) & (ISBN 978-1-5969-8587-2)
  • Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century (2010) ISBN 1596981490
  • W obronie zdrowego rozsadku (2007)[19]

As Editor

  • Choate, Rufus (2002). The Political Writings of Rufus Choate. Gateway Editions. ISBN 0-89526-154-5. 
  • Brownson, Orestes (2003, reprint of 1875 edition). The American Republic. Gateway Editions. ISBN 0-89526-072-7. 
  • Rothbard, Murray (2007). The Betrayal of the American Right. Ludwig von Mises Institute. ISBN 978-1-933550-13-8. 
  • We Who Dared to Say No to War: American Antiwar Writing from 1812 to Now. Basic Books. 2007. ISBN 1568583850.  (Co-edited with Murray Polner.)


  1. ^ a b New York Times "Bestseller List" (Paperback non-fiction), 9 January 2005 [1]
  2. ^ "About Thomas Woods Jr."
  3. ^
  4. ^ Woods, Thomas. "In Case You Were Wondering." 19 February 2005. [2]
  5. ^ Young, Cathy. "Behind the Jeffersonian Veneer." Reason. June 2005
  6. ^ Hummel, Jeffrey Rogers. "Review Essay: The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." Journal of Libertarian Studies. Spring 2006. [3]
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Around the Diocese." The Catholic Voice Online. 18 February 2008
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The Split on the Right," interview of Thomas Woods by Die Tagespost
  13. ^
  14. ^ "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History: Lecture Series." Mises Institute. [5]
  15. ^ "ISI Announces 2006 Templeton Enterprise Award Winners." YahooNews. 14 February 2007.[6]
  16. ^ Woods, Thomas E. "Are Capitalists Bamboozling the Poor?" 16 August 2006. [7]
  17. ^ "Food Chain." The Telegraph. 8 August 2007
  18. ^ Woods, Thomas E. "Beyond Distributism." Acton Institute. October 2008.
  19. ^ [8] English translation of Polish title is In defense of common sense.

External links



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