Ramesh and Jonah have done an excellent job summarizing the various criticisms of Nancy MacLean’s very sloppy book Democracy in Chains. I like how Jonah puts it:
In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid there’s that great bit about the super-posse that chases the outlaws. They’re led by a legendary law man, Joe Lefors, and an Indian Scout (Lord Baltimore), who can follow horse tracks over rock and water.
I mention this because if I were Nancy MacLean, I’d much rather have Lefors and Lord Baltimore coming after me than to have Don Boudreaux, Steve Horwitz, Jonathan Adler, Russ Roberts, and the rest of the libertarian super-posse on my ass.
No kidding. But little did Jonah know that the biggest takedown was yet to come. In a sublime and devastating essay for the Independent Institute, Michael Munger delivers a lethal bow to the whole work. As he points out — after exposing another “It’s made up. Fabricated. Fictional” example in the book — you don’t understand MacLean’s work until you understand…