Thomas Woods

Thomas Woods
Tom Woods by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg
Woods in February 2011
Thomas Ernest Woods Jr.

(1972-08-01) August 1, 1972 (age 47)
Melrose, Massachusetts, United States
School or
Austrian School
Alma materHarvard University (A.B., 1994)
Columbia University (M.Phil., Ph.D.)
InfluencesLudwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Ralph Raico, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Stefan Molyneux, H.L. Mencken, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Walter Block, Robert Nisbet, Thomas Sowell, Scott Horton, Gene Epstein, Andrew Napolitano, Michael Malice

Thomas Ernest Woods Jr. (born August 1, 1972) is an American historian, political commentator, author, and podcaster.[1][2] Woods is a New York Times Best-Selling author and has published twelve books.[1] He has written extensively on subjects including the history of the United States, Catholicism, contemporary politics, and economics. Although not an economist himself, Woods is a proponent of the Austrian School of economics.[3] He hosts two podcasts, The Tom Woods Show and Contra Krugman.[2][4]

Education and affiliations[edit]

Woods holds a B.A. from Harvard University, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Columbia University, all in history. He is a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama and a member of the editorial board for the Institute's Libertarian Papers.[5]

Woods was an ISI Richard M. Weaver Fellow in 1995 and 1996.[6] He received the 2004 O.P. Alford III Prize for Libertarian Scholarship and 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.[7] His 2005 book, The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy, won the $50,000 first prize in the 2006 Templeton Enterprise Awards.[8]

Woods was a founding member[9] of the League of the South, which aims to "advance the cultural, social, economic, and political well being and independence of the southern people by all honorable means". Woods was previously an early contributor to the League's journal, The Southern Patriot.[10][11][12] His association has generated criticism.[13][14] Woods said his involvement with the group was limited and that the group has changed since his departure.[15][16]


Woods is the author of twelve books. His book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History was on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperbacks in 2005.[17] The book has been criticized by journalist Cathy Young as being inaccurate,[18] as well as by Ronald Radosh[19] and Max Boot.[20]

His 2009 book Meltdown also made the bestseller list in 2009.[21] His writing has been published 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 Économistes et des Études Humaines, AD2000, Crisis, Human Rights Review, Catholic Historical Review, the Catholic Social Science Review and The American Conservative.[22]


On libertarianism[edit]

Woods is a Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist and paleolibertarian.[23]

On Catholicism[edit]

Woods was received into the Roman Catholic Church from Lutheranism.[24] He wrote How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization. For eleven years, he was associate editor of The Latin Mass Magazine, which advocates traditional Catholicism. As a traditionalist Catholic,[25] Woods is also recognized for his books attacking the post-Vatican II church.[26][27] Woods advocates what he calls the Old Latin Mass[28] and cultural conservatism.[29][30]

On conservatism[edit]

Tom Woods at CPAC in February 2010.

Woods is a former neoconservative and has been critical of neoconservative support for an aggressive and interventionist foreign policy; in place of this he has advocated non-intervention.[31]

Woods makes a sharp distinction between paleoconservative thinkers, with whom he sympathizes,[1][32] 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.

These views have provoked a strong response from some conservatives. On the release of Woods' Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, the book was scathingly reviewed by Max Boot[13] of The Weekly Standard. Boot accused Woods of being overly sympathetic with Southerners such as John C. Calhoun while exaggerating the militarism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Bill Clinton.[13] James Haley's Weekly Standard review of the book, in contrast, stated that it "provides a compelling rebuttal to the liberal sentiment encrusted upon current history texts..." the book is "ultimately about truth" and "[t]his is a book everyone interested in American history should have in his library".[33] Woods concluded his reply to Boot's review by saying "[s]ince in my judgment Max Boot embodies everything that is wrong with modern conservatism, his opposition is about the best endorsement I could have asked for".[34]


The Tom Woods Show[edit]

Since September 2013, Woods has delivered a daily podcast, The Tom Woods Show, originally hosted on investment broker Peter Schiff's website. On the podcasts, which are now archived on Woods' own website, Woods conducts interviews on economic topics, foreign policy, and history.[4]

Contra Krugman[edit]

In September 2015, Woods began Contra Krugman, a weekly podcast, with economist Robert P. Murphy that critiques The New York Times columns of economist Paul Krugman. The podcast seeks to teach economics "by uncovering and dissecting the errors of Krugman."[4]


As author[edit]

As editor[edit]

  • Choate, Rufus (2002). The Political Writings of Rufus Choate. Gateway Editions. ISBN 0-89526-154-5.
  • Brownson, Orestes (2003) [1875]. 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 1-56858-385-0. (Co-edited with Murray Polner.)
  • Back on the Road to Serfdom: The Resurgence of Statism. ISI. 2010. ISBN 978-1-935191-90-2.


  1. ^ a b c Naji Filali, Interview with Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Harvard Political Review, August 16, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Woods, Tom. "About Tom Woods". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  3. ^ Liberty Classroom
  4. ^ a b c "Profile: Thomas E. Woods, Jr". Mises Institute. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Editorial Board at Libertarian Papers". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  6. ^ "First Principles – Banana Republic, U.S.A". 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  7. ^ Inferno New Media. "About Tom Woods | Tom Woods". Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  8. ^ "ISI Announces 2006 Templeton Enterprise Award Winners".
  9. ^ See:
    • Applebome, Peter (7 March 1998). "Could the Old South Be Resurrected?; Cherished Ideas of the Confederacy (Not Slavery) Find New Backers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 28 September 2016. ...Mr. Woods, one of the founding members of the League of the South. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
    • Euan Hague. Heidi Beirich. Edward H. Sebesta. (2008). Neo-Confederacy – A Critical Introduction – University of Texas Press, p. 36
    • Muller, Eric (January 30, 2005). "Thomas Woods' Southern Comfort". American Constitution Society. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. ...the League of the South, a Southern nationalist organization of which Dr. Woods boasts he is a founding member. (The organization was formed in 1994; Dr. Woods was present at the founding and became a member of the League's Membership Committee, which was headed by the League's President, Michael Hill.) Dr. Woods has been a frequent contributor to the League's journal, The Southern Patriot, and has spoken at its conventions. (He has also spoken at similar meetings of other organizations, like the Southern Historical Conference and Bonnie Blue Ball, where he shared the lectern with speakers on the "Myths and Realities of American Slavery" and "Why Slaves Fought for Their South.")
  10. ^ Young, Cathy (February 21, 2005). "Last of the Confederates". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2016-09-14. The author's official bio leaves out the fact that Woods is a co-founder and member of pro-secession League of the South.
  11. ^ Young, Cathy (2005-06-01). "Behind the Jeffersonian Veneer". Reason. Retrieved 2016-09-14. Born and raised in the North, Woods is a co-founder of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group, and has written frequently for its magazine The Southern Patriot.
  12. ^ Articles written by Woods for the League of the South's journal include:
    Woods, Thomas (1995). "Copperheads". Southern Patriot. 2 No. 1 (Jan.-Feb. 1995): pp. 3–5.
    Woods, Thomas (1995). "The Abolitionists". Southern Patriot. 2 No. 5 (Sept. – Oct. 1995): pp. 36–37.
  13. ^ a b c Boot, Max (Feb 14, 2005). "Incorrect History". The Weekly Standard. Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  14. ^ "Review Essay of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods, Jr". 2014-07-30. Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  15. ^ "LRC Blog". Retrieved 2016-09-28.
  16. ^ Woods, Thomas (10 May 2018). "What's the Deal With Woods and the 'League of the South?'". The Tom Woods Show. Retrieved 30 June 2018. Here [I] express admission of what was already obvious ...: this is not the League Jeffrey Tucker and I joined in 1994.
  17. ^ New York Times "Bestseller List" (Paperback non-fiction), January 9, 2005 [1]
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ New York Times "Bestseller List" (Paperback non-fiction), March 08, 2009 [2]
  22. ^ bio
  23. ^ "Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State". 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  24. ^ Woods, Thomas E. (Presenter) (2008). The Catholic Church: Builder of Civilization (Television production). Episode 8: "Catholic Charity". Eternal Word Television Network. ASIN B00C30D3NG. Retrieved 2013-05-21. My personal favorite in this list is Martin Luther because I, myself, am a former Lutheran.
  25. ^ "A Profound Philosophical Commonality by Anthony Flood". 1987-11-22. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  26. ^ Beirich, Heidi. "Two Treatises: A pair of recent books attack the Vatican and its current policies form the core of radical traditionalist teachings". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  27. ^ Woods, Thomas E.; Ferrara, Christopher A. (2002). The Great Façade: Vatican II and the Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church. The Remnant Press. ISBN 978-1890740108.
  28. ^ "Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass". 2007-09-14. Archived from the original on 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  29. ^ "History and Truth: An Interview With Thomas E. Woods, Jr. by Bernard Chapin". 2005-07-23. Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  30. ^ "Up From Conservatism – Mises Media". Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  31. ^
  32. ^ E. Woods, Thomas. "The Split on the Right". Retrieved 2016-09-14.
  33. ^ "Haley, James W., The Standard Reader, Weekly Standard 01/31/2005".
  34. ^ "Woods, Thomas, A Factually Correct Guide for Max Boot, The American Conservative, 03/28/2005".
  35. ^ On Woods' association with Ferrara, see "On Chris Ferrara"
  36. ^ Also on audio book Archived 2011-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, as read by the author Thomas Woods.
  37. ^ Woods, Thomas E. "Beyond Distributism" Archived 2008-12-11 at the Wayback Machine. Acton Institute. October 2008.

External links[edit]