Public Choice

, Volume 156, Issue 1–2, pp 1–5 | Cite as

James Buchanan: in memoriam

  • Geoffrey Brennan

On January 9 this year, James Buchanan died in Blacksburg Virginia, reportedly “after a short illness”. He was 93.

Readers of this journal need no reminder of the content or significance of the Buchanan contribution or a rehearsal of the basic facts of his career. Apart from any other consideration, a full issue of this journal last year was devoted to such things, as a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of The Calculus of Consent. It has therefore seemed to me more appropriate here to mark Buchanan’s death with a rather more personal reflection.

One important fact about the circumstances of Jim’s death is that he was in full possession of his mental faculties to the very end. Last September, Liberty Fund held a small colloquium in Charlottesville—also to mark the 50th anniversary of the Calculus of Consent. Jim was present as a participant. I can recall many Liberty Fund colloquia in the past when he had been rather quiet. But on this occasion, he was thoroughly alert and highly...



I am extremely grateful to Alan Hamlin for helpful comments.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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