Alexander Zevin

Alexander Zevin is a historian.


  • It is no exaggeration to say that the Economist embodied the most theoretically sophisticated — and unremitting — example of early laissez-faire thought. I try to reconstruct what this body of thought looked like, contextualizing it and the writers who espoused it in the pages of the Economist.
  • Liberalism in this sense may be an invented tradition. But the idea that it has some basic democratic core, or that it tends internally towards the realization of democracy, is enduring. For the liberals in my book, democracy is a problem — to be resisted in the nineteenth century, through restrictions on voting based on property, education, and region; to be managed and contained in the twentieth century, when working-class pressure and the exigencies of total war became too powerful to resist.