Thomas DiLorenzo

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Thomas DiLorenzo
Thomas DiLorenzo by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Thomas DiLorenzo at CPAC in February 2010.
Born (1954-08-08) August 8, 1954 (age 60)
Nationality United States
Field Economic history, American history, Abraham Lincoln
School/tradition Austrian School
Influences Henry Hazlitt, John T. Flynn[1]

Thomas James DiLorenzo (born August 8, 1954) is an American economics professor at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business.[2] He identifies himself as an adherent of the Austrian School of economics.[3] He is a research fellow at The Independent Institute,[4] a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute,[5] a member of the Mont Pelerin Society,[6] and an associate of the Abbeville Institute.[7] He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech.[2]

Life and work[edit]

DiLorenzo grew up in western Pennsylvania. In an autobiographical essay he attributes his early commitment to individualism to "playing competitive sports." He also details how he came to believe in the 1960s that the "government was busy destroying the work ethic, the family, and the criminal justice system." This, plus his experiences regarding the military draft and the Vietnam War, led him to the opinion that politics were “evil”.[8]

DiLorenoz has a B.A. in economics from Westminster College in Pennsylvania.[9] He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech.[2]

DiLorenzo has taught at the State University of New York at Buffalo,[10][11] George Mason University.[12] and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.[13] He is a former adjunct fellow of the Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University in St. Louis[10][14] He has been a professor of economics at Loyola University Maryland Sellinger School of Business since 1992.[10]

DiLorenzo is a frequent speaker at von Mises Institute events, and offers several online courses on political subjects on the Mises Academy platform.[5] He also writes for[15]


DiLorenzo writes about what he calls "the myth of Lincoln" in American history and politics. He has said, "[President] Lincoln is on record time after time rejecting the idea of racial equality. But whenever anyone brings this up, the Lincoln partisans go to the extreme to smear the bearer of bad news."[16] DiLorenzo has also spoken out in favor of the secession of the Confederate States of America, defending the right of these states to secede.[17]


DiLorenzo's book, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War is a critical biography published in 2002.[18] In a review published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, David Gordon described DiLorenzo's thesis: Lincoln was a "white supremacist" with no principled interest in abolishing slavery, and believed in a strong central government that imposed high tariffs and a nationalized banking system. He attributes the South's secession to Lincoln's economic policies rather than a desire to preserve slavery. Gordon quotes DiLorenzo: "slavery was already in sharp decline in the border states and the upper South generally, mostly for economic reasons".[19]

Reviewing for The Independent Review, a think tank associated with DiLorenzo, Professor Richard M. Gamble called the book "travesty of historical method and documentation". He said the book was plagued by a "labyrinth of [historical and grammatical] errors", and concluded that DiLorenzo has "earned the ... ridicule of his critics."[20] In his review for the Claremont Institute, Ken Masugi writes that "DiLorenzo adopts as his own the fundamental mistake of leftist multiculturalist historians: confusing the issue of race with the much more fundamental one, which was slavery." He noted that in Illinois "the anti-slavery forces actually joined with racists to keep their state free of slavery, and also free of blacks." Masugi called DiLorenzo's work "shabby" and stated that DiLorenzo's treatment of Lincoln was "feckless" and that the book is "truly awful".[21][22] In 2002, DiLorenzo debated Claremont Institute fellow professor Harry V. Jaffa on the merits of Abraham Lincoln's statesmanship before and during the Civil War.[23]

DiLorenzo's book, Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe (2007), continues his explorations begun in The Real Lincoln.[24] In a review, David Gordon stated that DiLorenzo's thesis in the 2007 volume was that Lincoln opposed the extension of slavery to new states because black labor would compete with white labor; that Lincoln hoped that all blacks would eventually be deported to Africa in order that white laborers could have more work. According to Gordon, DiLorenzo states that Lincoln only supported emancipation of slaves as a wartime expedient to help defeat the south.[25] Reviews in The Washington Post and Publishers Weekly both stated that the book seemed to be aimed at unnamed Lincoln scholars in American universities.[26][27]

Controversy over League of the South involvement[edit]

Controversy arose in 2011 when DiLorenzo testified before the House Financial Services Committee at the request of former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul. During the hearing, Congressman Lacy Clay criticized DiLorenzo for his associations with the League of the South, which Clay described as a "neo-Confederate group".[28] In Reuters and Baltimore Sun articles about the hearing, a Southern Poverty Law Center story about DiLorenzo's connection with the League was mentioned.[29][30] Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote about Clay's remarks and he said the League of the South was listing DiLorenzo on its Web site as an 'affiliated scholar' as recently as 2008.[31][32]

DiLorenzo denied any affiliation with the group, telling a Baltimore Sun reporter that "I don't endorse what they say and do any more than I endorse what Congress says and does because I spoke at a hearing on Wednesday." An investigation was subsequently conducted by his employer.[33][dated info] In a column, he described his association with the League as limited to "a few lectures on the economics of the Civil War" he gave to The League of the South Institute about thirteen years ago.[34] In a 2005 article, DiLorenzo endorsed the League's social and political views, stating that it "advocates peace and prosperity in the tradition of a George Washington or a Thomas Jefferson".[35][improper synthesis?]


DiLorenzo has authored several books, including:[36]


  1. ^ Thomas DiLorenzo, The New Deal Debunked (again), Mises Daily, September 27, 2004.
  2. ^ a b c Sellinger School of Business and Management, Loyola University Maryland Faculty Directory and Sellinger School of Business school staff profile of Thomas DiLorenzo, accessed November 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Interview with Thomas DiLorenzo at Ludwig von Mises Institute website, August 16, 2010.
  4. ^ Thomas DeLorenzo profile at The Independent Institute website, accessed November 22, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Thomas DiLorenzo profile, at the Ludwig von Mises Institute website, accessed November 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Mont Pelerin Society Directory". DeSmogBlog. Retrieved 28 Jan 2014. 
  7. ^ Abbeville Institute associates list, accessed November 22, 2013.
  8. ^ DiLorenzo, Thomas, "The Evil of Politics",, December 25, 2002.
  9. ^ Anthony Wile, Interview with Thomas James DiLorenzo on Abraham Lincoln, U.S. Authoritarianism and Manipulated History, The Daily Bell, May 16, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c Thomas J. Dilorenzo profile, Contemporary Authors, January 1, 2005, via Highbeam.
  11. ^ Thomas J. DiLorenoz, Book Review : The Public's Business: The Politics and Practices of Government Corporations, Public Finance Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 1, January 1981, 117–119
  12. ^ James T. Bennett and Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Poverty, Politics, and Jurisprudence: Illegalities at the Legal Services Corporation, Policy Analysis No. 49, Cato Institute, February 26, 1985.
  13. ^ Thomas J. DiLorenzo, The subjectivist roots of James Buchanan's economics, The Review of Austrian Economics, Volume 4, Issue 1, 1990, pp. 180–195.
  14. ^ Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Suburban Legends: Why "Smart Growth" Is Not So Smart, Washington University in St. Louis Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy, “Contemporary Issues”, Series 97, November 1999.
  15. ^ Archive of DiLorenzo commentary for
  16. ^ Thomas DiLorenzo, "Confronting the Lincoln Cult,", Mises Daily, 3 June 2002]
  17. ^ Thomas DiLorenzo, "An Abolitionist Defends the South,",, October 20, 2004].
  18. ^ Thomas DiLorenzo, The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War, Random House LLC, 2002, ISBN 9780307559388.
  19. ^ David Gordon review of Thomas J. DiLorenzo, "The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War", The Mises Review, Vol 8, No 2, February 2002.
  20. ^ Gamble, Richard M. "The Real Lincoln: Book review" The Independent Review [1].
  21. ^ Masugi, Ken. "The Unreal Lincoln". Claremont Institute. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  22. ^ Ken Masugi is an academic in the fields of American history and multiculturalism at Johns Hopkins University and the Claremont Institute. See: "Ken Masugi Faculty bio". Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Harry V. Jaffa; Thomas J. DiLorenzo (May 7, 2002). "The Real Abraham Lincoln: A Debate". Events. The Independent Institute. 
  24. ^ Thomas DiLorenzo, Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, Random House LLC, 2007, ISBN 030749652X
  25. ^ David Gordon review of Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe, Mises Review, Volume 13, Number 2, February 2007.
  26. ^ Ewers, Justin (January 14, 2007). "Memorializing Lincoln". The Washington Post. 
  27. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Author . Crown Forum $22.95 (223p) ISBN 978-0-307-33841-9". 2006-08-07. Retrieved 2014-08-13. 
  28. ^ Walker, Childs (February 11, 2011). "Loyola professor faces questions about ties to pro-secession group". The Baltimore Sun.
  29. ^ Sullivan, Andy (February 9, 2011). "Paul calls Fed's Bernanke "cocky" in House hearing." Reuters
  30. ^ Walker, Childs (February 11, 2011). "Loyola professor faces questions about ties to pro-secession group." The Baltimore Sun
  31. ^ Milbank, Dana (February 9, 2011). "Ron Paul's economic Rx: a Southern secessionist". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  32. ^ League of the South Institute for the Study of Southern History and Culture
  33. ^ Burris, Joe (February 14, 2011). "Loyola investigating whether professor has ties to hate group." The Baltimore Sun
  34. ^ "My Associations with Liars, Bigots, and Murderers",, February 11, 2011
  35. ^ Dilorenzo, Thomas J. (February 25, 2005). "The Dreaded 'S' Word".
  36. ^ Loyola University Maryland, listing of representative publications for Dr. Thomas J. Di Lorenzo

External links[edit]