1958, Knight spent the spring term (January - May) at the Thomas
Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy at the University
of Virginia in Charlottesville. The Jefferson Center was a
precursor of the Center for the Study of Public Choice that
James Buchanan began at VPI (and later moved to George Mason
University, where it became part of the Buchanan Center for
Political Economy). While there, he gave a series of six lectures
entitled "Intelligence and Democratic Action." Buchanan
arranged for the lectures to be taped, and then produced a
transcript, which became this book.
lectures represent the last published statement of Knight's
post-war reflections on social action in a democratic society.
From 1945 on, he worked on a manuscript concerned about the
economics, politics, and ethics of liberal society. Various
versions of the manuscript exist in Knight's unpublished papers,
and many of Knight's published essays emerged from aspects
of the project. However, this book is the only published version
of the entire project.