On October 3, 1919, James M. Buchanan was born. Buchanan would go on to an illustrious career in economics, developing the theory of “Public Choice,” and receiving the 1986 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work. His books include Cost and Choice, The Calculus of Consent (with Gordon Tullock), and The Limits of Liberty: Between Anarchy and Leviathan. Some of his most interesting research was into the realm of constitutional theory and practice.
In 1925, on this date, Gore Vidal was born. Vidal would go on to become one of the leading post-WWII liberal essayists as well as a major novelist and screenwriter. His most famous novels include Burr, 1876, and Lincoln, installments in his American history series; his collection of essays, The United States, was one of his many bestsellers. Vidal was an elitist who expressed sympathy for populism and socialism, but also was a radical civil libertarian, and may occupy the extreme of the “liberal” quadrant in American political ideology: great on personal liberties but quite bad one market/property liberties.