George H. Smith

This article is about the libertarian and atheist writer. For the science fiction author of the same name, see George H. Smith (fiction author).

George Hamilton Smith (born February 10, 1949 in Japan) is an American author, editor, educator and speaker, known for his writings on atheism and libertarianism.


Smith grew up mostly in Tucson, Arizona, and attended the University of Arizona for several years before leaving without a degree; he relocated to Los Angeles during 1971. With the help of libertarian editor Roy A. Childs, Jr., he secured a contract from Nash Publishing (then located in Los Angeles) to produce a book on atheism. The finished product, his first book, Atheism: The Case Against God (1974), became one of the bestselling works on atheism published during the 20th century.

Smith has been teaching since the 1970s, first under the auspices of his own Forum for Philosophical Studies (with offices on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles), later under the auspices of the Cato Institute and the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS). For nearly twenty years, from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, he spent his summers teaching political philosophy and American political and intellectual history to university students at seminars sponsored by Cato Institute and IHS.

During the 1980s, Smith worked for more than six years as the General Editor of Knowledge Products, a Nashville-based company that produced educational audio recordings in philosophy, history, economics, and current affairs. During those years, in addition to his duties as editor, Smith was also the primary scriptwriter for Knowledge Products' "Great Political Thinkers" series. These recordings have been used widely in college classrooms.

Since 1971, more than one hundred of Smith's articles and book reviews have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, the Arizona Daily Star, Reason Magazine, Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Inquiry, Cato Policy Report, Liberty, The Voluntaryist, Academic Associates Book News, Journal of Libertarian Studies, and Humane Studies Review. He writes a weekly column on libertarian and classical liberal thought for, a website operated by Cato.

His published works often deal with such issues as capital punishment (which he opposes), anarchism, libertarianism, religious toleration, and atheism. He has written about William Wollaston, Herbert Spencer, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Ayn Rand, and other figures. On December 31, 2007, George Smith provided a humorous "qualified endorsement" of Republican Party candidate Ron Paul via YouTube for libertarian voters, but also one that was consistent with his published writings on electoral politics.[1]

In 2013 Cambridge University Press published his book The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism.


See also


This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/24/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.