Multiple Meanings

I never knew that the word "magisterial" has two very different meanings. Nor did I know how funny it would be when that word is used to describe Rothbard's writing.

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When I was first reading

When I was first reading Austrian economics I started with Hayek. His conciliatory tone was comfortable for me since my own personality is to avoid conflict and make nice with everyone. By contrast, when I read Mises, and then Rothbard, I found their style jarring. They left little doubt where they stood, who they disagreed with or that they thought those they disagreed with were wrong, wrong, wrong. Initially, this bothered me. But eventually I stopped noticing their style because I became more interested in the substance of what they were saying. Finally, I even came to appreciate their style. I began to notice that it had certain advantages, one of which is that you usually could figure out exactly what they were saying. Whereas there is now a rich secondary literature on Hayek, for example, just arguing over what the heck he was getting at.

But the really important point here is that writing style and tone is really low down the list of things to be concerned about when your primary interest is in finding truth. (And if you're not looking for truth, then why are you bothering with all this scholarship stuff?)