Pirate Economist Gets His Treasured Booty

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Sweet and nerdy:

Pirates and economics may not be sexy subjects for a book, but economists tend to see things and do things a bit differently. So it made sense for Peter Leeson, an economist at George Mason University, to propose to his girlfriend in the preface of his forthcoming book, The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates. He presented the finished book (and a ring) to her on Friday—and she said yes.

Leeson’s publisher, Princeton University Press, made arrangements for the author to receive the first copy of the book’s printing. Everyone at the press kept the proposal a secret and even went to the trouble of extracting that section of the book—which read, “Ania, I love you; will you marry me?”—from the advance galleys that were mailed out to the press.

A libertarian economic treatise on pirates already sounds pretty awesome. But The Invisible Hook? Fabulous!

I’ve only met Leeson a couple of times, but we have several friends in common. Warm congrats, nonetheless.

MORE: You can pre-order Leeson’s book at Amazon here.

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11 Responses to “Pirate Economist Gets His Treasured Booty”

  1. #1 |  billy-jay | 

    That’s the coolest thing I’ve heard so far this year.

  2. #2 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Surfing his pirate posts (Hobbs, Locke, and Blackbeard on social contracts) I found something that got me pretty excited:


    Avoid taxes by floating your company at sea! It wouldn’t work, just ask AIG (and the Beatles) about how government can make up rules to tax whatever they want. But, floating servers powered by waves and the sun! All kinds of awesome.

  3. #3 |  JS | 


  4. #4 |  Euler | 

    Leeson is the man. I took a class with him when I was a senior in college. He is a brilliant thinker and a class act all around.

  5. #5 |  Nick T | 

    Not your best headline work, Radley.

    Where can I buy the book?

  6. #6 |  Mattocracy | 

    I thought that was a great headline.

  7. #7 |  Jesse | 

    #5 & 6

    I was coming here JUST to say great headline. I read the article, then re-read the headline. Brilliant subtlety.

  8. #8 |  Pete | 

    The Invisible Hook is available here:


  9. #9 |  Ombibulous | 

    I roomed with Leeson in college and while I wouldn’t look to him for advice on cleaning dishes or proper shaving technique, I am eagerly anticipating The Invisible Hook. Leeson knew more about Von Mises and the free market when he graduated high school than most graduate econ students ever know. Also he has a kick ass tatoo.

  10. #10 |  Paul | 

    it was my understanding that Pirates were the original socialists – they divided up their booty according to a strict hierarchy and had a kind of rudimentary healthcare system whereby there were set compensations for specific injuries – so much for losing an eye, so much for a hand etc.

  11. #11 |  KWA | 

    How is a private association of individuals insuring against future loss socialism? No that I know a whole lot about the actual history of pirates, weren’t they more free than their conscripted navy counterparts? There were no press gangs for pirate ships. Also, European societies were much more strictly hierarchical than pirate life (and harder to escape as well).