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Ed Feulner Tribute to Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Dr. Edwin J. Feulner

Tribute to Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn


The Philadelphia Society

Regional Meeting

Wilmington, Delaware, October 10, 1998


As a first semester freshman at Regis College in Denver in the Fall of 1959, my professor in the introductory history of Europe class gave us an assigned reading list from which we could choose a volume for a major book report. As I read through the list, one title caught my attention: Liberty or Equality? The author was Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.

It stuck out for two reasons: (1) as a typical naïve American, I thought it was Liberty and Equality. And (2) in the era before hyphenated last names (particularly for men!!), this author was clearly not a run-of-the-mill person. I borrowed the book from the college library and became so enthralled with its clear arguments and fascinating details that I parted with $6.00 of my hard-earned cash and bought my own copy. It remains–marked and tattered–one of the centerpieces of my conservative library to this day.

Erik inscribed it in 1963 at an early meeting between the two of us, engineered by the late Commodore Don Lipsett. By that time, because of the initial influence of Liberty or Equality, I went into Burnham, Buckley, Kirk, National ReviewModern Age, and had even strayed into the Libertarian thickets with Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom, and then, of course, Goldwater’s Conscience of a Conservative. But it all started with Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and Liberty or Equality? for which I will always be grateful.

In my case, Erik is the man who “bent the twig.”

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