Economic Sophisms: Introduction, by Henry Hazlitt Sep 29, 2014
Frédéric Bastiat was born at Bayonne, France, on June 29, 1801. His father was a wholesale merchant, but Frédéric was orphaned at the age of nine and was brought up by his grandfather and his aunt. He seems to have had a good, though not an extraordinary education, which included languages, music, and literature. He began the study of political economy at nineteen and read principally Adam Smith and Jean-Baptiste Say. Bastiat's early life, however, was not primarily that of a scholar. At the age of seventeen he went to work in his uncle's counting-house and spent about six years there. Then he inherited his grandfather's farm at Mugron and became a farmer. He was locally active politically, becoming a juge de paix in 1831 and a member of the conseil général of the Landes in 1832.