The Not So Wild, Wild West, coauthored by Hoover fellow Terry Anderson, wins Atlas Foundation award

Monday, May 9, 2005

The book The Not So Wild, Wild West, coauthored by Hoover Institution senior fellow Terry L. Anderson, has won the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.

The award was made in late April in Miami, Florida, where the foundation held its annual meeting. The Atlas Foundation is known for its efforts in supporting intellectual entrepreneurs worldwide through the establishment of public policy institutes.

Terry L. Anderson is the John and Jean DeNault Senior Fellow at Hoover. He also is executive director of the Property and Environment Research Center, a think tank focusing on market solutions to environmental problems located in Bozeman, Montana. Coauthor Peter J. Hill is a PERC senior fellow. Both are former economics professors at Montana State University.

Their book—the product of years of research—explores the role of property rights and self-government in the development of the western United States. It reveals that the famed violence of the "Wild West" is an exaggeration. People living on the frontier—whether Indians, cowboys, miners, or settlers—found that it was generally in their self-interest to cooperate peacefully with one another.

The Not So Wild, Wild West, published in 2004 by Stanford University Press, has been receiving favorable reviews. John Blundell, in a forthcoming review in the British journal Economic Affairs, says: "Read it and you will see the world around you very differently and you will read history through a new set of eye glasses." He calls the book a "treasure trove of wonderful stories" and a book that "challenges conventional wisdom and challenges us all with its rigorous application of freely transferable property rights."

Frank D. Lewis, writing in the online Economic History Services website, said the book "should have special appeal to undergraduates. It is entirely accessible and often quite delightful."

The Fisher Award is given annually by the Fairfax, Virginia-based Atlas Economic Research Foundation in honor of its founder, Sir Antony Fisher. The award comes with a $5,000 honorarium for the recipient institute. This is the second year in a row that PERC has won the award. Last year, Atlas honored PERC for Eco-Nomics: What Everyone Should Know about Economics and the Environment, by Richard L. Stroup, a senior fellow of PERC and a professor of economics at Montana State University.

Information about the book is available at