Frank Meyer (political philosopher)

Frank Meyer (Political Philosopher)

Frank Meyer (political philosopher)

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Frank Straus Meyer (1909–1972) was a libertarian political philosopher and co-founding editor of the National Review magazine.

Personal life

Frank S. Meyer was born to a prominent business family in Newark, New Jersey. He attended Princeton University for one year but was displeased by the antisemitism and snobbery he found there . He then transferred to Balliol College at Oxford University. He later studied at the London School of Economics.

Meyer was an active communist early in life before his conversion to conservatism and his joining of National Review. As a conservative, Meyer—like many of the magazine's founding senior editors an ex-Communist—was a close adviser to and confidant of founder/editor William F. Buckley, Jr.

Meyer married the former Elsie Bown. They had two sons, John and Eugene. The latter is president of the Federalist Society.

Frank Meyer converted to Catholicism before he died of lung cancer in 1972.


In the late 1960s, Meyer engaged in a debate over the role of Abraham Lincoln with conservative Harry V. Jaffa. Meyer argued that Lincoln's abuses of civil liberties and expansion of government power should make him anathema to conservatives, while Jaffa defended Lincoln as a continuation of the Founding Fathers.

Meyer is best known for his theory of "fusionism"—a political philosophy that unites elements of libertarianism and conservatism. (Murray Rothbard argued,...
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