“S O M E H OW I feel that I ought to apologize for having cast the present volume in dialogue. I do not know precisely why one should feel obliged to offer excuses for employing a form that goes back at least to Plato, that has been used by Hobbes, Hume, Berkeley, Voltaire, Diderot, Schopenhauer, De Quincey, Landor, and, in our own day, by Lowes Dickinson and Santayana. But the fact remains that a large number of readers have a tendency to shy off from a modern dialogue as they would from a modern tragedy in blank verse. Such an aversion is not without grounds. Most dialogue presents at least two obstacles to the reader, one superficial, the other more deep-seated. The superficial obstacle is the curious survival of the convention of endowing the speakers with Greek names—names which, for most present-day readers, are either annoyingly anachronistic, too long, too perilous to pronounce, too hard to keep in mind, or completely without meaning. Certainly it would not add to the popularity of the modern drama if the same convention had been retained there also. The deeper obstacle THE ANATOMY OF CRITICISM is the practice, in most dialogues, of confronting a too sapient speaker, obviously the author's mouthpiece, with a straw-man who is always raising the wrong objections and stating them in the feeblest or most vulnerable manner, while the author's mouthpiece keeps triumphantly knocking this dummy down until the latter can say nothing but "quite right" to propositions which are, in fact, quite dubious.”
Henry Stuart Hazlitt (November 28, 1894 – July 9, 1993) was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist for various publications including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and Newsweek. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an important libertarian publication. In 1946 Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal text on free market economics, which Ayn Rand referred to as doing a "...magnificent job of theoretical exposition." Hazlitt is credited with bringing his ideas and those of the so-called Austrian School to the American economics scene and his work has influenced the likes of economist Ludwig von Mises, novelist and essayist Ayn Rand, and 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential nominee and congressman, Ron Paul.
Hazlitt was a prolific writer, authoring 25 works in his lifetime.
Ludwig von Mises said at a dinner honoring Hazlitt: "In this age of the great struggle in favor of freedom and the social system in which men can live as free men, you are our leader. You have indefatigably fought against the step-by-step advance of the powers anxious to destroy everything that human civilization has created over a long period of centuries... You are the economic conscience of our country and of our nation."