"I think this is a rotten way of approaching the history of thought. In the first place, all of these political thinkers and economic thinkers were involved in movements, almost all of them. When they say anything, they have certain intentions. They use the words in a certain way, have a certain author’s intention.
In order to understand their intention, you have to understand who they’re talking to, who their friends are, who their enemies are, who they’re reacting against. In other words, the historical context of what they’re saying."
That is why Rothbard wrote An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, which I haven't read, but I have and it is a tremendous reference.
Anyway, I enjoyed the excerpts and look forward to reading Nasar's book.