Here’s my (admittedly incomplete) response.
Lew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard were close friends and allies. I became a good friend of each when Lew moved his Ludwig von Mises Institute to Burlingame., California. (It’s now at Auburn Univ. in Alabama.) Murray spent lots of time there, when he wasn’t teaching economics at Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute (now Polytechnic Institute of New York University). Murray was (I believe) the leading American exponent of the Austrian school of economic thinking, and very much in tune with the works of Carl Menger, Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich von Hayek, etc. I think the remarkably successful coin dealer, Burt Blumert, was the magnet that attracted them to the San Francisco Peninsula. Burt gave generously to libertarian causes, and moved The Center for Libertarian Studies to his place of business in Burlingame.
The article below comes from Lew Rockwell’s website, and reflects Lew’s dedication to the Austrian School of economics. Milton Friedman was a monetarist, not an Austrian. (You can see the stage being set for a battle between scholars.) Milton certainly let loose on theories of fellow academics with whom he disagreed, but generally kept ad hominum attacks to a minimum. On the other hand, Murray Rothbard could really let loose with infantry, armor, artillery and air power, on those scholars who crossed him, or his work.
Actually, Murray didn’t restrict his denunciations to fellow faculty mavens. After Murray broke with Charles Koch in the mid-1980s (I think it was because Charles stopped financing Inquiry magazine), the Rothbard-Rockwell report (a monthly newsletter) spent a lot of ink blasting Charles for all sorts of things. At the time, I agreed with Charles that Inquiry wasn’t something I thought worthwhile supporting. Murray wanted to use it as a way of appealing to the campus left, in an attempt to convince leftists that they, and libertarians, had much in common, as far as opposing both the Republican and Democratic party establishments. I recall a cover story in Inquiry, with a picture of Ayatollah Khomeini on the cover. Khomeini was portrayed a the good guy, and the Shah of Iran as the bad guy. This nonsense was clearly aimed at telling the campus left (for whom the Shah was the devil incarnate) that libertarians were standing with them, at least on one issue.
I once asked Milton why he and Murray, both of whom shared strong free market principles, blasted each other’s work. He said that Murray had published scholarly material on the Great Depression that contained some totally erroneous monetary statistics, and that he (Milton) had pointed out this short-coming in blunt terms. Needless to say, Murray disagreed, and took great offense.
As I indicated, Murray (God rest his soul) was an aggressive attacker of all who disagreed with him. Once, in the wee hours of the morning, after a long argument (on a subject lost to memory), and the generous consumption of adult beverages ( I had a strong liver once) I asked him why he was so nice and polite to me, when he was so sharp and intemperate in attacking scholars with whom he disagreed. He said, “You’re a civilian. If you were an academic, I’d rip you to shreds!!
This background might be useful in evaluating the attack on Friedman’s free market credentials.