Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
How can politicians
parade around in such abysmal ignorance of economic science? Look
at what they say about gas prices, minimum wages, and housing mortgages,
and you can't but stare in disbelief.
a new development. No matter how far back you look, you find statesmen
who imagine themselves to be so wonderful, powerful, and competent
that they can subvert the laws of economics. Try as they might,
they just can't seem to bend those supply and demand curves to their
The main job
and highest calling of an economist, wrote Murray Rothbard, is to
be a relentless pain in the neck to politicians, to constantly remind
those in charge that there are forces operating in the world that
are more powerful than their illusive dreams. Their legislation
doesn't achieve its stated aims, and often backfires to create the
What can we
say about this job of an economist? Speaking truth to power is subversive.
It is dangerous to those in power. It requires courage and commitment.
It requires the willingness to take risks. It is also heroic because
it helps protect the lives and property of people from the despotic
plans of kings, presidents, legislatures, and judges.
set out to celebrate the advent of economic science and its practitioners,
and their contribution to the progress of humanity. The result was
a mighty treatise: An
Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought.
It has been on Barron's summer reading list three years in a row,
and for a reason. It puts new life into the history of economic
ideas, from the ancient to the modern world. The research is original,
the prose fire hot, and the ideas revolutionary. No one else has
tackled the subject in such a compelling way.
in these volumes are countless. Every page, every paragraph, bursts
with intellectual energy and the author's fiery passion to tell
the reader the remarkable story of economics. Many reviewers have
remarked that Rothbard's accomplishment seems super-human. He seems
to have read everything. His originality is overwhelming. His passion
for liberty and integrity in science is evident. His disdain toward
those who sell out to the state is manifest as well.
on these volumes in the ten years before his death in 1995. He also
gave a series of lectures on his ongoing research. As a result,
we all had very high expectations. But nothing could have prepared
us for what eventually appeared. When they first appeared, the publisher
priced them at $200+ and yet they still sold. Through a special
arrangement, the Mises Institute is able to provide both volumes
in gorgeous hardcover for $47.
Look no further
than the reviews posted by readers on our site:
this book is like whizzing through history on that stupendous
time machine, at far greater speeds than any mere white knuckle
two-volume book is simply stupendous. And I haven't even got to
the second volume yet, where the good Professor sets up and then
destroys Karl Marx and all the fools who ever followed him, including,
alas, your humble former-socialist reviewer
. God bless you,
© 2007 Ludwig von Mises Institute
All rights reserved.