The Top Dozen Books on Austrian Economics

This was posted yesterday on a forum. It begins with one of my observations on what I must re-read before I finish writing the manuscript of my projected magnum opus, Christian Economics: Scholar’s Edition.

“Then I will have to re-read the basics of Austrian economics. There are at least a dozen major books.”

Predictable question! What are they?

The list begins with books that are easier to read. The list gets progressively more rigorous.

Time to buy old US gold coins

1. What Has Government Done to Our Money? (1964), by Murray Rothbard. This is an easy to read book. It is short: a long article. It introduces a crucial topic, one which is central to Austrian school economics: money. Rothbard’s presentation sets forth his view of how central banking has undermined reliable, predictable money. What Has Government Do... Murray N. Rothbard Best Price: $7.04 Buy New $6.50 (as of 05:50 UTC - Details)

2. The Case for a 100% Gold Dollar (1962), by Rothbard. This extends his discussion in the first book. It is another long article.

3. Mises on Money (2012), by Gary North. This presents the main ideas of the Austrian theory of the business cycle, as first presented by Mises.

4. America’s Great Depression (1963), by Rothbard. This book presents the case against the Federal Reserve in the 1920’s and against Herbert Hoover’s interventions, 1930-33.

5. Bureaucracy (1944), by Ludwig von Mises. This short book shows the differences between profit management (free market) and bureaucracy (state). It is about 130 pages. It is easy to read. It shows why business techniques of efficiency are useless for reforming government. The funding is different.

6. The Road to Serfdom (1944), by F. A. Hayek. This is the most widely known book from an Austrian standpoint. It was a best-seller. It presents the case against government intervention in the name of liberty, not efficiency. Chapter 10 is great: “Why the Worst Get on Top.”

7. Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth (1920), by Mises. This short book converted a generation of young socialists to the The Case for a 100 Per... Murray N. Rothbard Best Price: $1.50 Buy New $5.95 (as of 08:05 UTC - Details) free market. Hayek was one of them. Mises showed how socialism is inherently irrational, for it has no rational pricing system.

8. Socialism (1922), by Mises. This extended his discussion in the previous book. It is the classic book ever written against all forms of socialism.

9. Human Action (1949), by Mises. This is his magnum opus. This was the first book to defend free market economic theory consistently in every area of the economy that is governed by the price system. It is comprehensive as no previous economics book had been.

10. Man, Economy, and State (1962), by Rothbard. This presents Human Action with the paraphernalia of college-level economics. It has lots of graphs. It has lots of footnotes. It is well organized. It is clear, as Rothbard’s books always are.

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Mises on Money Gary North Best Price: $7.90 Buy New $9.00 (as of 05:45 UTC - Details)

America’s Great ... Murray N. Rothbard Best Price: $3.02 Buy New $14.16 (as of 07:55 UTC - Details)

Bureaucracy Ludwig Von Mises Best Price: $13.71 (as of 11:55 UTC - Details)

The Road to Serfdom: T... F. A. Hayek, Bruce Cal... Best Price: $3.06 Buy New $1.99 (as of 03:40 UTC - Details)

Economic Calculation i... Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $1.99 Buy New $5.91 (as of 05:45 UTC - Details)

Socialism: An Economic... Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $6.00 Buy New $1.99 (as of 06:20 UTC - Details)

Human Action: The Scho... Ludwig von Mises Best Price: $6.75 Buy New $15.36 (as of 05:45 UTC - Details)

Man, Economy, and Stat... Murray N. Rothbard Best Price: $23.43 Buy New $29.95 (as of 08:10 UTC - Details)

Economic Logic 3rd Edi... Mark Skousen Best Price: $3.89 Buy New $621.23 (as of 02:20 UTC - Details)

Individualism and Econ... F. A. Hayek Best Price: $13.01 Buy New $26.45 (as of 03:55 UTC - Details)

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