In the last decade or so there has been a concerted attempt by some economists associated more or less closely with the Austrian school to deny Rothbard’s central role in the modern revival of Austrian economics and to downplay his status as a leading proponent of the Misesian paradigm. In response, I have provided what I believe to be compelling textual evidence that Mises himself, as well as some of his closest followers, regarded Rothbard as Mises’s foremost intellectual heir (here, here, and here). Now from the Rothbard archives comes a small treasure that corroborates the evidence I adduced in my earlier posts. This is in the form of Mises’s charming and pithy inscription in Rothbard’s copy of the third edition of Human Action, which reads:
To Murray N. Rothbard, pioneer of praxeological analysis with all good wishes. March 2nd, 1967.
“Pioneer of praxeological analysis”—given Mises’s well-known restraint in meting out compliments to fellow economists, this is high praise indeed and fits nicely with Mises’s remarks about Rothbard’s work in his letter defending praxeology to the French positivist Louis Rougier, which I cited in an earlier post:
The proof of the cake is in the eating. I can only refer to the systematic exposition of the whole doctrine of praxeology in my book Human Action and nowadays in the brilliant book of a younger man, Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy and State. . . .But, please, first of all read the book of Rothbard. It is very interesting also from the epistemological point of view.
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