glyph 15: book ... economics, praxeology, general theory of human action, book, austrian school, philosophy, methodology, price, cost, value, entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, calculation, money


Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises

book ... a general theory of human action ... General Treatises, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Business Cycles, Policy, Antitrust and Monopoly

One of the great books. -ls — Available without charge for download as pdf or ebook:

First paragraph:

Economics is the youngest of all sciences. In the last two hundred years, it is true, many new sciences have emerged from the disciplines familiar to the ancient Greeks. However, what happened here was merely that parts of knowledge which had already found their place in the complex of the old system of learning now became autonomous. The field of study was more nicely subdivided and treated with new methods; hitherto unnoticed provinces were discovered in it, and people began to see things from aspects different from those of their precursors. The field itself was not expanded. But economics opened to human science a domain previously inaccessible and never thought of. The discovery of a regularity in the sequence and interdependence of market phenomena went beyond the limits of the traditional system of learning. It conveyed knowledge which could be regarded neither as logic, mathematics, psychology, physics, nor biology.

Full text, at no charge:

Description of the "Scholar's Edition" of Human Action, published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute —

Human Action is the most important book on political economy you will ever own. It was (and remains) the most comprehensive, systematic, forthright, and powerful defense of the economics of liberty ever written. This is the Scholars Edition: accept no substitute. You will treasure this volume. —Mises Institute

The following quoted from:

Fifty years ago, Ludwig von Mises shocked the economics profession and elite opinion with a massive, revolutionary treatise on economics, the culmination of his life's work. It was (and remains) the most comprehensive, systematic, forthright, and powerful defense of the economics of liberty ever written.

It appeared at a time when Western intellectuals were looking to positivism as the savior of social science, and socialism as the ideal economic system. Thus, the attacks began immediately. John Kenneth Galbraith condemned it. The New York Times dismissed it. The American Economic Review denigrated it. The New Republic sneered at it. The Progressive denounced it.

But the pile-on didn't work.

In time, Human Action would become academic bestseller and sweep all before it. As a total reconstruction of market theory from the bottom up, it recruited a whole new generation of free-market economists, and changed history. Even today, the breadth and scope of this great work has yet to be matched. What does the book cover? In a word, everything.

After the dust settled, it was Murray N. Rothbard who had it right in 1949. He wrote of Human Action: "Every once in a while the human race pauses in the job of botching its affairs and redeems itself by producing a noble work of the intellect.... To state that Human Action is a 'must' book is a greater understatement. This is the economic Bible of the civilized man."

Biography of Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

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entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated October 8, 2018

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