I’m excited to read the latest book by economist and author, Robert P. Murphy: Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action. In a brilliant move, Murphy has written a book which conveys the wisdom contained in Human Action by Ludwig von Mises to the layman. I’m constantly hearing references to Human Action in Austrian circles, so I’ve had a strong desire to work my way through it. In my first attempt to read Mises’ landmark work, I quickly realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew. It was simply over my head. I fell back to Man, Economy, and State by Murray Rothbard, which proved to be much more readable for me. Still, the desire remained to learn the teachings of Mises. I believe that Bob Murphy’s book will provide an easier road to that goal.
Human Action—a treatise on laissez-faire capitalism by Ludwig von Mises—is a historically important and classic publication on economics, and yet it can be an intimidating work due to its length and formal style. Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action, however, skillfully relays the main insights from Human Action in a style that will resonate with modern readers. The book assumes no prior knowledge in economics or other fields, and, when necessary, it provides the historical and scholarly context necessary to explain the contribution Mises makes on a particular issue. To faithfully reproduce the material in Human Action, this work mirrors its basic structure, providing readers with an enjoyable and educational introduction to the life’s work of one of history’s most important economists.