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.
Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action by Robert P. Murphy is available in hardcover, paperback, and kindle format.
Murray Rothbard, the iconic Austrian school author, professor, and philosopher, continues to amaze. The author of the landmark libertarian treatise, Man, Economy, and State, now tackles the subject of government interference with science and technology. From Amazon.com:
In this previously unpublished manuscript, found in the Rothbard Archives, Rothbard deftly turns the tables on the supporters of big government and their mandate for control of research and development in all areas of the hard sciences. What R&D should be encouraged and funded, what inventions should be supported, and what areas should be given research grants, etc.? These decisions can only be decided by markets unburdened by government meddling and intervention. Rothbard shows that science best advances under the free market: the claims to the contrary of the centralizers are spurious. The best course of action for government is to get out of the way …
Science, Technology, and Government by Murray Rothbard is available in Kindle and paperback format.
Be sure to check out the Austrian / Libertarian Reading List.
Here is my Austrian/libertarian reading list. I haven’t read everything on this list, but you have to have goals! When I was first exposed to the ideas of Austrian economics and libertarianism, I wanted to know more but I wasn’t sure where to begin. This is a list which is designed to aid those that find themselves in the position that I once was.
- Economics In One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt If you only read one book on economics, read this one.
- The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy (Studies in Ethics and Economics) – Thomas E. Woods Jr. If you’ve finished Economics In One Lesson and you’re wondering what to read next, read this. Don’t be discouraged by the title, this book has something for everybody.
- Man, Economy, and State – Murray Rothbard When you’re not quite ready to tackle Human Action, this is a good intermediate read. This is the book that I’m currently reading.
- The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand Some say that if you’re going to read Rand, you should start with Anthem. I couldn’t get into it, personally, so I’d recommend starting here.
- For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto – Murray Rothbard
- Anatomy of the State – Murray Rothbard
- We the Living – Ayn Rand A powerful, startling look at communism from the inside.
- Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse – Thomas E. Woods
- Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand If you enjoyed The Fountainhead and We the Living, then you’re ready for this one.
- Human Action – Ludwig von Mises
- Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action – Robert P. Murphy I’m excited by the idea of this book: the insights found in Human Action are conveyed in a modern fashion for the layperson. No prior knowledge of economics is required. I can’t wait to read this book!
- Science, Technology, and Government – Murray Rothbard Previously unpublished. Released in 2015. See my related post.
This list is by no means complete. In fact it may never be complete. I’ll add updates in the future but the reader cannot go wrong reading any of the above.
Please share your suggestions.