Ludwig Von Mises: The Man and His Economics

Overview

The work of Ludwig von Mises exercised enormous influence upon the thought of libertarians, classical liberals, anticommunists, and even traditionalist conservatives during the postwar years. But, as Israel Kirzner shows in the second installment in our Library of Modern Thinkers series, Mises’ dedication was always first and foremost to discovering truthsand destroying falsehoodswithin the science of economics. In this thorough yet concise introduction to Mises’ life, economics, and influence, Kirzner (a former ...
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Overview

The work of Ludwig von Mises exercised enormous influence upon the thought of libertarians, classical liberals, anticommunists, and even traditionalist conservatives during the postwar years. But, as Israel Kirzner shows in the second installment in our Library of Modern Thinkers series, Mises’ dedication was always first and foremost to discovering truthsand destroying falsehoodswithin the science of economics. In this thorough yet concise introduction to Mises’ life, economics, and influence, Kirzner (a former student of Mises and an influential free-market economist himself) traces the key elements of Mises’ life, explains his core contributions to economic theory, and assesses his impact on twentieth-century economics and political thought.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A brief intellectual biography of the development of von Mises' economic thought. Kirzner (New York U.), a former student of von Mises, looks at the influences of the economic debates in Europe on von Mises' thought, traces his theories as they developed in his writings, and discusses both critical and supportive commentators on von Mises. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882926688
  • Publisher: ISI Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Series: Library of Modern Thinkers
  • Pages: 242
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Ludwig von Mises was one of the most influential economists of the twentieth century, and almost certainly the most significant free-market economist. Mises played a major role in the development of the Austrian school of economics, whose exponentsincluding Nobel laureates like F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Gary Beckerradically transformed the “dismal science.” In this volume, the most accessible book-length treatment of Mises’ life and work, Israel Kirzner follows Mises from his famous Privatseminar in Viennawhich included luminaries such as Hayek and Eric Voegelinto his reluctant emigration from Geneva, to his last years at New York University. Kirzner illuminates the sources and forces behind Mises’ intellectual development. In so doing, he provides a useful and understandable overview of the principles of Austrian economics and the laissez-faire economic policies that became associated with it.

In addition, Kirzner makes clear that the importance of Ludwig von Mises is not limited to the realm of economics. Mises exercised enormous influence on the thought of libertarians, classical liberals, anticommunists, and even traditionalist conservatives during the postwar years. For Mises, the tenets of classical liberal political theory corresponded profoundly with the fundamental truths of economics. And yet he was no ideologue; a stalwart defender of the possibility and importance of wertfrei (value-free) science, his dedication was always first and foremost to discovering truthsand destroying falsehoodswithin the discipline of economics.

Economic truths, Mises argued, could not be ignored in utopian attempts to use the power of the state to bring about perfect economic justice or equality. In refreshingly lucid terms, Kirzner describes Mises’ original achievements in explaining the logic of entrepreneurship and dynamic competition, as well as his contributions to monetary theory, the theory of interest rates, and the theory of the business cycle. Even more importantly, Kirzner shows how Mises was able to relate abstract economic theory to concrete problems of public policy.

This volume is the second installment in ISI Books’ Library of Modern Thinkers series. A noteworthy free-market economist in his own right, Israel Kirzner was Mises’ doctoral student and protégé at New York University. The personal warmth and understanding that Kirzner has for his book’s subject make it an unusually lively read. This is a book for all students of economics, as well as anyone looking for a deeper understanding of twentieth-century political and social thought.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and References   ix
Preface   xi
1. Ludwig von Mises, 1881-1973   1
2. Ludwig von Mises, Economist   33
3. The Nature of Economic Inquiry   69
4. The Economics of the Market Process   93
5. Monetary Theory, Cycle Theory, and the Rate of Interest   121
6. Mises: Free-Market Economist of the Century   163
Postscript: Misesian Economics After Mises   193
Appendix: Books By Mises   197
Endnotes   201
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