Patrick Peterson's Reviews > Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action

Choice by Robert P. Murphy
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Jun 21, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: austrian-economics, economics, libertarian, textbook
Recommended for: people intimidated by Human Action by Mises or want an easier, more current translation

Excellent book. Great way to get into the key ideas of Ludwig von Mises and his magnum opus, Human Action. This book is a modern translation/summary/ update of Human Action. It is intended to help people access the important ideas of Mises, without having to go through the sometimes difficult, abstract, and much longer original volume. I think it does that job extremely well.

It also has a wonderful running commentary on the place of Mises and his key ideas in the history of economics, and the still ongoing debates about the proper methodology of economics and many other issues. It contrasts the crucial Mises ideas with the more popular and well known, but far less logical, realistic or outright destructive ideas of Keynes, Marx, Friedman and the most important parts of mainstream economics.

Topics covered which will enlighten just about anyone:
- money and inflation, in language any intelligent individual can grok
- the importance of economic calculation,
- the impossibility of economic calculation under socialism,
- the key role of the entrepreneur,
- what are capital and capital goods and why should you care deeply
- Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle and what it means to you
- Socialism, Interventionism and Laissez Faire - decide wisely
- etc.

The book starts out with endorsements from 37 scholars. Each person highlights a good and different reason why the book is valuable. Heed their advice. This book is worth it.

Even though I started reading Mises almost 40 years ago, and have been reading and rereading his works, his critics works and his fans' works, for many of the years in-between, this is the first book I have come across which really did a great job of translating Human Action into a reasonable-sized book, in updated American vernacular, but still stayed very true to the ideas in not only the basics, but important details and nuances.

I loved it and recommend it highly, whether you read the original Mises or not, but especially if not.
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Reading Progress

June 21, 2015 – Started Reading
June 21, 2015 – Shelved
June 21, 2015 – Shelved as: austrian-economics
June 21, 2015 – Shelved as: economics
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: libertarian
July 18, 2015 – Shelved as: textbook
July 18, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Patrick Peterson Just received this in the mail yesterday. Finished first 26 pages this morning. Very promising. INCREDIBLE number and quality of positive blurbs from respected economists. Very excited to continue.


message 2: by Walter (new) - added it

Walter Foddis I remember slogging through Human Action in the 1990s, but man it was tough. I don't know if I finished it. This sounds very promising, though. Thanks for the review.


Patrick Peterson Thanks Walter. 1st 1/3 - 2/3 of Human Action are indeed very tough. But the last 1/3 or so is glorious, and not tough at all. I've read it about 3-4x and really appreciate this new book.


message 4: by Eric (new) - added it

Eric Great review. Added it to my list. Thank you for sharing it!


Patrick Peterson Thanks Eric! Hope you enjoy it.


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