Ludwig Von Mises: The Man and His Economics (Library of Modern Thinkers)

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9781882926688: Ludwig Von Mises: The Man and His Economics (Library of Modern Thinkers)
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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. Now available in quality paperback.

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From the Inside Flap:

The Library of Modern Thinkers is a series of authoritative introductions to the thought of important intellectual figures. Critical yet accessible, they will instruct anyone seeking to understand the central questions of our time.

“Professor Kirzner’s Ludwig von Mises: The Man and His Economics is a thorough and detailed presentation of the work of the greatest economist of the twentieth century. Kirzner’s clear analysis of the theoretical contributions of Mises is a needed scholarly achievement.”
—Leonard P. Liggio, Law School, George Mason University, and Distinguished Senior Scholar, Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University

“ISI and Professor Kirzner are to be congratulated for this stimulating look at the life and work of Ludwig von Mises, who was surely the economic genius of the century. This book, by a leading student and follower, helps gain for Mises the credit he deserves for explaining the business cycle and proving that socialism cannot work, among the many other contributions expertly chronicled in these pages.”
—Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Founder and President, The Ludwig von Mises Institute

“There is no one better suited than Israel Kirzner for writing a biographical piece on Ludwig von Mises. As would be expected, the result of Kirzner’s efforts is a masterful work that presents a rather complete picture of Mises’ economic vision. In clear and concise prose, the economic thought of Mises is explored, giving the reader a greater knowledge of, and appreciation for, the economics of Mises and the Austrian School.”
—John J. Bethune, Kennedy Chair of Free Enterprise, Barton College, Wilson, North Carolina

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 exponents—including Nobel laureates like F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Gary Becker—radically 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 Vienna—which included luminaries such as Hayek and Eric Voegelin—to 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 truths—and destroying falsehoods—within 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.

About the Author:

Israel M. Kirzner received his Ph.D. under Mises in 1957, and has been on the faculty at NYU ever since receiving his doctorate. The author of eleven books—including Competition and Entrepreneurship; Discovery, Capitalism and Distributive Justice (University of Chicago Press, 1973), and The Meaning of Market Process: Essays in the Development of Modern Austrian Economics (Routledge, 1992)—editor of five volumes, and author of over a hundred scholarly articles, Professor Kirzner has during his career lectured widely on Austrian economics at universities and conferences around the world, and has played a leading role in the late-twentieth-century revival of Austrian economics.

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