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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11374/new-book-on-ludwig-von-mises-and-the-austrian-tradition/

New Book on Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Tradition

January 4, 2010 by

Routledge has just published a new book of mine with the title, Political Economy, Public Policy and Monetary Economics: Ludwig von Mises and the Austrian Tradition.

It is available from Amazon in Great Britain.

And it may be pre-ordered from Amazon in the United States for February delivery.

Ludwig von Mises, was one of the most original and controversial economists of the 20th century, both as a defender of free-market liberalism and a leading opponent of socialism and the interventionist-welfare state. He was both the grant designer of a political economy of freedom and a trenchant, detailed critic of government regulatory and monetary policies in the first half of the 20th century.

I offer an exposition and analysis of Mises’ ideas on political economy, public policy and monetary economics in the historical context of his time, particularly during the interwar period when he was a senior economic analyst for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, and after his arrive in the United States in the 1940s during the Second World War.

I discuss the cultural currents of anti-Semitism in Austria before and after the First World War that Mises confronted as an Austrian Jew; his analysis of Austria-Hungary’s establishment and management of a gold standard before World War I; Mises’ multi-sided activities in the years after the World War I in stemming a hyperinflation, opposing government fiscal mismanagement, and resisting misguided policies during the Great Depression; and his analysis of how Europe plunged into World War II and the policies to restore freedom and prosperity in the post-World War II period. I also discuss the confrontation between the Austrian Economists and the Keynesians over the causes and cures for the Great Depression, as well as how Mises’ “Austrian” approach to money and the business cycle contrasted with both the ideas of Joseph A. Schumpeter and the Swedish Economists of the interwar period.

Table of Contents
1. Austrian Economics and the Political Economy of Freedom
2. Ludwig von Mises: Political Economist of Liberty
3. Ludwig von Mises and the Vienna of His Time
4. Austria-Hungary’s Economic Policies in the Twilight of the “Liberal” Era: Ludwig von Mises’ Writings on Monetary and Fiscal Policy Before World War I
5. The Economist as the Historian of Decline: Ludwig von Mises and Austria Between the Two World Wars
6. Planning for Freedom: Ludwig von Mises as Political Economist and Policy Analyst
7. The Austrian Economists and the Keynesian Revolution: The Great Depression and the Economics of the Short Run
8. Two Variations on the Austrian Monetary Theme: Ludwig von Mises and Joseph A. Schumpeter on the Business Cycle
9. Money, Economic Fluctuations, Expectations, and Period Analysis: the Austrian and Swedish Economists in the Interwar Period
10. Human Action, Ideal Types, and the Market Process: Alfred Schutz and the Austrian Economists

I know the book is a bit “expensive,” but I would suggest not waiting for the “movie version.” For some reason Hollywood has not contacted me, yet. Go figure!

Richard Ebeling


Richard January 4, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Just wondering if Volume 1 of the Selected Writings is due to be published anytime soon? Vols 2 and 3 seem to have been out for ages.

Al January 4, 2010 at 5:06 pm

That is all well and good but can you refute DG Lesvic?

(8?» January 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm


Other than institutes’ spending OPM (other people’s money) I have to say I’m at a loss to understand where supply and demand will overlap here.

Try as I might, I cannot believe this book can provide as much value as compared to what else I could purchase with that amount. Nor can I imagine that Mr. Ebeling would even try to pitch the book that way, given his note on it being expensive. Worse still, why would anyone go through all of the trouble to write a book that no one will purchase?

It’s almost if the publisher were deliberately tanking the project in order to keep this information out of the reach of those who might otherwise have interest, like myself. (unless that is, it will be made freely/cheaply available in electronic form?)

Sorry to be so critical, but it all seems so nonsensical to me.

Richard Ebeling January 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

As it as been explained to me, part of the pricing problem with book publishers has resulted from a change in the tax code, oh, about 20 years ago.

Before then publishers could right off as “liabilities” inventories of books. The IRS changed the rule and made book inventories an “asset” for tax purposes.

There was, then, a greater incentive to do smaller print runs to reduce the size of inventories at the end of the tax year, which also meant higher per unit costs.

This is why many scholarly titles with smaller market demands often go out-of-print in a relatively short time after they originally were published. Its too costly from the publisher’s perspective to hold that larger inventory and wait for sales to slowly eat into it when it is not a popular “best seller.”

With smaller print runs, and higher per-unit costs, I have been told, this motivates the more scholarly publishing houses to aim at the library market, where the demand for the product is more “inelastic.”

At least, that is what some people in the mainstream publishing industry have told me.

Richard Ebeling

Jule Herbert January 4, 2010 at 9:24 pm


Once the libraries have all their copies, what’s the chance of a non-profit getting reprint rights?

I do note that Garrison’s Time and Money is finally out in paperback. Is that the closest thing to a call from Hollywood you could wish for?

Anyhow I have put in my pre-order. Hope the dollar holds its rate with the pound (as they both hurdle towards zero).

Jeffrey Tucker January 5, 2010 at 7:48 am

Ok, Richard is right here but it is incomplete. What we have here are two monopolies: demand side and supply side. On the supply side, we have the copyright monopoly. Richard undoubtedly signed a contract that violates his human right to re-use his own words in another context or permit anyone else to do that. He has given up his own words and sold them into slavery, same as every other author. That word slavery is a monopoly. On the demand side, the monopoly libraries who buy these books are mostly using tax money to do so, and hence their demand is inelastic; they are using your money. Put the two together and we have completely economic irrationality, some akin to socialism itself.

Sadly, once having signed that contract, the monopolies persist for 70 years after Richard’s death.

That’s IP plus library socialism at work: a good lesson in economics here.

augusto October 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

hmmm… This sounds like a very anti-libertarian argument to me. After all, as far as we can tell, Richard was not in any way coerced or forced to sign the contract – of which the implications he was certainly aware.

Luke M January 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

It’s a shame the Routledge books are always so expensive. Fortunately my university library here in Australia has a somewhat bigger budget that I do and so I’ve been able to get a number of them onto the shelves. I’ve just placed an order for a copy of this, so thanks for the heads up, Prof. Ebeling.

MBrown January 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

Yeah, pretty bad pricing. One of the reasons I like POD, as it gets around the problem for smaller publishers. I really hate these books that seem to be priced for libraries and not us ordinary folks.

Here’s hoping that the Institute or someone else can reprint it at a more reasonable price in a couple of years. I saw books by another author that looked interesting (Ludwig van der Hauwe’s Foundations of Business Cycle Research v1 &2), but they were $100 each.

I would echo Richard’s question. When is Volume 1 of the Selected Writings coming out. Its long overdue…

Thedesolateone January 5, 2010 at 11:13 am

Sadly I’ll be making a coercive benefit by the means of the Bodleian (“copyright-”) library, which by law must have a copy since it’s been published in the UK.

EconAndre January 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Congrads on the new book, Richard. Since the topic has come up, could you give us a case study of your choice of publishing method–how and why did you choose Routledge and not some other method such as self-publish, e-publish, or some other low cost route that people at Mises talk so much about?

MBrown January 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm


I’m not Prof Ebeling, but I think I know why he went with them. As a college professor, he’s under the ‘publish or perish’ sword, and going with a small press or POD or the like wouldn’t fly. He’d have to go with a ‘legit’ publisher. This means using a university press, scholarly press, or similiar publisher, not going with Mises or Lulu or CreateSpace.

Someone I know who works as a university librarian did a reference work. Due to similiar rules, he had to take his reference works to such publishers, vs smaller presses, which he faced when the initial publisher of a work fell thru.

DG Lesvic January 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Al wrote,

“That is all well and good but can you refute DG Lesvic?”


Ben January 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Any publicity is good publicity right? The usual anti-LVMI smears alas


Stephan Kinsella January 6, 2010 at 9:39 am

Richard, Not being critical, just curious–why did you go w/ such a publisher, then? Why not just self-publish or use Mises or something, where the prices would be lower and the book would be open, and thousands more people would be able to read the book? I can understand a young professor looking for tenure wanting a “name” publisher behind them, or if you think they will get the book sold to more hands…. but in this day and age, it’s obvious that the book will be read by far more people if you had done it the other way.

Boldrin and Levine published Against Intellectual Monopoly with Cambridge but persuaded them to permit a free version of it to go up online. Any chance you could do the same here? It should not hurt institutional library sales.

You should also try to persuade them to release a kindle version for a reasonable price, say $10 or $20.

In any event, the paper version is now on my wish list! Thank you for writing this, I can’t wait to read it!

Stephan Kinsella January 6, 2010 at 9:42 am

Speaking of a Kindle version–I urge everyone reading this to go to Amazon, and click on the “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle” link to urge the publisher to put it up in Kindle form.

newson April 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

notwithstanding bloggers’ tart comments about lvmi, the ebeling work does promise to show a different, less-mentioned facet of mises:


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