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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/12527/ieas-primer-on-mises/

IEA’s Primer on Mises

April 21, 2010 by

The Institute of Economic Affairs has published a new primer on Mises by Eamonn Butler. It is for sale on their site and also you can download it in PDF.

Butler has written a very competent overview of Mises’s works and thoughts, with a focus on his understanding of the workings of markets (so, for example, there is less focus on theory than we find in The Essential von Mises).

As we know from his 1988 work, Butler is not himself (or at least was not in those days) a fully convinced Misesian. But this monograph contains none of the criticisms of Mises’s methodological views that were in his older work. It is a straight and convincing presentation of what Mises said and believed. Given the times, there is a strong emphasis in this work on Mises’s theory of the business cycle (there was a time when Hayek was habitually credited as the originator of the model)

Writing a monograph like this is harder than it looks. The main problem is to establish clear topical boundaries and achievable goals. We are, after all, speaking of a research paradigm is all-encompassing for the whole of social sciences and history. Here is where the project really works: Butler sticks to the task in every way. He cites none of the secondary literature that has emerged over the last few decades, and here it would be easy to criticize him. However, this is not what the book set out to do. As an introduction and overview, it really does succeed. It is also very gratifying to know that IEA saw the need to meet a demand in the UK for a book like this!

As a side note, my general impression is that IEA is the only other research institution besides the Mises Institute that is absolutely progressive as regards its distribution and publishing model in the digital age. It is also a small organization with an inner drive to get the word out, and that means that it avoids bureaucratic-style confusion over issues of intellectual property and the like. It has been a pleasure to work with IEA on the publication of Hayek’s works, for example.


Daniel Glowinski April 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

IEA used to be very influential, during the Thatcher’s era. I think Hayek himself was a member of IEA even before Thatcher came to power ,and under the influence of his book ”Road to Serfdom” she started to reform the country.

Josh April 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

It used to be a bastion of monetarism, I’m not so sure now. People like Tim Congdon and Patrick Minford are still writing pamphlets for them

Salamanca34 April 22, 2010 at 6:39 am

They do pretty good work at IEA. Philip Booth is there and he is very good.

Their “Primer on Adam Smith” is not bad either.

MB April 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

How about LvMI carrying this work???

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