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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7781/ten-books-to-read-for-free/

Ten books to read, for free

February 15, 2008 by

Someone writes to ask what ten free book on Mises.org are essential for understanding the Austrian position. Not a problem:

All are also available in hard copy.

{ 21 comments }

Dark Apostrophe February 15, 2008 at 8:42 am

What about Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty”? Or the Tannehill’s “The Market for Liberty”?

jeffrey February 15, 2008 at 8:50 am

Limited to 10. For every suggestion, please also say what book you would take out of the list.

eric lansing February 15, 2008 at 9:10 am

come on, put The Case Against The Fed online!

jeffrey February 15, 2008 at 9:16 am

The list is limited to 10. Again, for every book you suggest, please also suggest a book to take out of the list.

Taylor February 15, 2008 at 9:40 am

Hard to say what I’d take out in its place because it incorporates a lot of the work and theory of several of the books already on the list, but George Reisman’s Capitalism deserves a bigger spotlight than it gets around here.

Tom Woods February 15, 2008 at 10:02 am

It might be useful to add a list of books written at a more popular level that are available here. What Has Government Done to our Money? is a good example.

Inquisitor February 15, 2008 at 10:11 am

I’ll second Taylor’s view. Boehm-Bawerk’s specialist work might be replaced by it. Dark Apostrophe, it seems these books all pertain directly to economics, so those would be out of place.

Keith February 15, 2008 at 12:14 pm

The link to Epistemological Problems goes to the wrong document.

jeffrey February 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

Ok this is fixed now.

ajax February 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I would replace Bawek or de Soto with The Last Knight. Much more readable.

William February 15, 2008 at 1:06 pm

I would remove Murphy’s Study Guide and replace it with The Theory of Money and Credit.

I think Rothbard is a lucid enough writer that one doesn’t necessarily need Murphy’s study guide; certainly not at the expense of Mises’ tome on money.

Mike February 15, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for putting this list together Jeffrey! There are so many important books to get to so a little help narrowing down the essential reading is much appreciated. I have enjoyed looking at the TOP TEN lists on lewrockwell.com too. Any chance you could ask a few more of the scholars to share their top ten on mises.org?

Also, for what it’s worth, Hans Hoppe’s Theory of Socialism and Capitalism is amazing. Perhaps Murphy’s study guide can count as part of the whole MES experience and we can make room for one more on the list.

BBB February 15, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I think an important question to ask is where there is repetition.

Human Action covers most of Mises’ contributions, but his other major works go into greater detail: Theory of Money and Credit, Socialism, Epistemological Problems of Economics, Theory and History. Which of Mises’ books contains the most important ideas not covered in Human Action?

Man, Economy and State is similar for Rothbard. I would question whether America’s Great Depression is essential, as it is mostly applied.

Does Hazlitt’s Failure of the new economics count as Austrian? If so, it could replace America’s Great Depression as it shows in great detail how it (Austrian economics or similar) is better than Keynes.

I was going to include Kirzner – Competition and Entrepreneurship, but alas it’s not for free.

jeffrey February 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Yes, that Kirzner book is copyrighted. It seems obviously true that putting it online would increase interest and probably sales.

Authors beware: put your works in public domain else they will vanish under the new extreme and outrageous IP laws!

Alex Peak February 15, 2008 at 10:14 pm

Dark Apostrophe and eric lansing,

All three books are available online.

FANL:
http://tiger.towson.edu/~apeak1/writtenwork/otherworksworthreading/foranewlibertythelibertarianmanifesto.html

TMFL:
http://tiger.towson.edu/~apeak1/writtenwork/otherworksworthreading/themarketforliberty.html

TCATF:
http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

Although neither of the first two books is essential for understanding Austrian economics. Moreover, Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty is in my opinion much more important to libertarian theory, and is also more timeless, than For a New Liberty (although I probably would not have found myself as swayed by Ethics had I not listened to New Liberty first).

I can’t personally really say much about what books are important for understanding Austrian economics. I haven’t even read any of the ten listed books. I’m currently reading America (The Book) and Radicals for Capitalism and listening online to Dracula (LibriVox.org) and Conceived in Liberty. The only economics books I’ve read are Hazlitt’s One Lesson and the two audiobooks Mises.org released on the gold standard (one by Rothbard and the other by Paul).

So much to read/listen to, and so little time.

Alex Peak February 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Dark Apostrophe and eric lansing,

All three books are available online.

FANL:
http://tiger.towson.edu/~apeak1/writtenwork/otherworksworthreading/foranewlibertythelibertarianmanifesto.html

TMFL:
http://tiger.towson.edu/~apeak1/writtenwork/otherworksworthreading/themarketforliberty.html

TCATF:
http://mises.org/books/fed.pdf

Although neither of the first two books is essential for understanding Austrian economics. Moreover, Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty is in my opinion much more important to libertarian theory, and is also more timeless, than For a New Liberty (although I probably would not have found myself as swayed by Ethics had I not listened to New Liberty first).

I can’t personally really say much about what books are important for understanding Austrian economics. I haven’t even read any of the ten listed books. I’m currently reading America (The Book) and Radicals for Capitalism and listening online to Dracula (LibriVox.org) and Conceived in Liberty. The only economics books I’ve read are Hazlitt’s One Lesson and the two audiobooks Mises.org released on the gold standard (one by Rothbard and the other by Paul).

So much to read/listen to, and so little time.

Gus February 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Just for a comparison, Gary North’s top ten list:

Ten Steps to Understand Austrian Economic Theory

Thanks for your list,

Gustavo

Felix Maass April 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm

what!!!!!!!! only 10 books!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael A. Clem April 10, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Felix, the Mises site has tons of books that are free to read, but these ten are the ones that Jeff thinks “are essential for understanding the Austrian position.” And there are the journals, too. Just explore the site a little more.

Holme July 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I’d change America’s Great Depression with For a New Liberty. They are both very relevant books, but the latter is a must IMHO. It fundamentally changed my perspectives on a lot of issues.

vahid November 17, 2011 at 6:39 am

thank you sooooooooooooooooooooo much for the books.

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