Saturday, February 13, 2016

“If you could recommend only one book for me to read…”

Tyler Cowen writes that the above question was recently posed to him.

My immediate recommendation would be:

Human Action by Ludwig von Mises



  1. Robert,

    I think it was Tom Woods and Bob Murphy who I heard recommended students read Man, Economy, and State before Human Action, almost as a primer. Your thoughts?

    1. Well first, I am not talking about a primer. I am answering the question,"Which book to read if you read only one book?"

      Second, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with "Man, Economy and State" and Rothbard does make some advances beyond Mises, "Human Action" just seems a much richer book to me.

      My favorite Rothbard reading is his 2 volume "An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought"

      If you were to ask me to recommend three books, these would be the three.

      I generally don't recommend "primers" for serious students.

  2. Rothbard went off in a whole different direction with natural rights instead of utilitarianism and of course anarchism. Mises was a much deeper thinker.

  3. Harry Browne's Why Government Doesn't Work.

  4. The Art of the Deal