Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Ludwig von Mises
Today is the 129th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig von Mises. He was the Roy Hobbs of economics--the best there ever was. That is pretty high praise, but there are occasions when high praise is true. Mises should be remembered for his brilliant mind that gave us so many seminal works in the social sciences as well as for his moral courage in the face of tremendous odds.

It was my reading Mises' Human Action that God used to convince me of my calling to pursue a vocation in economics. For my thoughts on the importance of that book for students of economics, I humbly recommend a lecture I delivered at the Mises Institute over a decade ago, "Human Action in the Life of a Student." It was that lecture that proved instrumental in my being asked to write an introductory text that turned out to be Foundations of Economics.

Those who would like a brief introduction to the importance of Mises will benefit from reading Murray Rothbard's The Essential Ludwig von Mises.  The most complete treatment of Mises' life and work is the monumental biography, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism by Jorg Guido Hulsmann.

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