Human Action is the most important book on political economy you will ever own. It was (and remains) the most comprehensive, systematic, forthright, and powerful defense of the economics of liberty ever written. This is the Scholar's Edition: accept no substitute. You will treasure this volume.
The Scholar's Edition is the original, unaltered treatise (originally published in 1949) that shaped a generation of Austrians and made possible the intellectual movement that is leading the global charge for free markets.
Mises himself wrote the following by way of explanation of why he wrote the book: "Economics does not allow any breaking up into special branches. It invariably deals with the interconnectedness of all phenomena of acting and economizing. All economic facts mutually condition one another. Each of the various economic problems must be dealt with in the frame of a comprehensive system assigning its due place and weight to every aspect of human wants and desires. All monographs remain fragmentary if not integrated into a systematic treatment of the whole body of social and economic relations.
"To provide such a comprehensive analysis is the task of my book Human Action, a Treatise on Economics. It is the consummation of lifelong studies and investigations, the precipitate of half a century of experience. I saw the forces operating which could not but annihilate the high civilization and prosperity of Europe. In writing my book, I was hoping to contribute to the endeavors of our most eminent contemporaries to prevent this country from following the path which leads to the abyss."
The Scholar's Edition of Human Action is the definitive edition of this great work and foundation of every library of freedom.
The most insightful work on Economics produced in the 20th century. Every time you hear 'imaginary construction of the evenly-rotating economy', drink.
Where does Human Action rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
#3: Human action is definitely Von Mises best work, I consider this book to economics what the principia was to physics; it's final chapter the intellectual equivalent of dropping the mic.
Who was your favorite character and why?
There are no characters, its an economics treatise for goodness sake.
Which scene was your favorite?
Dear heavens, I'm pretty sure an algorithm went wrong here.
If you could give Human Action a new subtitle, what would it be?
Free Markets: Boom.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
This explains it all.
It took me several years to get through this audiobook due to its length and scholarly language. It was especially tough to get through the first out of 7 books. But as soon as I started book 2, it became much easier. So many of my previous takes on things had to be reconsidered that it took this long to digest it intellectually. I had to read other books to get up to speed on various subjects, and it inspired me to develop a way of thinking and analyzing. Most chapters made my mind explode in awe as I realized what the author was explaining.
Very well written, although scholarly.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Human Action to be better than the print version?
Likely the greatest economic book ever written. I had never been able to finish the written book, but the audio book made me look forward to hours of business travel. Few writers have ever linked macro economic events back to the purchasing decisions of individuals so well. The first few chapters are a bit dry, but they lay the ground work in the psychology and philosophy of the individual that that make the rest of the book brilliant. He describes the future of the next 50 years after the book was written as a pure thought experiment on the consequenses of Kensian and socialist economics. His thought process makes the ongoing actions of the worlds central bankers almost predictable when you take into account the individual and group motivations of the monitary power structure. Strongly recommended with Currency Wars and Endgame as the best economic books in the Audible collection.
17 of 19 people found this review helpful
couldn't put it down... answers a lot of questions about our current interventist state... this guy really gets it
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
this is a book today everybody should listen to. sometimes it is hard to follow without a book handy, and it is very long... but that is a nature of material. the presentation and context it's brilliant!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Despite the prolixity of the text and the monotony of the reading, I'm sorry to say that this is a "must hear" audiobook. I confess it took me about 6 months to finish.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
whether you are a believer of market economics or not, this is one of the best books ever written about market economics.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
it is a very long read but it's well worth it. I don't understand how the speaker could be so consistent butt so interesting. I've heard recordings of Ludwig von mises speak and was concerned that this reading would be difficult to grasp but it was very easy to hear and absorb. It was very insightful. and apparently he can tell the future.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Ludwig von Mises is a twentieth century Machiavelli. This audio-book details a theory of economics that will offend modern liberals, expose weakness of libertarians, and vilify the new American President’s nationalist policies. The venality of treating government as a business is a mistake of monumental proportion.
Approaching von Mises as a devil incarnate is unfair. His beliefs are pilloried by today’s liberals as loudly as aristocrats and rulers vilified Machiavelli in the 16th century. Like Machiavelli, von Mises looks at the world as it is; not as it ought to be. His observations cut at modern liberal, as well as anarchic views of highly regarded liberals like Ralph Nader, Martin Luther King, Norm Chomsky, and alleged conservatives-like President Trump. In von Mises book, Roosevelt’s New Deal is a socialist mistake. Additionally, von Mises vociferously disagrees with John Maynard Keyne’s economic interventionist creed. Ironically, Donald Trump may be the most interventionist President since FDR with scatter brained economic plans that von Mises would equally vilify.
The fallacy of von Mises’ theory lies in the framework of theorists. It ignores human existence by hiding behind the un-quantifiable nature of society. One may argue that America’s Civil War had nothing to do with the elimination of slavery. (Von Mises suggests that slavery was abolished because it became too expensive; not because it was morally and ethically reprehensible.) One may argue that Roosevelt’s New Deal was a failure. One may argue that the Marshall Plan after WWII rewarded failed nations. One may argue that George Bush’s and Barrack Obama’s decisions to bail out the American economy interfered with pure capitalism. History suggests von Mises is both right and wrong. Government intervention can be good as well as bad.
American capitalism works because of the checks and balances written in the Constitution. Von Mises theory is based on valid observations but social conscience, whether statistically measurable or not, must be a part of decisions that affect the lives of millions. Mistakes will be made, and have been made, but economic statistics cannot be substituted for pragmatism.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Human Action?
the way it illustrated philosophical principles, specifically those relating to action-theory, in a practical, real-world way
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
it's an epoch treatise done right
Which character – as performed by Jeff Riggenbach – was your favorite?
no characters, but the narrating was great
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
i learned a lot, more than in college
Any additional comments?
wish i'd read/listened to this earlier
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
No proper understanding of the economical science is possible without this treatise.
Mises was a gift to the world.