Editorial Reviews Roy A. Childs, Jr.
This is a cause for celebration!
For several years, Laissez Faire Books has been attempting to arrange for a paperback edition of Ludwig von Mises's masterpiece, Human Action. Although Human Action was first published in 1949 (a German-language edition, Nationaloekonomie, was published in 1940, then completely rewritten in English), no paperback edition has ever been permitted by its publishers. Now, after literally years of negotiations, we are proud to announce the first paperback edition, thus potentially making it available to a much wider audience.
Its place in history:
Why is Human Action so important? Why has it been revered and honored ever since it was first published? Why is it regarded both as an historic classic and a contemporary masterpiece, by virtually every friend of liberty who has read it? To answer these questions is to understand the special place in history of Ludwig von Mises, and the special place in the body of his works of this truly magnificent achievement.
Our century has properly been called the Era of Statism. In our time, every known form of statism has been tried, from Communism to Fabian Socialism to Fascism, military dictatorships, neomercantilist states, revived monarchies, theocracies, national socialism, and the welfare state-- you name it. That's because by the turn of the century, Classical Liberalism--with its advocacy of individualism, private property, laissez faire capitalism, free trade and limited government--had been soundly defeated by its numerous adversaries. By the eve of the first World War, scarcely a single intellectual figure survived to champion these splendid ideals. And no wonder, for under the constant assaults of all varieties, Classical Liberalism had been badly damaged. It needed to be reconstructed if it was to survive at all.
It was then that one young man, working virtually alone, burst on the scene with a new vision of Classical Liberalism. He had flirted with a mild version of socialism, rejected it, and gone on to reason his way to a more consistent and rigorous case for capitalism than anyone had ever before set forth.
William H. Peterson, adjunct scholar, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
Human Action says it all. In this towering masterwork, Mises makes the case for limited government and a free society, pointing out the inseparability between freedom and free enterprise -- that you can't have one without the other. -