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Economics in One Lesson: 50th Anniversary Edition Paperback – September 25, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Laissez Faire Books; 50th anniversary edition (September 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0930073193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0930073190
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This 50th-anniversary edition of Hazlitt's million-selling volume has been updated to include current statistics and an introduction by presidential aspirant Steve Forbes. This lay reader's guide has a place in all collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Henry Hazlitt's explanation of how a price system works is a true classic: timeless, correct, painlessly instructive. --Milton Friedman<br /><br />It is a brillant performance. It says precisely the things which need most saying and says them with rare courage and integrity. I know of no other modern book from which the intelligent layman can learn so much about the basic truths of economics in so short a time. --F. A. Hayek

Henry Hazlitt's explanation of how a price system works is a true classic: timeless, correct, painlessly instructive. --Milton Friedman

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Customer Reviews

This book needs to be at the top of your reading list.
Paul Entin
The most important thing that this book does is that it rebukes and counters all of the majorly popular misconceptions about economics.
grundle2600
My educated (self read) friends and I highly recommend this book.
MARK LANTIGUA

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on November 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Henry Hazlitt is best known for this brilliant work, one of the most concise and persuasive defenses of the free market ever written. One reason why socialism and statism appeal to the common man is that government actions are immediate and dramatic: they give the impression that something is being done about a specific problem or crisis. To show that government intervention in the economy isn't wise, one must "look not merely at the immediate but at the longer effect of any act or policy; one must trace the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."
Hazlitt proceeds to apply the above lesson to numerous government actions. By drawing the reader's attention to the unseen effects, the failure of socialism is exposed. Take for example government "jobs programs." If the government employs 500 people, one might think that government has "created" 500 jobs. However, government had to tax its citizens to fund these jobs. Had the money been left in the hands of taxpayers, their spending would have resulted in an equivalent number of employed individuals. Government didn't "create" jobs - it merely destroyed jobs in the private sector. On issue after issue, Hazlitt demonstrates that government intervention in the economy fails to achieve its stated goals (although its real goal - an increase in government power - is always achieved). In addition, many basic economic falicies are refuted, such as "machines destroy jobs," and workers need "to earn enough money to buy back the products."
If you are new to the study of economics, don't stop here. Be sure to read Rothbard's "Man, Economy and State"; Von Mises' "Human Action"; and Reisman's "Capitalism." They are the twentieth century's "big three" works in economics.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in learning more about economics, this isthe book to get you started. Forget the statist Samuelson and Nordhaustext they forced on us in Econ 101, "Economics in OneLesson" is the real stuff! Each essay is clear and easy to read with no hard math for us remedial liberal arts majors. More organized and consistent than Friedman, Hazlitt shows that economics only becomes complicated when it is twisted and contorted so as to fit an intellectually dishonest view of the world.
If you're taking an introductory high school or college economics course that doesn't use this book, buy it and read it as a supplement to your coursework. It's very easy to read an essay a day and you'll be intellectually armed, no matter what tripe they try to force down you in class.
As a follow-up book, may I suggest Ayn Rand's "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," which lays a moral foundation for a free market, an essential step and one lacking in most economists' view of life. After all, capitalism is not some system devised by experts, it is what naturally occurs when free men are able to trade goods and services...
And if you really want to be versed in the subject, get "Capitalism" by George Reisman, who should win a Nobel prize for this brilliant text. Just having this 1046-page volume on your bookshelf will keep the statists at bay.
If you have already read and learned from "Economics in One Lesson", consider buying a copy for a friend. Spread capitalism and spread the wealth!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Setliff on July 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is perhaps the best book to introduce the layman to the field of economics... This book was a Godsend for me... I stumbled on it in my early college days when I was taking two semesters of Economics and neck-deep in a Keynesian textbook of Fabian socialist fallacies and lies. Hazlitt's book opened my eyes to an insightful intellectual library that supports free-markets and individual liberty. Economics in One Lesson enlightened me, while it helped develop my economic reasoning. It helped me confirm what common sense told me all along - that a laissez-faire free market is the way to go!

This book basically introduced me to the Austrian School of Thought on Economics. The "Austrians" vindicate the market economy's spontaneous order as the surest way to have optimal prosperity, opportunity, and individual liberty for the masses. The verbal logic and reasoning of the Austrian school is generally easy to understand and makes sense to the reader. Needless, to say my interest in the laissez-faire perspective grew - and I read and amassed a library of hundreds of interrelated books on various disciplines from economics to history to political theory. I also recommend any books by other "Austrian" luminaries such as Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Murray Rothbard. Hidden Order by David Friedman and Capitalism by Ayn Rand are also worth mentioning.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By grundle2600 on August 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt succeeds very well at what it was meant to do. The book makes it extremely easy for the reader to learn about economics. The book is simple and easy to understand. And it's also quite enjoyable to read. And it's only about 200 pages long, so it can be read in a relatively short period of time.
Most high schools do not teach economics. And most colleges do not require any economics courses to be taken. However, with this book, you can learn all the major basics.
The most important thing that this book does is that it rebukes and counters all of the majorly popular misconceptions about economics. According to the book, the two main reasons that most people don't understand economics when they look at a certain policy are, #1 they only look at how the policy affects its targeted group of people, and avoid considering how it affects the population as a whole and #2 they only look at the short term consequences of the policy, and ignore the long term effects.
For example, let's say that foreign companies are selling cheap steel to the U.S. So in order to protect jobs in the U.S. steel industry, the U.S. government creates import restrictions on steel that gets imported into the U.S. (These import restrictions could be either tariffs, quotas, or a combination of the two. The net result will be the same either way.)
So because of these trade barriers, the U.S. steel industry is saved. The jobs of thousands of steel workers are saved. We see reports on the TV news and in the newspapers that these jobs have been saved. Supposedly, the country is better off. Supposedly, these trade barriers were a good idea.
But most people will ignore the other affects of these trade barriers.
Read more ›
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