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Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics [Kindle Edition]

Henry Hazlitt
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (428 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $8.04
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

A million copy seller, Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson is a classic economic primer. But it is also much more, having become a fundamental influence on modern “libertarian” economics of the type espoused by Ron Paul and others.

Considered among the leading economic thinkers of the “Austrian School,” which includes Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich (F.A.) Hayek, and others, Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an influential libertarian publication.  Hazlitt wrote Economics in One Lesson, his seminal work, in 1946. Concise and instructive, it is also deceptively prescient and far-reaching in its efforts to dissemble economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.

Many current economic commentators across the political spectrum have credited Hazlitt with foreseeing the collapse of the global economy which occurred more than 50 years after the initial publication of Economics in One Lesson. Hazlitt’s focus on non-governmental solutions, strong — and strongly reasoned — anti-deficit position, and general emphasis on free markets, economic liberty of individuals, and the dangers of government intervention make Economics in One Lesson, every bit as relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


"A magnificent job of theoretical exposition."

—Ayn Rand

“I strongly recommend that every American acquire some basic knowledge of economics, monetary policy, and the intersection of politics with the economy. No formal classroom is required; a desire to read and learn will suffice. There are countless important books to consider, but the following are an excellent starting point: The Law by Frédéric Bastiat; Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; What has Government Done to our Money? by Murray Rothbard; The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek; and Economics for Real People by Gene Callahan.
If you simply read and comprehend these relatively short texts, you will know far more than most educated people about economics and government. You certainly will develop a far greater understanding of how supposedly benevolent government policies destroy prosperity. If you care about the future of this country, arm yourself with knowledge and fight back against economic ignorance. We disregard economics and history at our own peril.”

—Ron Paul, Senator from Texas

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

A simple, straightforward analysis of economic fallacies that are so prevalent they have almost become a new orthodoxy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1174 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0517548232
  • Publisher: Crown Business (August 11, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XT60KO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,358 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
792 of 823 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Students Love Hazlitt! May 17, 2001
I teach Principles of Microeconomics, and I always use this book for extra credit. Students who hate reading long, boring, stuffy text books always like Hazlitt, and give him high reviews every single semester. The very readable chapters are short (about 3-6 pages in most cases), and told in story form to make Hazlitt's point. This makes it possible for even freshmen with notoriously short attention spans to read the day's chapter.
Hazlitt's "one lesson" is simple, and told in Chapter 1. The rest of the chapters are all stories in which the lesson plays a prominent role. In short, Hazlitt doesn't merely tell us the lesson, he actually shows us the lesson -- over and over and over, until we've got it.
With stories on tariffs, minimum wage, rent controls, taxes. unions, wages, profits, savings, credit, unemployment, and so much more, Hazlitt takes some of the most difficult economic concepts and makes these easily accessible to the lay person who has no economic training, background, or even inclination.
It's one thing for me to recommend this book. It's quite another for my students to recommend it semester after semester. I can imagine no higher praise.
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280 of 300 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've missed my life's calling. July 12, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I should have studied economics. Hazlitt's book is remarkably readable, coherent, and logical. It just confirms that truth is usually understandable, whereas complicated obfuscation is usually the major alarm bell that tips you off when people are trying to shaft you. This guy really knows his stuff.
The one lesson is so simple that it takes about five minutes to read the chapter about it. The rest of the book lists various scenarios in which that lesson applies. The general principle of the lesson applies so naturally to various specific cases that it simplifies economics immensely. Hazlitt must have studied logic as well as economics.
The one lesson is simply this: economic planning should take into account the effects of economic policies on all groups, not just some groups, and what those effects will be in the long run, not just the short run. That's it. That's the lesson. Fallacious economic policies almost invariably seek to benefit one group at the expense of all others, or to bring about short-term benefits at the expense of long-term benefits. With this as his thesis, Hazlitt examines the numerous manifestations of such fallacies in different situations.
His chapters are short, his prose is easy to follow, and his logic is compelling. I've never taken an economics class in my life, yet I had no trouble following the reasoning in this book. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand basic economics and the keys to widespread prosperity in the long run.
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180 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer in basic economics November 26, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The average American knows very little about economics or monetary theory. That's why they tend to believe whatever they see and hear on their televisions. By reading this short book, you'll gain a basic understanding of economics, and an explanation of the many myths that are taken as truths.
In the final chapter of this book, Hazlitt revists his work 30 years later (he was writing in 1978, and the book came out originally in 1946). He surmises that during that period, nothing was learned. If anything, he says, subjects related in the book (wage rates, price controls, government "make work") have become more political. I wonder what Hazlitt would say now.
You need to read this book in order to appreciate the real consequences of actions your government wants to take. The theme emphasized over and over in the book is that actions must be thought through to see what the long term effects will be, not just the highly visible short term ones.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing (or at least mind-changing) book September 2, 2009
I read this book as a college grad fairly ignorant of economic matters. It completely changed my world view. Perhaps that sounds hyperbolic, but the common-sense lessons about human thought and action in this small, easily digestible book have materialized in virtually every aspect of my life, from the obvious, such as my views on political policy, to the obscure, such as my relationships and my satisfaction with my own choices. Hazlitt is never heavy-handed; he comes over as extremely objective because he doesn't need to convince anyone of his views. He is confident that anyone who takes the time to read, consider, and understand true economics would be hard-pressed to reject the logical conclusions he offers.

The book essentially springs from the premise that economic fallacy results from considering the effects of a policy or action only on a specific group or over a short period of time. From this he goes on to explain how such fallacies have invaded every single sphere of public policy. While before I vaguely opposed the idea of public works projects, tariffs, and welfare, I had no reasoning to back up my thoughts so I rarely expressed them. Hazlitt's book, instead of arming me with political doublespeak, provided me with the solid theory to truly understand why things that seem hard to argue against--kickbacks for hardworking but suffering farmers, for example-- are really counter productive. I recommend this book for people who hail from any economic class or political party; it won't offend you, and will do nothing but make you more informed and better equipped to understand the world around you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Published 10 hours ago by JO ANN FIKES
5.0 out of 5 stars The Skeptics Manual to Financial Parlor Tricks
This is a fantastic read. It is particularly a fantastic read as a follow-up book to Das Kapital by Marx, as was my experience. Read more
Published 12 hours ago by K. Burns
5.0 out of 5 stars The Genius of Henry Hazlitt
I first read Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson some fifteen years ago and have provided copies to business associates and family members ever since. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Scott Rivard
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise, easy to understand, while still being insightful
I checked this book out from the library after reading the positive reviews from Amazon. It was my first book on economics and since then I have furthered my studies with other... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Shound be read by economists and others who make financial decisions.
Great explanation of capitalism and how it works, the role of self-interest, and the interrelationships among economics and decision making.
Published 4 days ago by Larry Hoffmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest. Book. Ever.
This book should be required reading for all politicians before they run for office. Heck, it should be required reading for anyone who wants to live in this country. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Zac
5.0 out of 5 stars Easiest Way to be Economically Literate
I majored in Econ at a good university and I have a better grasp of economic fundamentals after reading this book than when I graduated. No lie.
Published 8 days ago by Rob P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for all citizens
Why are tariffs counterproductive? Why do minimum-wage laws never work? Why do price supports and subsidies hurt the public at large? Read more
Published 8 days ago by double_H
5.0 out of 5 stars Great summary
I don't know much about economics and this was a great overview. I underlined many parts; hope it all sticks w me.
Published 12 days ago by James Rambasek
5.0 out of 5 stars Open your eyes!
Read this and discover how one basic economic fallacy debunked exposes the current commonly held concept, policies, and collararies as the progressive nonsense which they are.
Published 12 days ago by Bike Mike
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Amazon Wrong Cover
It seems you were sent was the old, outdated edition, published in 1988. The one you ordered was probably the new one published 20 years later, in 2008. The new, 50th Anniversary edition, with the colorful cover, is described as follows:

"Publication Date: September 25, 2008
A new trade... Read more
Feb 16, 2012 by E. Meyers |  See all 2 posts
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