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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 (458 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $8.04
You Save: $6.95 (46%)
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
  • ISBN-10: 0517548232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517548233
  • ASIN: B003XT60KO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
804 of 835 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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288 of 308 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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182 of 200 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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59 of 63 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
5.0 out of 5 stars It Is What It Claims To Be
Because this was written during the fascist Roosevelt administration, Economics in One Lesson had a few decades where it probably seemed too inflammatory to be taken too seriously. Read more
Published 8 days ago by D. Bouch
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Start for realistic economics.
Contains enough about the system to get a big picture, but economics involves far more moving parts than Hazlitt lists. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Dee Lindo (or her hubby)
5.0 out of 5 stars I am sure happy I obtained this book it is very educational
I had obtained this book with expectations to learn the basis of Economics, a restricted aspect of my formal school education. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Gaston
3.0 out of 5 stars Point (not) counterpoint
Hazlitt provides a compelling perspective of economic policies on society. However, as one might expect a book on "general" economics to provide un-biased (at least an... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Jaymie Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics -- One Lesson, Really? Really ! !
Read this. This is so clearly written using various analogies and stories that you will really enjoy the enlightenment that comes with it. Marvelous! Read more
Published 19 days ago by B. Volkert
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on economics.
THE best book for learning real economics. No graphs or tables, just very readable explanations of the 'human actions' which dictate immutable economic laws. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Guy Chat
5.0 out of 5 stars Economics for Every Man, Woman, and Child
He's so right, yet now, another half century later, none of the lessons have been learned and applied. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Althsius
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
I've never taken the time to study basic economics, and now feel that I have a good foundation for the general principles. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Gary E. Martins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everyone should read it, especially politicians.
Published 29 days ago by William Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Yaunette Davies
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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 HealthWise |  See all 2 posts
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