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Logical Foundations of Constitutional Liberty (Collected Works of James M. Buchanan) Paperback – July 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0865972148 ISBN-10: 0865972141

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Product Details

  • Series: Collected Works of James M. Buchanan (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 546 pages
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865972141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865972148
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,650,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jerry H. Tempelman on October 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This, the first volume of Professor James M. Buchanan's Collected Works series, contains a selection of papers meant to provide an overview of his entire oeuvre, as contained in the other 19 volumes of the series. Professor Buchanan is considered one of the most prominent scientists associated with public choice theory, which is the application of the analytical tools of economic decision making ("private choice") to the arena of political decision making ("public choice"). For his contributions, Professor Buchanan would go on to earn the 1986 Nobel Prize in economics.

The papers selected for this volume do indeed make for a good overview of the rest of the series. They are categorized by topic: public choice theory, taxation and public debt finance, economic inquiry, ethics, and constitutionalism (i.e. "the science of rules", p. 431). Arguably, Buchanan's work on public-goods theory is underrepresented here (papers on it can be found in volume 15 of the series, in addition to the 1968 monograph The Demand and Supply of Public Goods that makes up volume 5 in the series).

Volume 1 contains a foreword by the three editors that serves as an introduction to the entire series. It also contains the press release that explains the Nobel Academy's rationale for awarding Professor Buchanan the Nobel Prize. In addition, there are an autobiographical essay and a section with biographical data. The final paper in the book is Professor Buchanan's Nobel lecture. The editors also provide a table of contents of the entire Collected Works series, in which they arrange the papers from volume 1 topically among the other volumes in the series, as if volume 1 did not exist separately. This is helpful in case a paper in volume 1 sparks an interest in further reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "lytirs2" on October 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This handsome volume, attractive in paper, typeface, and binding, is the first of twenty volumes of the not-quite-complete writings of James Buchanan (relatively ephemeral pieces will be left out). Apart from this volume and a final one containing an index to the series and a curriculum vitae, the collection gathers Buchanan's work by topics. This introductory volume contains a wide-ranging sample of thirty-one articles on the job and responsibilities of economists, public choice, public finance, constitutionalism, and ethics. The editors have added a fourteen-page foreword and reprinted the 1986 press release of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announcing the award of the Nobel prize to Buchanan...
One quibble may convey a suggestion for future volumes in this series. The editors fail to adjust Buchanan's cross-references. Even when, as often occurs, Buchanan cites another article of his that happens to be reprinted in the current volume, the editors fail to tell the reader that he has the cited work already in his hands.
All in all, though, the project of Buchanan's collected works is off to a magnificent start. Economists will have convenient and pleasant access to enduringly fruitful teachings.
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