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The Theory of Money and Credit Paperback – May 15, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It is probably best known as the volume which first set out the distinctive Austrian theory of the trade cycle. For that alone, it deserves a place on the bookshelf of everyone who cares about such things (and more people should).
But there's much more to it than that. This volume sets out a complete and groundbreaking theory of money itself: what it is, where it comes from, what it means to speak of its "value," the differences between commodity money and fiat money, the demand for money and what it has to do with banking, and -- crucially -- the jiggery-pokery that becomes possible when the State starts messing around with unsound monetary policy.
This edition also includes a section on "Monetary Reconstruction" written in 1952 (and first included in the 1953 Yale University Press edition).
Plus there's a foreword by Murray Rothbard. And, finally, it's another beautifully crafted volume from the Liberty Fund, practically a steal at the price posted above. You'd have a hard time buying most such books _used_ at this price.
So what are you waiting for? Throw your Samuelson and Keynes in the trash and pick up a book of _real_ economics.
The first thing to note is that this book was first published in 1912 and in German, and although the translation has been accomplished superbly, the style of writing has somewhat of an antequated feel to it; not quite the same free flowing prose you get with Rothbard. Once you get into the feel of it though, this in no way detracts from your understanding of the theory presented.
It has an excellent new Foreward by Rothbard himself, extensive footnoting and index and is hardbound beautifully by the Liberty Fund Press, with dust jacket. There is also a nice Appendix: On The Classification of Monetary Theories, that is very useful and informative.
The book itself is divided into four main Parts:
Part One: The Nature of Money.
Part Two: The Value of Money.
Part Three: Money and Banking.
Part Four: Monetary Reconstruction.(This part was added in 1952).
For me the book really took on a story of two halves. In the first half of the book, Parts 1 & 2, the bulk of the theory is really laid out. It can be slow going as it is extremely in depth but I highly recommend you stick with it as this pays off in the second half of the book!
In Part 3 Mises really starts putting flesh onto the theory when we get into Money & Banking proper with discussion of demand for money, credit, fiduciary paper, rate of interest etc. But towards the end in Chapters 19 & 20 things get MUCH more interesting as equilibrium rates and interest are discussed in detail and he finally talks about gold, the gold standard and banking freedom.Read more ›
Amazon sells the STUDY GUIDE to accompany the Mises Institute version, but not the book itself.
Here's what I learned:
-- 1451578172 Red cover, Pacific Publishing 2010: I have this one, and of the ones reviewed here, it is visually the most readable, but still flawed. At 265 pages of 8" x 10" within normal-looking margins, the the font size is small which, proportionately, makes the line-lengths too long. The substantial visual virtue relative to other editions is that the line spacing is more generous. Its table of contents lists subheadings within chapters, which becomes a useful outline of the book.
Odd pages' footers show chapter name, which eases navigation within the book. Don't know what original edition of Mises' this is based on, but it does include Part 4 (chapters 21-23) and Appendix A "Classification of Monetary Theories", and also Appx B "Translators Note." It has no prefaces or introduction (despite the Biographical Note referring to an Intro by Murray Rothbard.)
Probably the biggest blunder in this edition is that in Chapter 2 there are two or three pages discussing utility, in which the variable beta is introduced. Unfortunatly the character for beta is typeset either as a box, or as nothing at all, rendering most of this discussion meaningless.
-- 1467934879 $100 bills cover, CreateSpace 2011: I have this one, and it's not so desirable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The thesis of this book is that to maintain a free society, the government must be prevented from confiscating citizens’ wealth through inflation. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Lazarus
2 parts. the first is money and its value; I liked........ the second; banking credit. pretty boring, fractional reserves and stuff like that...important but not as interesting.Published 2 months ago by kings
With all of the brazen propaganda dished out by the likes of Paul Krugman and Nancy Pelosi,we are lucky to have such a fine resource of understandable and sound economics as Mises'... Read morePublished 3 months ago by J. Wilson
I am certain some of the other reviews will rate this highly. I don't have much to add except reading anything Mises has written brings new knowledge to me. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Eugene Kasper
It was purchased with the idea of learning some of Rothbard's ideas. It gave me a good introduction to his
beliefs. Book came as promised an was in great condition.
Von Mises was ahead of his time. A brilliant economist who could explain how economics works in layman's terms. I have a number of his books and they are all great reads.Published 9 months ago by Rob Weinhold