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5.0 out of 5 stars The Logic of Rothbard, August 13, 2000
This review is from: The Logic of Action I: Method, Money, and the Austrian School (Economists of the Twentieth Century) (v. 1) (Hardcover)
Murray Rothbard was one of the most powerful thinkers of the 20th century. Some of his most important work was printed in journals, out-of-print anthologies, presented at scholarly conferences, or available only in pamphlets. Fortunately, many of these essays are now collected in The Logic of Action (2 volumes), one of Edward Elgar's Economists of the Twentieth Century series
Volume 1 of the Logic of Action is subtitled "Method, Money, and the Austrian School." The range of these essays is simply incredible, and it's hard for a reviewer to know where to start. So, I might as well start with the first essay, The Mantle of Science. Here, Rothbard demolishes the claims of scientism. He must refute a dozen fallacies in 20 pages (such as false anologies to science like model-building, etc.). This essay was written in 1957 (but not published until 1960) when Rothbard traveled in Ayn Rand's circle. Incredibly, some Randroids even accused Rothbard of plagiarizing from Rand (see Justin Raimondo's excellent biography of Rothbard, An Enemy of the State, for details.) This prompted the great von Mises' response: "I really did not know that the concept that man has no automatic knowledge of how to survive and that the task of his reason . . . is to keep him alive was not known to mankind before the fall of 1957."
Another path-breaking work is the essay, The Present State of Austrian Economics, presented at a scholary conference in 1992. Rothbard describes the path taken by Austrian economists in recent years and the divergence of Hayekians and Lachmannians from a Misesian persepective.
As David Gordon and Hans-Hermann Hoppe state in their introduction: "No introduction can do justice to the vast range and insight of Rothbard's work. Anyone who completes these two volumes will have an indelible impression of Rothbard's greatness."
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