Ludwig von Mises' major economics treatise, first published in 1949

Human Action: A Treatise on Economics is a work by the Austrian economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises. Widely considered Mises' magnum opus, it presents the case for laissez-faire capitalism based on praxeology, or rational investigation of human decision-making. It rejects positivism within economics. It defends an a priori epistemology and underpins praxeology with a foundation of methodological individualism and speculative laws of apodictic certainty. Mises argues that the free-market economy not only outdistances any government-planned system, but ultimately serves as the foundation of civilization itself.


Man, Economy, and State: A Treatise on Economic Principles, by Wendy McElroy, 17 Mar 2012
Review and personal impressions of Man, Economy, and State, and in particular the 2004 edition from the Mises Institute which also includes Power and Market
"The impact and importance of ... Ludwig von Mises ... should never be marginalized. His magnum opus, Human Action, was a remarkable accomplishment. Mises located the dynamics of the free market within human nature itself. He coined the term "praxeology" to describe the logic of human conduct, ... that is, everyone acts to improve their own satisfaction. Economics, as a discipline, is a subcategory of praxeology. People co-operate with each other, specialize and exchange goods, formed societies from pure self-interest. Thus, the free market is the vehicle of human endeavor and the foundation of civilization itself."
Mises's Bibliographer: An Interview with Bettina Bien Greaves, by Bettina Bien Greaves, Austrian Economics Newsletter, 1998
Topics discussed include: Ludwig von Mises, the Mises bibliography project, language knowledge, Leonard Read, Henry Hazlitt, Human Action, the business cycle and her husband's Pearl Harbor book
"AEN: Was Human Action out by the time you met Mises?
GREAVES: Yes, and I read it in 1951. I remember standing on a street corner reading it, waiting to be picked up for Mises's seminar. I was captivated by it. Of course I didn't have an economics background, but in some ways that worked to my advantage. Mises's book went against the grain of what was being taught in economics classes and business schools. To understand his approach required first unlearning what was being taught elsewhere at the time. ... The laissez-faire politics of the book was no problem for me."
Murray, the LP, and Me, by David Bergland, 25 Dec 2002
Lengthy autobiographical essay, focusing on Rothbard, libertarianism and the LP; part of Walter Block's Autobiography Archive
"In the early sixties, Ayn Rand and Nathaniel Branden began publishing The Objectivist Newsletter. ... It must have been there that Rand recommended Mises' Human Action. I bought it and dove in. Now, this is weird. Without any formal education in economics, I loved that book. The experience of learning so much in a conversation with a great mentor was exhilarating. I was most impressed by its logical order. Over and over again, as I read, a question would arise in my mind and Mises would address that question in the next paragraph."
The life and times of Murray N. Rothbard, who showed why private individuals can do just about everything that needs to be done, by Jim Powell
Lengthy biographical essay
"Meanwhile, Mises' Human Action was published in September 1949 by Yale University Press. This extraordinary book explained why free markets produce higher living standards than government bureaucrats. It refuted fashionable doctrines, and as Rothbard recalled, 'it provided eager libertarians with a policy of uncompromising laissez-faire: in contrast to all other free-market economists of that day or later, there were no escape hatches, no giving away the case with "of course, the government must break up monopolies," or "of course, the government must provide and regulate the money supply." ...'"
The Wisdom of Ludwig von Mises, by George Koether, The Freeman, Sep 1981
Preface to a selection of excerpts from Human Action arranged topically from Accounting to War, by one of Mises' former students
"Human Action, generally considered to be the greatest work of the greatest economist of our times, is a towering monument to the mind of a genius. Its 885 pages of text contain insights that have revolutionized economic thought and are moving the world toward a true and complete understanding of human freedom. ... Human Action is not a book one reads; it is a book one studies. ... in dealing topically with one subject, Professor Mises never overlooked its relation to all others. Hence his convictions on any one topic were spread throughout his book."
Related Topic: Ludwig von Mises


Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
    by Ludwig von Mises, 1949
Partial contents: Acting Man - The Epistemological Problems of the Sciences of Human Action - Economics and the Revolt Against Reason - A First Analysis of the Category of Action - Time - Uncertainty - Action Within the World - Human Society
Related Topic: Economics
  • ISBN 0809297434: Hardcover, NTC/Contemporary Publishing Co, 3rd edition, 1966
  • ISBN 0945466242: Hardcover, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Scholars Edition, 1998
  • ISBN 1572460210: Hardcover, Foundation for Econ Education, 4th edition, 1996
  • ISBN 0930073185: Paperback, Fox & Wilkes, Scholars edition; 4th edition, 1996

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Human Action" as of 02 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.