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Publisher's Summary

Ludwig von Mises is to economics what Albert Einstein is to physics. Human Action is his greatest work: a systematic study that covers every major topic in the science of economics. It is also one of the most convincing indictments of socialism and statism ever penned. When it first appeared in 1949, it ignited an eruption of critical acclaim.

Rose Wilder Lane wrote, “I think Human Action is unquestionably the most powerful product of the human mind in our time, and I believe it will change human life for the better during the coming centuries as profoundly as Marxism has changed all of our lives for the worse in this century.” Henry Hazlitt wrote, “It should become the leading text of anyone who believes in freedom, in individualism, and in a free market economy.” This book is a universally recognized classic in the field of modern economics.

©1998 Bettina Bien Greaves (P)1990 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Every now and then a book comes along that both sums up and extends the collected wisdom of some science. Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises, was such a book. Fifty years after it first came out, it is still one of the classics of economics...[and] still speak[s] to the vital debates of the day.” ( Investor's Business Daily)
Human Action says it all. In this towering masterwork, Mises makes the case for limited government and a free society, pointing out the inseparability between freedom and free enterprise—that you can't have one without the other.” (William H. Peterson, adjunct scholar, Heritage Foundation)

What listeners say about Human Action

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 09-12-18

Book of the century + Bernard Mayes is a genius

Definitely get this version with Bernard Mayes as narrator. The audio quality is old and not perfect but Mayes more than makes up for it. His read reflects the knowledge, tone, inflection, humor, etc. that the author is conveying. It makes understanding the work much easier. As for the book itself -- if you don't know already, it's probably the best work on economics ever written. There is no other book you can pick up which teaches you from the ground up, beginning to end, almost everything you need to know about economics.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Intense, requires focus.

If I can manage to concentrate when listening to the content of this book, it is very enliightning. It is not a good title for the daily commute however. If I cannot follow along with each and every sentance, like when a car cuts me off and I suffer a Terrets siezure, I find that I am hopelessly lost and have to start the section over.
If I can manage to follow along, I think its great. IF...that is.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't follow it

I couldn't get thru the first chapter. Von Mises can be hard for a layman to follow anyway, but the added distraction of a reader with British accent made it impossible for a country boy from South Carolina.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Phenomenal Work should be taught by school.

great work I wish I heard this many years ago I wouldn't have been so confused.

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Great insights

The insights offered are invaluable to policymakers in this age. Von Mises impresses on one the importance of considering methods as well as results sought. With many examples, he makes the case that when considering policies to achieve certain ends, due regard must be paid to human incentive to act in one way or another. Such intended, or often unintended human action will of course decide the success of a policy.

The main concern I had with the work is his repetitive style, perhaps more suited to an oral presentation, which I believe contributed to the length of the work.

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    5 out of 5 stars

A book about virtually everything in economics

This book is an astonsihing piece of work. From the simple principles of rational human action, von Mises builds up an entire theory of social cooperation. Whether one likes this strict method of deduction or not, the conclusions mentioned are, with very few exceptions, accepted in orthodox economic doctrine, and even the unorthodox conclusions have considerable explanitory power about many socio economic questions, such as trade fluctuations, interventionism, and the problems of economic calculation.

The confident and scholarly voice of Bernard Mayes is the perfect one through which these ideas can be learned.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Deeply deeply shallow

I rate it with two stars as a way to give credit for the importance the book may have had. However, reading (or listening to) it today, the book sounds very outdated, specially when it comes to the author's political positions. It's not the case of being in favor of or against the marxism or the communism. It's just that this discussion feels out of place nowadays. As to the philosophical part of the text, it builds its arguments based on assumptions and logical conclusions drawn from the author's own perspective. His logic could surely be contested, and if so, all the subsequent points made are useless. I don't recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

Don't understand how other people rated this audio book, but I can tell you that I was never engaged. Probably the worst book in my library....

1 person found this helpful