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Elements of Political Economy (3rd ed. 1844)

The superior exposition in this classic work goes far in explaining James Mill’s lasting appeal. Most often remembered as an expositor of David Ricardo and as the most unforgettable home-schooling parent of all time - through the eyes of his ultimately more famous son, John Stuart Mill, James Mill’s original work has much to offer. Consider the excellent summaries of diminishing marginal returns in Chapter II, of comparative advantage in Chapter III, Section V, of the quantity theory of money and the market for foreign exchange in Chapter III, Sections VII-XVI, and of the aggregate budget constraint and the relationship between bequests and tax burdens in Chapter IV. James Mill’s exposition of the labor theory of value is so compelling and simple that it stood for over a generation, to much unfortunate misapplication. It still represents a logic so apparently correct that students and laymen alike easily lapse into it.

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Planning for Freedom: Let the Market System Work. A Collection of Essays and Addresses

In this anthology, Mises offers an articulate and accessible introduction to and critique of two topics he considers especially important: inflation and government interventionism. According to Mises, inflation, that is monetary expansion, is destructive; it destroys savings and investment, which are the basis for production and prosperity. Government controls and economic planning never accomplish what their proponents intend. Mises consistently argues that the solution to government intervention is free markets and free enterprise, which call for reforming government. For that, ideas must be changed to “let the market system work.” There is no better “planning for freedom” than this.

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Shortly after Gibbon finished his magnum opus on the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire he wrote the first draft of his autobiography in 1788. It is an important chronicle of intellectual life in the late 18th century.

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In Praise of Folly

The personification of Folly comes to earth to expose the follies, foibles, and failings of humans. Illustrated with 77 woodcuts by Hans Holbein.

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Economic Sophisms (FEE ed.)

The Foundation for Economic Eduction translation of Bastiat’s series of short essays in which he tries to correct common misunderstandings about the free market. A new translation of this work by Liberty Fund is available online - Economic Sophisms. See also the Summary of the Bastiat Project for more information..

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