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For anyone who would like to have an idea of what Mises was like, as captured in these essays in the "Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises," as an active, hands-on policy analyst for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce during much of his professional life before leaving Austria in 1934 for his first full-time teaching position in Switzerland, I wrote a while back a piece on, "The 'Other' Ludwig von Mises: Economic-Policy Advocate in an Interventionist World," in which I summarize many of his views and his approach to "real world" policy analysis and advocacy from this period.

The link is:

http://mises.org/daily/4189/The-Other-Ludwig-von-Mises-EconomicPolicy-Advocate-in-an-Interventionist-World

As I expressed it, if you've ever had someone ask you, "But how do you apply Austrian Economics to the 'real world,' well, in the "Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises?" you can find some of the answers by that individual who is usually considered the most consistent and principled member of the Austrian School in the 20th century.

I prepared fairly lengthy introductions for each volume, including this most recent one, in which I try to explain the essays included in the historical context of Mises' life and the events through which he was living during that period.

And I've added rather detailed annotated footnotes through most essays to help the modern reader understand the persons, events and places to which Mises refers in his analysis and arguments from the era before the Second World War.

I hope that some who participate on this blog will find these volumes of interest, if they are in any way interested in Ludwig von Mises -- the man and his ideas in the context of his own time in the first half of the 20th century.

Richard Ebeling

I am one of the proud owners of the previous volumes, but I would still love a table of contents for this volume.

By the way, the second volume ... very good. Especially the essays on the calculation debate.

Now ... when will this volume hit ebay (no love for amazon)? (rhetorical question)

Niko,

Below is the table of contents for this just released volume 1:

"Selected Writings of Ludwig von Mises"

Volume 1:

"Monetary and Economic Policy Problems

Before, During and After the Great War"


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Preface

Introduction


Austro-Hungarian Monetary and Fiscal Policy Issues Before the First World War

1. The Political-Economic Motives of the Austrian Currency Reform (1907)

2. The Problem of Legal Resumption of Specie Payments in Austria-Hungary (1908)

3. The Foreign Exchange Policy of the Austro-Hungarian Bank (1909)

4. On the Problem of Legal Resumption of Specie Payments in Austria-Hungary (1910)

5. The Fourth Issuing Right of the Austro-Hungarian Bank (1912)

6. Financial Reform in Austria (1910)

7. The General Rise in Prices in the Light of Economic Theory (1913)

8. On Rising Prices and Purchasing Power Policies (1913)[This was Mises' inaugural lecture at the University of Vienna in February 1913, when he was appointed as a "privatedozent" (nonsalaried lecturer)]

9. Disturbances in the Economic Life of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy During the Years, 1912-1913 (1914/1915)


Economic Policy Issues in the Midst of the Great War

10. On the Goals of Trade Policy (1916)

11. Inflation (1918)

12. On Paying for the Costs of War and War Loans (1918)

13. Remarks Concerning the Problem of Emigration (1918)


Austrian Fiscal and Monetary Problems in the Post-War Period

14. Monetary Devaluation and the National Budget (1919)

15. For the Reintroduction of Normal Stock Market Practices in Foreign Exchange Dealings (1919)

16. On Carl Menger’s Eightieth Birthday (1920)

17. How Can Austria Be Saved? An Economic Policy Program for Austria (1921)

18. The Claims of Note Holders Upon Liquidation of the Bank (1921)

19. The Austrian Currency Problem Thirty Years Ago and Today (1922)

20. The Restoration of Austria’s Economic Situation (1922)

21. The Austrian Problem (1923)

22. The Gold-Exchange Standard (1925)

23. The Social Democratic Agrarian Program (1926)

24. America and the Reconstruction of the European Economy (1926)

25. The Currency and Finances of the Federal State of Austria (1928)

26. The Economic Crisis and the Lessons for Banking Policy (1931)


Interventionism, Collectivism and Their Ideological Roots

27. The Economic System of Interventionism (1930)

28. Economic Order and the Political System (1936)

29. Remarks Concerning the Ideological Roots of the Monetary Catastrophe of 1923 (1959) [This was Mises' contribution (originally in German) to a "festschrift" for L. Albert Hahn, and was included in this volume because of it offering Mises' remembrances of the political-economic intellectual environment in the years before the first world war when he attended meetings of the Verein fur Sozialpolitik and interacted with members of the German Historical School]


Appendix

30. Maxims for the Discussion of the Methodological Problems of the Social Sciences: Paper Delivered at the Private Seminar (1934)[This was the last paper delivered by Mises at his "privatseminar" in Vienna in the spring of 1934 before his move to the Graduate Institute of International Studies in the autumn of 1934 Geneva]

31. Short Curriculum Vitae of Mayer Rachmiel Mises of Lemberg (1881)

Congratulations, Richard. You have really enriched the history of the Austrian School. We are in your debt.

Thank you very much. It is on my buying list.

Now, when will we have some of his letters? I've read "The Last Knight of ..." and I found some of them fascinating. I know many of them will be quite mundane, but ...

Any way, great work with the series (I think I'll take this one from amazon :) ).

Niko,

I don't know of any plans to translate and publish any or all of the letters from Mises' "lost papers."

Some of them are interesting and fascinating.

But many others are just the ordinary types of letters.

What did come out, when I was going through them, is how little Mises talked about himself. They are very business like, and usually with comments and remarks about the political problems or trends of the time.

Mises kept virtually all the letters he received and kept carbon copies of his replies, so the correspondence is almost always two-sided.

He corresponded a lot, for example, with Lionel Robbins. But a good part of his letters to Robbins are comments and suggested corrections with the then in-progress translation of "Socialism." So one can be sure that the English translation is one that Mises felt satisfied with.

O'Brien, in his brief intellectual biography of Robbins, down plays the degree of influence that Mises had in Robbins' writing of "An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science" (1932).

However, here is the letter from Robbins to Mises, when he sent Mises a copy of the book right after it appeared:

May 20th, 1932

Dear Professor Mises,

I send you herewith a copy of my modest attempt to popularize for English readers the methodological implications of modern economic science.

I hope you will not mind my especial mention of your name in the preface. I have no wish to make you in any way responsible for my crudités of exposition, but if there is anything of value in what I have said it would be most unjust that your name should not be associated with it. It is not easy for me to put into suitable words the magnitude of my intellectual debt to your work.

Yours sincerely,
Lionel Robbins.


This is one strong indication of the impact of Mises on Robbins exposition of the "logic of choice" as well as on the rest of the book.

What also comes out in his letters is the degree to which Mises went out of his way to support the young students around him, in terms of arranging financial support from the Spellman Foundation (later the Rockefeller Foundation) for young Austrian scholars to have an opportunity to study and travel in America.

It is worth mentioning that he did not do this only for those students who were strict devotees of the Austrian School. In one letter, Mises highly recommends a young man who was deeply interested in Walrasian mathematical general equilibrium theory.

Mises writes to the Foundation praising the intellectual qualities of this person. Mises went on to say that whether or not one completely agreed with him on all points of economic theory, he was of such outstanding merit that he deserved whatever financial support that could be arranged for him.

And he could write with a bit of wit. An English economist was planning to visit Vienna and wanted to know if it might be arranged for him to give a public lecture. Mises replied that his arrival time coincided with the beginning of ski season, and he doubted that even if Adam Smith were able to come to give a lecture one could round up a large enough audience.

Mises was also an active member of the Vienna chapter of the International Rotary Club. Among his papers was a poem written by one of the other members amusingly explaining how Mises had "commanded" him to give the Christmas Rotary dinner address -- wow anyone who did not do what Professor Mises said! (In the German it is put in a rather funny way.)

In Mises' exchanges with Hayek after Hayek had moved to the London School of Economics, they tried to "one-up" each other in complaining whether the economic policies they were, respectively, living under were worse in Britain or Austria.

In one letter, more seriously, if I remember correctly at the end of 1931 or the beginning of 1932, Hayek writes that as he travels around England delivering guest lectures at universities, he is often praised for his creative originality (i.e., the Austrian theory of the business cycle).

But he tells Mises that he well knows that all of his ideas are merely developments of all that he had learned from Mises, and that when Mises' own books finally appear in English ("The Theory of Money and Credit" and "Socialism"), Mises would finally receive the credit that was deservedly his.

In another letter, Mises writes to Hayek how much he misses not having him in Vienna any longer to have their long and regular discussions on all matters of economic theory and policy. The tone of the letter shows the loving "professor" expressing his sadness of not having his favorite "student" with him anymore.

I must say that going through these letters gave me an appreciation and understanding of Mises, the man, that I never got from reading his many books.

Richard Ebeling

Thank you prof. Ebeling!!!
Your words allow us to to have a better understanding of Mises, the human being.
Besides, your contribution, from an hermeneutical point of view, are an invaluable key to better situate Mises's thought in context.

Not a fan for hermeneutics (in general and in particular), but thank you for this great work.

Blog writes very fascinating, expect more good article.

Your blog is as always worth to read..It has very nice and good amount of content..Well I found some of them fascinating...

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