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The Theory of Money and Credit [Paperback]

Ludwig von Mises
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Nov 2011
Original 1934 edition. This must-read classic on currency and credit covers the three areas of key interest -- the nature of money, the value of money, and money and banking. Economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises presents his "Theory of Money and Credit" by first looking at the nature and value of money, why there is a demand for money, and how it is used as currency. He goes on to explain the purchasing power of money and how it determines economic and monetary policy, often in a way that results in financial melt-downs. Never in modern history has there been a greater need for this book and others like it. All of its ideas and principles are coming true right before our eyes in today's economy and its problems.

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The Theory of Money and Credit + The Road to Serfdom (Routledge Classics) + Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition
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Product details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (13 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467934879
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467934879
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 18.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna in 1906. In 1926, Mises founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research. From 1909 to 1934, he was an economist for the Vienna Chamber of Commerce. Before the Anschluss, in 1934 Mises left for Geneva, where he was a professor at the Graduate Institute of International Studies until 1940, when he emigrated to New York City. From 1948 to 1969, he was a visiting professor at New York University. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So much depth! If only it was clearer! 16 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I do consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable in economics and I felt like I was getting a lot about the historical debates of money in the first half of this book. However at some point the language and logic of this book get very convoluted where I had to rely on reading guides to grasp the point. It takes a lot of patience to read this book and I would only recommend it to those who wish to achieve a very high level of sophistication In monetary economics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This edition had printing faults 1 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The opening chapter had printing faults that rendered greek letters (I assume they were greek letters) as little squares, like you sometimes see on a poorly maintained website.

It put me off reading much of it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important classic 22 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For many years after the publication of Keynes's General Theory, previous work in the areas of monetary theory and macro-economics was largely ignored. Perhaps inevitably, it has only been since the disadvantages of excessive concentration on fiscal policy to manage the economy have become manifest that alternative approaches have returned to favour. In its insistence that there is no simple solution to a slump caused by the puncturing of a credit boom, this book could hardly be more timely, despite dating back almost a century.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 10 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Absolutely fundamentally important book for anyone interested in economics. An honest, intelligent and incisive explanation and discussion on the issues contained.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  61 reviews
177 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and groundbreaking. 4 May 2000
By John S. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The late great Murray Rothbard described Ludwig von Mises's _The Theory of Money and Credit_ as the best book on money ever written. And so it is.
It is probably best known as the volume which first set out the distinctive Austrian theory of the trade cycle. For that alone, it deserves a place on the bookshelf of everyone who cares about such things (and more people should).
But there's much more to it than that. This volume sets out a complete and groundbreaking theory of money itself: what it is, where it comes from, what it means to speak of its "value," the differences between commodity money and fiat money, the demand for money and what it has to do with banking, and -- crucially -- the jiggery-pokery that becomes possible when the State starts messing around with unsound monetary policy.
This edition also includes a section on "Monetary Reconstruction" written in 1952 (and first included in the 1953 Yale University Press edition).
Plus there's a foreword by Murray Rothbard. And, finally, it's another beautifully crafted volume from the Liberty Fund, practically a steal at the price posted above. You'd have a hard time buying most such books _used_ at this price.
So what are you waiting for? Throw your Samuelson and Keynes in the trash and pick up a book of _real_ economics.
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, bad edition 20 Aug 2011
By Thomas T. Amlie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Get the edition published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute (mises.org). It is MUCH better. It contains the forwards and prefaces by the author, the translator, and Murray Rothbard. Additionally, the editing is much, much better. I had this version, but it was so frustrating that I ended up buying the better version in addition.

Amazon sells the STUDY GUIDE to accompany the Mises Institute version, but not the book itself.
76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book on Money & Credit Ever Written? ... Possibly! 13 Sep 2006
By David Lewis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Murray Newton Rothbard has been quoted as saying this book is THE best book ever written on Money & Credit. So having found Rothbard's writings to be outstanding in their own right, I moved on to this Mises classic!

The first thing to note is that this book was first published in 1912 and in German, and although the translation has been accomplished superbly, the style of writing has somewhat of an antequated feel to it; not quite the same free flowing prose you get with Rothbard. Once you get into the feel of it though, this in no way detracts from your understanding of the theory presented.

It has an excellent new Foreward by Rothbard himself, extensive footnoting and index and is hardbound beautifully by the Liberty Fund Press, with dust jacket. There is also a nice Appendix: On The Classification of Monetary Theories, that is very useful and informative.

The book itself is divided into four main Parts:
Part One: The Nature of Money.
Part Two: The Value of Money.
Part Three: Money and Banking.
Part Four: Monetary Reconstruction.(This part was added in 1952).

For me the book really took on a story of two halves. In the first half of the book, Parts 1 & 2, the bulk of the theory is really laid out. It can be slow going as it is extremely in depth but I highly recommend you stick with it as this pays off in the second half of the book!

In Part 3 Mises really starts putting flesh onto the theory when we get into Money & Banking proper with discussion of demand for money, credit, fiduciary paper, rate of interest etc. But towards the end in Chapters 19 & 20 things get MUCH more interesting as equilibrium rates and interest are discussed in detail and he finally talks about gold, the gold standard and banking freedom.

Part 4 is where my heart lies. Here we have the discussion of the principles of sound money versus contemporary currency systems. There's then an excellent discourse on the Return to Sound Money, ie the Classical Gold Standard.

The second half of this wonderful book certainly flowed better for me, but that may also be just because I am more of an investment manager/trader and less of an economist! You feel like you have had Mises teaching you in fine detail and that he has left no stone unturned in your understanding. Mises doesn't read as easily as the prose of Rothbard but that does not detract from the excellence of the material. Superb!

It really IS a truly outstanding work and if not the best book ever written on the subject, it surely has to be at the very least, one of the very best, and as such is certainly a "must-read"!!!

This wonderful, beautifully bound, classic is an absolute "steal" at $20. I still cannot believe it is sold for so little. My recommendation is to buy it while it is still available in this beautiful hardbound edition!

Enjoy!
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Choose which edition carefully! 8 Dec 2011
By G. Wideman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Beware that the reviews on this book are shared between multiple editions from several publishers, and these are _not_ all equivalent. For a book that is such a landmark, the editions available, and the process of choosing one, are a shambles. In particular, some editions, being from different originals, lack some chapters. Some editions are printed in a way that is visually difficult to read, and some are easier to navigate than others.

Here's what I learned:

-- 1451578172 Red cover, Pacific Publishing 2010: I have this one, and of the ones reviewed here, it is visually the most readable, but still flawed. At 265 pages of 8" x 10" within normal-looking margins, the the font size is small which, proportionately, makes the line-lengths too long. The substantial visual virtue relative to other editions is that the line spacing is more generous. Its table of contents lists subheadings within chapters, which becomes a useful outline of the book.

Odd pages' footers show chapter name, which eases navigation within the book. Don't know what original edition of Mises' this is based on, but it does include Part 4 (chapters 21-23) and Appendix A "Classification of Monetary Theories", and also Appx B "Translators Note." It has no prefaces or introduction (despite the Biographical Note referring to an Intro by Murray Rothbard.)

Probably the biggest blunder in this edition is that in Chapter 2 there are two or three pages discussing utility, in which the variable beta is introduced. Unfortunatly the character for beta is typeset either as a box, or as nothing at all, rendering most of this discussion meaningless.

-- 1467934879 $100 bills cover, CreateSpace 2011: I have this one, and it's not so desirable. According to Amazon's blurb, this is the text of the 1934 edition, though you wouldn't know if from the book itself which contains absolutely no meta information about the original work, nor about the present publisher or publication date. It contains only only chapters 1-20, with no additional foreward, preface, notes etc. Individual pages are numbered, but have no indication of chapter. Smallest print of all editions here, with the entire 20 chapters in 160 pages. (compared to 225 for the Red cover edition).

-- 098406141X Gold-card-containing-bills cover, Signalman Publishing 2010: I have this, and it contains: Chapters 1-23, Appx A and B (like red cover), and also 3 prefaces: 1952, 1934, 1924, and also an intro by Robbins 1934. This edition is large, printed on 8.5 x 11 inch paper. This would have been a good edition had it made use of the large pages to print the text in two columns. Instead, the lines are spread across the entire page width with only half-inch margins, making for excessive eye movement and unnecessary difficulty connecting each line to the next.

-- 1933550554 Grey-blue closeup of credit card. Study Guide... by Murphy, Von Mises Institute publisher, 2011. The current Amazon description would have you believe that this is perhaps the entire Theory of Money and Credit text plus additional study notes. Actually, the wrong description is being shown. This is only a study guide. The correct description can be found at this other ISBN: 9781610162357, though that one is not available from Amazon.
Anyhow, the study guide is a good idea, with the only shortcoming being that it makes many many references to specific page numbers in the original book, and those page numbers don't match any of the editions listed here.

Hope that helps some other customers trying to sort all this out. I just wish someone would take the time to print this text with all its prefaces, chapters, appendices etc in a reasonable font and layout with a decent TOC and with a proper informative footer.

So, the text gets 5 stars for being a landmark, but I'm knocking off two stars because of the disarray.
96 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEED READ THIS ONE 18 July 2002
By George Stancliffe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am a BIG fan of Ludwig von Mises. I am aware of what his great contributions are to the science of Economics. All free-market believers are indebted to him for his work. That is precisely why I bought a copy of his Theory of Money and Credit.
I found it VERY DIFFICULT to read, even with a dictionary in hand. So much so that I never finished it. And this even though I have read Rothbard's classic "America's Great Depression" twice.
Admittedly, von Mises wrote the original in German (I think), and translating technical material from another language may be quite difficult.
I give von Mises 5 stars for his Theory, (which really isn't a theory, but FACT). But I must subtract one star for it's lack of readability.
--George Stancliffe
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