They SHOULD award Nobel Prizes to those who offer significant intellectual contributions to economic science. Every chapter of this book warrants such an honor. From justifying the field's existence (against the post-modernist and environmentalist attacks), to systematically organizing economic principles to grasp new incites in countless areas of economic thought, to thoroughly refuting the lethal ideas of Marx and Keynes on the basis of positive economic truth, it is an injustice that this book has not been recognized with at least one Noble Prize. Consider Dr. Reisman's orginal productivity theory of wages or his comprehensive grasp of the influences on prices (besides labor), such as intelligence in the use of capital. His invariable money analysis is especially fruitful and is the book's highest achievement. Who can take seriously those who award the Nobel Prize if this book is not seriously considered and awarded what it rightfully earns? P.S. No politician should be considered for office who has not read this book. In today's world, that should be a law!
5.0 out of 5 starsAn Amazing and Unique Achievement
23 December 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
A unique and truly amazing book! On what basis do I make such a claim? I got interested in economics too late in my college career to major in it, but subsequently completed intermediate micro and macro courses in preparation for pursuing an MA in economics. A business career put my graduate school ambitions aside, but in the ensuing years I've read more than a100 books, and hundreds of scholarly articles, on economics. So I have more than a passing knowledge of the subject.
In his book "Captialism" the author manages to synthesize the best of the classical economists and the Austrian school, while tying that to a broader philosophy of reason and freedom, and then adding much new work that I've never seen even hinted at elsewhere. The end result is not only a masterwork on economics, but the most resounding explanation and defense of capitalism ever written, combined with devastating attacks on Marx, Keynes and their more modern variants.
Not only is the substance of what Reisman has to say comprehensive, powerful and unique, but the clarity and simplicity with which he says it puts him in the very elite group of economists who can also write.
While I thought I was well prepared to explain and defend capitalism before reading Reisman's book, I was humbled by what I learned therein.. There are many wonderful books on economics, but if there is a single book that covers virtually everything one needs to know about the subject this is it. And if enough people read it, the future economic and social progress of the world will be assured.
I congratulate Dr. Reisman on his remarkable achievement and hope that others will avail themselves of what he has created..
5.0 out of 5 starsRational economics at your fingertips!
28 May 2012 - Published on Amazon.com
Wow! I hope every student of economics realises what a boon this is.
A life's work and a life's reading--the book the heart of which F.A. Hayek reckoned every "fully trained commentator ought to read if he wants to talk sense"--now available in easy-to-read Kindle form!
I have to say I've been studying and thoroughly enjoying the original heavyweight hard-cover version for the last fifteen years since its release, and with the best will in the world it has never been possible to read easily in the sort of places most of us like to read books, like in the bath, in bed, on the beach or out in the bush--or even on the couch, where wrestling with it can sometimes feel like having undergone a full workout. I pondered for a long time making the suggestion to the author that the next edition of the book be beautifully packaged into a boxed set of easy to carry paperbacks (say six or so), all in the name of portability, and one of which easily be slipped into a backpack.
But this electronic version is far, far better.
Not only do you have a book the size of an encyclopaedia that can now be read in the bath, but with one iPad containing this Kindle version of the book, AND the PDFs of all the books contained and recommended in Prof Reisman's self-study programme (most of which can easily be found in free or low-cost PDF, Kindle or ePub versions) learning and integrating the entire history of economics is now a breeze. A whole library of economics can now be at one's fingertips, complete with the most knowledgeable guide through it you're going to find!
That on its own made buying an iPad worthwhile. I thoroughly recommend the investment.
I can also say that having been through the self-study programme several times, including all the recommended readings, I appreciate more and more the subtitle of the original book: "...a complete and integrated understanding..." Such integration is a tremendous achievement--one I appreciate all the more every time I turn another page.
And now I can turn it without feeling like I've just done a workout!
George Reisman's spectacular treatise on economics, a work truly comprehensive in its scope of coverage, takes its place alongside Mises's "Human Action" and Murray N. Rothbard's "Man, Economy, and State" as being a definitive statement of the Austrian perspective on economic thought and theory.
What makes the book so effective is that it is graduated in its approach, guiding the reader through the basics and then onto advanced topics in theory and public policy. Readers of economic texts which are heavy on formal mathematics, especially those coming from the perspective of neoclassical economics, should not be dismissive of the "literary" nature of this book: Reisman is as serious as economists come, and his book is demanding. The latter point shouldn't dissuade newcomers to the "dismal science" from this work: Reisman is a master expositor, in the vein of Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman, and his ability to make complex ideas accessible to the layman is second to none.
A feature of the book which is especially worth mentioning is Reisman's analysis of both Keynesian and Marxian approaches to economic theory. The length at which these two topics are discussed might seem puzzling to those acquainted with the history of economic thought: isn't Keynesianism dead at the hands of Lucas's and Muth's "rational expectations revolution", and wasn't the final nail put in the coffin of Marx's "Das Kapital" by Boehm-Bawerk, if not earlier? "Yes" and "yes", but bad ideas refuse to die, and in an age where the economic Left is on the rise, a definitive restatement and elaboration of the faults of Keynes and Marx is needed. Reisman provides it, and much, much more.
A similar feature of the book, going beyond pure economic theory, is Reisman's integration of Objectivism's normative framework into his analysis of the capitalist society. This is a marked (and welcome) change of pace from the usual focus on Pareto optimality and "market failure" approaches to welfare economics, and the book is stronger for it. Ayn Rand is the "radical for capitalism" par excellence, and Reisman's incorporation of her insights is long overdue among pro-capitalist economists.
I would normally close by giving a list of suggested readings for those who enjoyed and profited from Reisman's "Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics", but Reisman has preempted me. The bibliography which closes the text is comprehensive and fair-minded: the reader will find Keynes's "General Theory" alongside James Buchanan's "Democracy in Deficit" in the suggested reading.
Buy this book. It will make you a better intellectual, a better voter, and (it goes without saying) a better economist.