Debt: The First 5,000 Years
Melville House Publishing, 2011
Every economics textbook says the same thing: Money was invented to replace onerous and complicated barter system--to relieve ancient people from having to haul their goods to market. The problem with this version of history? There's not a shred of evidence to support it.
Here anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom. He shows that for more than 5,000 years, since the beginning of the agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems. It is in this era, Graeber shows, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
Prices and Production and Other Works:
F.A. Hayek on Money, The Business Cycle, and the Gold Standard
Friedrich A. Hayek
Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2008
Hayek was not only a leading champion of liberty in the 20th century. As this massive book reveals, he was also a great economist whose elaboration on monetary theory and the business cycle made him the leading foe of Keynesian theory and policy in the English-speaking world. Here his most important works are collected, re-typeset, indexed for the first time, and beautifully bound in a 536-page hardbound book for the ages.
These seven works taken together represent the first integration and systematic elaboration of the Austrian theories of money, capital, business cycles, and comparative monetary institutions, which constitute the essential core of Austrian macroeconomics.
Modern Library, 2006
This novel has served as the inspiration for what has become, if not a genre, then at the very least a dominant sub-genre of science fiction. It is the first major dystopian novel, a precursor to George Orwell’s1984, Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World, and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, and its history, along with that of its author, eerily mimics some of the themes of those other books.
Written and completed in 1920, We was first published in English in 1924, then in Czech in 1927. It wouldn’t be published in Russian until 1952, some fifteen years after Zamyatin’s death. Even then, it was not published in Russia, but by the Chekhov Publishing House in New York.
However, it is not necessary to be intimately familiar with the totalitarian political structure of Stalin’s Russia to feel the full impact of We. Instead, the clarity of this book’s language and the amazing characterization and plotting carry the reader into a world both absurd and nightmarish, transcending what must have been the oppressive atmosphere in which it was written.
Pictures of the Socialistic Future
Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010
This book is a remarkable discovery, as fresh today as when it was first translated in 1893. It is a novel of life under socialism by Eugene Richter, a German liberal of the 19th century.
Prophetic is not quite the word for this book. Richter saw with chilling clarity what would happen under socialistic control. The economy would be smashed. Families would be destroyed. The population would grow poorer by the day. The state would be unleashed to crush political dissent and lock everyone into a national prison. None of the ideals would be achieved.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
W.W. Norton & Company. Inc., 2004
I wrote this book because I fell in love with a story. The story concerned a small group of undervalued professional baseball players and executives, many of whom had been rejected as unfit for the big leagues, who had turned themselves into one of the most successful franchises in Major League Baseball. But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write it—before I had a story to fall in love with. It began, really, with an innocent question: how did one of the poorest teams in baseball, the Oakland Athletics, win so many games?
With these words Michael Lewis launches us into the funniest, smartest, and most contrarian book since, well, since Liar's Poker. Moneyball is a quest for something as elusive as the Holy Grail, something that money apparently can't buy: the secret of success in baseball. The logical places to look would be the front offices of major league teams, and the dugouts, perhaps even in the minds of the players themselves. Lewis mines all these possibilities—his intimate and original portraits of big league ballplayers are alone worth the price of admission—but the real jackpot is a cache of numbers—numbers!—collected over the years by a strange brotherhood of amateur baseball enthusiasts: software engineers, statisticians, Wall Street analysts, lawyers and physics professors.