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Galbraith on Mises

John Kenneth Galbraith

Ludwig von Mises

I have often wondered how Ludwig von Mises’ contemporary economists evaluated him and his work. I was excited to find this review by John Kenneth Galbraith of Mises’ “Human Action,”written in 1949.

As someone familiar with Galbraith’s work, I could not imagine that he would even read such a tract. His review, however, was surprisingly positive given his perspective. I especially enjoyed his comments about wartime price controls being necessary. For those unaware, Mr. Galbraith was what today we would call the price czar of his time. He ran the department of price controls during WW II.

This review is not for everyone. Yet, anyone familiar with Mises or Galbraith might enjoy it.

It is interesting that Galbraith’s positions dominated at the time of the review. Mises was an “outlier” regarding his uncompromising support of the free market. Galbraith’s commentary on Mises’ positions take on added significance in light of what has transpired since.