Murray N. Rothbard

Murray N. Rothbard

(1926 - 1995)
BIO

Murray Newton Rothbard (March 2, 1926 – January 7, 1995) was an American economist, historian, and political theorist. He was a prominent exponent of the Austrian School of economics and fundamentally influenced the American libertarian movement and contemporary libertarian and classical-liberal thought, by theorizing a form of free-market anarchism which he termed “anarcho-capitalism.” Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the American libertarian movement.

Read More See Less
FEATURED WORK
The Mystery of Banking

The Mystery of Banking

By Murray N. Rothbard

This extraordinary book unravels the mystery of banking: what is legitimate enterprise and what is a government-backed shell game?

Man, Economy, and State

Man, Economy, and State

By Murray N. Rothbard

A pillar of the Austrian School Library and the last full-blown treatise on economics. If Mises’s Human Action was the culmination of the School from Menger’s time, Rothbard’s treatise takes Austrian thought even further in the areas of utility and welfare economics, antitrust, labor, taxation, public goods, and social insurance schemes. Inconsistencies are ironed out and the system of thought, in all its logical rigor, is unbroken. More than any book, Man, Economy, and State taught economics to the post-Mises generation. It refutes still-common errors among the mainstream and grapples with the post-war Keynesian literature point by point. The impact of this work was also enhanced by its breathtaking logic and clarity, even in the most difficult subject areas. Special insights along the way include a full critique of government statistics and the Fed’s definitions of the money supply. Nearly twenty-five years after it first appeared in print, it remains the standard bearer for the Austrian School.

The Origins of the Federal Reserve

The Origins of the Federal Reserve

By Murray N. Rothbard

Where did this thing called the Fed come from? Murray Rothbard has the answer here — in phenomenal detail that will make your head spin. In one extended essay, one that reads like a detective story, he has put together the most comprehensive and fascinating account based on a century’s accumulation of scholarship. The conclusion is that the Fed did not originate as a policy response to national need. It wasn’t erected for any of its stated purposes. It was founded by two groups of elites: government officials and large financial and banking interests. Rothbard adds a third critical element: economists hired to give the scheme a scientific patina. This excerpted chapter from Rothbard’s History of Money and Banking is as scholarly as it is hair raising. This is one economic historian who fears not naming names and assigning blame.

Conceived in Liberty

Conceived in Liberty

By Murray N. Rothbard

The new single-volume edition of Conceived in Liberty is here! After so many years of having to juggle four volumes, the Mises Institute has finally put it altogether in a single, 1,616-page book. This makes it easier to read, and makes clearer just what a contribution this book is to the history of libertarian literature. There’s never been a better time to remember the revolutionary and even libertarian roots of the American founding, and there’s no better guide to what this means in the narrative of the Colonial period than Murray Rothbard. For anyone who thinks of Murray Rothbard as only an economic theorist or political thinker, this giant book is something of a surprise. It is probably his least known treatise. It offers a complete history of the Colonial period of American history, a period lost to students today, who are led to believe American history begins with the US Constitution. Rothbard’s ambition was to shed new light on…

Economic Thought Before Adam Smith

Economic Thought Before Adam Smith

By Murray N. Rothbard

This is one of Rothbard’s most important scholarly works. In the first volume, Rothbard traces the history of economics from the ancient Greeks to Adam Smith; and in the second volume, he discusses British classical economics, the French school of classical liberalism, and Marxism. Rothbard rejects the Whig view, according to which the history of economics is a story of constant progress. To the contrary, he sees economics as a battle between two conflicting schools of thought. The correct one explains prices through subjective value: this approach culminates in the Austrian School. The other view explains prices by cost, especially labor cost. In the first volume, Rothbard stresses the great contributions of the Spanish Scholastics to the subjective tradition. Other great subjectivists included Turgot and Cantillon. Unfortunately, Adam Smith’s labor cost theories became the dominant view, especially in Britain. Rothbard regards Smith as largely a retrograde influence on economic theory. The second volume contains a brilliant critique of Ricardian economics, showing the…

History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II

History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II

By Murray N. Rothbard

The master teacher of American economic history covers money and banking in the whole of American history, to show that the meltdown of our times is hardly the first. And guess what caused them in the past? Paper money, loose credit, reckless lending standards, government profligacy, and central banking When will we learn? When people understand the cause and effect in the history of these repeating calamities In a complete revision of the standard account, Rothbard traces inflations, banking panics, and money meltdowns from the Colonial Period through the mid-20th century to show how government’s systematic war on sound money is the hidden force behind nearly all major economic calamities in American history. Never has the story of money and banking been told with such rhetorical power and theoretical vigor. Here is how this book came to be. Rothbard died in 1995, leaving many people to wish that he had written a historical treatise on this topic. But the the…

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

By Murray N. Rothbard

The best book in print on the topic, a real manifesto of sound money.

Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor

Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor

By Murray N. Rothbard

Rothbard’s celebration of human freedom and the inequality that is its real glory.

America’s Great Depression

America’s Great Depression

By Murray N. Rothbard

Against the popular stereotype, Rothbard shows that Hoover was not a partisan of laissez-faire.

Anatomy of the State

Anatomy of the State

By Murray N. Rothbard

You'll never see the State the same way again.

Education: Free and Compulsory

Education: Free and Compulsory

By Murray N. Rothbard

A homeschooling manifesto, written long before the current popularity of the practice.

For a New Liberty

For a New Liberty

By Murray N. Rothbard

Rothbard's libertarian manifesto

ALL PUBLICATIONS