Title: Defending the Undefendable
Author: Walter Block
Year of Publication: 2008
Edition: 1
Publisher: Ludwig Von Mises Institute
ISBN:
ISBN-13: 9781933550176

ISBN-10: 1933550171



Description:
Professor Block's book is in a new edition from the Mises Institute, completely reset and beautifully laid out in an edition worthy of its contents. It is among the most famous of the great defenses of victimless crimes and controversial economic practices, from profiteering and gouging to bribery and blackmail. However, beneath the surface, this book is also an outstanding work of microeconomic theory that explains the workings of economic forces in everyday events and affairs. Murray Rothbard explains why: "Defending the Undefendable performs the service of highlighting, the fullest and starkest terms, the essential nature of the productive services performed by all people in the free market. By taking the most extreme examples and showing how the Smithian principles work even in these cases, the book does far more to demonstrate the workability and morality of the free market than a dozen sober tomes on more respectable industries and activities. By testing and proving the extreme cases, he all the more illustrates and vindicates the theory." F.A. Hayek agreed, writing the author as follows: "Looking through Defending the Undefendable made me feel that I was once more exposed to the shock therapy by which, more than fifty years ago, the late Ludwig von Mises converted me to a consistent free market position. … Some may find it too strong a medicine, but it will still do them good even if they hate it. A real understanding of economics demands that one disabuses oneself of many dear prejudices and illusions. Popular fallacies in economics frequently express themselves in unfounded prejudices against other occupations, and showing the falsity of these stereotypes you are doing a real services, although you will not make yourself more popular with the majority." SUPPORTERS "Looking through 'Defending the Undefendable' made me feel that I was once more exposed to the shock therapy by which, more than 50 years ago, the late Ludwig von Mises converted me to a consistent free market position. Even now I am occasionally at first incredulous and feel that "this is going too far," but usually find in the end that Block is right. Some may find it too strong a medicine, but it wills till do them good even if they hate it. A real understanding of economics demands that one disabuses oneself of many dear prejudices and illusions. Popular fallacies in economics frequently express themselves in unfounded prejudices against other occupations, and in showing the falsitty of these stereotypes Block is doing a real servic, although he will not make himself more popular with the majority." --FA Hayek "Judging from the outraged responses in many libertarian quarters, many of 'our people' are not ready for this exciting and shocking adventure. Since libertarians are, or are supposed to be on the forefront of thought, since their whole lives have been an intellectual adventure in many ways, the hostility becomes even more mysterious." --Murray N. Rothbard "There are things that I strongly agree with and things that I strongly disagree with, but the book thoughout is amusingly and sharply reasoned, couragous and always provocative." --Henry Hazlitt "Many years ago Hazlitt's little masterpiece, Economics in One Lesson, demonstrated how, in order to measure the consequences of economic activies, one must look beyond their immediately obvious effects to thir secondary effects. Here Professor Block sets out highly specific, and sometimes shocking examples of Hazlitt's thesis. By concentrating on the positive economic contributions of extreme cases, he forces the reader's consideration and greater appreciation of these principles." --Robert D. Kephart "It is a magnificent book, a trailblazer. I would call it ;Drano for Clogged Minds,' except that Drano is neither amusing nor stimulating, and this book is both. I suggest buying two copies: one for yourself and one for the person you want most to catch up with you." --Roger Lea MacBride
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