Top 6 Books for Learning Economics

The wrong-headed and emotion-based economic policies of both parties drove me crazy for the past month.  What better way to drown rage in knowledge than with beginner economic books?


Bob Murphy is one of the most prominent current Austrian Economists as far as relating complicated economic theories to the lay person.  In his most recent book, he translates Ludwig von Mises’s opus Human Action.

Economics for Real People

This was the book that made Austrian Economics click for me.  Gene Callahan starts with a strange Survivor character and moves into all branches of economics, including supply and demand, interest rate theory and even the efficacy of QWERTY keyboards.

Interestingly, Callahan has since disavowed Austrian economics and written a couple of novels.

Economics in One Lesson

Premier old right journalist wrote Economics in One Lesson decades ago.  He argues that in all areas of economic study it is imperative that one seeks not just the first level results but each consequential level as well.

The Price of Everything and The Invisible Heart

These two are genuinely interesting fictions that work to explain economics.  In the first he uses so-called price gouging to explain how Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ allocates resources.  The invisible heart is a romance tail between a free market economist and an English teacher.  They fall in love through arguments on economics.  Can’t beat that for romance.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism

This is Bob Murphy’s more pop economics book.  It works through all kinds of fun free market economic arguments.  I like to use it to compare the statements of politicians to the realities of the universe.  Take that politicians.

Bonus: The Church and the Market

I saved Tom Woods’ only pure econ book for last because it is for a focused audience.  Woods, who is staunchly Catholic, compares various encyclicals and other statements from Catholic leadership to economic principles and explains the reality of things like a living wage.

Though it is written from a Catholic perspective the book works for any religion or non-religion based ethical system.

Double Bonus:Tom Woods’s Liberty Classroom

When I did Mises University several years ago I septupled (I think that means 7x) my knowledge of economics, history and general fun social science stuff in just a week.  Tom Woods has brought together the best of the Mises U professors and several other great PHDs to teach Austrian Economics from the ground up, the history of economic thought, interest rate theory and if you’re into it, libertarianism.


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