Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Seven New Books for the New Year

Barron's Economics Editor Gene Epstein recommends seven economics-related books for the New Year, including the two volume edition of The Bastiat Collection.

Here's what Epstein says about Bastiat:

"Over the years, I have seen many references to the work of Frédéric Bastiat, a French economist who lived and wrote during the first half of the 19th century. (Caplan describes him in The Myth of the Rational Voter as "the original one-handed economist" -- a reference to the type of economic seer that Harry Truman vainly sought.)

This year, I finally read the two volumes of The Bastiat Collection (2007). The only depressing part about these funny and satirical essays that assault economic myths is that they all seem so current.

Nothing much seems to have changed in the more than century-and-a-half since they were published. Just read Bastiat's "Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles...and...Everything Connected with Lighting," (volume 1, pages 227-232), in which the French parliament is exhorted to protect the lighting industry from "the intolerable competition of a foreign rival" -- the sun."

Here is Gene Epstein discussing his selections:

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