In the year that President Nixon closed the gold window forever and the US government removed the last vestiges of the gold standard, nonstop dollar turmoil was unleashed. In that same year, Percy L. Greaves, a student of Ludwig von Mises's, released a blockbuster of a book that sought to explain the crisis. It was a huge seller and taught a generation to think like Austrian economists, who, after all, were the only ones offering a coherent explanation of events.
Percy Greaves's widow, Bettina Bien Greaves, gave her permission for a republication of this book, on the occasion of the current dollar crisis. What's remarkable is how Percy's analysis holds up in nearly every way, after all these years.
He begins by clarifying that in order to understand the dollar crisis, one must understand much more: What is economics? What is the difference between price and value? What is money, and how did it originate? How and why did the gold standard come about? What are the causes of the business cycle? And much more.
What he did was produce an excellent primer on monetary economics that still retains its value.
Ludwig von Mises himself wrote the foreword to the book: "These seven lectures are not merely a substitute for a textbook on economics. They are much more. They are an attempt to analyze and to explain the meaning and the effects of the various systems, methods, and measures of economic policies."
This is my favorite book that summarizes Austrian Economic Theory in layman's terms. I recommend it to everyone who is new to Austrian Economic thought and I refer to it often. This book should be on everyone's book shelf!
What amazed me was that the "Dollar Crisis" is not a new problem, but a chronic problem which is getting rapidly worse. The first 5 chapters give the reader the knowledge necessary to understand the last (and most important) chapters, "The Cause of the 1929 Depression" and "The evolution of the Present World Monetary Crisis". Although the lectures were given in 1969 they are current today; its "deja vue all over again".
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