Redeeming Economics

Rediscovering the Missing Element

By John D. Mueller

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“Groundbreaking.” —Washington Times


This eye-opening book rediscovers the most important element of economic theory—one that has been ignored for more than two centuries.


“A book that could fundamentally reground the discipline of economics.” —William Kristol

Redeeming Economics

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Regular Price: $18.00

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“Groundbreaking.” —Washington Times

Economics is primed for—and in desperate need of—a revolution, as respected economic forecaster John D. Mueller shows in this eye-opening book. To make a leap forward will require looking backward, for as Redeeming Economics reveals, the most important element of economic theory has been ignored for more than two centuries.

It was, in fact, the great Adam Smith who tore down this pillar of economic thought. Since then, Mueller shows, economic theory has been unable to account for a fundamental aspect of human experience: the relationships that define us, the loves (and hates) that motivate and distinguish us as persons. In trying to reduce human behavior to exchanges, modern economists have forgotten how these essential motivations are expressed: as gifts (or their opposite, crimes). Mueller makes economics whole again, masterfully reapplying the economic thought of Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.

The product of more than ten years of intensive research, Redeeming Economics simultaneously rewrites the history of economics and reveals the path ahead for economic theory and policy. Mueller turns countless economic myths on their heads, skillfully combining history, politics, social science, and philosophy to illustrate how the myopic focus of modern economics leads us astray.

This ambitious book ranges far and wide, addressing topics as varied as the economics of parenthood; the crucial matters of taxation, unemployment, inflation, and Social Security; the greatest geopolitical challenge facing the United States; abortion, fertility, marriage, and other so-called social issues; the surprising theory that explains—far better than competing theories—why there are two major political parties, who identifies with them, and even why certain presidential candidates win; the flaws in the mega-bestseller Freakonomics; the author’s illuminating exchange with the controversial philosopher Peter Singer; and much more.

Redeeming Economics will fundamentally change your understanding of the world around you.

Additional Information

Pages 460
Publisher ISI Books
What They're Saying...

“I can only do justice to John Mueller’s magnum opus Redeeming Economics . . . by comparing it to Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations [and] Ludwig von Mises’s Human
Action.” —Rev. C. J. McCloskey III, Crisis Magazine

“For years I’ve watched John Mueller combine markets with morality to help fix what’s broken. Both Washington and Wall Street sorely need Redeeming Economics.” —Larry Kudlow, host of CNBC’s Kudlow Report

“Bold, interesting, and thought-provoking—a book that could fundamentally reground the discipline of economics.” —William Kristol, Weekly Standard

“The scope of Mueller’s intellectual ambition in this book is truly astonishing. . . . People should invest the time needed to read, absorb, and promote this important book.”—Jennifer Roback Morse, The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy

Redeeming Economics should revolutionize the teaching and practice of political economy.” —Lewis E. Lehrman, author of Money, Gold, and History

“Mueller is that rarest of thinkers and writers: one who can make the ‘dismal science’ thoroughly engaging at a very human level.” —George Weigel, Distinguished
Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center

“It’s hard to imagine a more important contribution to economic science.” —Jeffrey Bell, policy director for the American Principles Project

“A great contribution and service to economic science. A must read for all of us.” —Maria Sophia Aguirre, professor of economics, Catholic University

“This book unearths a forgotten piece of the puzzle that could prove to be the holy grail of modern economics.” —Edwin Feulner, founder of the Heritage Foundation

Redeeming Economics fills in many gaps in our collective understanding of the history of economics. My father would have had this book by his chair as I do now, and I hope our political leaders will as well.” —James P. Kemp, president of the Jack Kemp Foundation

Redeeming Economics provides an original perspective on economics, one that is soundly based in the work of three giants in the intellectual history of Western civilization: Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.” —Andrew V. Abela, chairman of the Department of Business and Economics at the Catholic University of America

“There is much hype about the conflict between economic and social conservatives. But if Mueller is right, the two visions are basically complementary. . . . Conservatives may need to outgrow Adam Smith and develop a newer, deeper understanding of economics, the family and justice.” —Daily Herald (Utah)

“Mueller opens discussion on essential topics for people of all faiths, political orientations, and worldviews and does so in ways that probe the limits of rational choice and foster interdisciplinary conversation.” —Choice

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