Notes and recollections
These are notes composed by Mises during the dark days of the beginning years of the Second World War, and their contents reflect the sadness of the times as well as the upheaval in his personal life resulting from his departure from Europe.
The work contains valuable recollections, from the point of view of an "insider," on the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Mises claims, e.g., that Archduke Rudolf did not commit suicide at Mayerling for reasons of romance. Instead, the Archduke, a student and friend of Carl Menger, despaired of the future, with the ever growing abandonment of classical liberal principles.
Also, Mises details his own role in preventing a complete collapse of Austrian finance in the period 1920-1921. Mises was able to prevent the Socialist govemment from pursuing a disastrous inflationary policy through his influence on Otto Bauer, the Marxist Minister of Finance, who was an old comrade from the days of Böhm-Bawerk's seminar.
Mises, understandably distressed by the academic promotion at the University of Vienna of men far inferior to him in ability, delivers himself of some pungent comments on the decline of academic standards in Austrian universities in the interwar years. The prevalence of romantic and irrationalist trends, and the replacement of classical liberal doctrine with statism and socialism are stressed. Othmar Spann, a Romantic philosopher with little knowledge of economics, who nevertheless held an economics chair at the University of Vienna, exemplifies these trends.
Ludwig von Mises:
An Annotated Bibliography