Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Review of The Case for Gold edited by William Rees-Mogg
Volume 6, No. 4 (Winter 2003)
This three-volume collection, edited by William Rees-Mogg and published in 2002 by Pickering and Chatto presents, in more than 949 pages, essays and excerpts from books written by 19 of the most remarkable monetary theorists from the sixteenth century to the present. Sir Rees-Mogg’s selection begins with Malynes’s “Treatise of the Canker of England’s Commonwealth,” includes works by most of the English classical liberals as well as by George Goschen, Stanley Jevons, Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, and Murray Rothbard among others, and closes the Case for Gold with an interview, dated 1965, with the French economist Jacques Rueff. Contrary to the belief inspired by the title, only two of the texts, both written by twentieth-century authors, deal exclusively with the question why gold, rather than paper, should be the money of a free society aiming at peaceful progress. The temptation is huge, therefore, to acquire only the third volume, the texts being arranged chronologically. However, this would be a great mistake, because earlier economists do provide valuable arguments for commodity money, and much more. We will try to systemize the gist of these arguments and to present some inconsistencies in the classical-liberal thought, which may be used in support of paper money.
Cite This Article
Gertchev, Nikolay. Review of The Case for Gold edited by William Rees-Mogg. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 6, No. 4 (Winter 2003): 117–26.