Ludwig von Mises's Liberty and Property sets out a master narrative of global economic history, and the result is an essay for the ages. It is profound, visionary, and compelling beyond belief. Here Mises describes the revolutionary meaning of capitalism in human history and how it has been responsible for the most spectacular increases in the common man's standard of living.
In 1956, with the Mont Pelerin Society entering a difficult period in which its intellectual lights were drifting away from old-school liberalism, Ludwig von Mises delivered a speech to explain why this was a terrible trend. He didn't rebuke anyone; he instead backed away from the events of the day to provide a sweeping reconstruction of economic history from the ancient world to the present. In this way he provided a model of how to avoid presentism in order to understand the really big issues of civilization and the moral and practical urgency of embracing total freedom. Liberty and Property is this clarion call in book form.
Contemporary reports from the event at which Mises delivered his speech suggest that the people there were uninterested in his point of view, but this is much to their shame. For what he left us with is remarkable. High intelligence, vast historical understanding, and moral passion combined to produce one of the most dazzling presentations of the case for economic liberty ever written.