Book Review: Hypocrites & Half-Wits by Donald J. Boudreaux

I’ve been waiting for this title for a few months since first reading the announcement. It’s not a tome, nor is it a long boring economic textbook filled with charts. The premise is simple. Just a selection of the Dr. Boudreaux’s 111 best letters to the editors of various newspapers, magazines, Web sites, etc.

Dr. Boudreaux has made it a bit of a hobby to send a daily letter to correct some egregious fallacy seen in print. He is literally, a man of letters.

You can even sign-up for a daily email message containing his latest letters at his Web site. Or leave him voice-mail at a number he offers in the book.

The book is brief and a very quick-read. I just got it in the mail Saturday and finished it Monday in my spare time (with work, 3 kids, and a new puppy there’s not much).

Really, all of Dr. Boudreaux’s letters are good, but as this book is a curated (yup, I used that term) selection, reading this book is like watching the All-Star home-run-derby. Each one is better than the last. And there’s a nice broad selection of topics covered, including (not close to an exhaustive list):
–  trade deficits
–  ObamaCare
–  forced conscription
–  price-gouging
–  inflation
–  the buy-local fetish
–  trade-offs
–  stimulus
–  population growth
–  austerity
–   bread and circuses
–  minimum-wage

And much more, with a particular slant towards promoting free markets and people.

[ It’s good to see the collectivist/leftist nonsense of Paul Krugman exposed in more than a couple letters. ]

The signal-noise ratio in this book is nearly perfect, there’s not a wasted page, and barely an extraneous word. Most of the letters are under 8-10 sentences long. Each one is an intellectual knock-out punch. ;-)

If you’re a fan of Dr. Boudreaux in any capacity, or even a casual reader of Cafe Hayek, this is a must-buy title. In fact, I can think of a couple recent grads (and Senators) who could use a copy.

Additional links:
Official Amazon link
Hypocrites & Half-Wits by Donald J. Boudreaux
What the media have to say about the book
Kennedy, Dr. Boudreaux, and A Book of His Letters
Cafe Hayek — where orders emerge