In 1876, Carl Menger, then a young professor at the University of Vienna, was asked to teach the principles of political economy to Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, the 17 year old only son of Emperor Francis Joseph, who was to die tragically before he could inherit the throne.
Rudolf’s recently discovered Notebooks of these lectures, corrected by Menger, are a fascinating record of what the founder of the Austrian marginalist school thought worth teaching to the heir presumptive of a great power. Without referring to his own theories, Menger delivered a course on the economics of Adam Smith – as presented in the mainstream German textbooks of the time – in such a way that the Notebooks can be viewed as a key document on classical economic liberalism, pure and unadulterated. They cast new light on Menger’s own theoretical discoveries, his view of government and his interpretation of classical economics.
In this important volume Rudolf’s Notebooks are published for the first time both in German and an English translation. The editor’s detailed introduction provides the historical and intellectual background to the Notebooks as well as a thorough analysis of classical economics and its treatment by Menger. The text is fully annotated in German and English with its surprising sources traced passage by passage.