FIRST EDITION OF DAVENPORT’S THE ECONOMICS OF ENTERPRISE, 1913
DAVENPORT, Herbert Joseph. The Economics of Enterprise. New York: Macmillan, 1913. Octavo, original burgundy cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $1200.
First edition of Davenport’s powerful Austrian School treatise on individualism in economics and the importance of the free market.
“One may glean from this book only a moderate reflection of one of the greatest classroom teachers Cornell University ever had—one of those rare persons, able to use the Socratic method masterfully. Before concentrating on Economics, H.J. Davenport had first become accomplished in English mathematics, law and logic—a rich background from which he taught. A jealous guardian of economic discipline founded in logic, his work strongly upheld the precepts of individualism. To him any such concept as the ‘social organism’ was anathema. And from that base he went on to develop the concept of the processes of the market at their best, in terms of human freedom. He defined the science of economics as ‘little more than a study of price and of its causes and its corollaries.’ Price was, to him, central to all economics. And that meant price freedom for individuals. Without freedom of pricing, therefore, economics was not operative. He therefore disclaimed all theoretical sympathies with the Socialists, who he considered to be, in fact, the ultraconservatives” (F.A. Harper, quoted in Hazlitt, The Free Man’s Library, 63-64). Without very rare original dust jacket. A few pencil annotations and occasional pencil and ink underlining.
Light rubbing and soiling to cloth, only mild toning to spine. A very good copy.