Was Mises a Bad Writer? Take the Strunk-White Challenge
By Bryan Caplan
When I denounce Hayek’s heinous writing style, many libertarians retort that Mises was even worse. Their claim baffles me. Yes, you can fault Mises’ organization; do you really want to begin your treatise on economics with 89 pages of Kantian philosophy? But sentence-by-sentence, Mises is hard to criticize. Personally, I think his prose sings. But at bare minimum, it’s readable.
Disagree? Here’s my challenge. Pick a random sentence from Mises and tell me how Strunk and White (or Orwell for that matter) would have made it better. Will you find room for improvement? Perhaps. But unless you hand-pick the worst Misesian sentence you can find, you won’t be able to improve it much.