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Hayek's The Road to Serfdom: A Brief Introduction (Chicago Shorts)

Hayek's The Road to Serfdom: A Brief Introduction (Chicago Shorts) [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Caldwell

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Product Description

Product Description

The Road to Serfdom, F. A. Hayek’s 1944 warning against the dangers of government control, continues to influence politics more than seventy years after it was turned down by three American publishers and finally published by the University of Chicago Press. A classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, the definitive edition of The Road to Serfdom included this essay as its Introduction. Here, acclaimed Hayek biographer and general editor of the Collected Works of F. A. Hayek series, Bruce Caldwell explains how Hayek came to write and publish the book, assesses misunderstandings of Hayek’s thought, and suggests how Hayek’s fears of Socialism lead him to abandon the larger scholarly project he had planned in 1940 to focus instead on a briefer, more popular and political tract—one that has influenced political and economic discourse ever since.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 490 KB
  • Print Length: 41 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (13 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HAT57MA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,703 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Making of an Intellectual Bestseller 27 Jan 2014
By christopher - Published on
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"The war, then, was transforming the climate, and Beveridge's hope--and he was not alone--was to build on this transformation in the future. Indeed, the first of the 'Three Guiding Principles of Recommendations' with which he began his report made the link explicit: 'Now, when the war is abolishing landmarks of every kind, is the opportunity for using experience in a clear field. A revolutionary moment in the world's history is a time for revolutions, not for patching.'
Having come to his majority in interwar Vienna, Hayek doubtless experienced an intense and disquieting sense of déjà vu on reading such words. In his book he sought to reverse the trends that were everywhere evident in Britain..."

University of Chicago Press has detached Mr. Caldwell's introduction from the latest edition of The Road to Serfdom, and offered it as a 'short.' It is not a summary of the book itself, but it is a valuable account of how the book came to be written (including the debate between Keynesians and Austrians in the 1930s), and how, after being rejected by two or three American publishers, it became a best-seller.

Hayek, it seems, was a little embarassed by the mass success of his academic book, and suspected it might be misunderstood or misused: "Responding to a question about tariffs in a discussion following his speech in Washington, DC, Hayek bluntly asserted: 'If you have any comprehension of my philosophy at all, you must know that one thing I stand for above all else is free trade throughout the world.' The man offering the anecdote added that, with that, 'the temperature of the room went down at least 10 degrees.'"

Finally, there is an account of the book's reception among economists and other intellectuals, who were not less prone to misinterpret Hayek than the general public: "Hayek recognized that 'liberal socialists' value freedom of choice and the honoring of individual preferences. What he denied was that they could maintain those values and still carry out their proclaimed program of extensive central planning. As he succinctly put it, 'socialism can be put into practice only by methods which most socialists disapprove.'"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great background for Hayek's Classic 9 Feb 2014
By Nicholas Ronalds - Published on
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I had already read Hayek's classic but this enormously enriched my experience of not only Hayek's best-known work, but of the depth of Hayek's insights on economics forces and their implications for politics and society.
5.0 out of 5 stars Vey interesting book 16 Mar 2014
By john harrington - Published on
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Very good and enlightening book a must read very easy to head very well written.i would suggest it to everyone.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly pertinent to why capitalism matters. 9 Feb 2014
By G. Miller - Published on
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Terse introduction to how liberty dies. Prescient, contemporary and motivation to become involved in politics. Trivial price to pay to save America.
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