The Road to Serfdom

The Road to Serfdom

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Book - 2007
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An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944--when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program-- The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom garnered immediate, widespread attention. The first printing of 2,000 copies was exhausted instantly, and within six months more than 30,000 books were sold. In April 1945, Reader's Digest published a condensed version of the book, and soon thereafter the Book-of-the-Month Club distributed this edition to more than 600,000 readers. A perennial best seller, the book has sold 400,000 copies in the United States alone and has been translated into more than twenty languages, along the way becoming one of the most important and influential books of the century.

With this new edition, The Road to Serfdom takes its place in the series The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. The volume includes a foreword by series editor and leading Hayek scholar Bruce Caldwell explaining the book's origins and publishing history and assessing common misinterpretations of Hayek's thought. Caldwell has also standardized and corrected Hayek's references and added helpful new explanatory notes. Supplemented with an appendix of related materials ranging from prepublication reports on the initial manuscript to forewords to earlier editions by John Chamberlain, Milton Friedman, and Hayek himself, this new edition of The Road to Serfdom will be the definitive version of Hayek's enduring masterwork.
Publisher: [Chicago] : University of Chicago Press, 2007.
Edition: Definitive ed.
ISBN: 9780226320540
Branch Call Number: 330.1000
Characteristics: xi, 283 p. ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Caldwell, Bruce 1952-


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Jan 23, 2020

I had been blissfully unaware of this book -- apparently a gaping hole in my education -- although for decades I have wished that just such a book existed.
I learned of its existence this week from Anonymous's 2019 book "A Warning" which cites Hayek in order to analyse the fawning sycophancy of Donald Trump's gaggle of craven apologists (Chapter 7). In recent years, right down to this very week in the US Senate, we have all been witness to the shameful antics of these toadies. According to Anonymous, Friedrich Hayek gives 3 reasons why an authoritarian personality will be surrounded by the worst elements in society. His -- I take Anonymous to be male -- account of the workings of the Trump White House summarizes "Road to Serfdom" as a book "describing how free societies descend into totalitarianism".

Jan 24, 2013

Excellent book on the dangers of central planning and how this leads to totalitarianism with the worst people running it. Seventy years old and still applicable it shows the dangers of giving up our individual freedoms for "equal justice" which leads to a state run central authority depriving all from their freedom to choose. With a chance we could be facing these decisions in the near future this is definitely a book worth reading for everyone.

Oct 05, 2010

If you are not naturally drawn to economic theory as an interest and are reading this book for external reasons, you may enjoy it more if you watch the associated video first.


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