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From the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry to president Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus package to the highly controversial passage of federal health-care reform, conservatives and concerned citizens alike have grown increasingly fearful of big government. Enter Nobel Prize-winning economist and political theorist F. A. Hayek, whose passionate warning against empowering states with greater economic control, The Road to Serfdom, became an overnight sensation last summer when it was endorsed by Glenn Beck. The book has since sold over 150,000 copies. The latest entry in the University of Chicago Press's series of newly edited editions of Hayek's works, The Constitution of Liberty is, like Serfdom, just as relevant to our present moment. The book is considered Hayek's classic statement on the ideals of freedom and liberty, ideals that he believes have guided--and must continue to guide--the growth of Western civilization. Here Hayek defends the principles of a free society, casting a skeptical eye on the growth of the welfare state and examining the challenges to freedom posed by an ever expanding government--as well as its corrosive effect on the creation, preservation, and utilization of knowledge. In opposition to those who call for the state to play a greater role in society, Hayek puts forward a nuanced argument for prudence. Guided by this quality, he elegantly demonstrates that a free market system in a democratic polity--under the rule of law and with strong constitutional protections of individual rights--represents the best chance for the continuing existence of liberty. Striking a balance between skepticism and hope, Hayek's profound insights are timelier and more welcome than ever before. This definitive edition of The Constitution of Liberty will give a new generation the opportunity to learn from his enduring wisdom.
In 1931, when the young F. A. Hayek challenged the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes, sixteen years his senior, and one of the world's leading economists, he sparked a spirited debate that would influence economic policy in democratic countries for decades. Their extensive exchange lasted until Keynes's death in 1946, and is reprinted in its entirety in this latest volume of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek. When the journal Economica published a review of Keynes's Treatise on Money by Hayek in 1931, Keynes's response consisted principlally of an attack on Hayek's own work on monetary theory, Prices and Production. Conducted almost entirely in economics journals, the battle that followed revealed two very different responses to a world in economic crisis. Keynes sought a revision of the liberal political order-arguing for greater government intervention in the hope of protecting against the painful fluctuations of the business cycle. Hayek instead warned that state involvement would cause irreparable damage to the economy. This volume begins with Hayek's 1963 reminiscence "The Economics of the 1930s as Seen from London," which has never been published before. The articles, letters, and reviews from journals published in the 1930s are followed by Hayek's later reflections on Keynes's work and influence. The Introduction by Bruce Caldwell puts the debate in context, providing detailed information about the economists in Keynes's circle at Cambridge, their role in the acceptance of his ideas, and the ways in which theory affected policy during the interwar period. Caldwell calls the debate between Hayek and Keynes "a battle for the minds of the rising generation of British-trained economists. " There is no doubt that Keynes won the battle during his lifetime. Now, when many of Hayek's ideas have been vindicated by the collapse of collectivist economies and the revival of the free market around the world, this book clarifies Hayek's work on monetary theory-formed in heated opposition to Keynes-and illuminates his efforts to fight protectionism in an age of economic crisis. F. A. Hayek (1899-1992), recipient of the Medal of Freedom in 1991 and co-winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of classical liberal thought in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.
The Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions. " The collapse of Eastern Europe dramatically captured in the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. F. A. Hayek, "grand old man of capitalism" and founder of the classical liberal, free-market revival which ignited and inspired these world events, forcefully predicted their occurrence in writings such as The Road to Serfdom, first published in 1944. Hayek's well-known social and political philosophy--in particular his long-held pessimistic view of the prospects of socialism, irrefutably vindicated by the recent collapse of the Eastern bloc--is fully grounded in the Austrian approach to economics. In this new collection, Hayek traces his intellectual roots to the Austrian school, the century-old tradition founded at the University of Vienna by Carl Menger, and links it to the modern rebirth of classical liberal or libertarian thought. As Hayek reminds us, the cornerstone of modern economics--the theory of value and price--"represents a consistent continuation of the fundamental principles handed down by the Vienna school. " Here, in this first modern collection of essays on the Austrian school by one of its preeminent figures, is the genesis of this tradition and its place in intellectual history. Reflections on Hayek's days as a young economic theorist in Vienna, his opening address to the inaugural meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society, and essays on former teachers and other leading figures in the Austrian school are included in volume 4. Two hitherto unavailable memoirs, "The Economics of the 1920s as Seen from Vienna," published here for the first time, and "The Rediscovery of Freedom: Personal Recollections," available for the first time in English, make this collection invaluable for Hayek scholars. Hayek's writings continue to provide an invaluable education in a subject which is nothing less than the development of the modern world.
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