Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue (Collected Works of F.A. Hayek)

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9780226320625: Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue (Collected Works of F.A. Hayek)

The crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the iron curtain, and the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions" all owe a tremendous debt to F. A. Hayek. Economist, social and political theorist, and intellectual historian, Hayek passionately championed individual liberty and condemned the dangers of state control. Now Hayek at last tells the story of his long and controversial career, during which his fortunes rose, fell, and finally rose again.

Through a complete collection of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches and a wide selection of interviews, Hayek on Hayek provides the first detailed chronology of Hayek's early life and education, his intellectual progress, and the academic and public reception of his ideas. His discussions range from economic methodology and the question of religious faith to the atmosphere of post-World War I Vienna and the British character.

Born in 1899 into a Viennese family of academics and civil servants, Hayek was educated at the University of Vienna, fought in the Great War, and later moved to London, where, as he watched liberty vanish under fascism and communism across Europe, he wrote The Road to Serfdom. Although this book attracted great public attention, Hayek was ignored by other economists for thirty years after World War II, when European social democracies boomed and Keynesianism became the dominant intellectual force. However, the award of the Nobel Prize in economics for 1974 signaled a reversal in Hayek's fortunes, and before his death in 1992 he saw his life's work vindicated in the collapse of the planned economies of Eastern Europe.

Hayek on Hayek is as close to an autobiography of Hayek as we will ever have. In his own eloquent words, Hayek reveals the remarkable life of a revolutionary thinker in revolutionary times.

"One of the great thinkers of our age who explored the promise and contours of liberty....[Hayek] revolutionized the world's intellectual and political life"—President George Bush, on awarding F. A. Hayek the Medal of Freedom

F. A. Hayek, recipient of the Medal of Freedom 1991 and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1974, was a pioneer in monetary theory and the principal proponent of the libertarian philosophy. Hayek is the author of numerous books in economics, as well as books in political philosophy and psychology.

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About the Author:

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 a leading proponent of classical liberalism  in the twentieth century. He taught at the University of London, the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An ``autobiographical dialogue,'' derived partly from a fragment of autobiography left by Nobel Prize-winning economist Hayek and partly from interviews given by him. Hayek, born in Vienna in 1899, has been called ``arguably the most influential economist of this century.'' His work fell into disfavor in the 1940s and '50s, as his criticism of socialism and collectivism came into conflict with the spirit of the times. Since the award of the Nobel Prize in 1974, the failure of some Keynesian prescriptions (he was both a collaborator with and a rival of Keynes), and the fall of the Soviet Union, his work has attracted renewed interest. The autobiography and interviews convey the flavor of the man--modest, calm, steeped in the history of economic thought, sometimes tart in his observations. There is a charm, too, in the insight it affords into those who were part of the economic debate of the 20th century: of Keynes, whose breadth of knowledge and flexibility of mind Hayek admires while noting that Keynes was repelled by, and knew almost nothing of, the economics writers of the 19th century; of Joseph Schumpeter, whom Hayek considered a greater thinker, but one deeply pessimistic about the capacity of rational argument to persuade people; and of Milton Friedman, famous for his monetary theories, of whom he writes, ``Milton and I agree on almost everything but monetary policies.'' But Hayek's great contribution was his realization that the complexity of human affairs and responses doomed what he called ``the fatal conceit of socialism--the attempt to design and control the destiny of societies,'' for as Hayek showed in his influential book The Road to Serfdom, the failure of the design in countries like the Soviet Union led to greater and more dictatorial efforts to exercise that control. A brief but absorbing and unique insight into the great economic debates of the 20th century and those who shaped them. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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