The Road to Serfdom: The Condensed Version As It Appeared in the April 1945 Edition of Reader's Digest (Occasional Paper, 122)

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9780255365307: The Road to Serfdom: The Condensed Version As It Appeared in the April 1945 Edition of Reader's Digest (Occasional Paper, 122)

In the last years of World War II, Friedrich Hayek wrote The Road to Serfdom. He warned the allies that policy proposals which were being canvassed for the post-war world ran the risk of destroying the very freedom for which they were fighting. On the basis of 'as in war, so in peace', economists and others were arguing that the government should plan all economic activity. Such planning, Hayek argued, would be incompatible with liberty, and had been at the very heart of the movements that had established both communism and Nazism.

On its publication in 1944, the book caused a sensation. Neither its British nor its American publisher could keep up with demand, owing to wartime paper rationing. Then, in 1945, Reader's Digest published The Road to Serfdom as the condensed book in its April edition. For the first and still the only time, the condensed book was placed at the front of the magazine instead of the back. Hayek found himself a celebrity, addressing a mass market.

The condensed edition was republished for the first time by the IEA in 1999 and has been reissued to meet the continuing demand for its enduringly relevant and accessible message.

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About the Author:

Hayek was a major social theorist and political philosopher of the twentieth century, and his account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to co-ordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London School of Economics (LSE), the University of Chicago, and the University of Freiburg.

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