The crumbling of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the iron curtain, and the Reagan and Thatcher "revolutions" all owe a debt to F.A. Hayek. Economist, social and political theorist, and intellectual historian, Hayek 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Through a complete collection of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches and a wide selection of interviews, Hayek on Hayek provides the first detailed chronology of Hayek's early life and education, his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. Included is the full text of a 1945 radiobroadcast debate between Hayek and American advocates of state planning, remarkable for the way it anticipated contemporary debates on state control.
Born in 1899 into a Viennese family of academics and civil servants, Hayek was educated at the University of Vienna and fought in the Great War for the fading Austro-Hungarian Empire. He returned from the army to the Vienna of Freud and Wittgenstein (Hayek's cousin), and later moved to London, where, as he watched liberty vanish under fascism and communism across Europe, he wrote The Road to Serfdom.
Although Hayek attracted great public attention with The Road to Serfdom in 1944, he was all but ignored by other economists for thirty years after World War II, when European social democracies boomed and Keynesiansism became the dominant intellectual force. During these years, Hayek turned his attention to philosophy and psychology, and his ideas about the spontaneous order of markets and other social institutions strikingly foreshadowed some of today's concepts in chaos theory and cognitive science. The award of the Nobel Prize in economics in 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 Russia and 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.… (more)