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

by F. A. Hayek

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592385,891 (3.5)None
This book traces the life's work of a man now widely regarded as one of the greatest economists, political philosophers and social theorists of the century. The result is the most alive and accessible introduction to Hayek to date.
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The format of this "autobiographical dialogue" is quite interesting: after a relatively short introduction, passages from an unpublished Hayek memoir alternate with relevant questions chosen from eight different interview sources. Obviously, choosing answers from eight interviews conducted at different times in Hayek's life could be misleading, and the editors' discretion shaped this book a great deal. But the result is still an engaging take on Hayek "in his own words".

The book is not as useful to scholars as it could be, though. Although the source of each question is identified in broad terms, the bibliographic information is incomplete. It's not even clear what year each question was asked. I would like to see a longer book that presents the material in a way that's more useful for scholars, though it's still enjoyable for what it is. ( )
  szarka | May 24, 2013 |
Here’s one book said to be by F. A. Hayek where you are spared this author’s annoying habit of continually commenting upon what comes next, and is in every way a smooth read, but it isn’t really a book by Hayek. It starts with 35 pages of introduction by Stephen Kresge (who is very fond of puns and allusions), and is from then on self-biographical notes by Hayek, interspersed - so as to fit in - by snippets from interviews with Hayek made by 6 men (Mostly by W. W. Bartley though) . That is the 170 page book, but for a set of photos of Hayek and a transcript of a radio debate, both around the middle of the book.

This W. W. Bartley is said by Bruce Caldwell and Alan Ebenstein to have manipulated the old Hayek and to have inserted his own ideas into work published under Hayek’s name. .

Maybe that is groundless gossip, but gossip is also important to the compilers of text suitable for this book. The socialist Harold Laski was a compulsive liar we are told, and the head of the LSE, Lord Beveridge was an ignorant fool whose book on employment was actually written by Nicholas Kaldor, but Lord Keynes – strangely - comes off lightly, at least as a person.

An easy read as said, and some notable ideas are presented too, I note on page 146, regarding the Austrian business cycle theory: “…since then, so much of the credit expansion has gone to where government directed it that the misdirection may no longer be overinvestment in industrial capital but may take any number of forms.” (Interview with Jack High UCLA, not dated). Which is a suitable thought with a recent housing boom-bust, and anti-Austrians finding a lack of abandoned half-built industrial sites to prove the Austrians right. ( )
1 vote jahn | Jul 31, 2009 |
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This book traces the life's work of a man now widely regarded as one of the greatest economists, political philosophers and social theorists of the century. The result is the most alive and accessible introduction to Hayek to date.

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An edition of this book was published by Liberty Fund, Inc.

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