The Road to Serfdom

  • by Friedrich A. Hayek
  • Narrated by William Hughes
  • 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1944, The Road to Serfdom has profoundly influenced many of the world's great leaders, from Orwell and Churchill in the mid-'40s, to Reagan and Thatcher in the '80s. The book offers persuasive warnings against the dangers of central planning, along with what Orwell described as "an eloquent defense of laissez-faire capitalism".
Hayek shows that the idea that "under a dictatorial government you can be free inside," is nothing less than a grievous fallacy. Such dictatorial governments prevent individual freedoms, and they often use psychological measures to perform "an alteration of the character of the people". Gradually, the people yield their individuality to the point where they become part of the collectivist mass.

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What the Critics Say

“This book was like a Mike Tyson (in his prime) right hook to socialism in Western Europe and in the United States. But its influence didn’t stop there. It has inspired political and economic leaders for decades since—most famously Ronald Reagan. Reagan often praised Hayek when he talked about people waking up to the dangers of big government.” (Glenn Beck)
“Shatters the myth that the totalitarianisms 'of the Left' and 'of the Right' stem from differing impulses.” (National Review, 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century)
“This book has become a true classic: essential reading for everyone who is seriously interested in politics in the broadest and least partisan sense.” (Milton Friedman)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Classic

After listening to the entire book, I wonder why this work would not be mandatory reading in either high school or college. Hayek teaches us so much about why socialism fails. The work is timeless as it is as relevant now as it was when he wrote it in the 1940s. Hayek is very matter of fact and his thoughts are presented much differently than the typical political author today who tends to demonize and minimize their political opponents.

William Hughes does a great job narrating using emotion where appropriate, at times I feel like I might be listening to Hayek himself.

This is a must read regardless of your political beliefs.
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- Scott

The best book ever written on economic philosophy!

I'm 72 years old; The Road to Serfdom was released the year I was born. In his most important book Fredrich Hayek explains why the classical liberal political philosophy is the only form of government which does not eventually lead to serfdom for the people of a country. I first read The Road to Serfdom while a senior in high school and have read it several times since. Unfortunately this is the only book of Hayek's currently available in audiobook format. The print and Kindle versions of this and other Hayek books a really better than the audiobook versions. Amazon has copies of all of his books.

Hayek is of the Austrian School of political philosophy. His economic philosophy was influenced by a great number of earlier philosophers such as Adam Smith and Ludwig von Mises (a partial contemporary). Likewise he influenced others such as Milton Friedman who studied under Hayek at the University of Chicago. He was born in Austria, moved to England and became a British citizen, and taught for years in the US. He died in 1992 a few weeks before his 93rd birthday. Hayek was a recipient of the Presidential Metal of Freedom.

Hayek was a contemporary and philosophical opponent of British political philosopher John Maynard Keynes.

The narration of The Road to Serfdom is quite good, but not as good as this wonderful book deserves.

This book should be required reading for high school students. Many people believe that Hayek was a conservative; they are wrong! Indeed, his essay "Why I am Not a Conservative" which is available free on the Internet explains his position quite well. In much the same way many people believe that Keynes was a Progressive since his philosophy is used, often falsely, to sell more government spending. Keynes was most certainly not a Progressive although he did believe increased government spending was appropriate during periods of economic recession.

The Road to Serfdom is an amazing and wonderful book. EVERYONE should read it. Although not a native English speaker, Hayek wrote our language with amazing conciseness.
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- Wayne

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-30-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.