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Through a complete collection of previously unpublished autobiographical sketches and a wide selection of interviews, Hayek on Hayek provides the first detailed chronology of Hayek's early life and education, his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.
Friedrich A. Hayek is regarded as one of the preeminent economic theorists of the twentieth century, as much for his work outside of economics as for his work within it. During a career spanning several decades, he made contributions in fields as diverse as psychology, political philosophy, the history of ideas, and the methodology of the social sciences. Bruce Caldwell—editor of The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek—understands Hayek's thought like few others, and with this book he offers us the first full intellectual biography of this pivotal social theorist.
Caldwell begins by providing the necessary background for understanding Hayek's thought, tracing the emergence, in fin-de-siècle Vienna, of the Austrian school of economics—a distinctive analysis forged in the midst of contending schools of thought. In the second part of the book, Caldwell follows the path by which Hayek, beginning from the standard Austrian assumptions, gradually developed his unique perspective on not only economics but a broad range of social phenomena. In the third part, Caldwell offers both an assessment of Hayek's arguments and, in an epilogue, an insightful estimation of how Hayek's insights can help us to clarify and reexamine changes in the field of economics during the twentieth century.
As Hayek's ideas matured, he became increasingly critical of developments within mainstream economics: his works grew increasingly contrarian and evolved in striking—and sometimes seemingly contradictory—ways. Caldwell is ideally suited to explain the complex evolution of Hayek's thought, and his analysis here is nothing short of brilliant, impressively situating Hayek in a broader intellectual context, unpacking the often difficult turns in his thinking, and showing how his economic ideas came to inform his ideas on the other social sciences.
Hayek's Challenge will be received as one of the most important works published on this thinker in recent decades.
In the 1940s Henry J. Kaiser was a household name, as familiar then as Warren Buffett and Donald Trump are now. Like a Horatio Alger hero, Kaiser rose from lower-middle-class origins to become an enormously wealthy entrepreneur, building roads, bridges, dams, and housing. He established giant businesses in cement, aluminum, chemicals, steel, health care, and tourism. During World War II, his companies built cargo planes and Liberty ships. After the war, he manufactured the Kaiser-Frazer automobile. Along the way, he also became a major force in the development of the western United States, including Hawaii.
Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West is the first biography of this remarkable man. Drawing on a wealth of archival material never before utilized, Mark Foster paints an evenhanded portrait of a man of driving ambition and integrity, perhaps the ultimate "can-do" capitalist. He covers Kaiser's entire life (1882–1967), emphasizing many business ventures. He demonstrates that Kaiser was the prototypical "frontier" entrepreneur who often used government and union support to tame the "wilderness."
Though today the Kaiser industries are no longer under family management, the Kaiser legacy remains great. Kaiser played a major role in building the Hoover, Bonneville, Grand Coulee, and Shasta dams. The Kaiser-Permanente Medical Care Program still provides comprehensive health care for millions of subscribers. Kaiser-planned communities remain in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; and Boulder City, Nevada. Kaiser Engineers was actively engaged in hundreds of huge construction jobs across the nation and around the world.
U.S. and business historians, scholars of the modern West, and general readers will all find much to absorb them in this well-written biography.
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