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Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403960380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403960382
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,438,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of an eponymous biography of the influential 20th-century political thinker and economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), Ebenstein here delivers an analysis of the intellectual influences and legacy of this philosopher of liberty. Covering much of Hayek's philosophy beyond his continuing currency in monetary and trade cycle theory, this volume serves as an illuminating supplement to Ebenstein's previous book. "Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist," Hayek remarked, and Ebenstein elaborates on this assertion, exploring the evolution of Hayek's ideas from a childhood among Darwinists to his flirtation with Vienna Circle thinkers (such as his cousin Ludwig Wittgenstein), to his relationships with Karl Popper and the Chicago School of Economics. Though often repetitive and unclear in his analysis of the pure philosophical elements in Hayek's background, Ebenstein traces Hayek's intellectual relationship to political thinkers such as Mill, Marx and Keynes with an erudite clarity. Crowned by a series of chapters examining Hayek's later political works, this deeply researched and well-documented intellectual history lays out the classical liberal discussions of Hayek's lifetime and offers a compelling and scholarly critical examination of the current debates in the Hayek literature.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...offers a compelling and scholarly critical examination of the current debates in the Hayek literature."--Publishers Weekly Annex

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Frederich Hayek was a genius who happened upon his brilliance by both nature and nurture. He lived in an era which thought it not unusual to work in both the physical and social sciences. In Hayek's case it was most important that his first love was biology since the evolutionary underpinnings of society were fundamental to his approach to the social sciences.
He is today remembered for such classics as THE FATAL CONCEIT, THE CONSTITUTION OF LIBERTY and especially THE ROAD TO SERFDOM. He excelled in many categories and it was this fusion of various fields that made his work so unique and so vital. Starting as a scientist in the tradition of Ernest Mach, he soon began studies in economics, particularly value. From semi-Socialist leanings he became convinced of the link between economic and political freedom. This was the subtext of THE ROAD TO SERFDOM.
His argument against collectivism and central-run economies are as valid today as they were in the early part of last century. Central economies fail because 1) Society has too much knowledge to be centrally commanded (2) all economic decisions become political and thus authoritarian and noncreative and (3) there is no way to set value (price) under Socialism.
THE SENSORY ORDER dealt with epistomology, then he branched out to philosophy and politics. As an example of how Socialist we have become, Hayek's views were called ""liberal" and are now called "conservative" despite the fact that they're unchanged. He wrote one piece "WHY I AM NOT A CONSERVATIVE" which is a clarion call for libertarianism and classical liberalism.
The book examines the clashes between intellectual giants - von Mises, Popper, Mach, Wittgenstein (his cousin) and others. He was a secularist, a capitalist and a political liberal in the classical sense.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bob Lewis on October 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A very good starting point for those who have heard about Hayek and his ideas, but are not ready to jump into the details of his other works. A few well known traders say that to do well in the stock market, one must have a good understanding of the thinking of the Austrian School.
This book summarizes the ideas and discusses his many books, most of which are currently in print. It is written in an easy to read style. It may help you decide which of Hayek's works to read first.
I enjoyed it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ian Mackechnie on January 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read Ebenstein's biography of Hayek with high expectations, only to find the work disjointed, inadequate, and incomplete, and I was left with the feeling that either the author did not understand Hayek, had problems expressing himself or did not do adequate research.
When this title hit the bookshops, I immediately purchased a copy thinking that this volume would make up for the inadequacies of the first. But again, I am left with the feeling that a better work on the life and writings of the great Von Hayek is still to be written!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Kindle on May 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In this readable volume, Ebenstein offers an overview of Hayek's thought organized thematically rather than chronologically. It is meant as a companion volume to Ebenstein's biography of Hayek, but I read it as a supplement to Caldwell's intellectual biography, Hayek's Challenge.
Being only modestly acquainted with 20th century history, and even less so on economic and political theories, I strongly endorse reading a historical account of Hayek prior to considering this thematic presentation. Hayek was a man of his time, passionately contending with political ideologies and economic centralization that he felt threatened individual liberties. In my view, a historical approach can more aptly express the interplay of social, cultural, and personal influences that shaped Hayek's life and thought.
Be that as it may, Ebenstein has done a fine job in this book. Each chapter is devoted to a specific idea of, or a major influence on, Hayek. Foundational ideas incorporated into Hayek's thought are discussed (Darwinianism, German historicism, Austrian school economics) as are significant works that denoted major changes in his thought. Individual chapters deal with Mises, Keynes, Friedman and Popper, and another contrasts Hayek's thought with Marx, Mill, and Freud. Hayek's major economic thought is address in chapters devoted to both his early years and his later work.
I recommend this book primarily as a ready and current reference for the ongoing debates and interpretations of Hayek. Ebenstein's Bibliographical Essay on the collected works of Hayek may be an essential source for those studying this man.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on November 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Having read this book without first reading Ebenstein's companion biography on Hayek, perhaps my criticism is not fully warranted, but this book seemed to fall a little short. Hayek is unarguably a fascinating thinker and my hope when picking this up was to learn how that thinking developed: how for example did he wrestle to change from his early socialist leanings when confronted with the problem of economic calculation. There is a lot of interesting factual information to be found in the book, but it is disjointed and ultimately a little frustrating to read. Perhaps Ebenstein's companion biography on Hayak's life reads a little smoother and expresses more of a compelling narrative, and this is just an unfortunate result of a failed biographical mind body split.

All this being said I still think many will still find the book worth a read. There is much to be gained in exploring Hayek - kind of like if I were to take a photograph of a supper model with a point and shoot camera, I'd end up with a picture worth viewing, but not because of my exemplary photographic skills. Eberstein doesn't take the greatest picture of Hayek but based on the merit of the subject I'd still recommend taking a look.
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