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The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University Hardcover – February 9, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Fareed Zakaria, CNN
“It’s a terrific look into the worldview of one of the richest and most fascinating men in the world.”

“Soros offers a charming mix of autobiography, analysis of the financial crisis, and explication of his concept of ‘reflexivity’ in economics.”

Financial World
“When George Soros speaks, people listen, which is why this collection of lectures by Soros on his philosophy of life and markets will command attention.”

About the Author

George Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and the founder of a global network of foundations dedicated to supporting open societies. He is the author of several best-selling books, most recently The New Paradigm for Financial Markets. He was born in Budapest and lives in New York City.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (February 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586488856
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586488857
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary on August 12, 1930. He survived the occupation of Budapest and left communist Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. While a student at LSE, Mr. Soros became familiar with the work of the philosopher Karl Popper, who had a profound influence on his thinking and later on his professional and philanthropic activities. The financier. In 1956 Mr. Soros moved to the United States, where he began to accumulate a large fortune through an international investment fund he founded and managed. Today he is Chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At this--America's dark and anxious hour--the Soros Lectures comes to us as a rare gift of clear and deep thinking about American democracy. This is the clarion call of the man who created the Open Society Foundation and dedicated his life to the enhancement of democracy in America, as well as in many closed societies all over the globe.
I was particularly struck by the force and lucidity of Lectures three and four, which explain, in a succinct and distilled manner, how our present dire situation threatens not only the financial well-being of all Americans, but also the essence of our democracy--the open society.
Many may raise an eye-brow at the notion that our society is no longer the open society our founders envisioned. Can't we say, print, or tweet anything we want? Can't we freely assemble and freely practice our various religions? True, we can. However, Soros examines the open society concept from a different angle. His explicit requirement for an open society is "the pursuit of truth" (63). In our society, this requirement is a tall order. Politicians and markets have learned that through various propaganda devices reality can be manipulated. This manipulation, according to Soros, has been gradually progressing for a long time but has reached its ultimate expression during the Bush presidency (63). With "alarm," Soros notes that "it has surfaced in the Obama administration as well" (67). Soros was further shocked to find out that Frank Lunz, a right-wing propagandist, "openly admitted that he used George Orwell's 1984 as his textbook in devising his slogans" (59).
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Format: Hardcover
"In the course of my life," says well-known financier and philanthropist George Soros, "I have developed a conceptual framework that has helped make money... It is about the relationship between thinking and reality... My goal is ambitious. It is that this conceptual framework should provide the foundation for a better understanding of human affairs" (p. vii,3) This book is short, to the point, and stuffed with interesting ideas. If you want to go for an exhilarating merry-go-round with an interesting thinker, I recommend Soros highly. His blend of extreme arrogance and unstudied humility is worth experiencing, as is thinking deeply about the principles he espouses.

Soros studied with the great philosopher Sir Karl Popper, and indeed Soros confesses that in his school days in London (having barely escaped the Nazis in his homeland, Hungary) he "harbored some fantasies of becoming an important philosopher." (p. 7) He has thus spent much of his life switching back and forth between making (lots of) money and writing semi-popular philosophical tracts. As he admits, and for which he blames only himself, these tracts were widely read but dismissed by serious philosophers and economists.

Soros learned from Popper that the "open society" is the only way to truth, and political democracy with civil liberties and a non-intrusive state are the key institutions of an open society. He learned from economics that buyers and sellers are by and large rational, and their judgments about the future are, on average, very accurate.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Billionaire speculator George Soros is about as intriguing an individual as you can find. Escaping the Nazis with his family as a boy, Soros slowly built up one of the world's largest fortunes by constantly taking advantage of market inefficiencies. Once worth billions, he found himself seeking purpose and developed the Open Society Institute among other philanthropic organizations. Soros prefers now to see himself more as a philosopher than a speculator, although he continues to utilize his monetary theories to run his hedge fund.

As would be expected, the lectures of such a diverse and successful individual are full of intrigue. Each lecture is a reflection of his philosophical views that drive all aspects of his life. His theory of reflexivity defines his understanding of the financial markets giving a broad outline of why he feels he has been able to continue succeed where nearly all fail. He speaks in depth about open societies, a belief that began with discussions with the late Karl Pooper and has developed into a passion for aggressively promoting democracy around the world. Lastly, Soros speaks about his thoughts on the future both from an economical and political point of view where he shares his thoughts on the ramifications of the likely battle between international and state capitalism.

Soros is a polarizing figure as he is not shy about expressing his views and reasoning about politics and the massive hypocritical nature of the self interests of agency relationships, most notably that of governments. Yet reasonable people can disagree and still find value in the substance of well reasoned opposing views, thus no matter how anyone feels about Soros's opinions I have no doubt one can appreciate his reasoning. I am sure these lectures will be of value to anyone with an interest in better understanding some of the world's larger issues.
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