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The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University Hardcover – February 9, 2010
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“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.”
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful read if you want to learn about the principles of reflexivity.Published 13 months ago by Sambit Behera
Okay not really ground breaking. Pretty much every idea he put into his book has already been coined by someone before him and is titled. His opinions aren't really new opinions. Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by kittyrina
The book is a very good read. It is well written except a bit short and I was expecting more.Published on November 19, 2013 by an_alligator
Soros talks about the changes in world leadership coming through the strengthening of China and Europe - as always Soros shares the real issuesPublished on September 17, 2013 by AlexE
This book, "The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University" comprises some lectures by Soros himself at the Central European Univ. Read morePublished on July 9, 2013 by Jose Mario Serra
This isn't a vanity book written by a ghostwriter for some person of distinction (as is my impression, which is quite possibly wrong, of some books by the rich and powerful), but... Read morePublished on January 4, 2013 by Jordan Bell
There are those who will smugly dismiss Soros reflexivity as obvious. As with the tin can, it isn't, until it is. You have to think to gain from this book. In it, Mr. Read morePublished on December 31, 2012 by Newton Fawcett
In this age of information, we are overwhelmed by problems despite the ready availability of information. Read morePublished on January 15, 2012 by LouiseSStonington