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The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674033184
ISBN-10: 0674033183
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Road from Mont Pèlerin uncovers and lays bare the origins of one of the most important political phenomena of our time--the development of the neoliberal discourse coalition that has come to shape the modern political economy. (Frank Fischer, Rutgers University)

A fascinating and important book, one that speaks in radical, perceptive, and provocative ways to contemporary debates around neoliberalism. (Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia)

This excellent book contributes significantly to our understanding of the origins of neoliberalism and its transformation into political discourse and policy. (Steven Lukes, New York University)

The volume’s contributors make heavy use of original archival materials and make good on the editors’ promise to expose the complexity, nuance and plurality of neoliberal thought--a belief system that has constructed and re-constructed itself and the world…The Road from Mont Pèlerin is indispensable for anyone wishing to gain an understanding of neoliberalism, whether as an end in itself or as a means for constructing alternative, non-neoliberal futures. (Daniel Kinderman Critical Policy Studies 2010-07-01)

The Road from Mont Pèlerin reminds us that social movements succeed by drawing in many others who undertake the work that actually drives the movement forward. The book is full of stories of those individuals and related organizations that formed strategies, carried out the logistics and legwork, and brought legislators and others into contact with [Mont Pèlerin Society] ideas. In other words, if you work on post-war history of economics, there is almost no reason not to read this book. (Ross B. Emmett Journal of the History of Economic Thought 2011-03-01)

About the Author

Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame.

Dieter Plehwe is a Senior Fellow at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (June 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674033183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674033184
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. A. Krul on July 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Road from Mont Pèlerin" is the first work since the in-house history of the society by Hartwell to trace the origins, meaning, and development of the Mont Pèlerin Society and its role in the making of the neoliberal thought collective, as the editors call it. This collection is therefore first and foremost a work of modern history of ideas. While many people have written critical histories of the meaning and origins of neoliberalism, this work is perhaps the most academic and most strongly researched of them all, and goes beyond the more popular level of discussion of the effects of neoliberal policy in practice and the ways of political power, instead focusing more on the way in which 'neoliberalism' has become a strong and identifiable political philosophy. As the authors of this collection emphasize, it is first and foremost that: not an economic theory, nor simply an old laissez-faire doctrine in a new jacket, but an entire political philosophy and world outlook that is all the more powerful for the obscurity of its real content. Whereas other authors have at times simply sufficed to identify neoliberalism with particular politicians (Thatcher, Reagan, Blair) or with 'free market' policies, as co-editor Mirowski explains in his excellent postface, the philosophy of neoliberalism as it originated as an integral whole at Mont Pèlerin is quite distinct in several ways.Read more ›
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An excellent piece or work in both historical and ideological fields
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A really remarkable history of the last many decades of economics and politics. If you are a neoliberal you will hate it, which is a big point in its favor.
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I had read the popular works of Friedman, Hayek and Mises, and I was struck by what appeared to be extreme naivete (or stupidity) by such worldly, brilliant men. They each painted a picture of a world that did not actually exist, and that cannot exist as each man's picture does not include corporations or recognize that corporations, which are state-sanctioned entities, are the primary economic actors of our world, not individual human beings (or entrepreneurs).

This book, and what it led me to discover, helped me recognize neoliberalism for the movement that it was at the beginning and understand how neoliberalism became the collection of policies and theories that it is today.

Contrary to the critical reviews, the Road from Mont Pelerin is a well-researched history of neoliberalism from its idealistic beginnings at the University of Chicago with the now forgotten Henry Simons (and the well-known Hayek), to its co-option by moneyed interests represented by the likes of Rockefeller and the Volker Fund. Example, when Hayek embarked on creating a new type of liberalism, he was against monopoly. But then he received funding from pro-monopoly interests and voila, he was all for monopoly (actually, I am oversimplifying a great deal; but the reality was that before he was paid to think otherwise, he was all for government intervention to break up monopoly, and afterwards he was against such intervention).

I did not accept the authors' conclusions as truth, however. I followed their cited original sources as much as I could, including picking up the more wonky works of Hayek, for example. The Road from Mont Pelerin is a first step on the road to understanding neoliberalism.
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