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More Than 50-year-old Book Is Bestseller on Amazon (The Road to Serfdom)
The New American ^ | 06/10/2010 | Bob Adelmann

Posted on 06/10/2010 6:56:08 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd

When Glenn Beck urged his listeners, “Please, pick it up. The Road to Serfdom. Make it part of your essential library,” sales of Austrian Economist Frederick von Hayek’s book at Amazon.com pushed it to Number 1 the next day. Prior to the election of President Obama, “The book sold respectably at a clip of about 600 copies a month,” according to Bruce Caldwell, editor at the University of Chicago Press. “But then, in November 2008, sales more than quadrupled, and they haven’t slowed down since.”

When John Stossel, host of Fox Business, featured the book on his show on February 21, sales jumped again.

Opinions as to the remarkable interest in a book published in 1944 by an obscure economist vary, but most center on the book’s uncanny prediction that is now being fulfilled in the United States: centralized and expanding government and its increasingly obvious tyranny impacting citizens’ lives on a daily basis.

Caldwell said the book provides “arguments about the dangers of the unbridled growth of government … including the characterization of the health care debate as being about socialized medicine…. [The book] taps into a profound dissatisfaction in the public mind with the machinations of its government. Furthermore,” he says, “a recurrent theme in the news is that, in contrast to the millions who are suffering, the politically connected are doing just fine.”

Professor Thomas Woods, senior fellow at the Ludwig von Mises Institute, who was Beck’s guest, said that Hayek was “warning about … people [who] think that there is a way to centrally-plan an economy, or run a society … that doesn’t involve methods that we would find utterly distasteful and barbaric.”

When Beck introduced his other guest, professor of economics at Carthage College, Yuri Baltsev, he told his listeners that while Baltsev lived in Russia, “If he was caught reading The Road to Serfdom — if anybody was caught reading The Road to Serfdom — he could go to jail." Baltsev concurred, saying that he took “a pledge that I would never tell anybody about the book, which I’m breaking right now.” Baltsev strongly recommended the book because of his personal experience living in Russia and in Cuba under the communists. The people living there at the time “saw the devil in the eye … if you go to Cuba, [it’s] the best inoculation against ... socialism that you could ever have.”

Richard Ebeling, professor at Northwood University, writing in his blog at Defense of Capitalism, explained his reasons for the continuing and increasing interest in Hayek’s book:

As Hayek also warned many years ago, as the government takes over control of more and more aspects of our life the more we are confined within and made to conform to the hierarchy of values and goals that the political authorities are determined to impose on each and every one of us. By taxing way our income and wealth, and by dictating what may be produced and to whom it will be supplied, the government reduces the members of society to a homogeneous mass made to fit the mold that the political elite thinks is best for us.

And Charles Scaliger adds, “The Road to Serfdom remains one of the most devastating attacks yet written on collectivism and its consequences…. Serfdom argued that collectivism always leads to tyranny…. The early indicators of our likely destination abound: a declining standard of living, rising levels of debt … and, most ominously, mushrooming government, including ever-more intrusive police powers over American citizens.”

The reason total government becomes tyrannical, Hayek says, is that “advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely upon a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means … becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves ‘the good of the whole’ … to be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state, therefore, a man must be prepared to break every moral rule he has ever known.”

A blogger at the Amazon.com website offering Hayek’s book for sale puts the matter succinctly: “Hayek argues that the pursuit of socialist ideals tends to totalitarianism. While socialist ideals seem noble to many, those who persist in realizing these ideals will find it necessary to adopt coercive methods that are incompatible with freedom.”

Beck’s strong recommendation to his readers to “pick it up” and to “make it a part of your essential library” is good as far as it goes. The other parts of that “essential library,” however, must include, at a minimum, The Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and that most hallowed of all founding documents, the Declaration of Independence. With these tools, understanding, and effort, the rush down the "road to serfdom" can be stalled and reversed.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: books; economics; hayek; roadtoserfdom; serfdom; theroadtoserfdom
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Adding The Road to Serfdom on my reading list.
1 posted on 06/10/2010 6:56:09 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd
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To: Responsibility2nd

I bought a copy about a year ago. Outstanding book.


2 posted on 06/10/2010 7:00:46 PM PDT by FlyingEagle
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To: Responsibility2nd

I really should read that, but I am afraid we are living it.


3 posted on 06/10/2010 7:00:54 PM PDT by mylife
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To: Responsibility2nd

ordered two copies. one for me and one for a friend that is just waking up.


4 posted on 06/10/2010 7:01:49 PM PDT by sten
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To: Responsibility2nd

If you haven’t read this book, you need to. Hayek provided the intellectual framework for the Reagan/Thatcher renaissance. You will never lose another argument with liberal if you read this book - it is an intellectual tour de force and provides an analytical, well reasoned explanation for why socialism simply can never work.

Buy it today and read it 10 times.


5 posted on 06/10/2010 7:04:05 PM PDT by PAR
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To: Responsibility2nd

It’s been in my library for about 20 yrs. Times flies. Excellent book - helped form my philosophy.


6 posted on 06/10/2010 7:04:12 PM PDT by FrdmLvr ( VIVA la SB 1070!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

If you haven’t read this book, you need to. Hayek provided the intellectual framework for the Reagan/Thatcher renaissance. You will never lose another argument with liberal if you read this book - it is an intellectual tour de force and provides an analytical, well reasoned explanation for why socialism simply can never work.

Buy it today and read it 10 times.


7 posted on 06/10/2010 7:04:41 PM PDT by PAR
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To: Responsibility2nd; ExTexasRedhead; bamahead

Glenn Beck should start a book club, like Oprah Winphrey did.


8 posted on 06/10/2010 7:05:30 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Obama's more worried about Israelis building houses than he is about Islamists building atomic bombs)
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To: Responsibility2nd
The Road to Serfdom.

An autobiography of the U.S.A. ready to go to print.

9 posted on 06/10/2010 7:06:01 PM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Once again, thank Glenn Beck....


10 posted on 06/10/2010 7:06:37 PM PDT by patriot preacher (To be a good American Citizen and a Christian IS NOT a contradiction. (www.mygration.blogspot.com))
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To: PAR

True. I read it and think I need to read it twice more to really grasp it.


11 posted on 06/10/2010 7:07:21 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote
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To: Responsibility2nd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TD_pSeNelU

Good song. So many people just can’t wait to get on that road again. They are making music with their friends the democrats, and we are definitely on that road again.

Their music is killing America. I might add Willie is one of them, Dope smoking pal of Bill Clinton.


12 posted on 06/10/2010 7:07:22 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Responsibility2nd

So it’s Glenn Beck’s fault that there’s a wait-list on “Road to Serfdom” at the library. Oh, well, my number will come up eventually.


13 posted on 06/10/2010 7:13:36 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Be nice to venomous snakes. They only want to eat a mouse!)
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To: PAR

Well, here is an overlooked point:

This is a 60yr old book, a well known one, and yet now it must be reread or read for the first time by anti socialist Conservatives?

How did that happen?

Answer that and one will find the root of some of the problems in the United States.


14 posted on 06/10/2010 7:15:29 PM PDT by padre35 (You shall not ignore the laws of God, the Market, the Jungle, and Reciprocity Rm10.10)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I ordered a copy yesterday...


15 posted on 06/10/2010 7:18:06 PM PDT by Bean Counter (Stout hearts...)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I believe it!!! When Beck brought up this book on his show I signed onto Amazon to buy a used copy of the book and each one I picked was ALREADY BOUGHT! That was because Glenn Beck just came on and was talking about it and the books were being bought live right there as he was talking!


16 posted on 06/10/2010 7:25:01 PM PDT by sheikdetailfeather ("BOOT The Communists Out of Your Govt.-Don't Take Their Goodies!" Yuri Bezmenov- KGB Defector)
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To: Responsibility2nd

“Adding The Road to Serfdom on my reading list.”

LOL you might have to wait.

I just saw on instapundit that U of Chicago is SOLD OUT, they sold 13000 copies in ONE day after Beck mentioned it.

Another goodie is “The Abolition of Man” by CS Lewis, every one should read that book. And it is very, very short.


17 posted on 06/10/2010 7:25:03 PM PDT by jocon307 (It's the spending, stupid.)
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To: Bean Counter
What really puzzles me is the publisher of our founding documents (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) who have stickers on them warning that they are "no longer relevant," because things have changed --- and the silence is deafening!

What's up with that?

And then there's that stupid woman nominated as an associate justice of the Supreme Court asserting (on national television) that the U.S. is a Representative Democracy... that alone should disqualify her, without any doubt whatsoever.

18 posted on 06/10/2010 7:25:59 PM PDT by Publius6961 (10% of muslims, the killer murdering radicals, are "only" 140,000,000 of 'em)
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To: FrdmLvr

Mine too.


19 posted on 06/10/2010 7:31:23 PM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Read it in 1974, followed by "Free to Choose" by Milton & Rose Friedman.

Changed my outlook and my life.

20 posted on 06/10/2010 7:32:34 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Under $10 on Amazon in paperback or kindle edition


21 posted on 06/10/2010 7:33:47 PM PDT by scottteng ( IMPEACH OBAMA and elect Snitker as Florida Senator)
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To: elkfersupper

“Free to Choose” is a great book. I wrote a paper on it in college.

The book that reformatted my outlook in a significant way was Thomas Sowell’s “Knowledge and Decisions.”


22 posted on 06/10/2010 7:36:54 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Be nice to venomous snakes. They only want to eat a mouse!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Frederick von Hayek was an “obscure economist” according to this journo.


23 posted on 06/10/2010 7:38:00 PM PDT by Royal Wulff
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To: Publius6961
Free condensed PDF versions of the book can be downloaded at :

Site 1

Site 2

Googling the title can also identify "bit torrent" sites to download the complete book, for those brave enough to go that route...

24 posted on 06/10/2010 7:40:35 PM PDT by Publius6961 (10% of muslims, the killer murdering radicals, are "only" 140,000,000 of 'em)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Who has more book selling clout lately? Glenn or Oprah?


25 posted on 06/10/2010 7:41:35 PM PDT by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: Tax-chick

It is a good thing that one was written and published as well.


26 posted on 06/10/2010 7:44:44 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Is it better than Atlas Shrugged?


27 posted on 06/10/2010 7:45:09 PM PDT by LiberConservative
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To: Responsibility2nd

For all my FReeper FRiends, FRee- http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#letterL

“It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis- actually all of his books. Just select the titles. From Gutenburg Australia.


28 posted on 06/10/2010 7:50:08 PM PDT by matthew fuller (Obamacare is Michael Moore Medicine.)
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To: Responsibility2nd; LS

A plug by Beck will turn an old book into a best seller.

His new novel (out next week) would sell a million copies even if it had blank pages.

That man has a powerful microphone.


29 posted on 06/10/2010 7:52:23 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: elkfersupper

Yes, it is. Thomas Sowell is America’s greatest living intellectual - inarguably, since Milton Friedman has died.

It is almost like a religious revelation to read the analysis these great men have published. It truly changes the way a reader sees everything that happens, every issue in life.


30 posted on 06/10/2010 7:59:10 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Be nice to venomous snakes. They only want to eat a mouse!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

So when will Amazon make Glenn their salesman of the year?


31 posted on 06/10/2010 8:13:11 PM PDT by surroundedbyblue
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To: PAR

There’s a story about thatcher slamming down a Hayek book (not this one, I think) and saying “this is what we believe” when asked what her principles were. I’m sure I’ve read something Reagan wrote or said specifically about Hayek, too, maybe one of those radio broadcasts he wrote when he was governor.


32 posted on 06/10/2010 8:16:26 PM PDT by skintight buffoonery
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To: Clintonfatigued

“Witness” by Chambers should be #1.


33 posted on 06/10/2010 8:22:17 PM PDT by bonfire (ou)
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To: Royal Wulff

Yeah, it’s a silly description. I don’t know about his significance as an economist but as a philosopher of liberal capitalism (i.e. free markets, rule of law etc.) he’s pretty universally considered in academia to be a very significant thinker, up there with Locke, Smith, etc.


34 posted on 06/10/2010 8:30:24 PM PDT by skintight buffoonery
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To: Tax-chick
Agreed.

My first Thomas Sowell read was "The Vision of the Annointed".

Bought 3 dozen of his basic enconmics book and gave it to 1/3 of my daughter's high school graduating class.

35 posted on 06/10/2010 8:36:36 PM PDT by elkfersupper (Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: Responsibility2nd

I picked up a copy at a garage sale that I think was printed in 1944. LOL


36 posted on 06/10/2010 8:38:05 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Responsibility2nd

bookmark


37 posted on 06/10/2010 8:42:06 PM PDT by Tammy8 (~Secure the border and deport all illegals- do it now! ~ Support our Troops!~)
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To: Responsibility2nd
I would add Timothy Dwights 1798 sermon "The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis" to the “essential library” list. Don't be put off by the first few opening paragraphs which are inside 18th century theology. Dwight gets into Voltaire, the Illuminati and a most instructive lesson at the end: the story of the "miserable inhabitants of Neuwied, Germany".

The full text is here

38 posted on 06/10/2010 8:44:44 PM PDT by Brugmansian
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To: Responsibility2nd


More Than 50-year-old Book Is Bestseller on Amazon (The Road to Serfdom)

“It’s Glenn Beck’s fault”
His show on “The Road To Serfdom” on Wednesday was good...I just wish
he’d had Thomas Sowell on.
His article on Hayek and his book in (IIRC) Forbes Magazine in the
early 1990s sure woke me up to the power of the book.


39 posted on 06/10/2010 8:45:02 PM PDT by VOA
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To: Responsibility2nd

http://mises.org/books/trts/

Illustrated “The Road to Serfdom”


40 posted on 06/10/2010 8:51:24 PM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
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To: allmendream

Bttt


41 posted on 06/10/2010 8:56:16 PM PDT by Cottonbay
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To: Clintonfatigued
He should add the 5,000 Year Leap and Atlas Shrugged to this one and sell them as a "Beginners Pack" for all those who have been indoctrinated into socialism by our public schools. It'd make a great graduation present.
42 posted on 06/10/2010 8:59:18 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Straight Vermonter

“Atlas Shrugged” is a huge book. That isn’t a beginner’s anything.


43 posted on 06/10/2010 9:01:27 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Obama's more worried about Israelis building houses than he is about Islamists building atomic bombs)
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To: padre35

I think it is a problem of exposure. Without FR and some of the talk radio folks out there I would have never heard of most of the conservative books that I have read. They certainly were not handing them out as reading material when I went to high school or college. My kids who went to a private high school and while they read some of the “great books” never read much that was very political or even philosophical.


44 posted on 06/10/2010 9:03:28 PM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: elkfersupper

Oh, good for you! Seaman Anoreth was trying to give copies of “Basic Economics” and “Applied Economics” to the English-speaking residents of Brunei, “Because your economy sucks, and my mother will get me new economics when I get home.”


45 posted on 06/10/2010 9:10:36 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Be nice to venomous snakes. They only want to eat a mouse!)
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To: Tax-chick

“Economics books.”


46 posted on 06/10/2010 9:11:34 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Be nice to venomous snakes. They only want to eat a mouse!)
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To: allmendream

The Road to Serfdom in less than 2 minutes. Cool!


47 posted on 06/10/2010 9:13:30 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (PALIN/MCCAIN IN 2012 - barf alert? sarc tag? -- can't decide)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Hayek, Friedman the U of Chicago school, Von Mises were introduced in a macro econ class taught by an Iranian dissident. Excellent teacher.

I learned about free market econ from a person who
aspired to be an American not from the entrenched tenured
professors.


48 posted on 06/10/2010 9:18:50 PM PDT by ChiMark
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To: Responsibility2nd

self ping


49 posted on 06/11/2010 4:18:31 AM PDT by maine yankee
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To: Royal Wulff
Frederick von Hayek was an “obscure economist” according to this journo.

I noticed that too. Demonstrates the abject ignorance of most journalists.

50 posted on 06/11/2010 5:40:38 AM PDT by Timocrat
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