Hayek’s book has been in the Amazon top 1,000 for a year and a half now, since just before the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Beck says, “It’s the best thing you can read.”
Don’t want to wait for your copy? You can read the Readers’ Digest condensed version here.
Here’s the first 10 minutes of today’s Glenn Beck show on Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:
UPDATE: “This book was like a Mike Tyson right hook to socialism” — read the transcript to Beck’s opening monologue.
Beck will be doing a program dedicated to Friedrich Hayek next week.
Here’s another indication at the power of Beck. Check out the “Taking Hayek Seriously” Sitemeter.
Beck mentions that Ronald Reagan was one of those influenced by Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom. Here’s Reagan explaining some of the major influences on his thinking:
“Rowland Evans: “What philosophical thinkers or writers most influenced your conduct as a leader, as a person?”
Ronald Reagan: “Well .. I’ve always been a voracious reader — I have read the economic views of von Mises and Hayek, and .. Bastiat .. I know about Cobden and Bright in England — and the elimination of the corn laws and so forth, the great burst of economy or prosperity for England that followed.”
(Rowland Evans & Robert Novak, The Reagan Revolution, New York: E. P. Dutton, 1981, p. 229).
Beck’s principle guest on the broadcast was Thomas Woods, author of Meltdown, a Hayekian explanation of today’s economic bust.
Here’s what other people have said about Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom:
Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne, Jr., “The publication of Friedrich A. von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom in 1944 [is rightly seen] as the first shot in the intellectual battle that was to turn the tide in favor of conservatism [i.e. classic American Constitutional freedom].”
Economist Milton Friedman, ” I think the Adam Smith role was played in this cycle [1900-1991] by Friedrich Hayek ’s The Road to Serfdom.”
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, “The most powerful critique of socialist planning and the socialist state which I read at this time [the 1940's], and to which I have returned so often since [is] F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom.”
Philosopher Thomas Sowell, “An alternative vision had to become viable before the reversal of the collectivist tide could begin with Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States. That vision came from many sources, but if one point in time could mark the beginning of the intellectual turning of the tide which made later political changes possible, it was the publication of The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek.”
Historian Alan Brinkley, “The publication of two books .. helped to galvanize the concerns that were beginning to emerge among intellectuals (and many others) about the implications of totalitarianism. One was James Burnham’s The Managerial Revolution .. [A second] Friedrich A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom .. was far more controversial — and influential. Even more than Burnham, Hayek forced into public discourse the question of the compatibility of democracy and statism .. In responding to Burnham and Hayek .. liberals [in the statist sense of this term as used by some in the United States] were in fact responding to a powerful strain of Jeffersonian anti-statism in American political culture .. The result was a subtle but important shift in liberal [i.e. American statist] thinking.”
Economist Milton Friedman, “My interest in public policy and political philosophy was rather casual before I joined the faculty of the University of Chicago. Informal discussions with colleagues and friends stimulated a greater interest, which was reinforced by Friedrich Hayek’s powerful book The Road to Serfdom, by my attendance at the first meeting of [Hayek's] Mont Pelerin Society in 1947, and by discussions with Hayek after he joined the university faculty in 1950.”
More quotes on Hayek here.