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Book Review: Friedrich Hayek: The Ideas and Influence of the Libertarian Economist by Eamonn Butler

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As many in the U.S. shudder at the result of last week’s election, I would humbly suggest some reading material for their convalescence. It is in times likes these that those on the right need to remind themselves of the ideas of Friedrich Hayek. The 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize winning economist and philosopher was known for his defense of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism, while being an influential critic of socialism

Eamonn Butler has written a primer to the works and philosophy of F.A. Hayek. In the introduction to Friedrich Hayek: The Ideas and Influence of the Libertarian Economist, the author explains that he has always felt that many find the works of Hayek a bit impenetrable. This primer aims to whet your appetite before you move on to some of Hayek’s headier tomes.

The influence of Hayek is indisputable, and the fact he got to see much of it happen in his lifetime makes it all the more interesting. The trouble is, as with many such thinkers, many of his critics and his admirers do not know enough about him.

If I have one small criticism of this book it that is a tad pricey for its length. But there is a cheaper Kindle version and I suspect that this is a book that may be read more than once.

If you are a student of economics and economic philosophy then this primer is pretty much essential. It is also recommended for those trying to get others to understand some basic tenets of capitalism.

F. A. Hayek was an extraordinary man and this primer lives up to the challenge of condensing his life and work into an easy-to-grasp chunk.

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