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The Road to Serfdom Audiobook

The Road to Serfdom

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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1944, The Road to Serfdom has profoundly influenced many of the world's great leaders, from Orwell and Churchill in the mid-'40s, to Reagan and Thatcher in the '80s. The book offers persuasive warnings against the dangers of central planning, along with what Orwell described as "an eloquent defense of laissez-faire capitalism".

Hayek shows that the idea that "under a dictatorial government you can be free inside," is nothing less than a grievous fallacy. Such dictatorial governments prevent individual freedoms, and they often use psychological measures to perform "an alteration of the character of the people". Gradually, the people yield their individuality to the point where they become part of the collectivist mass.

©1944 The University of Chicago (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“This book was like a Mike Tyson (in his prime) right hook to socialism in Western Europe and in the United States. But its influence didn’t stop there. It has inspired political and economic leaders for decades since—most famously Ronald Reagan. Reagan often praised Hayek when he talked about people waking up to the dangers of big government.” (Glenn Beck)

“Shatters the myth that the totalitarianisms 'of the Left' and 'of the Right' stem from differing impulses.” (National Review, 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century)

“This book has become a true classic: essential reading for everyone who is seriously interested in politics in the broadest and least partisan sense.” (Milton Friedman)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (796 )
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4.2 (588 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-18-11
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-18-11 Member Since 2015

    Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.

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    "A Must Read"

    Everyone should read this book and act on it before we lose the freedom we have left.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Some guy on the web Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-17-11
    Some guy on the web Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-17-11 Member Since 2016

    eclectic dilettante

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    "eerily relevant for the 21st century"

    Parts of this "mid-century" (1940's) book may send shivers up your spine since they seem like "today's news" (circa 2011). Hayek's writing is incisive and insightful, if at times a bit "dense" due to high expectations of the vocabulary and language skills of his readers. One example is the occasional use of short quotes in French and German with no translations supplied. Bill Hughes is a master narrator, and his skills are tested in this book with its extensive citations and quotes having parenthetical attributions.

    I appreciated this book for a historical context on the pendulum swings between planning and the free market. No matter which side you are rooting for, you will experience both thrills and slumps, because in the intervening 50+ years since this books original publication, some things are recurring and others are not [yet?].

    Another reason to like this book is the logical/philosophical approach. While the title hints at a provocative rhetoric, the text itself is quite level-headed.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Seattle, WA, United States 02-03-12
    Emily Seattle, WA, United States 02-03-12

    I love classic fiction, Austrian economics, enlightenment through history, libertarian politics and humorous stories (both fiction and non).

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    "Incredibly Relevant with Respectful Arguments"
    What made the experience of listening to The Road to Serfdom the most enjoyable?

    Not only does F.A. Hayek address and debunk every facet of the appeal for socialism, he does it in a manner of respect and understanding. What is lost in current political debates is the ability to stick to facts, history and logic; instead, on both sides, we see the attacking of character before the arguing of specific points.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What was most amazing and impressive about The Road to Serfdom was the fact that it wasn't written one year ago. Among my contemporaries (20-somethings), there is the tendency to write off classical liberalism as something that is outdated and no longer relevant or practical for the world we live in. However, Hayek shows that the problems that were present 50 years ago are the problems that are still with us today.

    Einstein says that the definition of insanity is


    What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

    I would give the narrator's performance a 4.3. I didn't love his voice, but it was just my particular taste. He was, however, very easy to listen to and follow along with.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Socialism: the invisible Road to Serfdom!


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abdelhamid S. Abdou 05-27-16
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    "State central planning is the road to serfdom"

    Hayek in this book is making the case that centralized state planning is the road to totalitarian government. He elegantly build the case that in order for a state central plan to be implemented it will require wide authorities delegated to some experts. But because the economy is too complex to be regulated by some experts, regardless of how smart they are, the plan will always fall short of the promised outcomes and the experts will always ask for more authority to make more changes to achieve those goals. These expanded authorities will erode the power of the elected democratic parliament and the individual liberties of people.

    He refers to all the people who advocate for regulating the economy to achieve certain social or national goals as socialists because they prefer social goals to individual liberties.

    He uses the example of Germany's progress from a liberal state to a welfare state to eventually the nazi state that took over in the 1930s.

    The books is a very relevant to the modern time. As I read it, I kept reflecting on the growth of government in the United States over the last decades and the failures it keep facing in achieving the promised goals. The gradual growth of the regulatory executive agencies and decline in the power of congress since the beginning of the twentieth century fits perfectly with the pattern Hayek is describing in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Woody Wilson Leeds, UK 04-21-16
    Woody Wilson Leeds, UK 04-21-16
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    "Hayek deserves all the praise he gets"

    Fantastic, perception altering book. And also quite scary to realise in many respects how much further we have continued down the path Hayek warned us against.

    Essential reading (or listening!)

    Also love William Hughes' narration. Top notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer YORBA LINDA, CA, United States 08-30-15
    Amazon Customer YORBA LINDA, CA, United States 08-30-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A powerful argument against social planing."

    Half a century ago, Hayek laid down many of the logical contradictions inherent to a planned economy, and the conclusions of such reasoning. Unfortunately, he offers little alternative nor does he argue for the moral and practical virtues of freedom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Hardaway 04-13-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Not the easiest"

    This book was recommended to me by a spinal surgeon with whom i work. The subject matter and articulation of it and the time in which it was written, 1944, is not The easiest book to listen to. I will listen to it again as much of the subject matter was not fully comprehendible hearing it the first time.

    I listen to audiobooks while working outdoors and don't always have 100% of my attention to devote to book. I enjoy books most that are entertaining enough and straightforward enough to not lose focus of while working. I believe some of the concepts in this book are difficult to understand and may have been more easily interpreted by the physician who recommended it. If you have a greater education of history and a supreme working knowledge of much of the vocabulary , which was not immediately understood by me, you may find the book informative.
    I will give the book another listen, but my initial impression only inclined me to leave three stars because overall it was difficult to listen to and not immediately clear in many instances what the author was speaking about. as stated above, this may be due to my lack of understanding of some of the vocabulary within the book and also because of the time in which it was written but overall my enjoyment of the publication only merited three stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 08-18-14
    Amazon Customer United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2010
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    "The topic is great, but the narrative is DRY!!!"
    What would have made The Road to Serfdom better?

    Not including footnotes in the narrative (perhaps having footnote glossary on a pdf file).


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    He probably wouldn't be as dry as Ben Stein? I don't know. I've never heard Ben Stein narrate a book. For a political comedy, It may be hilarious (He was the only one I liked in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", and I still watch him on Cavuto on Business).


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of William Hughes?

    Christopher Hurt, or Scott Brick.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    apathy. I don't really think that's what Hayek was going for


    Any additional comments?

    I could only get through half the listening, and had to quit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jon 09-11-12
    jon 09-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Monotone"
    What disappointed you about The Road to Serfdom?

    The reader, while he subject and prose were tough, it was made worse by the lack of inflection. I will steer clear of this narrator in the future.


    If you’ve listened to books by Friedrich A. Hayek before, how does this one compare?

    N/A


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    See above


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Road to Serfdom?

    The reading of footnoted information.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 05-12-12
    David 05-12-12 Member Since 2009

    Download, Run, Listen and repeat

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    "It is old, but like Atlas Shrugged it hits home..."
    Would you listen to The Road to Serfdom again? Why?

    Yes, it is a history/economics class. again and again until you get it all


    What other book might you compare The Road to Serfdom to and why?

    This data/historical evidence to support Atlas Shrugged.


    What about William Hughes’s performance did you like?

    I have a hard time with a reader it is not a performance. While Hughes was not reading fiction, he keep me interested.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are trying to learn about the economy and how the government interacts with it, this is a good book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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