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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

4.4 (1005 )
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4.3 (773 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-21-14
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 07-21-14 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

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    "SOCIALISM"

    It seems common that authors of popular, sometimes classic, books are often interpreted by people who have not read them. Authors like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Richard Wright, Ayn Rand, Vladimir Nabokov, and Friedrich Hayek are frequently commented on but when one reads what they wrote, content often becomes a surprise.

    Conservatives that rant against government regulation based on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” are as incorrect as liberals that argue Hayek wrote against social government programs for the poor, disabled, and unemployed. Both myopic views reveal the likelihood that “Road to Serfdom” has not been read by either party.

    Listen to what Hayek really wrote rather than what politicians of the right and left say he wrote. William Hughes does a nice job of revealing the truth in a narration of Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom".

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Desmoine D. Boyd 04-12-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Insightful"

    The layman can grasp this book. This book will give you much to consider about yourself and your country (any country). I have just finished this work but I will be replaying this audiobook this week so as to absorb the content much better. If you have stumbled across this book, for whatever reason, you are really supposed to get it so go ahead and dig in. The author has references of other works related to the subject matter that you can look up and buy as well to add to your stock of knowledge on this subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Fantastic Book"

    Should be required reading for every college student. Deep and insightful while at the same time still frank and to the point. Hayek lays down some key ideas, not to be taken lightly by those who would seek to govern. The irony is that his writing has somehow become more relevamt today than it once was long ago. Especially for Americans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Floyd H. Shadwick Harrison, TN United States 03-08-17
    Floyd H. Shadwick Harrison, TN United States 03-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Could have been written this year, almost."

    It is scary how prescient Hayek appears. Except for the Germany references this could be current.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack W. Ferry Arvada, CO United States 02-14-17
    Jack W. Ferry Arvada, CO United States 02-14-17 Member Since 2016

    jfkindle

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    "great book on conservatives and liberals"

    interesting to hear this perspective today. some something .2 still valid today and the liberal fable things to me backwards today

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Schwindt Portland, OR United States 02-05-17
    Chris Schwindt Portland, OR United States 02-05-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Horribly written impossible slog must be abridged"

    There are some powerful and applicable ideas and thoughts in this work, however they are muffled by excruciatingly dense prose. So unnecessarily thick it could be rewritten to one-tenth of its volume and more aptly convey the ideas and thoughts intended to be conveyed. Nine of every ten words are superfluous and contort every sentence into an unnecessarily long paragraph. Though the orator does his best to elucidate the many commas and nuances of each sentence, the ideas are still lost in the thicket. Needs to be rewritten in modern concise language and this older version thrown to the dustbin of years past when one might spend an hour considering each intricately woven sentence in a sort of game to discern its meaning. This should never have been produced as an unabridged audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BU Guy 01-14-17
    BU Guy 01-14-17
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    "Excellent"

    Excellent book, especially for those who want to more fully understand what they know to be intuitively correct about governments' propensity for devolution to tyranny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    a_number_divided_by_zero 12-27-16
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    "Every left leaning invidual should read this ."

    If for no other reason to understand criticisms of modern "progressive"politics.
    It was a very informative listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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