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The Essential Hayek

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The Essential Hayek is a book that aims to make the theories and insights of Nobel Laureate economist F.A. Hayek accessible to a new generation of readers.

F. A. Hayek (1899 – 1992) has long been considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century and his work still resonates with economists and scholars around the world today. His theories on the economy, business cycles, markets and prices, and how people make decisions were shaped in part by World Wars I and II and what he saw as increased attempts by governments to centrally plan their economies.

Unlike the other two economic giants of the 20th Century, Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes, F.A. Hayek did very little to make his work accessible to average citizens. The Essential Hayek rectifies this by explaining in plain language Hayek’s 10 most profound ideas and insights into the economy and society. The aim of this project is to inspire young people with Hayek’s insights and guide non-technical readers through Hayek’s most important work.

Written by Donald J. Boudreaux, economics professor at George Mason University, Fraser Institute senior fellow, and renowned Hayek scholar, Essential Hayek is supported by a website at www.essentialhayek.org, that hosts six videos and cartoons summarizing the key points of some of Hayek’s most significant insights, including the role of prices in conveying information, the difference between law and legislation, and the challenges of living in a modern society. The site also links to Amazon and iTunes where you can purchase versions of the book for e-readers. Other supporting materials, such as links to Hayek’s original work, are also available on the site.


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