Hayek's Slippery SlopeIssue: Spring 1998
This is another story about a book, a curious book that went from
bestseller to oblivion and back several times over. The millions of
copies it sold in a score of languages "completely discredited" its
author, exactly as he foresaw it would. Although he was regarded as
one of the leading theoretical economists of the century, the
economists of the University of Chicago (whose university press had
published the offending book) refused to have him on their faculty.
No matter, by living to be over ninety he buried not only them but
also the very notion of a planned economy, which had been the target
of his essay. The book in question is Friedrich Hayek's The Road to
Serfdom. Looking back to its publication fifty-four years ago one can
easily see the reasons both for its enduring fame and for the
discredit it brought on its author.