The Road To Serfdom.

"To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom": Rare First English Edition of The Road To Serfdom; Inscribed by F.A. Hayek to Karl Popper

The Road To Serfdom.

HAYEK, Friedrich August von [F.A.] [Karl Popper].


Item Number: 123960

London: Routledge & Sons, 1944.

First edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Dr Karl Popper a fellow struggler for freedom with friendly greetings from F.H. Hayek.” Also included is a letter signed by Karl Popper to his assistant Melitta Mew, presenting her with this book as a birthday gift (“…It is the copy he sent me to New Zealand on publication of the book, with a beautiful dedication. And thank you for everything you are doing for my work (and me)… Karl”), on his stationery of 136 Welcomes Road, Kenley, Surrey, and dated 23 January 1994. While this book was very special to Popper, he had been diagnosed with cancer and passed away from complications in September. Ms. Mew helped to put together Popper’s lectures and essays in a book, which was published in 1996: “In search of a better world : lectures and essays from thirty years.” Easily the best association copy in existence, as the lives of both of these great economists, Fredrich von Hayek (1899-1992) and Karl Popper (1902-1994) greatly impacted the other and their lives were intertwined. They both experienced the destruction of their Bourgeois Viennese families’ savings by hyperinflation due to the fragility of the liberal society. While both men studied at the University of Vienna, they first met in London in 1935. Hayek was at that time employed at the London School of Economics and Popper was in the city on a visiting lectureship. While Popper accepted a position in New Zealand, where he was to remain until after World War II, he would also later assume a chair at the LSE, due to Hayek’s influence there. Near fine in a good dust jacket. The British edition (which this example is) was published in March of 1944, preceding its American counterpart, which was published later that same year in September. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.

"Hayek has written one of the most important books of our generation. It restates for our time the issue between liberty and authority with the power and rigor of reasoning that John Stuart Mill stated in his great essay, ‘On Liberty’" (Hazlitt, 82). Its arguments against economic control by the government inspired many politicians and economists. John Maynard Keynes has been quoted as saying, "[I]n my opinion it is a grand book. . . . Morally and philosophically I find myself in agreement with virtually the whole of it: and not only in agreement with it, but in deeply moved agreement." While the Road To Serfdom placed fourth on the list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century by National Review magazine, it was not as popular at the time of its writing, and Karl Popper was one of Hayek's few intellectual allies. He shared many of Hayek's views and Hayek even read the manuscript of Popper's own work, The Open Society and Its Enemies, prior to his publication of this book.

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