Review by Choice Review
Offered as a guide to Hayek's intellectual journey from the salons of Vienna to his emergence as the patriarch of libertarianism, this work complements the author's Friedrich Hayek: A Biography (CH, Nov'01). It is not, however, an effective intellectual biography. Significant figures in Hayek's intellectual evolution, such as Mises, Keynes, and Popper, are accorded chapters, but the cursory explanations of their contributions do little to illuminate the differences and similarities with Hayek's thought. Hayek's famous exchanges with Keynes, Knight, and other prominent economists of the pre-WW II era are mentioned but not explained. Ebenstein is on firmer ground in his depiction of the professional and social aspects of Hayek's career, particularly during his later years in social philosophy and the struggle over Hayek's legacy. An alternative guide to Hayek's journey may be found in Bruce Caldwell's newly published Hayek's Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F.A. Hayek (2004). ^BSumming Up: Optional. Comprehensive collections, upper-division undergraduates and up. R. S. Hewett Drake University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The author of an eponymous biography of the influential 20th-century political thinker and economist Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), Ebenstein here delivers an analysis of the intellectual influences and legacy of this philosopher of liberty. Covering much of Hayek's philosophy beyond his continuing currency in monetary and trade cycle theory, this volume serves as an illuminating supplement to Ebenstein's previous book. "Nobody can be a great economist who is only an economist," Hayek remarked, and Ebenstein elaborates on this assertion, exploring the evolution of Hayek's ideas from a childhood among Darwinists to his flirtation with Vienna Circle thinkers (such as his cousin Ludwig Wittgenstein), to his relationships with Karl Popper and the Chicago School of Economics. Though often repetitive and unclear in his analysis of the pure philosophical elements in Hayek's background, Ebenstein traces Hayek's intellectual relationship to political thinkers such as Mill, Marx and Keynes with an erudite clarity. Crowned by a series of chapters examining Hayek's later political works, this deeply researched and well-documented intellectual history lays out the classical liberal discussions of Hayek's lifetime and offers a compelling and scholarly critical examination of the current debates in the Hayek literature. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.