Summer Book Reviews 6-25-2009

“The Road to Serfdom” reviewed by Rahul Jain

“The Road to Serfdom” by Friedrich Hayek is a nonfiction book about political philosophy, classical liberalism, and laissez-faire economics.

Hayek first wrote the book in 1944 to warn the public about the downfall of collectivism and government control of the economy.

Since then, Hayek has won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work and has influenced the economic policy of major political figures such as Ronald Reagan.

Hayek begins his compelling work by giving a detailed explanation of socialism, including its goals, the methods by which its goals are met, and a brief history of where its ideals began. Hayek explains the degrees of government planning that are required for socialism to be successful.

He then points out the various flaws of the system and how power eventually ends up in the hands of individual interest groups.

Hayek states that the final result of the well-intentioned socialists is totalitarian rule and the eventual collapse of the entire system.

He cites evidence from the history, such as the Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, to strengthen his various arguments.

“The Road to Serfdom” is a thought-provoking book, but it can be a bit boring at times.

I would not recommend it to casual readers, but I would recommend it to students
who are deeply interested in economics or political science.

Rahul Jain is a graduating senior in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. He enjoys playing sports and spending time with his friends and family. He plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he will major in mechanical engineering.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published weekly in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program.



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