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Über dieses Buch

A group of leading scholars from around the world use archival material alongside Hayek's published work to bring a new perspective on the life and times of one the 20th Century's most influential economists. This much awaited second volume details the life of Hayek from 1899 to1933 covering Hayek's time in Austria and the USA.



1. Introduction

Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992) was born into the nobility of a failing neo-feudal social order and state: his first 19 years coincided with the close of almost six and a half centuries of continuous rule by the House of Habsburg over its empire (from 1276 until 11 November 1918). Its origins stemmed from Count Radbot of Habsburg (c. 985–1045) building both Habsburg Castle and Muri Abbey, a Benedictine monastery; his family acquired preeminent feudal status under his descendant, Rudolf 1 (1218–1291). Between 1438 and 1806, the Habsburgs continuously occupied the throne of the Holy Roman Empire for all but four years; in the 16th century, the name was officially changed to Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation). The Habsburg Emperor Frederick III (1415–1493) inscribed on official buildings the five vowels, A E I O U: ‘Alles Erdreich ist Österreich untertan’, ‘All the Earth is Subject to Austria’, or ‘Austria Will Stand Forever’ (Klemperer 2009, 149, n5; Snyder 2009, 15; Keyserlingk 1988, 16; Vaughan 1973, 123; Taylor 1964, 13).
Robert Leeson

2. Hayek, Heroism and Hagiography

Friedrich Hayek (1994, 46) was a teenager (aged 15–19) during the Great War: ‘then and for some years to come still a child’. He told his secretary and appointed biographer, Charlotte Cubitt (2006, 76) that after the war he had been the beneficiary of a ‘charitable project to feed half-starved Austrian children although he had passed his twentieth birthday by then’. In March 1917, this 17-year-old ‘child’ after ‘a little over seven months’ training was sent as sergeant-major-officer-cadet (if I can thus translate the even longer title) to the Italian front where I served for a little over a year’.
Robert Leeson

3. Interpreting Hayek: Austrian Civilization and the Neo-Feudal ‘Spontaneous’ Order

Shortly after returning from his first trip to the United States (1923–1924), Friedrich Hayek (1978a) reflected to his first wife-to-be about his desired career path. After ‘ten or fifteen years’ as a ‘professor of economics in London, which was the center of economics’ he planned to ‘return to Austria as president of the national bank, and ultimately go back to London as the Austrian ambassador’.1 But then in 1950, after almost two decades as a professor of economics at the London School of Economics, Hayek abandoned his wife and children to marry his cousin and become Professor of Moral and Political Science at the University of Chicago. Austrian economics is almost defined by opposition to central banks — but in the late 1960s, Hayek negotiated his place as President of the Austrian Central Bank during the Keynes-inspired Bretton Woods system of bureaucratically administered, fixed exchange rates.2 After his Nobel Prize, Hayek became the Austrian School ‘ambassador’ in London from his base at the prestigious Reform Club in Pall Mall.
Robert Leeson

4. History of Anti-Free Market Policies in South Africa

Prior to the discovery of diamonds and gold in South Africa there were few resources upon which to construct a capitalist economy, and so the region remained an economic backwater, overwhelmingly characterized by pastoral peasant societies. The discovery of the massive Witwatersrand gold deposits in the late 19th century transformed the region and led to a British war of conquest. The result was the creation of the state of South Africa, whose boundaries were finalized in 1910.
P. Eric Louw

5. A Young Man in Vienna — Life in Early 20th-Century Austria and Its Possible Impact on the Initial Development of Hayek’s Thought

This chapter examines a particular aspect of what Bruce Caldwell (2004:7), in the introduction of his Hayek biography, calls the ‘final challenge for the Hayek interpreter’. First of all, this chapter will ask why Caldwell expressed this definition. Secondly and more specifically, this chapter will investigate whether any specific aspects can be identified in the conditions of early 20th-century Vienna, where Hayek took the first intellectual and professional steps that may have evoked in him some of the fundamental questions that subsequently inspired him to produce such an impressively broad oeuvre. Hayek and his work were, of course, not in any particular way an inevitable product of his time, but throughout his career he always explicitly and deliberately engaged himself in many of his publications with contemporary developments. This could suggest that from the very beginning he would have felt a strong need to keep his scientific work closely connected to the concrete problems of his time.
Robert Scharrenborg

6. Families, Geistkreis and New York

Workaholics can produce positive neighbourhood effects whilst imposing negative externalities on partners and children. The co-recipients of the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, Friedrich August Hayek and Karl Gunnar Myrdal, appeared to have fallen into this category. Hayek and his second wife, Helene Warhanek, née Bitterlich, created three unhappy families: their first marriages, to other partners, and their second marriage, to each other. As Myrdal’s wife, Alva, won the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize, their son, Jan, published a book about his childhood. According to their daughter, Sissela Bok (1991, 340), the Swedish press carried excerpts from the book under headlines such as ‘Jan Myrdal Gets Even With His Parents’.
Robert Leeson

7. Trusts, Anti-Trusts, and Consumer and Producer Sovereignty

Jeremiah Jenks was Professor of Economics at Cornell (1891–1912) and then a faculty member in the New York University (NYU) Government Department and Director of the Oriental Institute. He was an influential public policy economist: President of the American Economic Association (AEA) in 1906–1907, and an ‘International Money Doctor’ in Europe, the Philippines, Mexico, China, and Nicaragua (Brown 2004; Lai 2009). Like Richard T. Ely, John Bates Clark and John R. Commons, he was part of the Social Gospel movement which had a profound influence on the AEA. Indeed, AEA membership was considered equivalent to the rejection of l aissez-faire, at least until Ely’s removal from the position of AEA Secretary in 1892 (Coats 1960). He was also an instructor at the prestigious Chautauqua programs which, according to C. Howard Hopkins (1967, 163), ‘contributed greatly to the spread of Social Christianity’. Jenks’ (1906) YMCA Political and Social Significance of the Life and Teachings of Jesus was a widely adopted Social Christian study guide: ‘Bible study ... turned enthusiastically to the social teachings of Jesus, with several hundred groups following Professor Jenks’s course’ (Hopkins 1967, 299; Brown 2004).
Robert Leeson

8. Recruiting Hayek to the LSE and the Reform Club: Why Not Mises?

Friedrich Hayek (1994, 78) arrived at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 22 September 1931 to begin a one-year visiting professorship; the University of London Tooke Professorship of Economic Science and Statistics was revived for him on 1 August 1932.1 Academic appointments are made for a variety of reasons: it seems that Lionel Robbins (1998 [1979–1981]), LSE Professor of Economics and a Reform Club member, placed a premium on the chosen candidate being ‘a companionable, a clubbable man’.
Robert Leeson


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