Wien (Vienna): Verlag Von Julius Springer, 1931. First edition. Wraps. This is the first edition (in German) of the second published book by economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek. This was Hayek’s first book based on his work with the London School of Economics and the result of the 1931 lectures that began his LSE career and led to his naturalization as a British citizen.
Condition is very good. The original card wraps remain complete and firmly attached, despite moderate overall soiling, toning, and wear to extremities. The contents are complete with light, intermittent spotting. We find no previous ownership marks. The untrimmed fore and bottom edges remain respectably clean, some spotting and shelf dust showing only on the top edges.
Vienna-born British economist Friedrich August Hayek (1899-1992), winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, was known for his criticisms of the Keynesian welfare state and of totalitarian socialism. Following degrees from the University of Vienna, a research assistantship in New York, work at the Austrian Institute for Economic Research, and a lectureship at the University of Vienna, in the late 1920s some of Hayek’s papers caught the attention of a professor at the London School of Economics (LSE) – one of the few who could read German. So it was that in 1931 Hayek was invited to give a series of lectures in London. The result was twofold. First, Hayek’s lectures were published later that year as Prices and Production. Second, the 32-year old Hayek was offered an LSE professorship.
He became a British citizen before the Second World War and remained at LSE until 1950. Hayek became part of the effort “to establish the LSE as a centre for economic theory; to counteract the insular emphasis of Cambridge; and to combat the influence of John Maynard Keynes”. Hayek later regarded his work at the LSE in the 1930s as “intellectually [the] most active and satisfying of my life”. Four decades before he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, “Hayek was mainly known in the 1930s for technical studies of monetary, business cycle, and capital theory.” (ODNB, Hayek on Hayek)
Ultimately, Hayek’s writings “asserted the case for general rules over discretionary authority. They exposed the misleading identification of liberal democracy with the divine right of temporary majorities. They demonstrated the connection between economic and personal freedoms. They showed that the domination of both the political and economic market place by interest group struggles is a source of evil; and they explained why pecuniary rewards neither can nor should reflect merit.” (ODNB). Item #007673