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The Road from Serfdom; The Economic and Political Consequences of the End of Communism

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The Road from Serfdom; The Economic and Political Consequences of the End of Communism

by Skidelsky, Robert

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  • hardcover
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About This Item

New York: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1996. First American Edition, 1st Printing. Hardcover. Very good/very good. x, 214 pages. References. Index. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Robert Jacob Alexander, Baron Skidelsky, FBA (born 25 April 1939) is a British economic historian of Russian origin and the author of a major, award-winning, three-volume biography of British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946). He read history at Jesus College, Oxford and is Emeritus Professor of Political Economy in the University of Warwick, England. During a two-year research fellowship at the British Academy, Skidelsky began work on his biography of Oswald Mosley and published English Progressive Schools. In 1970, he became an Associate Professor of History in the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. In 1978, he was appointed Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick, where he has since remained. He was appointed Professorial Fellow of the Global Policy Institute at London Metropolitan University. On 15 July 1991 he was created a life peer as Baron Skidelsky, of Tilton in the County of East Sussex, and in 1992 he became a Conservative. He was made chief opposition spokesman in the Lords, first for Culture, then for Treasury affairs (1997-9). In 2001, he left the Conservative Party for the Cross Benches. A timely and relevant analysis of the post-Communist world that seeks to explain the fall of Communism. Lord Skidelsky adapts his book's title from that of Friedrich Hayek, who predicted that collectivism would lead to serfdom. Skidelsky agrees, calling collectivism ``the belief that the state knows better than the market, and can improve on the spontaneous tendencies of civil society . . . the most egregious error of the twentieth century.'' That collectivism has affected states everywhere--including the West, where it takes the form of increased government spending. In 1960, the governments of the main industrial countries spent, on average, 30 percent of their GNP; by 1985 this was 47 percent. The result, as Hayek predicted, was inflation, growing unemployment, and a sharp reduction in growth rates. Skidelsky traces the growth of this collectivist urge (and, in an interesting aside, notes that regulation is ``a potent source of collectivist creep. . . . It is perhaps the characteristic form of collectivism in the United States''). He rejects the association of Keynesian policy with inflation and socialism, linking Keynes rather with Hayek, Beveridge, Popper, and Schumpeter as liberal thinkers who helped to destroy intellectual support for collectivism. Most provocative is Skidelsky's conclusion that public spending should not exceed 30 percent of national income and that deep cuts cannot be made without reducing the social agenda of the state One of the most incisive and potentially influential analyses of the implications of the fall of Communism.


Robert Skidelsky is professor of political economy at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. In addition to his works on Keynes, he is the author of The World After Communism , Politicians and the Slump , and Oswald Mosley .


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Ground Zero Books, Ltd. US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The Road from Serfdom; The Economic and Political Consequences of the End of Communism
Skidelsky, Robert
Book condition
Used - Very good
Jacket condition
very good
First American Edition, 1st Printing
Allen Lane, The Penguin Press
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
Capitalism, Communism, Collectivism, Free Trade, Friedrich Hayek, Hyperinflation, John Maynard Keynes, Liberalism, Central Planning, Russian Federation, Socialism, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Yeltsin

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