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A Tiger by the Tail

A Tiger by the Tail by Friedrich A. Hayek

Tags Booms and BustsBusiness Cycles

04/21/2009Friedrich A. HayekSudha R. Shenoy

The Keynesian Legacy of Inflation

F.A. Hayek said that his biggest regret in a lifetime of writing was that he never wrote a book-length refutation of Keynesian economics. He seriously doubted that Keynesian style planning would ever captivate governments, so he focused on different things.

Economist Sudha Shenoy decided to rectify the problem. As a Hayek scholar, she noted that Hayek had in fact addressed Keynesian policy in scattered places throughout 40 years of writing. She decided to select the most poignant passages. She linked them all together with marvelous commentary and analysis.

And voila! Here is the book on Keynesian economics that Hayek never wrote.

It first came out in 1972, to wide acclaim. The Hayek parts are fantastic, of course. The surprise is the expert editing job by Professor Shenoy, which adds enormous value. In 192 pages, the book ended up being a total demolition by Hayek of the most baneful influence on economic science in the 20th century.

It was published by the Institute of Economic Affairs but fell out of print. The Mises Institute cooperated with IEA to completely reset the book and publish it anew. It adds something even more wonderful: a massive introduction by monetary theorist Joseph T. Salerno.

In total, then, this is a priceless collection, one that will enlighten and save you from hopping up and down to your bookshelf. It strikes you as you read what a brilliant mind Hayek had, how tough minded he really was, and just how off base is Keynesian theory.

You can get the metaphor from the title. What Keynesianism unleashes is wicked inflation that no one can control. This might be the essential guide to our future.

Authors:

Friedrich A. Hayek

F. A. Hayek (1899–1992) is undoubtedly the most eminent of the modern Austrian economists, and a founding board member of the Mises Institute. Student of Friedrich von Wieser, protégé and colleague of Ludwig von Mises, and foremost representative of an outstanding generation of Austrian School theorists, Hayek was more successful than anyone else in spreading Austrian ideas throughout the English-speaking world. He shared the 1974 Nobel Prize in Economics with ideological rival Gunnar Myrdal "for their pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for their penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena."  Among mainstream economists, he is mainly known for his popular The Road to Serfdom  (1944).

Sudha R. Shenoy

Sudha Shenoy (1943–2008) was a lecturer in economic history at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She held visiting posts at California State University, Hayward; Ohio University, Athens; George Mason University; and the Mises Institute. She was the author of India: Progress or Poverty (London, IEA, 1971), Underdevelopment and Economic Growth (London: Longman, 1970), and articles in the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences and other journals, as well as book chapters. She is also the editor of A Tiger By the Tail: The Keynesian Legacy of Inflation by F.A. Hayek. See her interview in the Austrian Economics Newsletter.

References

With Sudha Shenoy. 3rd edition co-published by the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009.

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