About the episode
In this episode of the podcast, Prof. Mark Pennington interviews Prof. Bruce Caldwell, one of the co-authors of this recently published book Hayek: A Life.
Few twentieth-century figures have been lionized and vilified in such equal measure as Friedrich Hayek—economist, social theorist, leader of the Austrian school of economics, and champion of classical liberalism. Hayek’s erudite arguments in support of individualism and the market economy have attracted a devout following, including many at the levers of power in business and government. Critics, meanwhile, cast Hayek as the intellectual forefather of “neoliberalism” and of all the evils they associate with that pernicious doctrine.
In Hayek: A Life, historians of economics Bruce Caldwell and Hansjörg Klausinger draw on never-before-seen archival and family material to produce an authoritative account of the influential economist’s first five decades. This includes portrayals of his early career in Vienna; his relationships in London and Cambridge; his family disputes; and definitive accounts of the creation of The Road to Serfdom and of the founding meeting of the Mont Pèlerin Society.
Bruce Caldwell is research professor of economics and the director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University.
Professor Caldwell’s research focuses on the history of economic thought, with a specific interest in the life and works of the Nobel Laureate economist and social theorist F. A. Hayek. He is the author of Hayek’s Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F. A. Hayek (2004) and since 2002 has served as the general editor of the book series The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek. In 2022 he published Mont Pelerin 1947: Transcripts of the Founding Meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society as well as Hayek: A Life, 1899-1950, the first of a two-volume biography that he is writing with Hansjoerg Klausinger. In 2019-2020 he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has also held research fellowships at NYU, the LSE, and Cambridge University. At Duke he is the Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy, a center whose purpose is to promote research in, and the teaching of, the history of economic thought.