Books for the News, Economics

An unlikely bestseller

jacket image
For six days and counting, an unlikely book has sat atop the Amazon bestseller list, beating out Swedish crime thrillers and novels featuring sparkly vampires. Who could top Stieg Larsson and Stephenie Meyer? None other than F. A. Hayek, Austrian economist and free-market enthusiast. And for a guy that’s been dead nearly two decades (and for a book that’s celebrating its 66th birthday this year), it’s a pretty remarkable feat.
Thanks for Hayek’s resurgence goes to Glenn Beck, the conservative Fox News personality who devoted his June 8 show to Hayek’s book The Road to Serfdom. Overnight, the sales ranking on Amazon crept ever upward until it reached the top spot early on Wednesday, where it’s stayed ever since. Many blogs have commented on the surprise best seller. Last week Publisher’s Weekly ran a story about the book’s success, and The Chronicle of Higher Education followed up with an interview with the volume’s editor, Bruce Caldwell. Over the weekend, USA Today and the Guardian both mentioned The Road to Serfdom in profiles of Beck.
Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check out the book’s product page, and read an excerpt detailing the book’s publication history. Also revisit Bruce Caldwell’s opinion piece on Hayek’s lasting relevance. And we hear Beck is planning to discuss the book again this week, so don’t be surprised to see Hayek in the top spot for a while longer.