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The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  419 ratings  ·  57 reviews
In March 2009, British conservative Daniel Hannan became a celebrity overnight when he assailed prime minister Gordon Brown on the floor of the European Parliament. A thoughtful and articulate spokesman for conservative ideas, Hannan is better versed in America's traditions and founding documents than many Americans are. In The New Road to Serfdom, Hannan argues forcefully ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Harper
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The New Road to Serfdom by Daniel Hannan

You might recall this conservative member of the European Parliament for his outspoken criticism of Obama-Care in the months before the bill passed. Hannan warned the US that it would be foolish to throw away its health care system to follow the example of Britain, where the NHS has resulted in some of the worst care (not to mention avoidable death) in the western world.

We didn’t listen. So Hannan is back with a book that has little in common with the ori
Daniel Hannan is a member of the European Parliament from South East England. He became famous for a speech criticizing Gordon Brown's government and Britain's economic policy and staggering debt that went viral on YouTube. I am a bit ashamed to have to recommend a book by an Englishman reminding America of its greatness and what has made us exceptional, but it seems we are forgetting, and our political class is becoming ever more hostile to the notion of American exceptionalism.

As Hannan argues
Frank Roberts
I approached this book almost expecting an Ann Coulter-style polemic, full of nothing but bashing of Obama and liberals in general. What I found instead was a very insightful and enjoyable exercise in comparative political science.

The author is a British member of the European parliament, and in this book he examines aspects of the American system of governance that set us apart from both Europe and Britain, including decentralization, elections for judges and local officials, open primaries an
Basically a warning written by Britishman Daniel Hannan to the American people about not abandoning our founding principles of freedom which will lead us into socialism.

Favorite Quote:

"The eyes of all people are upon you. And if they see you repudiate your past, abandon that which has brought you to greatness, become just another country, they, too, will have lost something.
So let me close with a heartfelt imprecation, from a Briton who loves his country to Americans who still believe in theirs.
Kit Swindle
Often, it is hard to hear someone's critique of a thing that you hold dear, and for other times, it is refreshing to be exposed to various ideas and concepts. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Hannan's book; I truly had little knowledge about the European Union, and, prior to reading this book, I considered myself one who thought we (American's) had little appreciation for the European way of life.

However, after living in Europe for the past 2 years and reading this book, I am proud to say that I am an A
Even though the subject matter was a downer (American political system turning into European-style socialism), Hannon does a beautiful job of reinforcing how and why the United States is so exceptional and why we should keep it that way. Having the book written from the perspective of a British member of the European Parliament gave it even more credibility.
Every American citizen, regardless of political party, should read this book- because it's every American's freedoms that get eaten up by
Sheryl Tribble
Easy and enjoyable read. Knocked a star off for the grave lack of footnotes. That said, he regularly mentions the books he's bouncing off of and otherwise gives you the info you need to track down more info on his various claims. Since the Internet has proven so useful, I get less wound about books without footnotes than I used to.

One thing that intrigued me is that people from the Colonies went back to fight in the English Civil War; had not known that, although once he brought it up it made se
Oct 25, 2011 Darla rated it 4 of 5 stars
I'm just not as into writing about books these days as I once was, so 'thank you' to another GoodReads reviewer, Frank Roberts, for penning my thoughts for me (except for the Ann Coulter comment; I've heard Daniel on the radio enough to know his style is closer to Krauthammer & Will):

"I approached this book almost expecting an Ann Coulter-style polemic, full of nothing but bashing of Obama and liberals in general. What I found instead was a very insightful and enjoyable exercise in comparat
I was a bit hesitant to read this book. After all, books by American politicians are a but underwhelming, to say the least. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. Daniel Hannan, a British MP, has written a thoughtful and engaging book. Hannan compares the American political system with the European system and warns the U.S. not to pursue the European path. I have never really paid much attention to European politics, but as bad as I sometimes think American politics is, the European system doe ...more
Daniel Hannan is a British citizen and a member of the European Parliament. Although this body is supposedly a representative legislative body, it is too big and too unwieldy to be anything more than a debating society. Mr Hannan writes about the trans national non-governmental agencies that increasingly govern European society yet are not accountable to anyone. Having spent a great deal of time traveling in the US as a student and later as a politician he has an appreciation of our country and ...more
As I prepare to move to London, it's nice to know there is at least one British politician who I can respect on that side of the Atlantic. In this quick read, MP Daniel Hannan warns his American cousins to abandon our present path toward emulating the European model of social democracy. By contrasting the founding documents, the process by which they were implemented, and political and social consequences of the EU and the US systems, Hannan builds a strong case for why America needs to stand tr ...more
I enjoy the articles that I have read that have been written by this author and member of the EU Parliament and was excited when I had seen that he had written this book. It is amazing to me to see some of the insight in books that I have read by members of the press and government from oversees authors. This book is as good as Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn't Work.
I have finally found my political match! Intellectual but not elitist, Principled but not rigidly ideological, passionate but civil. Thank you Daniel for all your insights about European policies and their effects. Hopefully our political leaders will read this and act. This is one of those few non-fiction works that will not be anachronistic because it explains problems and solutions from a conservative philosophy and doesn't just throw out hackneyed talking points and myopic rhetoric. My only ...more
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I think enar the end the author gets a little on his high horse about Britain and is also a bit more laudatory of the Republican Party than I would be - though he does hit on the bad things they did in the 2000s. Overall a great book establishing the foundations of American politics and the ideas of individual liberty, limited government and representative deomcracy and how that differs greatly from the system/values/beliefs of the bureaucrats th ...more
Douglas Audirsch
I am an unabashed fan of Daniel Hannan. Ever since the moment when I saw him berate PM Gordon Brown, I knew I liked his politics. In this book, he writes a letter of warning to America to avoid the path to Europeanization that we are currently walking. The book is easy to read, aside from a few anglicisms and archaic words, but it punches hard on a number of key current event issues. I highly recommend it!
Justin Aldrich
I read this "Tea Party" book as a courtesy to a conservative friend. It was filled with blatant inaccuracy, tons of stats and numerical claims without citations, and revisionist history you'd expect to find in a Bob Jones textbook. He made a few good points about government size and responsibility, but most of it was colonialist, pro-establishment, xenophobic nonsense.
Carlos Quijano
Leave it to a Briton to remind Americans of the uniqueness and, dare I say it, of our system of government. He demonstrates a great grasp of our founding documents, rooted as they are in the British legal tradition. He compares it with what Europe has become, a demoralized, stagnant society under the tyranny of bureaucrats. His message to us: Don't become another Europe.
Daniel Hannan offers his British gentlemanly and unique yet widely-shared perspective on how the only inevitable outcome with economic tyranny is that we are all once again serfs. History repeating the lessons never learned from Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayeky's "Road to Serfdom own masterpiece written in 1943.
Nov 27, 2010 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I give this book the highest possible rating. The author briefly, directly, clearly explains some of the dangers America faces if it follows Europe down the path of the welfare state and large centralized undemocratic government.
Kevin Suarez
An interesting perspective on the European Union's political and economic conditions, and its failure. Although it's written almost as a letter of warning to the United States, it praises the Constitutional government of the United States, its entrepreneurial attitude, and its focus on communities providing assistance rather than the government. If I were to summarize the book, it would be Alexis De Toqueville's Democracy in America for the 21st century than Hayek's Road to Serfdom. Every libert ...more
Ryan Manganiello
Outstanding!!! An amazing Book, and highly recommended for anyone who has ever wished that our great country should strive to be more like, or completely replicate the "European Welfare Union".
Michael Carr
Amazing insight from a prophet outside the inner circle of United States political corruption. A hard smack in the face to politicians in general and a dire warning for America.
The author, a representative of the European Economic Union, picks up where Hayek left off. He describes the economic malaise of European economies, and details the inefficiencies of the bureaucratic approach to government. In the former, workers hold hostage any government that doesn't cave to demands for fewer hours and more pay. In the latter, government is no longer accountable to the people, for the government is, less and less, elected, but rather appointed. His warning? Be careful America ...more
Robert Chapman
"Don't copy Europe", a warning from author Daniel Hanman to Americans. One only has to follow the news from Europe to get a sense that things are moving in the wrong direction in Europe. Hanman does an excellent job of highlighting the specific ills which have poisoned the political system and political actions in Europe.

Decision makers have become insulated from the voting public and as a result are less accountable. Gesture politics consisting of resolutions and press conferences have replaced
Consider giving this one five stars, but this is not quite a perfect book. I would say that the most interesting things I learned where regarding Quangos (where Britain is and where he is concerned America is going). I think he is to fond of our primary system, which, in his defense, compared to Britain and its entrenched interest in the Conservative/Labor parties maybe it is better. Personally, reflecting on the recent election of the Conservatives, if the Conservative party had a primary syste ...more
Eric Lassen
It was interesting hearing about our Founding Fathers and the benefits of Republicanism and localism from Daniel Hannan who is a member of the European Parliament. According to Hannan centralization as the EU administers it, discourages democracy and empowers the bureaucrats who are untouchable by the people, often times pursuing policies that are not popular with the people. I had never thought about the benefits of our system directly compared to theirs. I suppose I should take a comparative g ...more
Good book on how the U.S. is moving to represent a European style government. I have seen this author on YouTube slamming the EU. The book explains how the "Grass is NOT always greener on the other side". I am confused why if someone that enjoys that form of government does not immigrate to Europe and leave the (r)epublican form of government that made this country great, when it was great.

This book in conjunction with "James Madison: The Making of America" only show me that the fear our foundin
A British MEP with a soft spot for America warns us not to go the way of Europe and higher taxes are the least of it. He documents how decisions in both Europe and America are increasingly made not by politicians accountable to nearby voters (e.g. a US state), and often not even by national or supranational politicians, but by bureaucrats accountable to nobody (e.g. the official who is essentially the EU's foreign minister, who has never run for election her entire career). We are forgetting why ...more
Everything I have seen, heard, or read by Daniel Hannan has been right on for what is happening today with respect to changes in societies of America, Britain, and the European Union. This book is no exception. He also offers unique insights into the origins of our constitutional government. His main message is that we can see where we are headed if we look at what has already happened to countries that have joined the EU making their own political systems subservient to the EU where there is a ...more
Donne Chapman
All Americans should read this. What a valuable insight what life in American should be and could be. A warning against too much government
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