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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  569 ratings  ·  69 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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4.08  · 
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 ·  569 ratings  ·  69 reviews


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Rob Squires
This pre-Brexit book, published in 2010, is rather prescient since it warns Americans to not go the way of the European Union (EU) prior to the population of the UK actually taking the same advice and voting not to remain. Written by a British MEP, it serves as an articulate reminder to Americans regarding the blessings and uniqueness of our great experiment in democracy. It details the pitfalls and delusional utopianism of socialism and warns us to not to compromise our sovereignty in the name ...more
Bernie
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Kris
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
I have to rate this 5 stars just because there are so many amazing points in here and it's so eloquently written. But it's an ultra-conservative, pro-capitalist book, so I can see why many might get offended by it. But it falls right into my category! Ideological without being too political.
Matthew
Jan 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Frank Roberts
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Rhonda
Jan 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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.
...more
Kit Swindle
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Heather
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Justin Aldrich
Feb 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2011
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.
Chris
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Darla
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Sheryl Tribble
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Katy
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Doug
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Naveen
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Naomi
Dec 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Amy
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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!
Lorigirl
Nov 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Carlos Quijano
Nov 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Richard
Nov 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ryan Manganiello
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Michael D. Kanner
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Consider this a modern-day de Tocqueville.

Hannan calls this a 'letter or warning' but it is also a love letter to the principles upon which the Republic was founded. From the beginning, he discusses that was made America great was not its government, but its focus on competition in politics as well as economics. He points out that when there is a choice on how you are governed, then it limits the excesses of politicians.

One of his warnings is that bipartisanship is not political parties working
...more
Jean
Jan 08, 2017 rated it did not like it
Conservative magical thinking in an Orwellian illusion of reality where rich will become serfs if they show some compassion and help when help is needed. The massive effort to rationalize the false trope of "helping causes dependency" is at work here. Read with an expectation of the agenda of the author.

This is more of the "don't feed stray dogs or they'll just keep coming back for more" philosophy - plus kick it when it's down that represents what passes for acceptable behavior to "them that's
...more
Mark
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read and an important "letter of warning" to the American people! The author, a journalist, has been a member of the European Parliament since 1999. From this perspective, he is warning Americans against the trend he sees in the United States of trying to adopt the political structures and policies of Europe. In a brief 224 pages, he rehearses what has made America great and unique, and why the European pan-national approach would be disastrous for both Americans and the rest of t ...more
Dendi
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not as good as The Road to Serfdom
Anthony
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political
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
Manny
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Eric Lassen
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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British politician, journalist, and author who is a Member of the European Parliament. He is also the Secretary-General of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR). Hannan advocates localism, and he has written several books arguing for democratic reform. He is also President of the Young Britons' Foundation and a patron of Reading University Conservative Association. He is a E ...more
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