This book tells the story of one of the most important public figures of the twentieth century. It is the first full biography of Friedrich Hayek, the Austrian economist who became, over the course of a remarkable career, the great philosopher of liberty in our time. In this richly detailed portrait, Alan Ebenstein chronicles the life, works, and legacy of a visionary thinker, from Hayek's early years as the scholarly son of a physician in fin-de-siecle Vienna on an increasingly wider world as an economist and political philosopher in Londom, New York, and Chicago. Ebenstein gives a balanced, integrated account of Hayek's extordinary diverse body of work, from his fist encounter with the free market ideas of mentor Ludwig Von Mises to his magisterial writings in later life on the legal, political, ethical, and economic requirements of a free society. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1974, Hayek's vision of a renewed classical liberalism-of free markets and free ideas in free societies-has taken hold in much of the world. Alan Ebanstein's clearly written account is an essential starting point for anyone seeking to understand why Hayek's ideas have become the guiding force of our time. His illuminating portrait of Hayek the man brings to new life the spirit of a great scholar and tenacious advocate who has become, in Peter Drucker's words, "our time's preeminent social philosopher."