Matt Ridley to Deliver the Annual Hayek Lecture

by Don Boudreaux on September 21, 2011

in Books, Civil Society, Hayek

On Monday, the insight-machine known as Matt Ridley will deliver the Manhattan Institute’s Hayek Lecture.  Matt delivers this lecture because he is the 2011 winner of MI’s annual Hayek Prize.  He won – against an impressive crop of competitors – with his wonderful book The Rational Optimist.

Nominations open up next week for the 2012 Hayek Prize.

Be Sociable, Share!



10 comments    Share Share    Print    Email


Craig September 21, 2011 at 10:44 pm

The Rational Optimist is one of the most insightful books I’ve ever read, excellent choice.

Don Boudreaux September 21, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I agree.

Scott G September 22, 2011 at 12:17 am

Is there an equivalent book yet for Julian Simon’s work? I hope someone can take his Ultimate Resource II and turn it into a book as good as The Rational Optimist.

The Rational Optimist currently ranks 12th from the top in my stack of favorite books, as this photos shows.

Globalization is currently holding the 7th spot.

Free to Choose is missing from the stack since I’ve loaned it to my Mom. It sits at 5th.

iipalindromeii September 22, 2011 at 3:31 am

Any word on if the lecture will be streamed online or available on a podcast?

Krishnan September 22, 2011 at 6:45 am

Matt Ridley is terrific. I read The Rational Optimist, found the website which had listed cafehayek in his blogroll … seemed perfectly logical that I would find cafehayek listed in Ridley’s blogroll …

(I hope the lecture is taped and made available)

Greg Webb September 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

The Rational Optimist is an excellent book! Congratulations to Matt Ridley for winning the 2011 Hayek Prize.

Richard Stands September 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Yep. Add me to the list of folks who read and really enjoyed Mr. Ridley’s book. I’ve recommended it to many others.

Trey September 22, 2011 at 3:52 pm

The Rational Optimist was a real eye-opener for me. I had not been exposed to the trade and specialization argument before. One might call the way Matt presents this as “stealth economics” – it may not occur to the reader that economics is the subject being discussed.

I bought 10 extra copies of TRO and have been giving them away — almost all gone. The paperback is out now for about $10.

One more note: rational optimism is very counter to the popular pessimism of say Jared Diamond. I mention Diamond because his Easter Island stuff is back in the news. See Mark Lynas’ blog if you are interested in the debate. Post modern science/history gets messy.

Brian Donohue September 22, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I have loved Ridley going back to The Red Queen. The Rational Optimist is a wonderful book, but nnot as good as The Origin of Virtue.

I also like Diamond a lot, although Collapse was not as good as Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Anyone interested in discussing where we are heading would be well-served to read both Ridley and Diamond. Ridley wins, IMO, but there is a lot of food for thought in both.

Ed September 27, 2011 at 10:35 pm

It is interesting that the Hayek Prize goes to the then chairman of the first British bank in 150 years to experience a run and then be bailed out by taxpayers (Northern Rock).

It is admirable that the Manhattan Institute now honors such an advocate of free market capitalism and small government.

Previous post:

Next post: