Hayek’s classic treatise “The Road to Serfdom,” first published in the United States in 1944, shot to the No. 1 spot at both Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com after Beck devoted the entire June 8 episode of his television show to the book. A perennial seller for the University of Chicago Press, Hayek’s libertarian cri de coeur had already received a big boost from Barack Obama, who has been cited by conservative pundits as the embodiment of the kind of creeping government tyranny that Hayek warned of. After Obama’s election, sales went from about 7,000 copies a year to almost 30,000, according to Garrett Kiely, director of the press. After Beck’s program, the book sold about 60,000 to 70,000 copies in one week. This surge came too late to push the book onto this week’s paperback nonfiction list, which records sales until June 12. But stay tuned.
That’s great news but, unpacking the above paragraph, it’s a bit odd: this book is #1 but the information came too late for us to add it to our list that tracks only the way people used to buy books.