This account, expertly condensed by David Moller, details the extraordinary life and achievements of the IEA's founder.
Antony Fisher's name is not familiar to the world at large, and yet his achievements were both extraordinary and far-reaching. A successful entrepreneur from his twenties, and a Battle of Britain fighter pilot who was decorated for innovation in gunnery training techniques in World War II, he later introduced chicken factory-farming to the UK and made a fortune in the process.
More than Fisher's commercial success, though, it is his powerful effect on post-war politics that has won him a place in history. His deep rooted concern with the liberty of the individual, crystallised by a meeting with the free-market thinker Friedrich Hayek, redirected his life.
As a result of this meeting, Fisher funded the establishment of the IEA. In the words of Conservative MP Oliver Letwin, writing in The Times in 1994: "Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer."
By the time Fisher died in 1988 (having lost his fortune in a new turtle-farming venture, and only four weeks after having being awarded a knighthood in the Honours List), the IEA and its spin-offs around the world had played a crucial role in changing the direction of post-war politics for ever.
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2002, ISBN 978 1861975058, 288pp, HC