Puffed by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, Hayek's Road to Serfdom has been surfing the best seller lists recently, the new edition with the long scholarly introduction by Bruce Caldwell, which I doubt many buyers will read. They are using it to bash Obama and charge him with being a socialist-fascist-nazi-communist, etc., starting with his health care proposal, all of course failing to notice that Hayek in RTS came out for national health insurance and some degree of more general social insurance. But, hey, we want to wave the book like Red Guards waving Chairman Mao's Thoughts, not read the thing. Please.
As it is, there is a new entry in a long running debate. Many observers, perhaps most prominently Paul Samuelson in a bunch of his Principles texts, saw Hayek as promoting a "slippery slope" argument, that any move towards a welfare state by the US or UK or other western democracies, would put them onto "the road to serfdom," which, of course, history has shown to be a bunk argument, even if the tea partiers are now invoking Hayek to repeat it along with Limbaugh and Beck. Hayek himself, with Caldwell agreeing, have argued that this is a misreading of RTS, and that Hayek was really focusing on the dangers of Soviet-style command central planning, with Hayek writing angry letters to Samuelson about this matter.
Now we have a new entry into this with an article by Andrew Farrant and Edward McPhail, "Does F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom Deserve to Make a Comeback?" in the July/August issue of Challenge, 53(4), 96-120, http://mesharpe.metapress.com/app/home/issue.asp?referrer=parent&backto=journal.1.58:linkingpublicationresults.1:106043.1 (requires subscription or payment to read, unfortunately). Anyway, they say that Samuelson was right all along, and that one can find passages in RTS where Hayek certainly looks like he is making the strong version of the slippery slope argument that he later realized was an embarrassment, even if it is probably the source of the renewed sales. Thus, Farrant and McPhail would say that Limbaugh and Beck are more on the money here than Caldwell, even if they are ignoring Hayek's call for social insurance (a clear sign that he did not view any and all such moves as going onto the slippery slope).