Matt Yglesias had an interesting item about Hayek over the weekend. I read Road to Serfdom back in college, and don't really remember anything beyond what Yglesias and others have said about it...as economics, it isn't much, and as political theory, it's worse. (Yglesias calls it a "crank political pamphlet," and I'm fine with that). What Yglesias adds that's interesting, and that I know nothing about, are recommendations for other things Hayek wrote, so click through if you're interested.
Anyway, Yglesias says "Hayek is one of those historically important thinkers who in many ways it’s clearer and easier to read about than to read directly (similarly, I find Keynes’ actual writing incredibly confusing relative to a Krugman or DeLong explanation of one of Keynes’ arguments)," which reminds me of one of my favorite topics: terribly written great books. My favorite is probably Richard Neustadt's Presidential Power. Just awful. The lowlight? The concepts are terrific, but he gives them nonintuitive, confused names (e.g. "vantage points"). Neustadt says that presidential power is about persuasion, but he doesn't mean the kind of persuasion in which you start out thinking X and, through clever arguments, Barack Obama gets you to think Y; he means either that or bargaining or threats or bringing pressure of various kinds. But he doesn't really explain that. Even worse, in each of the updates he published over the years, he added in new terminologies, ignoring the old ones. The ideas are hard enough for people to accept, since they clash so strongly with the way high schools and reporters teach about the presidency, but getting through the murky prose makes it even worse.