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Capitalism and Freedom

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Capitalism and Freedom

University of Chicago Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Ask not what economist Milton Friedman believes: this 1962 classic made him an oracle for traditional economics.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


This is a new edition of Milton Friedman’s classic 1962 capitalist manifesto. As such, it was ignored, spurned and hated for decades by the intellectual, post-Keynesian establishment. In the 60s, Friedman once found himself debating a liberal who attacked him by simply reciting Friedman’s views of the proper role of government. This was working rather well with the audience of college students until he quoted Friedman’s opposition to the military draft. Friedman suddenly found himself awash in the unexpected cheers of students. Perhaps it was a foreshadowing of his career. Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976, and his ideas gained some degree of mainstream acceptance in the Reagan years - although many of his thoughts remain controversial. To the extent that Friedman debunks myths about the Great Depression that are widely accepted as fact, perhaps he has a point about the semi-privatization of education. getAbstract strongly recommends this volume to those who seek a deeper understanding of government’s role in a free-market economy.


The Price Of Camelot

"Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." President John F. Kennedy’s clarion call to serve, which ushered in the era of Camelot, is notable for what it reveals about the era of big government in the time of the Cold War. Lauded though it is, neither half of the statement expresses ideals worthy of free people in a free democracy. To be told by the leader of your government that you should not have expectations of the government is one concern. While the phrase "what your country can do for you," on the other hand, casts government in the role of the patron, capable of doing things for you that you otherwise would be unable to do for yourself. The statement implies that government is lord and master, to be served by the citizenry. The real question for a free people is how to use the government to meet responsibilities, achieve common goals and objectives and, most importantly, to defend mutual freedoms. The question: "How can citizens serve their government?" threatens to crowd you into a time machine for a trip back to the era of King George III. The larger question for citizens of a democracy is: How can we...

About the Author

Milton Friedman, a noted research fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the Paul Snowden Russell Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago. He won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 1976. In 1980, he and his wife collaborated on his best-selling book, Free to Choose. Capitalism and Freedom, first published in 1962, is considered his classic work.

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