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Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition Paperback – Deluxe Edition, November 15, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0226264219 ISBN-10: 0226264211 Edition: 40 Anv

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 40 Anv edition (November 15, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226264211
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226264219
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Milton Friedman is one of the nation's outstanding economists, distinguished for remarkable analytical powers and technical virtuosity. He is unfailingly enlightening, independent, courageous, penetrating, and above all, stimulating." - Henry Hazlitt, Newsweek

From the Inside Flap

Selected by the Times Literary Supplement as one of the "hundred most influential books since the war"

How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of his immensely influential economic philosophy—one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom. The result is an accessible text that has sold well over half a million copies in English, has been translated into eighteen languages, and shows every sign of becoming more and more influential as time goes on.

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Customer Reviews

Friedman's arguments were compelling and well constructed.
Sareinhart
This makes capitalism or free markets, the most likely path to freedom and the most likely protector of freedom.
"ronlv"
This book should be REQUIRED reading for all high school, or at the very least, college students.
Hunter J. Martinez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

189 of 221 people found the following review helpful By Denis Benchimol Minev on August 13, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Milton Friedman is one fo the strongest proponents of freedom in society as the only way towards development (a concept later expanded by Amartya Sen). This book is not an economics textbook, since he does not spend much time on the basic concepts of economics such as price theory. He assumes a bit of knowledge and uses it to make the case for many different economic ideas ranging from macroeconomics (monetarism) to microeconomics (school vouchers).

For a book that was written in the 60s, it is amazing how current his ideas remain. It is perhaps the most important book on the libertarian philosophy, focusing on preventing the accumulation of power by any individual or group of individuals in society.

Overall, it is a great read for someone familiar with economics and social sciences, it will definitely expand your horizons of thought. However, if you are looking for an introduction to interesting eocnomic ideas, I would suggest you read Free to Choose, which Friedman wrote a dozen years later to reach a more general audience.
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253 of 301 people found the following review helpful By Eric Breitenstein on November 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Milton Friedman, far from just paraphrasing Keynes, has given a grand refutation of Keynesian economics as well as argued persuasively for the free-market.
"Capitalism and Freedom" dispels the myths about capitalism that have become so prevalent in our society: that the free-market caused the depression (it was actually a tyrannical Federal Reserve), that socialism can be democratic, and others. Milton's prose is clear and the book is good for those who haven't majored in economics. He gives an unwavering defense of personal freedom and individual autonomy from a minimalist government perspective.
This book is an important contribution to public discourse and although written about 40 years ago, still has relevance today.
Friedman discusses public education, roads, minimum wage laws (which he calls, "the most anti-black law on the statute books," and rightfully so as you'll see if you read this book), as well as the how so-called "progressive" tax system and welfare actually hurt the poor.
Friedman's other great contribution is "Free to Choose," which was written about 20 years ago and expounds on the ideas in "Capitalism and Freedom" in a bit more depth. But this is a good, short, concise book to start with that'll get you asking questions.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book quite concisely demonstrates Milton Friedman's gift as an economist. It, however, also depicts his inferiority to Hazlitt in terms of writing ability. While many of his essays and points are very interesting and precise, the book is VERY dry. One should not let the small size fool them when purchasing this book, it takes quite a commitment and interest in the subject to make it through the book. That said, Friedman elucidates just what capitalism is and should be. He does believe in some government, however, he argues (and quite successfully) that it should be as limited and nonactivist as possible. I certainly recommend this for anyone interested in just why Milton Friedman (and other laissez-faire capitalists) thinks the way he does. Henry Hazlitt's, "Economics in One Lesson" is a less difficult read and is also better constructed. I would recommend that as prerequisite for tackling this book.
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40 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Steve on June 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
An all-time favorite of mine, Capitalism & Freedom creates a framework of classic liberalism and argues forcefully in favor of free-markets and decentralization over the expansion of government involvement in economic and social affairs. Friedman builds his argument from the ground up by identifying coercion as the State's distinguishing feature over all other societal organizations. From the (classic) liberal's perspective, this aspect shapes the relationship between citizen and government, and strictly limits the appropriateness of State involvement in society, particularly with regard to well-intentioned programs and policy.

Friedman uses this foundation to build a case for limited government in economic matters, citing in particular the consequences of monetary and fiscal policy abuse. In an exceptionally apt comparison, Friedman argues that the same rationale that limits government interference with free speech should likewise apply to government interference in the economy: namely, that constraints be applied to monetary and fiscal policy to limit the potential for government to do harm in its pursuit of doing good. Friedman gives numerous examples in which government officials, exercising carte-blanche economic authority, have further aggravated economic crises by applying a case-by-case standardh to different economic scenarios.

Having clearly laid out his political philosophy, Friedman builds his case for free-markets, detailing control measures intrinsic of a laissez-faire economy.
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47 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Sareinhart on March 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I understood that Milton Friedman was a leader in (classical) liberal (meaning libertarian) economic thinking. Now I see why. Pure genius. This book appears to be written to the general public, although I must say that if are a complete stranger to economics certain parts of this book may confound you. I am a beginning student of economics, and only 2 paragraphs were out of my grasp. It's true, some of this book was a little dry, but those sections were short. The scope of the book is surprisingly wide for it's size (202 pages in this edition)-yet it's level of detail is satisfying.

Friedman's arguments were compelling and well constructed.

If you are a progressive, (modern) liberal, socialist, statist, marxist (or whatever else) and want to know what free-trade libertarians believe-this is to book for you.

If you are an economic conservative or a libertarian (as I am) and you want to read a great book that will make you smile-this is the book for you.

Overall a fantastic book.
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