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Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition [Deluxe Edition] [Paperback]

by Milton Friedman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 15, 2002 0226264211 978-0226264219 40 Anv
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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Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition + The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents--The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2) + Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
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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.

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: 2.1 x 3.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
180 of 209 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC ECONOMICS, FRIEDMAN'S BEST 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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248 of 294 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and informative 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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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good defense of the free market September 24, 1999
By A Customer
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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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great read. 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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71 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, brief articulation of Friedman's beliefs July 16, 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Friedman's critics and fellow travelers in the libertarian fold rightfully viewed Capitalism and Freedom as a landmark book in 1962. The author brilliantly, if albeit briefly, articulated his theories of human behavior, which stood in contrast to the prevailing Keynesian ideology. The book has stood the test of time, and has become a classic part of libertarian literature. Like Marx's Das Kapital, the book has become a common point of reference for review in many college courses for members of the Left and the Right.
Some quick notes. The book was not written as an exhaustive economics treatise that purported to evaluate every single possible component of economics. Friedman did not present every single ideological permutation's view of price supports for farm products, as an example. Anyone looking for Every Possible Libertarian Opinion on a Given Economic Question, much less the contrasting viewpoints of Marxists/Neo-Keynesians/Flat Earth Society proponents, will need to look elsewhere (Keynesian Paul Samuelson's classic work, "Economics", is recommended for as a starting point). Friedman's reputation in the economics profession was not earned from this book, but his other works, especially his "Monetary History of the United States".
As for Paul Krugman's criticisms of Milton Friedman, the potential reader should heed the old axiom, "consider the source". Krugman is a brilliant economist, who after being exposed for decades to a mass of information on the failings of government meddling in the economy, persistently recommends a watered down version of the same failed policies that didn't work in the past.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I learned more about capitalism and liberty in the first chapter...
This is a classic, and for a reason. Not only does he say something novel and brilliant, he says it concisely and clearly. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
This book helped me understand a lot about the economy. The words are true for today's day and age! Wow!
Published 8 days ago by Isaac Beckley
1.0 out of 5 stars Ideological exposé not supported by evidence.
It was difficult, but I did it. I read it. The book is pure ideology without even any thought about real life. Read more
Published 24 days ago by M. Olivier Brill
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Milton Friedman.
It's Milton Friedman.
The book reads how he speaks.
Watch one of his YouTube videos if you need convincing.
5 Stars. End of Review.
Published 29 days ago by Jack Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars My new major
After reading this book, written by the genius that was Milton Friedman, I have decided to switch my college major to Economics. Great read.
Published 1 month ago by Garret
1.0 out of 5 stars The classic apologia for the fascist rich
The classic apologia for the fascist rich, this work is drooled over by those who hate equality but valorize the "freedom" to do as they please, regardless of their effects... Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Schwartz
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this book both five stars and one star.
Since that is not an option, I took the average. You should read it, but with an open mind.

The book was published in 1962 and much of it was written in the 1950s. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Frederick Norwood
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading
How people could still debate these issues so many decades after Friedman wrote this definitive essay is beyond me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dennis O. Wasnich
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for any free market supporter
Milton Friedman is essential reading for all who believe in freedom. The link between economics and personal freedom is clear. You cannot have one without the other.
Published 2 months ago by Don Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars book
it was written in 1982 but is still important for today 2014 to read. I like the author and glad to have his books to read.
Published 2 months ago by MikePander
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How would readers compare this book to "Free to Choose"?
I just posted a message in the Economics discussion forum with essentially the same question you have here. Did you ever receive an answer?
Mar 13, 2009 by A.H. |  See all 2 posts
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