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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 (245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,791 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

187 of 218 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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252 of 299 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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28 of 31 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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46 of 55 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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Øystein Sjølie on August 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Five decades on, Friedmans thoughts of the functioning of the economic and political life, are still mind-blowing. Written in a clear and powerful language, the points are well made after logical discussions of some important issues facing all societies.

The main theme in the book is the close link between democracy and capitalism, or political freedom and economic freedom. Without the latter the former is very difficult. The Hollywood blacklist threatened the freedom of many film workers. However, the movie companies desires to make money gave them incentives to hire the blacklisted writers, producers and actors, and the workers got to work because of capitalism. Conversely, Winston Churchill never got to speak against Hitler on the government owned BBC between 1933 and the outbreak of WWII.

Throughout the book, Friedmans belief in the individual and his abilities to take care of himself stands as a lighthouse. However, because man is imperfect, and cares mostly of himself and the closest ones, often disregarding others, power should be dispersed as much as possible. Those two propositions are the bedrock of the conservative ideology (Friedman calls it liberal, furious that the left has stolen the term), and of this book and its attacks on ICC (a regulating body turning into a lobby organization), Social Security (why is the government monopolizing saving), counter-cyclical economic policy (impossible), corporate social responsibility (not a corporate issue), the Medical Association (modern guild restricting the education of doctors) and a range of other organizations and institutions.

In general, I think Friedman is giving to little weight on neighborhood effects, or public goods as it is called now.
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