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The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise Kindle Edition

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Length: 226 pages
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Editorial Reviews


"It is true, but insufficient, to argue that free enterprise makes us better off. Arthur Brooks makes the indispensable point that it also makes us better. Having stumbled far down the road to serfdom, we are much in need of Brooks' trenchant case for a change of course." ---P. J. O'Rourke

About the Author

Arthur C. Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. He is the author of a number of books, including The Battle, Gross National Happiness, and Who Really Cares.

Educated at Juilliard, Paul Costanzo brings the sensitivity and nuance of a classical music background to his twenty-five-plus years of voice acting, and AudioFile magazine has called his narration "superb."

Product Details

  • File Size: 1486 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 046502940X
  • Publisher: Basic Books (May 8, 2012)
  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,123 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Arthur C. Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Until January 1, 2009, he was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. Throughout his career, Arthur has conducted research on the connections between culture, politics and economic life, and has published hundreds of articles and 10 books on subjects ranging from the economics of the arts to military operations research.

Born in 1964, Arthur grew up in Seattle in a family less interested in free enterprise than in the arts. At age 19, he dropped out of college to pursue a career as a professional French hornist. Arthur performed with the Annapolis Brass Quintet, toured with famed jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd, and spent several years with the City Orchestra of Barcelona. In Barcelona in 1991, he married Ester Munt-Brooks.

In 1992, Arthur and Ester moved to the U.S., where Ester taught languages and Arthur returned to college at night while teaching music during the day. He studied economics, math and languages, eventually earning bachelor's and master's degrees in economics and a Ph.D. in public policy. After finishing his doctorate, Arthur spent 10 years as a university professor, teaching economics, nonprofit management, and social entrepreneurship.

At the end of 2008, he left academia to join AEI as the institution's eleventh president. He speaks widely on behalf of AEI and the free enterprise movement all around the United States and world, and continues to write books and articles.

Arthur and Ester currently reside in Bethesda, Maryland, with their three children Joaquin, Carlos, and Marina.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 105 people found the following review helpful By F Pickens on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Reading "The Road to Freedom" is an incredible experience from start to finish. For some time, I have looked for a way to teach my children and my friends abroad about what makes America unique and why our free enterprise system is so important. Arthur Brooks answers this challenge; he clearly articulates the case for free enterprise, why it is fair, why it is the best system for the poor and the sick, and why it is the system in which we can become truly happy. It is wonderful, as you read the book, to rediscover truths about what makes America such a special place. Our system rewards hard work and offers the most opportunity for every citizen, and I am so glad that Brooks explains how earned success - not money - makes free enterprise a truly moral way of life.

I am not a Republican, and it was refreshing to read a book that really is about defending free enterprise, not a Republican or right-wing political platform. Brooks explains that government does have a role in our society in protecting us from monopolies, corporate cronyism, and of course in protecting our civil liberties and our security. At the same time, by understanding what drives our free enterprise system, I feel Brooks teaches us how to find the right balance between government and our private lives.

Perhaps the best part of the book comes in the second half, in which Brooks switches from explaining the morality of free enterprise to applying this concept to policy issues, ranging from health care reform to taxes. Brooks gives so many policy suggestions that both embrace the free enterprise system and reject partisan labels; I hope every American reads this book and learns about the moral way to help our poor and sick and to maintain our right to the pursuit of happiness.
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73 of 82 people found the following review helpful By LSP86 on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Brooks is truly the man of the hour. He delivers a hard-hitting message for those who love free enterprise and are struggling to craft a winning argument. With well-researched and thought-provoking analysis, he makes the claim that free enterprise advocates are losing the battle with big government for one simple reason: they argue with materialism and data, while their opponents argue from the heart. Humans are wired to respond to moral claims faster and stronger, he argues, and therefore, free enterprise advocates should open any discussion not with their head but with their hearts.

Dr. Brooks lays out the path for success in two parts. Part 1 of "The Road to Freedom" is a manifesto on the moral superiority of the free enterprise system. Only free enterprise encourages human flourishing by allowing each individual to define and pursue his success. Only free enterprise creates real opportunity and true fairness based on merit. And only free enterprise lifts up the poor by the billions and encourages a charitable community. While big government may want to do these things, it is incapable, as every government benefit turns into something to aid the well-connected or something that causes learned helplessness.

The book then takes a practical turn. Dr. Brooks provides a better role for government in today's society: providing a minimum safety net for the truly poor and vulnerable, and correcting for market failure where it can be done successfully and efficiently. He lays out the winning formula for any political discussion and applies it to today's most pressing domestic policy issues: tax reform, entitlements, national debt, economic growth, and job creation.

This book is a must-read for anyone who believes in the moral superiority of the free enterprise system.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Shinymind on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70's, I've spent my life surrounded by the well-intentioned left. But my father gently and deliberately left The Fountainhead lying around the house at just the right strategic point in our impressionable teenage years, and began discussing political philosophy at the dinner table. We took the bait, and my brothers and I gradually evolved into passionate, freedom-loving, self-reliant libertarians (small L). As a parent myself now, I look back on what my father did and marvel at the delicate task he succeeded at. I've engaged in thousands of conversations with my left-leaning friends (that is 97% of all of them), and have tried countless angles to penetrate their ideological barriers, largely without success. My few politically like-minded cohorts admonish me to not waste my time -that, like my father, I should focus on my kids and write off the rest as unsavable. Yet, like a mathematician obsessed with an unsolved problem, it has remained one of my passions to find the formula that will part the clouds. I give that lengthy personal intro so that I can express that this book is an immensely useful tool for me, and for those like me who are frustrated in their debates with the Left. Mr. Brooks offers a truly fresh arsenal of perspectives and ideas that attack a neglected flank -the fairness argument for capitalism. The word 'fairness' itself has been usurped by the left (how many times has Obama whipped out his line about the rich paying their fair share?), yet Mr. Brooks calmly and rationally walks his readers through the irrefutable facts that prove why the free market, while not perfect, is by far the fairest system of all for the largest number of people, especially the poorest. After reading it, I have purchased copies for a dozen of my 'progressive' friends who are open minded enough to consider new ideas. This book is full of them.
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