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The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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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
America’s tradition of being free provides greater economic growth and efficiency, better distribution of opportunities, and larger possibilities for the pursuit of happiness. But what’s really important about being free is that it’s moral. Individual liberty and personal responsibility are right. Collective restraint and communal irresponsibility are wrong. The Road to Freedom is a road from wrong to right.”
John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Foods Markets
Arthur Brooks has written an important and timely book that shows how America became a prosperous and great nation through the free enterprise system of individual opportunity and entrepreneurship. He intelligently discusses the fundamental principles of ethics, fairness, helping the poor, providing a safety net, and the proper role of government in a free enterprise economy. In addition, he proposes policy reforms, which if our nation embraced them, would relatively quickly solve many of our nation’s most serious challenges. I heartily recommend this book as an excellent road map to create a prosperous, socially just, and ethical society.”
Congressman Paul Ryan
Arthur Brooks knows, as America’s Founders knew, that free enterprise underpins the moral case for human freedom. Economic freedom produces unimaginable material prosperity, but it’s also the only economic form that encourages individuals to freely pursue their destinies, develop the character of self-responsibility, and strengthen communities. Brooks eloquently confronts the growing threat to economic freedom and human fulfillment and describes the fundamental choices Americans must make to get back on the right road.”
The Washington Times
If this book, especially the first several chapters that describe so compellingly the unique freedom of the system of government the United States embraces, doesn’t make you want to stand up and salute the American flag, whisper a thanks to your immigrant predecessors or go purchase lunch from your local small business down the street in triumph, nothing will.”
The Weekly Standard
Read The Road to Freedom for its explication of earned success, its definition of meritocratic fairness, and its moral commitment to using free exchange to improve the lives of the destitute.”
Clive Crook, The Atlantic
Brooks is a smart, witty and engaging writer, and it's refreshing to see a conservative cast the argument for free enterprise in these terms.”
About the Author
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For all the people writhing one star reviews. You do realize that wealth is not a zero sum game. Just because one person has an incredible amount of wealth doesn't preclude anyone... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jack Gebhardt
If you truely value your freedom and keeping it then this is must reading. I don't know how it can be better explained.Published 2 months ago by Richard J. Schauwecker
I purchased Arthur's book "The Conservative's Heart ... " but found no definition of "free enterprise" (which he continuously praises) during a quick scan; so I... Read morePublished 5 months ago by William L. Fell
This is an excellent book that every american should read. It is very well researched.Published 9 months ago by dbj
Very enlightening while offering information that I was unaware of and needs to be inclded in WWII history in schoolsPublished 10 months ago by Gregory S.
The author writes, somewhat paranoiacally, as if there was some big, nefarious movement afoot to deprive others from opportunity and freedom and entrepreneurship. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Peter P. Fuchs