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The Indispensable Milton Friedman: Essays on Politics and Economics Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''A worthy homage to Friedman's ideas.'' --Financial Times on Milton Friedman --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

THE MAN WHO SAVED THE FREE MARKET

Milton Friedman is one of the most famous economists in history, and with good reason. He revolutionized our understanding of the Great Depression, helped establish the Chicago school of economics, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics. But eclipsing these achievements is the vital role he played at the crux of the long debate over capitalism in America. The 1970s was an all-time nadir for free market economics in the popular imagination. At the time it seemed that state management of the economy had finally triumphed. It was Friedman who almost single-handedly kept the argument for capitalism alive, stressing that the free market is the only way to achieve prosperity—and retain personal liberty.

The Indispensable Milton Friedman is the first general collection of Friedman’s writings that spans his entire career, offering twenty scintillating essays selected from over five decades of writing, teaching, and research—including some that have never been republished. These essays provide always-fresh insights into topics that continue to drive the public debate today, from health care reform and drug legalization to school vouchers and the economics of John Maynard Keynes.

Among the indispensable writings included in this book:

  • “Liberalism, Old Style” (1955), discusses the transformation of the original meaning of liberalism
  • “The Counter-Revolution in Monetary Theory” (1970), his most important lecture on monetary policy
  • “The Tide in the Affairs of Men” (1988, coauthored with his wife, Rose D. Friedman), traces the progression from the explosion of capitalism in the eighteenth century to the rise of the modern welfare state
  • “How to Cure Health Care” (2001), his elegant and commonsense plan for health care reform is a solution vastly superior to Obamacare

The Indispensable Milton Friedman provides insight into the far-reaching thought of one of the twentieth century’s most influential men. It will also arm readers with crucial understanding about what it means—and what it takes—to be truly free. It deserves a place on the bookshelf of every true proponent of the free market.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596988088
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596988088
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Chapter eight, like most - if not all - of the others, is a reprint of a journal article. There are references to tables and figures that I can't find anywhere in the book. Instead, on page 83 I find a footnote: "Please see original essay for referenced figures." Five stars for Milton Friedman and one star for the publisher.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading Friedman's famous popular works - Capitalism and Freedom, Free to Choose, Monetary Mischief, etc - this collection of essays spanning six decades provided a broader picture of the Nobel Prize laureate's beliefs. Whereas Free to Choose, Friedman's best known book, approaches the issues most pertinent to the late 1970s and early 1980s, some of which are longer relevant - such as stagflation - this collection provides articles from the 1950's until just before his death in 2006. Contemporary topics such as fixing the health care system are covered, as are more timeless subjects such as Friedman's view of Keynes and Keynesian economics. While Friedman referenced Keynes and his ideas briefly in the TV miniseries Free to Choose, a 1983 article included here gives this fascinating subject the attention it deserves.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a thought-provoking collection of essays. In one, Milton Friedman and his wife Rose sketch out their view of "the tides in the affairs of men:" how ideas, with a lag, influence public policy - and then often generate their own reversal. The Friedmans mark one tide as that of laissez-faire economics; it is followed by the rise of the welfare state and then, influenced by Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, the resurgence of free markets. Hayek expressed his ideas most forcefully in The Road to Serfdom, written in the 1940s, but public policy only began to reflect them in the 1970s. Which begs the question: where do things stand now? This essay originally appeared in 1988; has the resurgence of free markets already ended?

That question is provoked by reading another essay, written in 2001, that makes the case that government intervention is responsible both for the sharply increasing costs of health care and for the rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of that care. Unfortunately, it looks as if what even a Democratic Senator is now calling the coming "train wreck" of Obamacare will prove the truth of Friedman's argument that less government involvement, not more, is the only solution to the problem.

Similarly prescient is the 1989 essay warning that tremendous damage will be done unless drugs are legalized, just as prohibition damaged American society earlier in the century. A generation later, our jails are filled with drug offenders being transformed into hardened criminals - and the useless hand-wringing continues.

The health care essay, as well as a number of others, suffers from the editors' decision to leave out the charts in the original versions. Some authors may include charts primarily for academic respectability or for decoration, but Friedman uses them to distill the essence of his argument, so it's a shame they're missing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A collection of his writings and interviews for those who have grown to like this Classic economists. My judgment is that about 1/2 of the collection is a little heavy and boring and difficult to plow through. He clears up his influence on the Chile miracle in one interview that was interesting. The best part is his clear explanation of how the Keynes economic theories did not work and was part of the cause of the great depression which made the book worth while reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alright, the first half is for the people that aren't PhD economist, then the second half, WOW. The first half reads like poetry, then all of a sudden you are immersed in feild of economics at a much higher level of understanding. I read this while getting my dental degree and it was way over my head. I still recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of the great minds that elegantly and insightfully integrate politics, economics and societal behavior with explanations that every day individuals can understand. Useful for anyone who wants to understand the value of a capitalist world based on individual effort and the dangers of centralized governments.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read if you do not want to continue to be a dummy. A great review of Friedman's thinking and a very informative introduction.
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