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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read it if you want to understand capitalism
The book is of course a classic. I don't want to give a detailed academic review or critique, because I'm not qualified. I just want to explain its personal relevance to me.

I came to this after thinking about abstract questions after the financial crash in 2008. What are the theoretical justifications for the free market? What are the theoretical / pragmatic...
Published on 18 April 2011 by andy1980

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you want a good idea of Friedman's liberatarian political philosophy this is a ...
Whether you're a conservative, socialist, or classical liberal/libertarian Milton Friedman isn't the place to start.

Friedman is generally considered a gold standard in free market thought, but this opinion is naive and superficial. When Paul Krugman (keynesian) debated Ron Paul he was able to use Milton Friedman's monetary theory to give the impression that...
Published 3 months ago by Science n history


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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism: a prerequisite for freedom, 9 July 2009
This is a small book so I thought it would be a quick read. However it took me quite a while to get through. There are a lot of concepts and logical arguments that demand you go back and reread.

Free speech, free press, these are the things people think about when talking about freedom. You don't really think about the concept of economic/financial freedom and how limits placed on these by government policy can affect individual freedom. You don't see people protesting for financial freedom but the two are closely tied.

Capitalism and Freedom, written in the early 60's by the famous economist Milton Friedman, provides a novice like me a history on how capitalism has worked in the past and how it is working now. It mainly covers US policy but these are relevant to other capitalist systems. After reading this book you realise that the problems that are around now are the same problems that existed in the past. In the media when you see stories of parents complaining about which state run schools they can send their kids to and the problems with the National Health System for example, you see that freedom encompasses a whole lot more than just freedom of speech. If you're ill, it can prevent you from choosing which hospital you are treated in or the treatment itself, if you have kids which school you are allowed to send them to. Recently in Britain (2009), a parent was in criminal court over fraud charges related to the address she used to register her child in a school (in an attempt to get her child into a good school). Luckily for her the case was dropped.

The book is littered with interesting financial facts from the past; for instance there was prohibition on owning gold bullion in the US and after World War II Brits were not allowed to vacation in the US because of exchange control.

I recommend this book but be warned that it's not an easy read. It is rewarding when you actually understand what is being talked about on the news and you can have an informed opinion about it.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An ideologue, 28 April 2013
It has taken me some time to read Freidman and I think there were no surprises. He writes convincingly and delivers some home truths about the failure big government. But he is a fundamentalist and ignores the failures of neo Paternalistic-classical economics for his own agenda. His work is rooted in the assumption that capitalism is inherently stable. Of you accept this his writing is difficult to argue with. However I would suggest recent events prove otherwise. His analysis of th great depression is a convoluted excuse that is an absolute contradiction in terms of u understanding today's monetary failure.
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15 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the coin, 15 Nov 2011
By 
J. Hudson "jon" (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The world in 2011 is seeing the policies set out in this book operating in their full. Whilst Democratically Elected Politicians are forced to resign (the Greek and Italian leaders being the latest) the "Tecnocrats" step in and sell off State Assets well below their true value.

There is an unpalatable yet inescapable fact that lurks beneath the surface here - friedmanism cannot function in a democracy - or rather freidmanism stops democracies from functioning properly. Darker still is the "shock therapy" that is required for friedmanism to see its full expression. I would point readers to "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein before they sing the praises of this man or the policies he expounds in this book.
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A warning for our times, if a bit late..., 18 July 2009
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Conor Murphy "ronoc" (ireland) - See all my reviews
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Now is the time to get this book. If you wondered about how Big Ideas work in reality first look at communism, then read this book and look around you. Big Ideas do not work!
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13 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wobbly Typeface, 13 Feb 2010
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The content maybe good. I have still to make up my mind if Milton's policies are responsible for selling off national assets round the globe and impoverishing milions. However its hard to get past the wobbly type face on this cheap book. It really is a low quailty print that looks like its been printed on someones dot matrix printer from the 80s.
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4 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 23 Aug 1998
By A Customer
Milton Friedman is a great economist and a good man. His books, especially his Monetary History, have been a great contribution to 20th century thought. In this book he presents a strong case for liberty. For the most part, he is very consistent. However, his stance on education is a bit weak. He seems to miss that public education is a horrible and ultimately destructive institution. Despite this, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in capitalism. But, I would also have to recommend Sheldon Richman's "Separating School and State" as a supplement.
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13 of 140 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars all 100% correct except for one glaring ommission, 11 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Mr. Friedman is certainly the greatest living economist and this book is the best there is for an introduction to what capitalism really is. Mr Friedman explains to us the complex basics of economics that most still don't understand. For example when two capitalists exchange money or goods is one getting ripped off, are they doing something trivial, selfish, or wasteful that should be regulated by the gov't, or are they advancing the cause of prosperity ,civilization and freedom? Mr. Friedman walks us through these issues, and more, very brilliantly but in the end he doesn't tell us what to do. When we watch the evening news or walk into the voting booth we are not asked for our opinion of capitialism,rather, we are asked our opinions of Democrats and Republicans. The real issue is not capitalism vs. other; it is Republicans vs Democrats. The book: Understanding The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans is still one of the very few, unbelievably, that deals with this, the most important issue we face. And it isn't ashamed to point out at great length the connection between Republicans, capitalism, and freedom.
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