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on 31 May 2013
As Newton(?)said, great men rest on the shoulders of giants : Smith, Von Mises, Hayek, Friedman. To understand Friedman's economic philosophy, this beautifully written text is an outstanding introduction and its excellence has prompted me to buy the author's text on Hayek. Eamonn Butler is a gifted Economist and writer who outlines economic philosophy coherently and in plain english. Highly recommended.
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on 29 August 2003
I was drawn back to Eamonn Butler's 1985 book while working my way through the latest venture by Brian Snowdon and Howard Vane. Almost twenty years after the publication it still seems as fresh as ever and should still be considered the best introductory work about Milton Friedman particularly for the student.
Given the advances in macroeconomics which have taken place since the 1970s, an era now fading away thankfully into distant memory, it is not surprising that concerns about money continue to dominate the debate. World events, such as deflation in Japan and the tremendous efforts by Federal Reserve Governor Greenspan to prevent such an occurrence in the United States, continue to place the Friedman analysis and theory at the centre of the ongoing discussion.
This magnificent little book has at it's centrepiece Friedman's work on Monetary Theory. Butler, writing from the position of a fellow free-marketeer does an outstanding job restraining his infectious free market self to provide an exemplary elucidation of Milton Friedman's writings and how they overcame sustained attack from the Keynesian orthodoxy to establish themselves as a counter-revolution. He does not assume much prior knowledge of the reader but seeks to establish with remarkable clarity Friedman's position and how he got there. He certainly does real justice to the nature of the attacks and examines their arguments carefully. Fairness is a good description of his approach. He is not afraid to bring in criticism from the Austrian school to show that attacks on Friedman's work are not only from the left.
In the latter sections of the book he also looks at Friedman's position as a free marketeer and some of the policy proposals he has made and also in the final chapter, which for me was the most interesting he looks at some of the methodological issues generated by Friedman.
One is reminded of the remark attributed to Popper that a theory which explains everything explains nothing when reading this chapter. Butler robustly defends Friedmans theorizing based on empirical evidence and casts aside the majority of objections to this approach. he chides those who make their models more and more complex to include new developments and candidly criticizes those economists who talk among themselves in the rarified realms of abtruse reasoning. As John Lennon once said, 'life is what happens when you are busy making other plans'. There is one issue where Butler concurs that Friedman's theory is open to attack and that is on the question of adjustment costs involved in relative price changes as a result of a monetary diturbance.
I am not convinced that the final chapter should not have been the first but it certainly fits nicely into the logic of the book that Eamonn Butler has written so well.
This is a book that is enthusiastically recommended for any student of economics or even just an interested reader. Should also be required reading for anyone going into public service for the first time but then so should much of Eamonn Butler's other work which comes from the Adam Smith Institute.
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on 3 July 2012
Recently, I've been having an intense craving to learn the mechanics of economics. I've recently herd of a fellow called Milton Friedman and how great of an economist he was, so I looked into him and his views. I agreed with alot of his material. He seemed suitable enough to learn from, so I decided on learning the basics from him first

This book was a great introduction to who he was. Eamonn, the author walks us through the career of this man right from the ground up. I learnt all sorts of things, such as why he studied economics in particular, his early work, who he was friends with, papers he wrote and so fort. but my favourite thing about this book is how concise it is. Eamonn is a pro at keeping the pace moving along smoothly. The book is barely repetitive, something most authors seem to can't refrain from doing...it made me think about things in a different way and altered many of my view points on certain topics. So if you're a novice, or even have a strong working knowledge of economics and want to learn the work of milton friedman. Then i think this book is well deserved

The verdict:
Very robust and concise book addressing the works of Friedman, very suitable for the layman and advanced learners

Physical Quality:
The book is published by harriman house. The quality is extremely good, the text is rich. It is indeed one of the best paperbacks i own in terms of physical quality
Feel free email me if you'd like a chat "moneymavericks92@Gmaill.com"
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on 2 February 2014
The book focuses on Milton Friedman and while its a good introduction to learning about his views with some excellent passages, I found that the description of the theories themselves were very superficial, making this book only worthwhile for those who already know the economics to know which economics Milton was about(in a historical point of view), or those who don't have a particularly interest in the subject to have an introduction to this great thinker.
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on 29 August 2003
I was drawn back to Eamonn Butler's 1985 book while working my way through the latest venture by Brian Snowdon and Howard Vane. Almost twenty years after the publication it still seems as fresh as ever and should still be considered the best introductory work about Milton Friedman particularly for the student.
Given the advances in macroeconomics which have taken place since the 1970s, an era now fading away thankfully into distant memory, it is not surprising that concerns about money continue to dominate the debate. World events, such as deflation in Japan and the tremendous efforts by Federal Reserve Governor Greenspan to prevent such an occurrence in the United States, continue to place the Friedman analysis and theory at the centre of the ongoing discussion.
This magnificent little book has at it's centrepiece Friedman's work on Monetary Theory. Butler, writing from the position of a fellow free-marketeer does an outstanding job restraining his infectious free market self to provide an exemplary elucidation of Milton Friedman's writings and how they overcame sustained attack from the Keynesian orthodoxy to establish themselves as a counter-revolution. He does not assume much prior knowledge of the reader but seeks to establish with remarkable clarity Friedman's position and how he got there. He certainly does real justice to the nature of the attacks and examines their arguments carefully. Fairness is a good description of his approach. He is not afraid to bring in criticism from the Austrian school to show that attacks on Friedman's work are not only from the left.
In the latter sections of the book he also looks at Friedman's position as a free marketeer and some of the policy proposals he has made and also in the final chapter, which for me was the most interesting he looks at some of the methodological issues generated by Friedman.
One is reminded of the remark attributed to Popper that a theory which explains everything explains nothing when reading this chapter. Butler robustly defends Friedmans theorizing based on empirical evidence and casts aside the majority of objections to this approach. he chides those who make their models more and more complex to include new developments and candidly criticizes those economists who talk among themselves in the rarified realms of abtruse reasoning. As John Lennon once said, 'life is what happens when you are busy making other plans'. There is one issue where Butler concurs that Friedman's theory is open to attack and that is on the question of adjustment costs involved in relative price changes as a result of a monetary diturbance.
I am not convinced that the final chapter should not have been the first but it certainly fits nicely into the logic of the book that Eamonn Butler has written so well.
This is a book that is enthusiastically recommended for any student of economics or even just an interested reader. Should also be required reading for anyone going into public service for the first time but then so should much of Eamonn Butler's other work which comes from the Adam Smith Institute.
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on 28 May 2013
I really enjoyed this book and it has made me keen to read the original writings It is so well argued that I think his philosophy must be partly wrong somewhere. markets are not perfect and capitalism has some faullts which is why some government controls are necessary.
nevertheless it was a very enjoyable read and I strongly recommend it.
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on 29 August 2003
I was drawn back to Eamonn Butler's 1985 book while working my way through the latest venture by Brian Snowdon and Howard Vane. Almost twenty years after the publication it still seems as fresh as ever and should still be considered the best introductory work about Milton Friedman particularly for the student.
Given the advances in macroeconomics which have taken place since the 1970s, an era now fading away thankfully into distant memory, it is not surprising that concerns about money continue to dominate the debate. World events, such as deflation in Japan and the tremendous efforts by Federal Reserve Governor Greenspan to prevent such an occurrence in the United States, continue to place the Friedman analysis and theory at the centre of the ongoing discussion.
This magnificent little book has at it's centrepiece Friedman's work on Monetary Theory. Butler, writing from the position of a fellow free-marketeer does an outstanding job restraining his infectious free market self to provide an exemplary elucidation of Milton Friedman's writings and how they overcame sustained attack from the Keynesian orthodoxy to establish themselves as a counter-revolution. He does not assume much prior knowledge of the reader but seeks to establish with remarkable clarity Friedman's position and how he got there. He certainly does real justice to the nature of the attacks and examines their arguments carefully. Fairness is a good description of his approach. He is not afraid to bring in criticism from the Austrian school to show that attacks on Friedman's work are not only from the left.
In the latter sections of the book he also looks at Friedman's position as a free marketeer and some of the policy proposals he has made and also in the final chapter, which for me was the most interesting he looks at some of the methodological issues generated by Friedman.
One is reminded of the remark attributed to Popper that a theory which explains everything explains nothing when reading this chapter. Butler robustly defends Friedmans theorizing based on empirical evidence and casts aside the majority of objections to this approach. he chides those who make their models more and more complex to include new developments and candidly criticizes those economists who talk among themselves in the rarified realms of abtruse reasoning. As John Lennon once said, 'life is what happens when you are busy making other plans'. There is one issue where Butler concurs that Friedman's theory is open to attack and that is on the question of adjustment costs involved in relative price changes as a result of a monetary diturbance.
I am not convinced that the final chapter should not have been the first but it certainly fits nicely into the logic of the book that Eamonn Butler has written so well.
This is a book that is enthusiastically recommended for any student of economics or even just an interested reader. Should also be required reading for anyone going into public service for the first time but then so should much of Eamonn Butler's other work which comes from the Adam Smith Institute.
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on 30 July 2013
An excellent, very accessible introduction to the ideas of Milton Friedman. Friedman's ideas are especially relevant at this moment as we are about to live through the disasterous recent consequences of the growth of government and the erosion of our economic freedoms in the West. If you want to know where it all went wrong, I believe that Milton Friedman provides a fairly convincing explanation.

I would also recommend his TV series "Free to Choose", which is on Youtube.
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on 15 August 2015
It's just a very good summary of Friedman's ideals. Also expresses what Capitalism should be. It should be freedom. Great read.
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on 7 July 2015
Very good summary and overview of this important economic thinker
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