by Milton Friedman
University Of Chicago Press, 2002. 230 pages. Nonfiction
Originally published in 1962, this book serves as a foundational piece in economic literature. Capitalism and Freedom argues primarily that the former is a prerequisite for the former; starting with two broad chapters about economic theory and liberty, Friedman progresses to tackle in brief specific areas of American economic and social policy and makes a case for the problems caused by interventionism and how the free market can solve them. While confident in economic analysis, Friedman acknowledges his limited frame of reference, a refreshing trait in a Nobel Prize winning expert. His chapter on education was particularly enjoyable, as he opens with the caveat that he is not an expert in any way on education, but then makes predictions and suggestions that are both accurate and relevant for society in the new millennium.
Capitalism and Freedom walks the line between primer and textbook; while not an introductory work on economics (Friedman does his best to simplify theories and terms for the lay-reader, but assumes a basic knowledge), it also avoids getting bogged down into minutia and complex equations. Where more in-depth questions arise, Friedman clarifies his point and directs the inquisitive reader towards specialized works where authors (including him) have done and explain more detailed research. I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more about economics but doesn’t want to wrestle with equations.