Book Review: Free to Choose

Book Review: Free to Choose November 10, 2010

I first read Free to Choose in February this year and absolutely loved the book. Milton Friedman and his wife Rose wrote Free to Choose in 1980 after the TV series produced by PBS also titled “Free to Choose.” The book is build on the 10 episodes that PBS aired in 1980, which was a great concept because it let the reader watch the special and read a chapter slow enough to understand it at their own pace.

If you have any interest in economics at all, I recommend reading this book. The Friedmans do an excellent job in making each chapter relevant to actual businesses and the principles shared 30 years ago still hold true today.

I’d love to go through a few of these chapters for the Faith and Economic section of the site, but I’ll keep this post to a brief overview of the book.

The 10 Chapters cover the following areas:

1. The Power of the Market

2. The Tyranny of Controls

3. The Anatomy of Crisis

4. Cradle to Grave

5. Created Equal

6. What’s Wrong with Our Schools?

7. Who Protects the Consumer?

8. Who Protects the Worker?

9. The Cure for Inflation

10. The Tide is Turning


Quick Summary

The relationship between freedom and economics is powerful. Milton and Rose Friedman explain how the government has affected America’s freedom and how the balance of powers should be used with respect to economics.

The Friedmans address issues such as government taxation, welfare, education, healthcare, and advocate for a tighter monetary policy. Self-described as “libertarian” (in the traditional sense), Friedman presents economic theory as one who supports individual liberty. This personal liberty Friedman promotes stresses that each person should be able to live their life any way they choose as long they respects the equal rights of others.

Great quotes from Free to Choose –

“Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom”

“An essential part of economic freedom is freedom to choose how to use our income: how much to spend on ourselves and on what items; how much to save an in what form; how much to give away and to whom.”

“A government that inflates is therefore led to try to manipulate the foreign exchange rate. When it fails, it blames internal inflation on the decline in the exchange rate, instead of acknowledging that cause and effect run the other way.”


Are you interested in economics? Have you read any economics books lately? What kind of topics would you be interested in reading about?

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  • Tim,

    I am admittedly less than savvy about economics, but I like to learn. A book that breaks things down to my level is “Applied Economics” by Thomas Sowell. I plan to get my hands on “Free to Choose”. Sounds good. BTW…is that a typo in your last paragraph? “cause an defect”

  • Tim

    Thomas Sowell is the man when it comes to economics!

    Thanks for showing me that typo – should be changed now.

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