Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative

Jennifer Burns

Book cover for Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative
Book cover for Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative
Book cover for Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative
Book cover for Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative

Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative

Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative

Jennifer Burns

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An Economist Best Book of 2023 One of The New York Times' 33 Nonfiction Books to Read This Fall Named a most anticipated fall book by the Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg

"Wherever you sit on the political spectrum, there's a lot to learn from this book. More than a biography of one controversial person, it's an intellectual history of twentieth-century economic thought." --Greg Rosalesky, NPR's Planet Money

The first full biography of America's most renowned economist.

Milton Friedman was, alongside John Maynard Keynes, the most influential economist of the twentieth century. His work was instrumental in the turn toward free markets that defined the 1980s, and his full-throated defenses of capitalism and freedom resonated with audiences around the world. It's no wonder the last decades of the twentieth century have been called "the Age of Friedman"--or that analysts have sought to hold him responsible for both the rising prosperity and the social ills of recent times.

In Milton Friedman, the first full biography to employ archival sources, the historian Jennifer Burns tells Friedman's extraordinary story with the nuance it deserves. She provides lucid and lively context for his groundbreaking work on everything from why dentists earn less than doctors, to the vital importance of the money supply, to inflation and the limits of government planning and stimulus. She traces Friedman's long-standing collaborations with women, including the economist Anna Schwartz; his complex relationshipswith powerful figures such as the Federal Reservechairman Arthur Burns and the Treasury secretaryGeorge Shultz; and his direct interventions in policymaking at the highest levels. Most of all, Burns explores Friedman's key role in creating a new economic vision and a modern American conservatism. The result is a revelatory biography of America's first neoliberal--and perhaps its last great conservative.

About the Author

Jennifer Burns is an associate professor of history at Stanford University, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the author of Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right. She has written for The New York Times, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, and Dissent, and has discussed her work on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and other programs.

Publishing Information

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pub date: 2023-11-14
Length: 592 pages
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