Daily Archives: Nov 18, 2023 at 03:54 am EST

Book Bits: 18 November 2023

Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative
Jennifer Burns
Review via The New Republic
Jennifer Burns’s biography of the economist Milton Friedman arrives at a moment when his legacy is increasingly questioned. For no one is more closely linked with neoliberalism than Friedman, who preached the virtues of markets in popular books, on public television, and from his position at the University of Chicago. One of Friedman’s major accomplishments, as Burns describes it, is to have crafted the “basic intellectual consensus about free markets and limited government that powered twentieth-century American conservatism.” For his admirers, Friedman was a farsighted prophet of market economics, a first-rate academic who saw that the world needed more capitalism, not less, to deliver global prosperity. For others, he represents the market fundamentalism that has allowed the wealthy to capture too great a share of the gains of global growth in the neoliberal era, and led to the financial crisis of 2008.

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