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10 Best Milton Friedman Books (2024)

Best Milton Friedman Books ReviewBio

Friedman was born on the 31st of July, in the year of 1912, in Brooklyn, New York, United States of America. Friedman was a well-respected and renowned American economist. Milton was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, in 1976, for his work on monetary history and theory, consumption analysis, and the complexities of stabilization policy.

Milton was born in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Jeno Saul Friedman and Sara Ethel, born as Landau. Both Jeno and Sara were Jewish Immigrants that had come from the Kingdom of Hungary. Both of them were also employed as dry goods merchants. In a little while following Milton’s birth, the family moved to Rahway, New Jersey.

Best Milton Friedman Books

Math and Economics

Milton attended Rutgers University after receiving a competitive scholarship, where he specialized in math and economics. Milton graduated in the year of 1932 and had to make a choice between doing graduate work in mathematics or in economics. Milton chose the latter, earning his Master of Arts in 1933.

Now, having noted and made mention of all of these particulars, let’s see what the best Milton Friedman books are.

Capitalism and Freedom


Wary of the Government

Capitalism and Freedom is rightfully regarded as one of the most popular Friedman books and one of the best-selling Friedman books, as well. Capitalism and Freedom was published in the year of 1962, spanning approximately two-hundred pages or so.

Capitalism and Freedom is one of the most significant contributions that Friedman has ever made in the field of economics. In the book at hand, Milton analyzes how it is that we can gain an advantage from the vow of governing bodies while, at the same time, evading such troubles that may be detrimental to the freedom of the individual.

For Our Use

To Friedman, capitalism is to be in the service of two different needs, namely as an artifice or a gateway for attaining freedom in the economic sense and, secondly, as an obligatory state for freedom in the political sense. Bringing forward one of his keenest and most straightforward statements, Friedman has written a book that will amaze anyone who dares to pick it up.

Capitalism and Freedom, though it does speak of rather political, social, and economical notions, is still a very readable and understandable book that we urge our readers to take a look at. It is certainly one of Milton Friedman’s must-read books.

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement


An Intrinsic Liberty

Free to Choose is another of the very crucial Milton Friedman books. Having Milton Friedman’s books ranked in any fashion without making mention of Free to Choose would be a grave mistake, we reckon. The book was published in 1980.

Among the clearest written, cohesively thought out, and expertly compiled, the book at hand is in league with the greatest works of Friedman, period. The most fundamental premise of the book is that people ought to be at liberty to make their own decisions in as much frequency as feasible, so that the role of the governing bodies is to protect the individuals from one another, not to protect the individuals from their own selves.

The Cons of Governing Bodies

Utilizing a rather pragmatic point of stand in regards to the topic, Friedman has made notice that whenever the government sees a chance to meddle with the usual business and conduct of the everyday man, in its wake it leaves something of a diminished quality or the things are left altogether effaced. With one of the most important assertions of his career, we recommend one of Milton Friedman’s best books.

Why Government Is the Problem


What Is Forgotten

One of Friedman’s books we’ve had the pleasure of picking up is Why Government Is the Problem that is another essential entry among the books of Milton Friedman. It was published in the year of 1993.

In Why Government Is the Problem, Friedman makes a point to discuss why it is that the famous and well-known maxim that Abraham Lincoln spoke and wrote of, namely – of the people, by the people, and for the people – has deteriorated in such a rapid manner so that it seems no one has bothered with such a creed for decades and decades. In Milton’s opinion, the governments of today are only concerned with themselves and their constituents.

The Meat of the Issue

The most basic assertion of Friedman’s work right here has to do with how when a governing body is given power, that power is also transferred to bureaucrats having power bestowed upon them. This power, in turn, remains unmediated, while there are sincere attempts at making a human livelihood that are failing, which the government won’t even acknowledge.

As such, Friedman regards the governments of today as lacking any kind of incentive to be great or to do great things, which was the intention of not too long ago. Quite possibly Friedman’s best book.

Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History



Money Mischief is yet another stark example of why it is that Friedman was so renowned for his work. Money Mischief stands as one of the top Milton Friedman books ever. It was published in the year of 1992, spanning three-hundred pages.

Money Mischief starts out with how the notion or concept of money began as a neutral store of value, for instance as sizable rocks or stones that were utilized on the Yap Island. Other some such examples have to do with metals that were valuable, paper, etc. As the years and history go on, money in a sense of commodity has been accepted more and more, while paper money has a certain value that was come to by means of a legal system.


Soon enough, Friedman has opened up and begun to talk about how increases in money supply is what engenders inflation, then he examines the equation of exchange that Fischer came up with, and finally how it is to come to the most adequate rate of inflation.

Of course, Milton examines other countries, not just the US, which include France, China, Chile, Israel, and the more general European Monetary system. One of the best-rated Friedman books.

A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960


An Account of Money

A Monetary History of the United States 1867-1960 is a book that was written by Friedman along with a fellow author known as Anna Jacobson Schwartz. The book at hand is a definite contender for being the best Friedman book as it was published in 1963 with a page count of nearly nine-hundred.

Having a history of money for any state, country, or nation is a very crucial and essential thing for that particular state, country, or nation. As such, when Anna Jacobson Schwartz and Michael Friedman wrote and published the massive volume we are examining, it was obviously hailed as a great and monumental work. There is no detail spared, no page that can be called lacking. It is one of the most significant books on the topic.

Brilliantly Compiled

Taking into account an immense amount of data from history and using the shrewd and sharp analysis that they are famous for, Schwartz and Friedman wrote a book that has as much to do with the supply of monetary funds as with the management of economics in a given country. One of the most important periods discussed is, in fact, the Great Depression, for which they are especially known.

Price Theory


A Thesis on Cost

Price Theory is another of the influential and paramount books penned by Friedman and we believe that it is among the best of Milton Friedman’s books. Price Theory was published in the year of 1962, spanning about three-hundred-and-fifty pages. Economics, by and large, is subdivided into two different sections, namely into normative and positive economics.

The latter of the two delves into the specifics on how it is that the issue of economics is solved, while normative economics focuses and concerns itself with how a problem ought to be solved. For instance, the impacts of rent and price on the income distribution is to be viewed from the lens of positive economics, while how desirable such impacts are is to be regarded from the viewpoint of normative economics.

The Subtleties

Getting deeper into the subtleties and the particulars of economics, there comes a rather sizable division in the very nature of economics, which has to do with price theory and monetary theory.

Price theory, the one that the book predominantly concerns itself with, has to do with the allocating of resources between a variety of usages, with the price of each item being viewed in relation to the other ones. Among the most significant Friedman’s economy books.

Essays in Positive Economics


Verifiable and Empirical

Out of all the books on the list of Friedman’s books, there stand out many, but Essays in Positive Economics is a certainly special one, to say the least. Essays in Positive Economics was published in the year of 1953, spanning a tad above three-hundred pages. It stands as one of the best books by Milton Friedman.

The final, most supreme, and most important mission that Friedman set out to accomplish as he was writing the essay in question was to attempt to understand the orthodox theory of economics as a positive science. This, in layman’s terms, means to create a theory founded upon the suppositions which can be regarded as veritable and observable.

Predicting the Economy

In the opinion of Friedman, the main goal of economics is to bring forward a system of generalizations which would have the capacity to be used for making verifiable predictions about the byproducts of any modification in a state.

As such, Friedman brings up a number of debates and examples where even though each of the parties had seemingly harmonic goals, they were in confrontation, nonetheless. What Friedman has in store for his readers is a mighty volume, which sadly doesn’t count among Friedman’s popular books, but we’re holding out hope.

The Great Contraction 1929-1933


The Particulars

The Great Contraction 1929-1933 counts as one of the best Milton Friedman books on any list of books by Milton Friedman. The Great Contraction 1929-1933 was published in the year of 1964, spanning about one-hundred-and-fifty pages, all in all.

The Great Contraction 1929-1933 has to do with the Great Depression that began in the year of 1929. What Milton has ready for his careful readers is a classical book from the monetarist economics school. The historical study of the period which took place between years 1929 and 1933 is not unfruitful in any manner of speaking, but is a means for Friedman to give an account regarding the causes that led to the Great Contraction.

The Downfall

It is a known fact and especially important in the book at hand that recessions aren’t linear, but cyclical and, for a few reasons, can be regarded as being beneficial for a country’s economy, seeing as it lays waste to those constituents that are wasteful and unfruitful. In the opinion of Friedman, the 1929 crisis led to a depression due to the fact that the Federal Reserve had monetary policies that weren’t apt to answer to the situation.

Providing his trademark insights, Friedman has an honestly very important book here, which is as telling about economics as it is about Friedman himself. As such, the book can be viewed as being one of the books about Milton Friedman or, less specifically, books on Milton Friedman.

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch


Adage Examined

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch is the penultimate book among the Milton Friedman book reviews that we will be examining today. The book is just as important as any other of the Friedman volumes, but it is perhaps doubly as entertaining to read. It was published in the year of 1977, spanning north of three-hundred-pages.

There’s No Such Thing as Free Lunch refers to the rather popular and well-known adage which utilizes the same words in the same order. There’s no such thing as free lunch, in the terms of someone who is not versed in the particulars, subtleties, or specialties of economics and economic theory, which means that it is very much impossible to acquire something for the price of, well, nothing.

Accessible to Layman

Knowing that many of the titles of Friedman can be a bit hard to understand, not in a sense of obscurity, but in a sense of difficulty, it is a sincerely fulfilling thing to know that the volume at hand is markedly accessible.

It is easy to grasp and understand book that provides many of the author’s opinions, though in terms that are closer to the common man. The magazine columns collected here see Friedman as he discusses the status quo of political and social problems and the economic layer that they are founded upon.

The Tyranny of the Status Quo


A Few Observations

The final book on the Milton Friedman books list that we will be taking a look at today is, of course, The Tyranny of the Status Quo. It is a book that was published in the year of 1984, spanning a hair under two-hundred pages.

The book at hand was co-written by Friedman along with Rose D. Friedman, who was Milton’s wife. The duo writes of a tremendous and important phenomenon that arises from the political base, mainly having to do with the common and ever-present proclivity by governments to go against the policies and beliefs in spite of which side they lean more upon, left just as much as right.

A Manifest Pattern

In merely the first six to nine months after the elections at the time, Reagan, Mitterrand, and Thatcher, all were initiators of sizable, important changes.

However, each individual of the so-called Iron Triangle was exasperated by this so-called status quo, because in each of the corners of the triangle lie the bureaucrats and politicians that need the votes of the people to be in power. Among the most important books on the topic ever. The Indispensable Milton Friedman: Essays on Politics and Economics is another book by Friedman that we found to be terrific.

Michael Englert

Michael is a graduate of cultural studies and history. He enjoys a good bottle of wine and (surprise, surprise) reading. As a small-town librarian, he is currently relishing the silence and peaceful atmosphere that is prevailing.