100 books like Free Market Fairness

By John Tomasi,

Here are 100 books that Free Market Fairness fans have personally recommended if you like Free Market Fairness. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Road to Serfdom

Andrew Koppelman Author Of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed

From my list on libertarian philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in human freedom, and both intrigued and cautious about the path offered by the libertarians. In my book, I finally worked out for my own benefit what is alive and what is dead in their ideals – and the various flavors in which those ideals are available. They have important insights, but too much of what they are selling is snake oil. Until now there hasn’t been any critical introduction to libertarianism for the general reader. This book aims to supply that.

Andrew's book list on libertarian philosophy

Andrew Koppelman Why did Andrew love this book?

The classic exposition of the idea that central governmental economic planning will inevitably be wasteful and tyrannical. Hayek today is caricatured by both right and left, but he is not the minimal state absolutist that both sides often take him to be. Hayek thinks that the way to attack poverty is not redistribution – there isn’t yet enough wealth in existence to give everyone a decent life – but the opportunities created by free markets. Another impetus for my own work was reading this book and discovering that I agreed with him much more than I had expected to. 

By F. A. Hayek, Bruce Caldwell (editor),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Road to Serfdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An unimpeachable classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, "The Road to Serfdom" has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in 1944 - when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program - "The Road to Serfdom" was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would lead not to a utopia but…


Book cover of Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World

Jonathan Rothwell Author Of A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society

From my list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Inequality and fairness are basic issues in human conflict and cooperation that have long fascinated me. Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, I was confronted with the extreme racial segregation of schools and neighborhoods. My Catholic upbringing taught me to cherish the cardinal virtues of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance, and my education in political economy taught me that markets can fairly and efficiently allocate resources, when legal power is evenly shared. My formal education culminated in a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Princeton University, which led me to my current roles: Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and Principal Economist at Gallup. I care deeply about the social conditions that create cooperation and conflict.

Jonathan's book list on why some people tend to be richer or poorer

Jonathan Rothwell Why did Jonathan love this book?

Can ideas change the world? How does belief in political equality—the idea that everyone deserves basic unbridgeable liberties—affect innovation and economic development?

Dierdre McCloskey—one of the most creative and interesting economists alive—takes on these topics and much more in her characteristically witty, fast-paced style. She loves describing and refuting bad ideas—or even ideas widely regarded as brilliant—in an effort to go deeper into the forces that lifted humans out of poverty and sustain innovation to this day.

By Deirdre Nansen McCloskey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bourgeois Equality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's little doubt that most humans today are better off than their forebears. Stunningly so, the economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey argues in the concluding volume of her trilogy celebrating the oft-derided virtues of the bourgeoisie. The poorest of humanity, McCloskey shows, will soon be joining the comparative riches of Japan and Sweden and Botswana. Why? Most economists from Adam Smith and Karl Marx to Thomas Piketty say the Great Enrichment since 1800 came from accumulated capital. McCloskey disagrees, fiercely. "Our riches," she argues, "were made not by piling brick on brick, bank balance on bank balance, but by piling…


Book cover of Principles For A Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With The Common Good

Andrew Koppelman Author Of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed

From my list on libertarian philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in human freedom, and both intrigued and cautious about the path offered by the libertarians. In my book, I finally worked out for my own benefit what is alive and what is dead in their ideals – and the various flavors in which those ideals are available. They have important insights, but too much of what they are selling is snake oil. Until now there hasn’t been any critical introduction to libertarianism for the general reader. This book aims to supply that.

Andrew's book list on libertarian philosophy

Andrew Koppelman Why did Andrew love this book?

This is the best contemporary introduction to the way in which laws that facilitate market transactions promote peace and prosperity. When philosophy students are introduced to libertarianism, they typically read Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia, but Epstein’s book is more illuminating and more carefully argued. As with Hayek, I didn’t read this in a friendly spirit, but I was persuaded by the big picture. We disagree about details – a lot of details – but the basic story is sound.

By Richard A. Epstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Principles For A Free Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The countrys leading libertarian scholar sets forth the essential principles for a legal order that, in an age of limited government, balances individual liberty against the common good.. Richard Epstein, one of our countrys most distinguished legal scholars, sets out an authoritative set of principles that explains both the uses and the limits of government power. Drawing on the work of multiple disciplines, this book offers a thoroughly realized blueprint to guide us through political conflict in the troubled times ahead. }As government budgets come under political fire and free-market ideals spread, the legal and social principles of libertarian thought…


Book cover of Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement

Andrew Koppelman Author Of Burning Down the House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted by Delusion and Greed

From my list on libertarian philosophy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in human freedom, and both intrigued and cautious about the path offered by the libertarians. In my book, I finally worked out for my own benefit what is alive and what is dead in their ideals – and the various flavors in which those ideals are available. They have important insights, but too much of what they are selling is snake oil. Until now there hasn’t been any critical introduction to libertarianism for the general reader. This book aims to supply that.

Andrew's book list on libertarian philosophy

Andrew Koppelman Why did Andrew love this book?

This is the indispensable book if you want to know what libertarianism is and where it came from. It is filled with more entertaining eccentrics than a Dickens novel. My book focuses on philosophical arguments for a minimal state, but I couldn’t get very deep into the historical background: who was making those arguments and what moved them to do it. One of the pleasures of intellectual history is encountering minds that are weird and surprising (not necessarily in a bad way), and Doherty offers a lot of them.

By Brian Doherty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Radicals for Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On Wall Street, in the culture of high tech, in American government: Libertarianism-the simple but radical idea that the only purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property against direct violence and threat-has become an extremely influential strain of thought. But while many books talk about libertarian ideas, none until now has explored the history of this uniquely American movement-where and who it came from, how it evolved, and what impact it has had on our country. In this revelatory book, based on original research and interviews with more than 100 key sources, Brian Doherty traces the…


Book cover of The Sane Society

Stephen Palmer Author Of Beautiful Intelligence

From my list on that explain the mystery of consciousness.

Why am I passionate about this?

For thirty-five years I’ve studied and written about consciousness, the evolution of the mind, and the development of human social and cultural forms. I think we’re all fascinated by who we are and why we have minds. In my case, that fundamental question, which we must all answer in some way during our lives, has become a drive to bridge our theory of consciousness with a full description of the human condition. I believe we cannot progress ethically without such a bridge. Although in my novels I don’t usually write explicitly on such themes, they’re always present, providing the framework in which my characters live their lives.

Stephen's book list on that explain the mystery of consciousness

Stephen Palmer Why did Stephen love this book?

Although not Fromm’s best-known book, The Sane Society is crucial because it states for the first time a description of the human condition. I was astonished when I first read it, as it presented to me the possibility that the human condition could be described, and, therefore by implication, understood, something which had never before occurred to me. Fromm’s thesis is that society in the 20th century, when he was writing, can be characterised as insane, because it does not meet humanity’s real needs. Part of the revelation of this book is that such needs can be developed from an analysis of the human condition. Since reading the book, I have followed Fromm’s conviction that a real and true description of ourselves is crucial to humane ethical progress. 

By Erich Fromm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sane Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1998. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.


Book cover of Capitalism and Freedom

Jeffrey A. Miron Author Of Libertarianism, from A to Z

From my list on Libertarianism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jeffrey Miron has taught a popular course on libertarian principles at Harvard for 17 years, explaining how to apply libertarianism to economic and social affairs. Miron also serves as the Vice President for Research at the libertarian Cato Institute. Miron has a consistent track record of defending libertarian policies, such as the legalization of all drugs, vastly expanded legal immigration (perhaps to the point of open borders), drastically reduced government expenditure, and substantial deregulation.

Jeffrey's book list on Libertarianism

Jeffrey A. Miron Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Capitalism and Freedom is the greatest exposition of the consequential case for libertarianism. In other words, Milton Friedman’s case for libertarian policies rests not on moral assumptions or “natural” rights but on showing that capitalism is important because it has positive consequences – it enables human prosperity and flourishment.

Perhaps as importantly, Capitalism and Freedom shows that economic freedom is a necessary condition not just for economic prosperity but for personal and political freedom. Thus, free markets are not only compatible with democracy (contra what many people claim), but a necessary condition for protecting democracy and personal freedoms.

This book’s outlook is probably the closest to the one articulated in my book. It is also the most recent one on the list, making it an easy read.

By Milton Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Capitalism and Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of TIME magazine's All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
One of Times Literary Supplement's Hundred Most Influential Books Since the War
One of National Review's 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Century
One of Intercollegiate Studies Institute's 50 Best Books of the 20th Century How can we benefit from the promise of government while avoiding the threat it poses to individual freedom? In this classic book, Milton Friedman provides the definitive statement of an immensely influential economic philosophy--one in which competitive capitalism serves as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom.

First published…


Book cover of Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy

Xenia A. Cherkaev Author Of Gleaning for Communism: The Soviet Socialist Household in Theory and Practice

From my list on the possibility of collectivist modern life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am interested in how regimes of ethics and property interrelate, and how this interrelation informs political thought: in questions of cooperatives and collectives, customary use-rights, and household economies. I'm an anthropologist by training and geographically I work in Russia. I've written about socialist property law and stolen late-Soviet penguins, Stalin-era mine-detection dogs and perestroika-era saints, möbius bands, 19th-century Russian cheese-making co-operatives, New World Order theories of “The Golden Billion” and other important matters.

Xenia's book list on the possibility of collectivist modern life

Xenia A. Cherkaev Why did Xenia love this book?

Mass democracy guided the 20th century. Socialists and liberals disagreed about what exactly a government “of, for, and by the people” would look like, but they agreed that, in principle, it was desirable.

Even the fascists agreed. “Fascism,” wrote Mussolini, “is the purest form of democracy if the nation be considered from the point of view of quality rather than quantity... a people, historically perpetuating itself; a multitude unified by an idea and imbued with the will to live.”

But by the end of the century, democracy gave way to another ideal: special “zones” punched holes in the image of a democratic nation state with micro-nations and gated communities, crypto-currencies and special economic zones, charter schools and AirBnB schemes.

Slobodian's Crack-up Capitalism traces the emergence of this new social ideal. It examines the theory and practice of privately managed spaces erected to protect capitalism from democracy, markets from politics, profit…

By Quinn Slobodian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crack-Up Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Gonzo brilliance ... unique and highly entertaining' Financial Times

'Revelatory reading' Adam Tooze, author of Crashed

'After reading Quinn Slobodian's new book, you are not likely to think about capitalism the same way' Jacobin

Look at a map of the world and you'll see a neat patchwork of nation-states. But this is not where power actually resides. From the 1990s onwards, globalization has shattered the map, leading to an explosion of new legal entities: tax havens, free ports, city-states, gated enclaves and special economic zones. These new spaces are freed from ordinary forms of regulation, taxation and mutual obligation -…


Book cover of Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism

Raoul Martinez Author Of Creating Freedom: Power, Control and the Fight for our Future

From my list on critiquing free-market fundamentalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

It has long been claimed that we face a choice between freedom and equality: that advocates of capitalism favour freedom, while critics prioritise equality. Philosopher Raoul Martinez was never persuaded by this claim, yet it took years of research across a number of disciplines to understand not only how problematic it is, but how foundational to our society and its crises it has become. His journey of discovery culminated in the writing of Creating Freedom, which dismantles this misleading narrative while deepening our understanding of human liberty: the many ways it is subverted and the path to its creation.

Raoul's book list on critiquing free-market fundamentalism

Raoul Martinez Why did Raoul love this book?

Drawing on extensive historical research, economist Ha-Joon Chang shows that today’s wealthiest nations became rich not by following the advice they have long given to poorer nations — embrace free and open markets with minimal state involvement — but by doing precisely the opposite: embracing policies of protectionism and significant state intervention. In admirably clear prose, Chang exposes the hypocrisy of the world’s richest nations and lays out a more promising path of development for the poorer countries of the world. 

By Ha-Joon Chang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bad Samaritans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's rare that a book appears with a fresh perspective on world affairs, but renowned economist Ha-Joon Chang has some startlingly original things to say about the future of globalization. In theory, he argues, the world's wealthiest countries and supra-national institutions like the IMF, World Bank and WTO want to see all nations developing into modern industrial societies. In practice, though, those at the top are 'kicking away the ladder' to wealth that they themselves climbed.

Why? Self-interest certainly plays a part. But, more often, rich and powerful governments and institutions are actually being 'Bad Samaritans': their intentions are worthy…


Book cover of Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

William D. Danko Author Of Richer Than A Millionaire: A Pathway to True Prosperity

From my list on building wealth.

Why am I passionate about this?

William D. Danko, Ph.D. has studied wealth formation since 1973. He is the co-author of The Millionaire Next Door, a research-based book about wealth in America that has been ranked as a bestseller by The New York Times for more than three years. More recently, he co-authored Richer Than A Millionaire ~ A Pathway To True Prosperity, a book that shows how to build wealth with a greater purpose in mind. Dr. Danko resides in upstate New York with his wife, and is the father of three, and the grandfather of five.

William's book list on building wealth

William D. Danko Why did William love this book?

To build wealth, we need an environment that allows for unequal outcomes. The Friedmans argue that using societal or governmental force in the name of equality will destroy the environment where we are free to choose how wealth is grown. In their words: Freedom “preserves the opportunity for today's disadvantaged to become tomorrow's privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.” Let the market determine the outcome. Bad ideas will wither away, and good ideas will thrive.

By Rose Friedman, Milton Friedman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Free to Choose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Argues that free-market forces work better than government controls for achieving real equality and security, protecting consumers and workers, providing education, and avoiding inflation and unemployment.


Book cover of Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Sarah Kaplan Author Of The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-Offs to Transformation

From my list on stakeholder capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Sarah Kaplan is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is the author of the bestseller Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market—And How to Successfully Transform Them and The 360º Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation, both address the challenges of innovation and organizational change in society. She frequently speaks and appears in the media on topics related to achieving a more inclusive economy and corporate governance reform. Formerly a professor at the Wharton School and a consultant at McKinsey & Company, she earned her PhD at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Sarah's book list on stakeholder capitalism

Sarah Kaplan Why did Sarah love this book?

If we want to reimagine capitalism as a system that does not destroy the planet and destabilize society, this must be enabled by corporations changing the way that they operate. Henderson’s Reimagining Capitalism gives us some principles for thinking about how to do this. A long-time innovation scholar, Henderson draws on her knowledge about how to succeed at organizational change to propose a more purpose-driven model of corporate action. Using numerous case studies of companies that have (partially) succeeded and those that have failed, she animates a number of principles for change. To start, such a model will require new metrics for social and environmental impact. This would involve more collaborative engagement amongst stakeholders to grow the economic pie and amongst companies to self-regulate in a more sustainable manner.

Particularly refreshing, at the end of the book, Henderson connects the macro conversation about economic and corporate change with a discussion…

By Rebecca Henderson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A renowned Harvard professor debunks prevailing orthodoxy with a new intellectual foundation and a practical pathway forward for a system that has lost its moral and ethical foundation.
Free market capitalism is one of humanity's greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.

Rebecca Henderson's rigorous research in economics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as her many years of work with companies around…


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