100 books like Free to Choose

By Milton Friedman, Rose Friedman,

Here are 100 books that Free to Choose fans have personally recommended if you like Free to Choose. 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 Richest Man In Babylon

Grant Muller Author Of Top of Heart: How a new approach to business saved my life, and could save yours too

From my list on business that won’t bore you to death.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been in love with business books since I was a child and I’m also a big fan of great story telling. I didn’t realize until recently that you can have both in one book! Discovering this genre of business books that inspire and delight while passing along new and useful insights was a wonderful surprise for me that I like to share with others. These gripping stories have opened up a whole new world for me and allowed me to learn and apply their lessons much more quickly. It’s simply more fun and easier to remember new wisdom when it’s carried forward in gripping stories.   

Grant's book list on business that won’t bore you to death

Grant Muller Why did Grant love this book?

Through incredible stories set in Ancient Babylon, we are transformed and transfixed, all while learning a powerful new financial mindset.

I found myself totally engrossed in the stories of Arkad. I forgot that I was reading the book and learning so much because I was thoroughly entertained. But as I put the book down for the final time, I realized I had a whole new way to think about money and wealth creation.

The author's timeless wisdom and storytelling style make this book one of my favorite treasures to gift and recommend!

By George S. Clason,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Richest Man In Babylon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Richest Man in Babylon, based on “Babylonian parables”, has been hailed as the greatest of all inspirational works on the subject of thrift, financial planning, and personal wealth.  In simple language, these fascinating and informative stories set you on a sure path to prosperity and its accompanying joys.  A celebrated bestseller, it offers an understanding and a solution to your personal financial problem.  Revealed inside are the secrets to acquiring money, keeping money, and making money earn more money.

This original edition has the original language, content, and message from George S. Clason as intended in 1926.  It's all…

Book cover of Think and Grow Rich

Arthur VanDam Author Of Save Money on Groceries: 327 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bills and More

From my list on personal finance that make building wealth easy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love helping people save money in creative ways, build wealth, and gain financial freedom. Thankfully, my Dad taught me how to budget when I was 12 years old. My accounting professor used a ski lift as a way to analyze business profitability. I could visualize that! At Citibank, I found that people were overwhelmed with their finances and Wall Street was confusing. I’m a CPA and MBA in Finance. I love writing, sharing examples, and finding straightforward ways to help people save money and build wealth. These experiences showed me how to make my money work for me. I show you how to make your money work for you!

Arthur's book list on personal finance that make building wealth easy

Arthur VanDam Why did Arthur love this book?

Think and Grow Rich is one of the best books of all time – a true class for achieving super success and wealth.

Napoleon Hill shows you how to get ahead and build wealth. The idea is that successful, wealthy people found the way and we can too. Hill believes that how you think and use the knowledge and experience you accumulate along your journey drives your success.

He explains the importance of desire and faith and gaining specialized knowledge. He emphasizes organized planning, making decisions and taking action, and sticking with it. Hill shares stories based on his interviews with leaders including Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and many other millionaires. 

By Napoleon Hill,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked Think and Grow Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the bestselling motivational books of all-time. Inspired by a suggestion from industrialist Andrew Carnegie, Hill explains the philosophy that helped the wealthiest and most accomplished members of society succeed.

Book cover of A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing

Eric Tyson Author Of Investing For Dummies

From my list on getting smarter about investing and money.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was growing up, I saw family members and friends, who were otherwise smart people who could master other aspects of their lives, have difficulty with personal finance decisions and investing. When my dad was laid off during a recession, he had some retirement money distributed to him, and I got interested in investing as he researched and tried with difficulty to handle this money himself. In my young adult years, I was a sponge to learn as much as I could about personal finance. 

Eric's book list on getting smarter about investing and money

Eric Tyson Why did Eric love this book?

I first read this book as required reading for a college course, and it greatly changed how I thought about investing.

Over the years, I’ve read updated editions, and it never gets stale and always includes new information and insights. But the foundational issues have stood the test of time and remain in the newest edition.

I also love this book because it introduced me at a young age to mutual funds and Vanguard.

By Burton G. Malkiel,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Random Walk Down Wall Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today's stock market is not for the faint hearted. At a time of frightening volatility, the answer is to turn to Burton G. Malkiel's advice in his reassuring, authoritative, gimmick-free and perennially best-selling guide to investing. Long established as the first book to purchase before starting a portfolio, A Random Walk Down Wall Street now features new material on "tax-loss harvesting"; the current bitcoin bubble and automated investment advisers; as well as a brand-new chapter on factor investing and risk parity. And as always, Malkiel's core insights-on stocks and bonds, as well as investment trusts, home ownership and tangible assets…

Book cover of Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth about Compassionate Conservatism

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?

It is personally rewarding to donate your time as a volunteer, no matter what your financial wealth is. But money certainly helps to fund causes in this material world. Brooks’ book shows that compassionate conservatism is an important driving force in America. He shows through extensive survey work that giving money to charity speaks louder than just talking about caring. He argues successfully, that those who are charitable improve life for all of us, and the selfish make us all worse off. Clearly, money can help you achieve true prosperity by helping others with it.

By Arthur C. Brooks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Who Really Cares as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We all know we should give to charity, but who really does? In his controversial study of America's giving habits, Arthur C. Brooks shatters stereotypes about charity in America-including the myth that the political Left is more compassionate than the Right. Brooks, a preeminent public policy expert, spent years researching giving trends in America, and even he was surprised by what he found. In Who Really Cares , he identifies the forces behind American charity: strong families, church attendance, earning one's own income (as opposed to receiving welfare), and the belief that individuals-not government-offer the best solution to social ills.…

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 The Architecture of Markets: An Economic Sociology of Twenty-First-Century Capitalist Societies

Steven K. Vogel Author Of Marketcraft: How Governments Make Markets Work

From my list on how markets really work.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first got interested in how markets really work when I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on the “deregulation” movement in the United States, Western Europe, and Japan. I quickly discovered that deregulation never happened in the literal sense. In most cases, governments had to increase regulation to enhance market competition. They needed more rules to get “freer” markets. This sounds paradoxical at first, but it really isn’t. It makes perfect sense once you realize that markets do not arise spontaneously but rather are crafted by the very visible hand of the government. So I took that insight and I have been running with it ever since.

Steven's book list on how markets really work

Steven K. Vogel Why did Steven love this book?

My view of markets has been heavily influenced by my colleague from the Sociology Department downstairs, Neil Fligstein.

He follows Polanyi in posing a direct challenge to the basic assumptions of economics. He argues that firms seek stability, not necessarily profit maximization. That is, they want to stabilize prices and keep the firm intact.

He also brings power to the center of his view of markets. Incumbent firms engage in power struggles. They use business strategies, like collusion, and political strategies, like lobbying for favorable regulations, to insulate themselves from disruptive competition.

By Neil Fligstein,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Market societies have created more wealth, and more opportunities for more people, than any other system of social organization in history. Yet we still have a rudimentary understanding of how markets themselves are social constructions that require extensive institutional support. This groundbreaking work seeks to fill this gap, to make sense of modern capitalism by developing a sociological theory of market institutions. Addressing the unruly dynamism that capitalism brings with it, leading sociologist Neil Fligstein argues that the basic drift of any one market and its actors, even allowing for competition, is toward stabilization. The Architecture of Markets represents a…

Book cover of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Laurie Laybourn Author Of Planet on Fire: A Manifesto for the Age of Environmental Breakdown

From my list on to help us face up to the environmental crisis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I research, write and speak about the global environmental emergency and the policies and politics we need to adequately respond. Drawing on a decade of experience in academia, activism, and policymaking, my work explores the leadership needed to transition to more sustainable and equitable societies while contending with the growing destabilisation resulting from the worsening environmental crisis. I’ve worked at a range of leading policy research organisations and universities and have won awards for my work. I’ve got a BSc in physics and an MPhil in economies from the University of Oxford. 

Laurie's book list on to help us face up to the environmental crisis

Laurie Laybourn Why did Laurie love this book?

I was born at the end of the 1980s and the majority of greenhouse gas emissions have been released in my lifetime. That means the world’s emitted more since Seinfeld was first broadcast than in the previous 10 millennia of human history. But this isn’t just a story of the last few decades or of certain bad technologies that use fossil fuels. It’s a story going back centuries, to the emergence of global systems of profit-making that impelled people across the world to seek people and nature to exploit for money. This book has been invaluable in helping me understand that history and in seeing the environmental crisis foremost as a crisis of politics and of the great economic systems that dominate our world. 

By Rajeev Charles Patel, Jason W. Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nature, money, work, care, food, energy, and lives: these are the seven things that have made our world and will shape its future. In making these things cheap, modern commerce has transformed, governed, and devastated Earth. In A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things, Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore present a new approach to analyzing today's planetary emergencies. Bringing the latest ecological research together with histories of colonialism, indigenous struggles, slave revolts, and other rebellions and uprisings, Patel and Moore demonstrate that throughout history, crises have always prompted fresh strategies to make the world cheap and safe…

Book cover of What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets

Maurizio Pugno Author Of Well-being and Growth in Advanced Economies: The Need to Prioritise Human Development

From my list on human development in advanced economies.

Why am I passionate about this?

'Human development' indicates an advancement that I would like to find in any kind of progress. Different disciplines define 'human development' in different ways, but my research is to identify the common core in order to link both the individual- with the social dimension, and natural evolution with changes due to personal choices and policies. Through such research, I have been able to take a new perspective on my academic subjects: economic growth and happiness. My belief is that it is possible to make human development, economic growth, and happiness go together. But unfortunately, this is not what is occurring, and understanding why is key.

Maurizio's book list on human development in advanced economies

Maurizio Pugno Why did Maurizio love this book?

This book is one of the most effective attacks against the market tendency to commercialize any good, ending up corroding what is most intrinsically human in social relationships and in people's intimate lives.

The effectiveness of the book lies in the examples, ranging from the sale of kidneys to paying someone to be substituted in the queue.

The most important lesson of the book is that market-driven economic growth has not only transformed the environment to make our lives more comfortable, thus hitting the limit in environmental degradation, but it has also transformed ourselves, because it has made us more consumers and less human.

This silent transformation - the philosopher Sandel teaches us - must be limited.

By Michael J Sandel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Money Can't Buy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In What Money Can't Buy, renowned political philosopher Michael J. Sandel rethinks the role that markets and money should play in our society.

Should we pay children to read books or to get good grades? Should we put a price on human life to decide how much pollution to allow? Is it ethical to pay people to test risky new drugs or to donate their organs? What about hiring mercenaries to fight our wars, outsourcing inmates to for-profit prisons, auctioning admission to elite universities, or selling citizenship to immigrants willing to pay?

In his New York Times bestseller What Money…

Book cover of Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism

Amy Myers Jaffe Author Of Oil, Dollars, Debt, and Crises: The Global Curse of Black Gold

From my list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my career as a business journalist writing about Arab finance and oil at a time when few women were in that industry. Rather improbably, perhaps, I became well-known for correctly predicting trends – geopolitical and geo-economical. In my thirties, I shifted to the academy, becoming a director of energy research at Rice University in Houston and subsequently a sought-after advisor to government, corporations, and financial institutions. I wrote my first paper on oil crises while in high school (winning third prize in a state term paper contest) and have never left the subject. Now more than ever, the public needs to understand the real facts behind oil and financial crises. 

Amy's book list on why oil and global banking crises happen at the same time

Amy Myers Jaffe Why did Amy love this book?

One of the disadvantages to writing a book with any economics in it is just that, readers need to know a little economics to get the most out of your book.

But to grasp how oil and the dollar interact and why we wind up in repeating financial crises, you don’t have to go back and reread Keynes and Irving Fischer (on interest rates). In 2009, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller wrote this easy-to-read and easy-to-understand book that critiques traditional economics (e.g. it’s dependence on “rational” actors) and dissects the building blocks one needs to know to grasp the ins and outs of economic cycles.

Importantly, they explain why people continue to believe they can make a fortune by investing at the top of the market (the confidence multiplier and contagion). Their book leads the reader through the basics on how bubbles (irrational exuberance) and panics ensue…

By George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Animal Spirits as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity. Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes…

Book cover of Celebration Capitalism and the Olympic Games

Jacqueline Kennelly Author Of Olympic Exclusions: Youth, Poverty and Social Legacies

From my list on the Olympics that the IOC doesn’t want you to know.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wasn’t really interested in the Olympics until they came knocking at my door. I lived in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics Bid. When a plebiscite was called, the Yes side plastered the city with billboards explaining why everyone should want the Olympics. Simultaneously, a much less resourced but vocal opposition argued that hosting would be an environmental, social, and economic disaster. The two sides were so far apart that my curiosity was piqued. When I began a postdoctoral fellowship in the UK, I realized that they, too, were in the midst of similar debates, as hosts of the 2012 Summer Olympics. From here a research project was born.

Jacqueline's book list on the Olympics that the IOC doesn’t want you to know

Jacqueline Kennelly Why did Jacqueline love this book?

Jules Boykoff has been writing about the Olympics for a very long time.

His work is smart, readable, well researched, and grounded in reality. He also happens to have been an Olympic soccer player. So he’s got credibility as a guy who values sports, yet still thinks the Olympics have a lot to answer for.

Celebration Capitalism is the book where Jules lays out his theory of how the Olympics, and other mega-sporting events, capitalize on sports celebrations to further enrich the rich, and impoverish the poor.

He builds on Naomi Klein’s concept of ‘disaster capitalism’ to make this argument, and in my opinion, it’s bang on. 

By Jules Boykoff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Olympic Games have become the world's greatest media and marketing event-a global celebration of exceptional athletics gilded with corporate cash. Huge corporations vie for association with the "Olympic Image" in the hope of gaining a worldwide marketing audience of billions.

In this provocative critical study of the contemporary Olympics, Jules Boykoff argues that the Games have become a massive planned economy designed to shield the rich from risk while providing them with a spectacle to treasure. Placing political economy at the center of the analysis, and drawing on interdisciplinary research in sociology, politics, geography, history, and economics, Boykoff develops…

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