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Jennifer Burns on Milton Friedman's Legacy

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Milton Friedman smiling | Jon Hargest/SCMP/Newscom

“Was Milton Friedman the most important libertarian of them all?” Reason’s Nick Gillespie asked Stanford historian Jennifer Burns during a live taping of The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie podcast in New York City. Burns is the author of the masterful and definitive new biography of the Nobel Prize–winning economist, titled Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative.

Friedman was arguably not just the most influential free market economist of the 20th century but the central figure in building the broad political and intellectual coalition that successfully challenged Keynesian economics and the top-down rule of experts in so many aspects of our lives.

Gillespie and Burns discussed Friedman’s conceptual and methodological breakthroughs in economics; his way-ahead-of-his-time collaboration with female economists such as Anna Schwartz and his wife Rose; his role in popularizing free market economics through his columns in Newsweek and the TV series Free To Choose; his controversial engagements with politicians such as Richard Nixon and Augusto Pinochet; and his role in ending the military draft and championing school choice.

This discussion was taped at the Reason Speakeasy, a monthly, unscripted conversation in New York City with outspoken defenders of free thinking and heterodoxy that doubles as a live taping of this podcast.

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