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Publisher's Summary

Entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility: These traditions are at the heart of the free enterprise system, and have long been central to America's exceptional culture. In recent years, however, policymakers have dramatically weakened these traditions - by exploding the size of government, propping up their corporate cronies, and trying to reorient our system from rewarding merit to redistributing wealth.

In The Road to Freedom, American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks shows that this trend cannot be reversed through materialistic appeals about the economic efficiency of capitalism. Rather, free enterprise requires a moral defense rooted in the ideals of earned success, equality of opportunity, charity, and basic fairness. Brooks builds this defense and demonstrates how it is central to understanding the major policy issues facing America today.

The future of the free enterprise system has become a central issue in our national debate, and Brooks offers a practical manual for defending it over the coming years. Both a moral manifesto and a prescription for concrete policy changes, The Road to Freedom will help Americans in all walks of life translate the philosophy of free enterprise into action, to restore both our nation's greatness and our own well-being in the process.

©2012 The American Enterprise Institute (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"It is true, but insufficient, to argue that free enterprise makes us better off. Arthur Brooks makes the indispensable point that it also makes us better. Having stumbled far down the road to serfdom, we are much in need of Brooks' trenchant case for a change of course." (P.J. O'Rourke)

What members say

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  • Roger
  • Idaho Falls, ID, United States
  • 07-21-16

Good analysis but no chance of implementation

The body of the book analyses where we are in to government spending. Most of what is presented is quite reasonable.

The policy prescriptions are valid but have no chance of implementation. Most citizens want stuff that others pay for and they are always looking for more. See Bernie Sanders. The idea that Congress is going to pass restrictions on current benefits is folly.

We are going to have to wait for the economic collapse before current government benefits are addressed.

The narrator didn't help. The words were read but the thoughts did not flow very well.

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Returning Our Country to a Sound and Solid Footing

What did you love best about The Road to Freedom?

The author began as a left wing liberal and became a rational conservative university professor as he researched and studied Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in the United States that made this country the strongest and most envied around the world.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Road to Freedom?

The author outlines his plan to put the US back on a strong economic track. He analyzes the failure of liberalism and bloated government and why our country is now on a decline.

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Thanks...I needed this!

What did you love best about The Road to Freedom?

Liberty is an intellectual concept that takes effort to fully appreciate, but Brooks makes the moral case for freedom easy to understand.

What other book might you compare The Road to Freedom to and why?

While obviously baselined on F.A. Hayek's brilliant "Road to Serfdom", Brooks masterfully replaces academic arguments with moral justifications for free markets and free people.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Capitalism is obvioulsy morally superior to socialism.

Any additional comments?

This is a superb piece of work.

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Take This Road

Any additional comments?

Arthur C. Brooks makes a complicated topic clearly understandable. Feel uneasy about the future? Read this.