The Road to Freedom

How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise

By Arthur C. Brooks
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465029402, 224pp.)

Publication Date: May 8, 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD

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From the President of the American Enterprise Institute, the follow-up to the hugely influential The Battle: a candid assessment of how mainstream America can take the philosophy of free enterprise and translate it into political action—restoring b

About the Author


 Arthur C. Brooks is President of the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank in Washington, DC. He is the author of nine books, including The Battle, Gross National Happiness, and Who Really Cares. Until 2009, Brooks was the Louis A. Bantle Professor of Business and Government Policy at Syracuse University. Previously, Brooks spent twelve years as a professional French hornist with the City Orchestra of Barcelona and other ensembles. He is a native of Seattle and currently lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife Ester and their three children.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Analysts expect this fall's election to turn on the economy. President of the American Enterprise Institute Arthur C. Brooks wants to deepen the debate on the economy by discussing which economic policies are morally right. Brooks talks to Steve Inskeep about his book, The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise. More at

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Praise For The Road to Freedom

George F. Will
“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“America’s tradition of being free provides greater economic growth and efficiency, better distribution of opportunities, and larger possibilities for the pursuit of happiness.  But what’s really important about being free is that it’s moral.  Individual liberty and personal responsibility are right.  Collective restraint and communal irresponsibility are wrong.  The Road to Freedom is a road from wrong to right.” John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Foods Markets“Arthur Brooks has written an important and timely book that shows how America became a prosperous and great nation through the free enterprise system of individual opportunity and entrepreneurship.  He intelligently discusses the fundamental principles of ethics, fairness, helping the poor, providing a safety net, and the proper role of government in a free enterprise economy.  In addition, he proposes policy reforms, which if our nation embraced them, would relatively quickly solve many of our nation’s most serious challenges.  I heartily recommend this book as an excellent road map to create a prosperous, socially just, and ethical society.” Congressman Paul Ryan
“Arthur Brooks knows, as America’s Founders knew, that free enterprise underpins the moral case for human freedom.  Economic freedom produces unimaginable material prosperity, but it’s also the only economic form that encourages individuals to freely pursue their destinies, develop the character of self-responsibility, and strengthen communities.  Brooks eloquently confronts the growing threat to economic freedom and human fulfillment and describes the fundamental choices Americans must make to get back on the right road.” The Washington Times“If this book, especially the first several chapters that describe so compellingly the unique freedom of the system of government the United States embraces, doesn’t make you want to stand up and salute the American flag, whisper a thanks to your immigrant predecessors or go purchase lunch from your local small business down the street in triumph, nothing will.”

The Weekly Standard“Read The Road to Freedom for its explication of earned success, its definition of meritocratic fairness, and its moral commitment to using free exchange to improve the lives of the destitute.”
Clive Crook, The Atlantic
“Brooks is a smart, witty and engaging writer, and it's refreshing to see a conservative cast the argument for free enterprise in these terms.”

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