Two Lucky People: Memoirs

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9780226264141: Two Lucky People: Memoirs

In Two Lucky People, Rose and Milton Friedman provide a memorable and lively account of their lives, the people they knew, and the work they shared. Their involvement with world leaders and many of this century's most important public policy issues moves their memoir beyond the merely personal and makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in the history of twentieth-century ideas.

"The Friedmans come across as the last Enlightenment thinkers in a post-modern world. . . . This is a book that restores your faith in reasoned discourse. . . . There really are people who believe in scholarly exchange as a way to discover truth."—David Brooks, New York Times Book Review

"The Friedmans are a feisty couple, who clearly delight in their lives and each other. And shining through their reticence, and their conservatism, is a decency that even liberals will recognize."—Milton and Judith Viorst, Washington Post Book World

"This engaging book recounts the life and contributions of one of America's most influential writers and economists in the second half of the twentieth century. And her husband's no slouch either. . . . An indispensable guide through the evolution of economic thought."—Stephen Moore, National Review

"A thought-provoking book and one rich in history, the personal history of the Friedmans . . . and the cultural and political history of our country."—Steve Huntley, Chicago Sun-Times Books

"[Two Lucky People] is almost like a letter from a couple of old friends—a couple of old friends who had a long, compelling intellectual journey, came to know some of the great world leaders of this century, and had 60 years of happy, supportive marriage."—N. Gregory Mankiw, Fortune

"A rich autobiographical and historical panorama."—William P. Kucewicz, Wall Street Journal

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Review:

Perhaps they really are just a pair of lucky people, but Milton and Rose Friedman are so perfectly matched that destiny must have played some part in their coming together. Milton is a Nobel Prize-winning economist, Rose, an influential theorist who advised American presidents and world leaders on the formation of their economic policies. Together the two wrote books (one flopped, the other is 1982's Free to Choose, a runaway bestseller) and were instrumental in influencing systems and ideas like negative income tax, the balanced budget amendment, tax-withholding, and even drug legalization. At times their ideas seemed outrageous but their strong belief that personal freedom is essential to a sound economy has helped shape many of the West's socioeconomic policies in the latter half of the 20th century.

And it is together, too, that the Friedmans penned their memoirs. The tone of Two Lucky People is quite humble despite their considerable achievements. They remember the lingering, technical conversations--which would put most people to sleep--that they shared in front of their fireplace; the personal and professional relationships they had with Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and Margaret Thatcher; Milton's winning of the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science; and countless other triumphs in their field. The book lacks the personal information--tastes in literature, art, music--and the quotidian details that help form a solid sense of personality. But their passion for their vocation seems all-consuming and maybe, in the end, that's what defines them best.

About the Author:

Milton Friedman (1912–2006) was an economist who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades. He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and is known for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy. He was a principal founder of what has come to be known as the Chicago School of Economics. He was a well-known public champion of laissez-faire capitalism. In 1962 the University of Chicago Press published Capitalism and Freedom, one of the most influential books of the twentieth century. In 1998 the Press published Two Lucky People, the memoir by Milton and Rose Friedman of their joint lives and work. In reviewing the book in the New York Times Book Review, David Brooks wrote: “This is a book that restores your faith in reasoned discourse.... There really are people who believe in scholarly exchange as a way to discover truth.”


Rose D. Friedman (1910-2006) was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, She was the author, with her husband Milton Freidman, of two books on economics and public policy, Free to Choose and Tyranny of the Status Quo as well as their memoir, Two Lucky People, which appeared in 1998.

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Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman
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