Synopses & Reviews
From Arthur C. Brooks, the President of the American Enterprise Institute, comes 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 actionrestoring both our nations greatness and our own well-being in the process.
In the months leading up to the next presidential contest, free enterprisethat most integral of American valueswill be a key focus of the debate. As Brooks argued in The Battle, America today is a nation divided between those who support free enterprise, and those who favor big government and redistributionism. Research shows that 70 percent of Americans fall into the first campand yet, in recent years, our government has moved in the opposite direction. The Obama administration has used the economic crisis as an opportunity to curtail free enterprise and impose, in its place, a series of far-reaching socialist initiatives that misrepresent the principles of most Americans, and which fly in the face of the values upon which our countrys greatness rests: earned success, human flourishing, equality of opportunity, and basic fairness.
In The Road to Freedom, Brooks lays out a concrete, actionable plan for shoring up Americas core economic values though public policy. Detailing the initiatives that will solve our debt problems, prepare for the future in an uncertain environment, unleash the entrepreneurs in our society, and guarantee American leadership in the world, The Road to Freedom will shape the 2012 election conversation as powerfully as its predecessor did the 2010 midterms. A manifesto for 2012 and beyond, The Road to Freedom explains free enterprise as a moral imperative for America, and translates that imperative into tangible policies that will help politicians set America back on its rightful course.
"American Enterprise Institute president Brooks (The Battle) weaves a paean to the free enterprise system, calling it more efficient than and morally superior to the alternatives, and uses shaky though well-documented generalizations and anecdotal evidence to justify his credo. He argues that the average person in 1800 had the standard of living of his Stone Age counterpart and that Americans are happiest working 50 59 hours per week at jobs that 'the vast majority' like. Free enterprise, according to Brooks, offers superior opportunity for 'what all people truly crave: earned success.' In this sense, it eclipses both statism and the meretricious practice of corporate cronyism. Paradoxically, although Americans endorse the virtues of free enterprise and limited government, he writes, the bipartisan slide of recent decades toward big government has blinded us to the inroads of statism. Brooks seeks to defang the most rabid of partisan arguments ('Even hardline conservatives don't object to minimum basic protections for poor people') while asserting that the 'safety net' has become too broad. Though Brooks aims to present arguments for policy reform, more specifics on how to break through the thickets along the way would have given this treatise more substance." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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.”
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. ORourke
Americas tradition of being free provides greater economic growth and efficiency, better distribution of opportunities, and larger possibilities for the pursuit of happiness. But whats really important about being free is that its 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 nations 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 Americas Founders knew, that free enterprise underpins the moral case for human freedom. Economic freedom produces unimaginable material prosperity, but its 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, doesnt 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.”
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 actionrestoring b
Entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, and upward mobility: These traditions are at the heart of the free enterprise system, and have long been central to Americas exceptional culture. In recent years, however, policymakers have dramatically weakened these traditionsby 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 nations greatness and our own well-being in the process.
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.