Milton Friedman is widely recognized as one of the most influential economists of the 20th century.
Yet no previous study has distilled Friedman's vast body of writings into an authoritative account of his research, his policy views, and his interventions in public debate.
With this ambitious new work, Edward Nelson closes the gap: Milton Friedman and Economic Debate in the United States is the defining narrative on the famed economist, the first to grapple comprehensively with Friedman's research output, economic framework, and legacy. This two-volume account provides a foundational introduction to Friedman's role in several major economic debates that took place in the United States between 1932 and 1972.
The first volume, which takes the story through 1960, covers the period in which Friedman began and developed his research on monetary policy.
It traces Friedman's thinking from his professional beginnings in the 1930s as a combative young microeconomist, to his wartime years on the staff of the U.S.
Treasury, and his emergence in the postwar period as a leading proponent of monetary policy.
The second volume covers the years between 1960 and 1972-- years that saw the publication of Friedman and Anna Schwartz's Monetary History of the United States.
The book also covers Friedman's involvement in a number of debates in the 1960s and 1970s, on topics such as unemployment, inflation, consumer protection, and the environment. As a fellow monetary economist, Nelson writes from a unique vantage point, drawing on both his own expertise in monetary analysis and his deep familiarity with Friedman's writings.
Using extensive documentation, the book weaves together Friedman's research contributions and his engagement in public debate, providing an unparalleled analysis of Friedman's views on the economic developments of his day.