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Capitalism With a Human Face is a carefully edited selection of Samuel Brittan's most important recent essays. It covers topics ranging from utilitarianism and the ethics of self-interest, to the principles of macroeconomic policy and how to price people into work without throwing them into poverty. The book will be controversial, for the individualistic ethic, which it is so fashionable to attack, is not merely defended but celebrated. This collection will be of special interest both to readers of Samuel Brittan's articles who would like a more extended treatment and those new to his work. A notable feature is a specially written introduction explaining how the author came to take up political economy and how he arrived at the positions elaborated in this book.
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`Any society with aspirations to egalitarianism would long since have abolished Samuel Brittan. He writes the best weekly economics column, elegant in style and provocative in content. He covers a range of subjects to a depth that should shame those of us who can cope only by concentrating on a narrow topic. He finds time to attend seminars where, inevitably, he asks the penetrating questions the speaker most dreads. He writes important books. He manages to display in the course of a few minutes more courage in challenging those to whom he might look for favours than most of us can summon in a lifetime. He is that rare British creature: an intellectual.' -- Alan Budd, Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury `Capitalism With a Human Face is a remarkably balanced and thoughtful book. It is a long time since I have read anything as undogmatic, and as willing to look at both sides of an issue. Sir Samuel takes firm positions where he has good grounds for them and admits his uncertainty on other points, thus avoiding both thoughtless relativism and cant. It shows that a hard head and a soft heart can complement each other. This is economics for the layman as it should be. I do hope that many people read the book.' -- Thomas Mayer, University of California, Davis, US `. . . he does an excellent job of making economic details accessible to the general reader.' -- Charles Richardson, Agenda `Those whose professional lives are more narrowly focused will be taken to a considerable level in the areas they have neglected, while newcomers to Political Economy (including students of all ages) who seek to learn how economists think about the important questions could hardly find a better starting point.' -- Walter Eltis, The Economic Journal `He is one of those rare journalists whose ephemera bear reading - and re-reading - years after the events he was commenting upon. In part this is because of the quality of his mind, sinewy, humane, fundamentally gentle, but capable of surprising flashes of scorn and indignation.' `It is always a joy to read anything by Sam Brittan. Like no other writer on politics and economics he combines the clarity and verve of the great journalist with the rigour and analysis of the well-trained academic. His latest book is no exception in a tradition which he could be said personally to have established. . . . I can think of only two journalist-economists in the history of classical liberalism who can be compared to him(Frederic Bastiat and Henry Hazlitt). . . . When I say that Sir Samuel Brittan surpasses them in sophistication I think we have some measure of his achievement.' -- Norman Barry, Economic Affairs `. . . a carefully edited selection of Samuel Brittan's most important recent essays.' -- Polity Scene `. . . this is a book well worth reading and pondering.' -- Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs `. . . Sir Samuel has helped educate a generation of Fellow Britons.' -- Michael Prowse, Business Ethics `This book is a fascinating and well-edited collection of Samuel Brittan's essays and addresses. It is balanced and thoughtful , often presenting both sides of the argument, intertwined with anecdotal evidence and personal experience.' -- Rosemary Connell, The Business Economist `Serious students of the subject (which should be us all?) would find plenty of stimulating ideas in the edited selection of the recent essays in Capitalism with a Human Face .' -- Long Range PlanningFrom the Back Cover:
'Capitalism with a Human Face' brings together for the first time in one collection Samuel Brittan's writings on economics, ethics and politics. Elegant, iconoclastic and always thought-provoking, these wide-ranging essays confirm Brittan as one of this country's most original thinkers.
"This collection of essays by the UK's leading financial journalist ranges widely, from studies in utilitarian ethics to technical macroeconomics. Samuel Brittan is as much at home with John Rawls as he is with Milton Friedman…In today's world, to transcend academic boundaries so effortlessly and gracefully is…a form of originality much to be treasured."
ROBERT SKIDELSKY, 'Financial Times'
"The testimony of an honest man…a memorable intellectual odyssey"
WILL HUTTON, 'Guardian'
"'Capitalism with a Human Face' is characteristically magisterial: respectful of opposing schools of thought but firm in conclusion. It reveals the author's rare capacity for interpreting abstract politico-economic theories into plain English…It will be invaluable to students of the social sciences as a check on technical or biased text books, and to general readers, who will learn why they benefit or suffer from government and the market in the varying proportions that determine their daily lives…Classical liberals must discover new ways to discipline government, so that it, too, has a 'human face'. No one is better equipped than Samuel Brittan to attempt it."
ARTHUR SELDON, 'TLS'
"Because he writes not to instruct others but to wrest the truth for himself from the chaos of events, he achieves a freshness, an intellectual drama, a compelling suspense that makes him ten times more effective as a communicator of economic issues than the most polished textbook pedagogue. All of this is on show in this new volume; and it could as usefully be offered to any newcomer to first courses in philosophy, politics and economics as any matter from the university presses."
PETER JAY, 'Spectator'
"Samuel Brittan is as concerned with politics and morals as with economics. There is one error which he is especially determined to refute: the idea that there is a necessary connection between market economic policies and right-wing politics. By temperament a man of the centre-left, Brittan will have non of it. To him, market economics is an essential part of the armoury of free man…A stimulating volume: one to sip, ponder and savour: a significant contribution to current debate."
BRUCE ANDERSON, 'The Times'
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