Prophet of Innovation: by Thomas K. McCraw

Anyone who has read this website regularly will have found occasional references to the economist Joseph Schumpeter, who died in 1950. He was a trail blazer in the defense of free market capitalism and political freedom and wrote at a time when Communism and worldwide state control of economic life seemed inevitable. He belongs in the same pantheon of thinkers and writers as Milton Friedman, Hayek and Hannah Arendt – intellectuals who laid the postwar foundation for opposition to totalitarianism. I read Schumpeter’s “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy” almost by accident, when I was a teenager much impressed by Trotskyism and Marxism in general. I did not become an immediate convert to free markets, but his rational and stimulating arguments set off niggling doubts in my mind about the superiority of central planning by government. I have since read it several times. Until McCraw’s book, I knew nothing about Schumpeter’s life and the tragedy and hardship he experienced. This book should be on every conservative’s bookshelf alongside “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy”.

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