The Mackinac Center for Public Policy Library

A list of classic free-market books by Mackinac Center for Public Policy scholars

Market Education: The Unknown History

By Andrew J. Coulson
Mackinac Center Senior Fellow in Education Policy

"In this unusually well written and thoroughly researched book, Andrew J. Coulson ranges from ancient Greece and Rome to modern America and Japan to document his conclusion that parental choice in a private educational market is a far more effective system for educating children than government-run schools. Encyclopedic in its coverage of the arguments for and against alternative modes of organizing schooling, readers will find this excellent book instructive whether they agree or disagree with his conclusion."

—Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate in economics

Unfree Speech: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform

By Bradley Smith
Mackinac Center Board of Scholars member

At a time when campaign finance reform is widely viewed as synonymous with cleaning up Washington and promoting political equality, Bradley Smith, a nationally recognized expert on campaign finance reform, argues that all restriction on campaign giving should be eliminated.  In Unfree Speech, he presents a bold, convincing argument for the repeal of laws that regulate political spending and contributions, contending that they violate the right to free speech and ultimately diminish citizens' power.  Whatever one thinks about the impact of money on electoral politics, no one should take a final stand without reading Smith's controversial and important arguments.


The Failure of National Rural Policy: Institutions and Interest

By William P. Browne
Mackinac Center Board of Scholars member

In The Failure of National Rural Policy, William P. Browne blends history, politics, and economics to show that the federal government emphasis on farm productivity has failed to meet broader rural needs and actually has increased rural poverty. The book will serve as a stimulating text for students of public policy, national affairs, rural sociology, and community development—as well as anyone concerned with the future of agrarian America.

Empire Builders: How Michigan Entrepreneurs Helped Make America Great

By Burton W. Folsom
Former Mackinac Center Senior Fellow in Economic Education

Empire Builders is the remarkable story of how Michigan's early entrepreneurs led the United States to global prominence in cars, chemicals, and cornflakes. Henry Ford, Billy Durant, Herbert Dow, and Will Kellogg all failed before they succeeded—and sometimes even after they succeeded. Yet they shared a stubborn persistence to invent and market something that would make life simpler for millions of people. At a time when Americans seem confused about their past, Empire Builders provides readers with triumphant heroes, dramatic stories, and a useful heritage to study and learn.