A Free Market Odyssey

A Free Market Odyssey

Product ID: 14947

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Author: Ken Schoolland
Publisher: Academic Foundation
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 256
ISBN/UPC (if available): 817188444X


This book is fun. It challenges readers to think about why some countries are rich, while others are poor. It explores alternative thinking about important economic, practical and philosophical matters. The variety of ideas will challenge readers to ponder, question, and engage in meaningful discussions. Underlying all this is the respect for, and tolerance of, the individual.

Since 1980, Ken has been writing economic commentaries for radio. Straight commentary from an academic economist was dry and uninteresting. He thought he would spice up these radio spots with fantasy dialogues. Friends were willing to perform with him, and so Jonathan Gullible was born.

Immediately, interest among listeners soared! The ideas were provocative and outlandish, yet they drove home hard-core free market ideas in a humorous way. Later, he enlisted a dozen friends as actors to produce the episodes as a dramatic series. Again it was a hit! Since then The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey has been used for radio broadcasts, discussion groups, essay contests, skits and theatrical productions around the globe.

Each chapter, except the first, starts with a short "parable" about Jonathan Gullible and his encounters with the strange laws of an island and its inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people's lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws. The laws are recognisable as common to countries throughout the world.

As the story unfolds, the part we play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion. There are many subtle nuances. Sometimes people miss the meaning of a story, so each parable is followed by commentaries and relevant background information. These commentaries are meant to provide only the gist of each issue. Books and websites are recommended for further research. They will be particularly useful for projects and debates.

Questions following each chapter are guidelines for group discussions about self-responsibility and life skills that will arouse an interest in the areas of sociology, macroeconomics, philosophy, political science and ethics.

Teachers are warned that the book contains chapters that are critical of contemporary education systems. We feel that students should not be shielded from hard questions about schooling. Rather, we should trust students to take a hard look at the circumstances that are most familiar to them. Indeed, these chapters are typically the most popular with students.

Available in more than 30 languages, this widely acclaimed book has received numerous awards. These include.

First Published in 1987 and now available in more than 30 languages, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullibe A Freemarket Odyssey continues to fascinate readers around the world.

It certainly presents basic economic principles in a very simple and intelligible form. It is an imaginative and very useful piece of work.
Nobel Laureate in Economics

My notions of education previously consisted of threadbare textbooks, stern and cold teachers, of sweating, I have realised that this book is the best textbook I have ever come across, I have learnt more about free markets, private property, free flow of ideas, people and goods, than during the whole of my studies, both a high school and now at university.
-VALERIJA DASIC, Belgrade, Serbia

It is perhaps, the most clearly written and thus readily understandable presentation of all the too neglected philosophical legacy of Liberty and Free Market Economics that I have ever read.
-NICOLAI HEERING, Member of Liberty Society, Denmark

The book makes you laugh, but it leaves you meditating, which is one of the most effective ways ever invented, in making them understand the principles of a free market economy and a free society.
Foundation Liberala, Romania




A Great Storm
Jonathan is shipwrecked on a strange island

Jonathan answers a woman's cry for help

A Commons Tragedy
A fisherman shares a story and his meagre catch

The Food Police
A woman and her child are driven from their farm

Candles and Coats
Jonathan learns how to protect industry

The Tall Tax
The tall are brought low by a new code

Best Laid Plans
Jonathan watches the destruction of a good home

Two Zoos
Twin fenced habitats make Jonathan uneasy about the law

Making Money
Jonathan is taught to distinguish between two types of printers

The Dream Machine
A mysterious machine causes the closing of a factory

Power Sale
Lady Bess Tweed encourages Jonathan to enter politics

Opportunity Lost
A hobo tells the old story of seen and unseen benefits

Helter Shelter
A young woman explains her worries about housing

Escalating Crimes
Jonathan learns a horrible truth about law

Book Battles
A man and a woman fight over the price of free books

Nothing to It
A lottery solves an artistic dilemma

The Special Interest Carnival
Jonathan witnesses a game that pleases all players

Uncle Samta
Jonathan discovers the replacement for an old tradition

The Tortoise and the Hare Revisited
A grandmother's tale has an unfamiliar twist

Bored of Digestion
Jonathan is warned about the Nutrient Officers

Give Me Your Past or Your Future
A thief takes Jonathan's money and offers advice

The Bazaar of Governments
A dairy farmer relates options in selecting governments

The World's Oldest Profession
A stranger offers to read Jonathan's future

Booting Production
An official press conference unveils a new programme

The Applausometer
A show host interviews an election officer and a party leader

True Believer
A devout voter explains her loyalty

According to Need
Jonathan watches a school graduation and contest

Wages of Sin
A chain gang recounts the deeds that brought them woe

New Newcomers
Foreign workers are exposed and deported

Treat or Trick?
The elderly lament the trickery that haunts their retirement

Whose Brilliant Idea
Lawyers explain the path to riches by controlling the use of ideas

The Suit
Jonathan takes a lesson in liability

A doctor explains the ownership of life

Vice Versa
A policeman lectures Jonathan on immorality

Jonathan narrowly avoids a trap

The Grand Inquirer
A revered leader explains the trauma of freedom and virtue

Loser Law
Jonathan stumbles across a fight and a gamble

The Democracy Gang
A fearful stampede in town causes Jonathan and Alisa to flee

Vultures, Beggars, Con Men, and Kings
A despondent Jonathan receives a lesson on virtue

Terra Libertas
Jonathan returns home and begins his life's work


Acknowledgements and Notes

Recommended Reading

Recommended Organisations and Websites