Foundations of a Free Society wins 2014 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award


I am quite chuffed. My short book Foundations of a Free Society has just won the 2014 Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award. Named after the late business and think-tank entrepreneur, goes annually to the think-tank that publishes the study that has made the greatest understanding to public understanding of the free society. That means the $10,000 prize goes to our good friends at the Institute of Economic Affairs, who published it, rather than to the author (sob!), but all power to them. The book was only published last November but has already gone into nine translations plus one overseas English edition.

Previous winners have included the bodies that published such books as How China Became Capitalist, by the Nobel economist Ronald Coase, and Prof James Tooley's hugely influential book about private-enterprise education in poor countries, The Beautiful Tree. So I am in excellent company.

It is a fine example of what can be done when think-tanks collaborate, each doing what they do best in a productive partnership. And I will be there in New York next week, collecting the silverware along with my friends and colleagues from the IEA.

Foundations of a Free Society is designed to explain what a free society is, for people who do not live in one (which is most of the planet, really) and cannot understand how a free society can be made to work. It is written in very straightforward, non-academic language, with no big footnotes and references and all that jazz – the sort of stuff that even a politician could understand.

It talks about rights and freedom and representative government, and toleration and justice and free speech and all the other principles of social and economic freedom. And it explains how and why a free society can run itself, without needing top-down control from some strong, dictatorial government. I hope therefore that it will help get these principles lodged in the mind of the upcoming generation, and give them the confidence to build genuinely free societies in their own countries around the planet.

Download a free copy of Foundations of a Free Society here