New List of 206 Tapes in Milton Friedman’s Economics Cassette Series

Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Milton Friedman receiving the Nobel Prize
Milton Friedman receiving the Nobel Prize

A list of audio programs in Milton Friedman’s extensive Economics Cassette Series (ECS), 1969–78, is now available (click here and then scroll down to box 103). The ECS was a biweekly commentary on current economic events related to Friedman’s columns in Newsweek. The 206 cassettes in this series, part of the Milton Friedman papers at Hoover, appear to be the definitive collection of the 215-cassette set.

In Two Lucky People: Memoirs, Milton Friedman writes that the programs were in the form of an interview, with William Clark of the Chicago Tribune typically interviewing him in the Friedmans’ apartment in Chicago. During a six-month stay in Vermont, Rose Friedman served as interviewer. The recordings were produced by Instructional Dynamics (IDI) in Chicago and distributed by subscription. The series ended when IDI encountered financial difficulties.

The ECS program list consists chiefly of topics; dates and names of contributors are also included when known. Examples of the subjects are Governor Reagan’s tax limitations proposal, living with inflation, unilateral devaluation of the dollar, and the value-added tax. Answers to subscriber’s questions are a frequent feature of the programs. Paul A. Samuelson substituted for Friedman on a few of the programs; these are duly noted. Because no comprehensive list was included in the Friedman papers, the program list was compiled by Hoover staff from the cassette labels.

Most cassettes have yet to be digitized, which is typically done by Hoover Archives staff when a recording is requested by a researcher. For more information, please see Audiovisual Services.