‘Behind every great man there is a great woman’ has to be close to being the most hackneyed expression in the English language, but in the case of Milton Friedman one has to give really very serious credit to Rose Director, his wife.
They met in graduate school at Chicago when Jacob Viner sat his students alphabetically and there was nobody between Director and Friedman. She was a very young sister of Aaron Director (founder with Ronald Coase of the Journal of Law and Economics), but her older brother was more of a mentor and father figure.
She co-authored with Milton the international best seller Free to Choose (1980) and co-produced the resulting ten-part TV series which showed all over the world (but not in France). It aired just as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan came to power. It caught a wave, but a wave the Friedmans had helped to generate. To Cato Institute founder Ed Crane, Free to Choose ‘really kick-started’ the rebirth of classical liberalism in the US.
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