UCL Institute of the Americas


UCL Institute of the Americas Public Seminar - Milton Friedman: The Last Conservative

30 January 2024, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Public Series seminar

Join us for an engaging in-person seminar as we delve into the life and ideas of Milton Friedman, The Last Conservative with Professor Burns

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Institute of Americas


G17 South Wing
Wilkins Building
Gower Street

Milton Friedman was, along with John Maynard Keynes, the most influential economist of the twentieth century.  His work was instrumental in the turn toward free markets that defined the 1980s, and his full-throated defenses of capitalism and freedom resonated with audiences around the world.  In Milton Friedman, the first full biography to employ archival sources, the historian Jennifer Burns tells Friedman’s extraordinary story with the nuance it deserves. She traces Friedman’s longstanding collaborations with women, including the economist Anna Schwartz, as well as his complex relationships with powerful figures such as Fed Chair Arthur Burns and Treasury Secretary George Shultz, and his direct interventions in policymaking at the highest levels. Most of all, Burns explores Friedman’s key role in creating a new economic vision that defined an era.

Prof Burns is a historian of the twentieth-century United States working at the intersection of intellectual, political, and cultural history, with a particular interest in ideas about the state, markets, and capitalism and how these play out in policy and politics.  She has published articles about the history of conservatism, libertarianism, and liberalism in several academic and popular journals, including Reviews in American History, Modern Intellectual History, Journal of Cultural Economy, The New York Times, The New Republic, and Dissent.  Her first book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right (Oxford, 2009), was an intellectual biography of the libertarian novelist Ayn Rand.

Chair: Dr Jon Bell