The Essential Scholars

Essential Scholars is a multimedia experience that presents, in plain language, the key ideas of some of the most influential economists and thinkers of all time, whose insights helped to shape the free and prosperous societies that many of us enjoy today.

On this site, you can read and download all the books for free! You can also listen to new podcasts, download audiobooks, order physical copies of the books, and watch more than 50 short, animated videos that bring to life the ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman and many others.

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Listen to the Essential Scholars Explained podcast with host Rosemarie Fike.

Join economist Rosemarie Fike in conversation with some of the world’s leading thinkers, academics and writers about the insights and lasting legacies of the Essential Scholars. What were their most important ideas? How did they help to shape the free and prosperous societies that many of us enjoy today? And why are their ideas still relevant in today’s world?

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Explore the Essential Scholar books below, which include free PDF downloads, audiobooks, chapter summaries and additional resources to learn even more.

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Essential Scholars is brought to you by

  • Fraser Institute
    Fraser Institute
  • Institute for Economic Affairs
    Institute for Economic Affairs
  • Institute of Public Affairs
    Institute of Public Affairs
  • Foundation for Economic Education
    Foundation for Economic Education

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Made possible by generous grants from the Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, and the Peter and Joanne Brown Foundation.