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The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible   
The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible
Co-published and printed in India for the first time in 2005 by Academic Foundation in association with Liberty Institute.
Paper Back Book     :   Pages : 255
2005  Edition         :   ISBN - 81-7188-444-X
Price : Rs. 295.00   :   USD $ 9.95
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Information given below includes :
About the Book, About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Contributors,
Contents in Detail, and other Ordering-Related information.


This book is fun. It challenges readers to think about why some countries are rich, while others are poor. It explores alternative thinking about important economic, practical and philosophical matters. The variety of ideas will challenge readers to ponder, question, and engage in meaningful discussions. Underlying all this is the respect for, and tolerance of, the individual.

Since 1980, Ken has been writing economic commentaries for radio. Straight commentary from an academic economist was dry and uninteresting. He thought he would spice up these radio spots with fantasy dialogues. Friends were willing to perform with him, and so Jonathan Gullible was born.

Immediately, interest among listeners soared! The ideas were provocative and outlandish, yet they drove home hard-core free market ideas in a humorous way. Later, he enlisted a dozen friends as actors to produce the episodes as a dramatic series. Again it was a hit! Since then The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey has been used for radio broadcasts, discussion groups, essay contests, skits and theatrical productions around the globe.

Each chapter, except the first, starts with a short "parable" about Jonathan Gullible and his encounters with the strange laws of an island and its inhabitants. The story highlights the absurdities of the laws, the controls imposed on people's lives, and the economic drawbacks of these laws. The laws are recognisable as common to countries throughout the world.

As the story unfolds, the part we play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion. There are many subtle nuances. Sometimes people miss the meaning of a story, so each "parable" is followed by commentaries and relevant background information. These commentaries are meant to provide only the gist of each issue. Books and websites are recommended for further research. They will be particularly useful for projects and debates.

Questions following each chapter are guidelines for group discussions about self-responsibility and life skills that will arouse an interest in the areas of sociology, macroeconomics, philosophy, political science and ethics.

Teachers are warned that the book contains chapters that are critical of contemporary education systems. We feel that students should not be shielded from hard questions about schooling. Rather, we should trust students to take a hard look at the circumstances that are most familiar to them. Indeed, these chapters are typically the most popular with students.

Available in more than 30 languages, this widely acclaimed book has received numerous awards. These include :

Awarded the first annual Leonard E. Read Book award by the Foundation
for Economic Education
in 2002.

Thomas Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from
the Freedoms Foundation
at Valley Forge 2001.

Twice awarded the
George Washington Honor Medals for Economics Education & Public Communication, The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

First Published in 1987 and now available in more than 30 languages, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullibe A Freemarket Odyssey continues to fascinate readers around the world…


"It certainly presents basic economic principles in a very simple and intelligible form. It is an imaginative and very useful piece of work."


Nobel Laureate in Economics


"My notions of education previously consisted of threadbare textbooks, stern and cold teachers, of sweating … I have realised that this book is the best textbook I have ever come across … I have learnt more about free markets, private property, free flow of ideas, people and goods, than during the whole of my studies, both a high school and now at university."

— VALERIJA DASIC, Belgrade, Serbia


"It is perhaps, the most clearly written and thus readily understandable presentation of all the too neglected philosophical legacy of Liberty and Free Market Economics that I have ever read."

— NICOLAI HEERING, member of

Libertas Society, Denmark


"[The book] makes you laugh, but it leaves you meditating, which is one of the most effective ways ever invented… in making them understand the principles of a free market economy and a free society."


Foundation Liberala, Romania


Ken Schoolland is presently an associate professor of economics and political science at Hawaii Pacific University. Prior to this he was the Director of the Master of Science in Japanese Business Studies programme at Chaminade University of Honolulu and head of the Business and Economics Programme at Hawaii Loa College.


Following his graduate studies at Georgetown University, he served as an international economist in the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Commerce and on assignment to the White House, Office of the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.


Ken left government for the field of education, teaching business and economics at Sheldon Jackson College in Alaska. He also taught at Hakodate University in Japan and wrote Shogun's Ghost: The Dark Side of Japanese Education, which has been published in English and in Japanese.


Ken is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Individual Liberty and is a Sam Walton Fellow for Students in Free Enterprise.

He has travelled extensively observing cultures, traditions and economies in many countries around the world. Stephen Browne, Director of the Liberty English Camp in Lithuania, once summed up Prof. Schoolland's character by saying, "As soon as Ken sits down in any given place long enough, a child is going to come up to him from somewhere and want to sit on his lap, or a teenager is going to come by and want him for a game of basketball." Such is the author of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey.


Liberty Institute is an independent think-tank dedicated to empowering the people by harnessing the power of the market. It seeks to build understanding and appreciation of the four institutional pillars of a free society - Individual Rights, Rule of Law, Limited Government and Free Market.

The Institute undertakes a number of activities, among them research and advocacy on public policy issues. It organises conferences, and has a growing publications programme. At present, the Institute's core areas of interest include development economics, education, environment, health, security, and trade.

The Institute was established in 1996 as a non-profit organisation. It solicits the support of all freedom loving individuals and organisations. It strives to retain its independence, demonstrate its commitment, and live up to its motto: "Where the mind is without fear…"


Jonathan's Guiding Principles


1. A Great Storm
Jonathan is shipwrecked on a strange island.
2. Troublemakers
Jonathan answers a woman's cry for help.
3. A Commons Tragedy
A fisherman shares a story and his meagre catch.
4. The Food Police
A woman and her child are driven from their farm.
5. Candles and Coats
Jonathan learns how to protect industry.
6. The Tall Tax
The tall are brought low by a new code.
7. Best Laid Plans
Jonathan watches the destruction of a good home.
8. Two Zoos
Twin fenced habitats make Jonathan uneasy about the law.
9. Making Money
Jonathan is taught to distinguish between two types of printers.
10. The Dream Machine
A mysterious machine causes the closing of a factory.
11. Power Sale
Lady Bess Tweed encourages Jonathan to enter politics.
12. Opportunity Lost
A hobo tells the old story of seen and unseen benefits.
13. Helter Shelter
A young woman explains her worries about housing.
14. Escalating Crimes
Jonathan learns a horrible truth about law.
15. Book Battles
A man and a woman fight over the price of free books.
16. Nothing to It
A lottery solves an artistic dilemma.
17. The Special Interest Carnival
Jonathan witnesses a game that pleases all players.
18. Uncle Samta
Jonathan discovers the replacement for an old tradition.
19. The Tortoise and the Hare Revisited
A grandmother's tale has an unfamiliar twist.
20. Bored of Digestion
Jonathan is warned about the Nutrient Officers.
21. "Give Me Your Past or Your Future!"
A thief takes Jonathan's money and offers advice.
22. The Bazaar of Governments
A dairy farmer relates options in selecting governments.
23. The World's Oldest Profession
A stranger offers to read Jonathan's future.
24. Booting Production
An official press conference unveils a new programme.
25. The Applausometer
A show host interviews an election officer and a party leader.
26. True Believer
A devout voter explains her loyalty.
27. According to Need
Jonathan watches a school graduation and contest.
28. Wages of Sin
A chain gang recounts the deeds that brought them woe.
29. New Newcomers
Foreign workers are exposed and deported.
30. Treat or Trick?
The elderly lament the trickery that haunts their retirement.
31. Whose Brilliant Idea
Lawyers explain the path to riches by controlling the use of ideas.
32. The Suit
Jonathan takes a lesson in liability.
33. Doctrinaire
A doctor explains the ownership of life.
34. Vice Versa
A policeman lectures Jonathan on immorality.
35. Merryberries
Jonathan narrowly avoids a trap.
36. The Grand Inquirer
A revered leader explains the trauma of freedom and virtue.
37. Loser Law
Jonathan stumbles across a fight and a gamble.
38. The Democracy Gang
A fearful stampede in town causes Jonathan and Alisa to flee.
39. Vultures, Beggars, Con Men, and Kings
A despondent Jonathan receives a lesson on virtue.
40. Terra Libertas
Jonathan returns home and begins his life's work.


Acknowledgements and Notes

Recommended Reading

Recommended Organisations and Websites



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