Friedman as a hero:
.. perhaps this is one of the most important driving forces behind Friedman’s wide impact: he wrote brilliantly. Whereas Law Legislation and Liberty requires an investment of weeks of spare time, Free to Choose requires an investment of a few days (at most). His academic writing was as fluent as his popular writing. He is one of the few writers who could produce technical papers that could be read by an under-graduate in one go. And the breadth of his work was astonishing.
Friedman’s empirical work, his use of theory and his brilliant use of analogy led him to be able to communicate a completely convincing case for a policy proposal and demolish the opposing case. He patiently, and kindly, tore the opposing case to shreds, using a mix of theory and empirical evidence in a manner that is not replicated in any free-market economist today. He was also kind and courteous. Disingenuous people on the left often point to the advice he gave (one trip, one meeting) to Pinochet. The simple fact is that Friedman would argue with anybody because he believed they could come to understand the arguments for freedom. The left are comfortable with Mo Mowlam talking to Gerry Adams about peace but are not comfortable with Friedman talking to Pinochet about freedom. That says more about the left than it does about Friedman.
We desperately need a Friedman today - as a communicator and as an academic. He would make his current opponents of free markets look distinctly second division.