Rebirth of Reason

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

By Ken Schoolland
ISBN: 0-9584573-2-8
Size: 148 mm x 210 mm
Format: Soft Cover
Pages: xii; 260pp

Download the first first 34 pages of the book for free here.
View the front cover here.
View the back cover here.


First published in 1987 and now available in more than 30 languages, The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible – A Freemarket Odyssey continues to fascinate readers around the world.

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.

Since 1980, Ken Schooland 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.

Each “parable” is followed by commentaries and relevant background information. These commentaries provide an accessible introduction to each of the issues Jonathan Gullible encounters. Books and websites are recommended for further research.

Likely Readers

This book is intended for all who are worried about the state of the economy, their jobs and their future (or their children’s future). Senior high school  students will find the book useful as an alternative source of ideas for class discussions. It's a dynamic
introduction to the dismal science of economics. Since it's presented in the form of a story it's easy to digest. Yet the additional commentary chapters show you how the outrageous events in the story are no different from the absurd laws enacted by politicians throughout the world. Tertiary students studying history, politics, law, economics or commerce will find the book invaluable for its range of alternative perspectives on the concepts and issues they are required to study. All other readers will find the book easy to read yet intellectually challenging – and fun.


• 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.
• Book of the Month, Instituto Liberal, RS, Porto Alegre, Brazil, November 2001.