The Essential Women of Liberty

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Published by the Fraser Institute, the Essential Women of Liberty includes a book (and accompanying website and animated videos), which spotlight the lives and ideas of women who helped shape the free and prosperous societies we enjoy today.

The 10 essay subjects include:

  • Mary Wollstonecraft, one the first prominent English feminists, who insisted that artificial barriers to the development of all people violated natural law
  • Harriet Martineau, whose simple storytelling educated the general public about basic economic principles such as the division of labour and free trade
  • Rose Director (better known as Rose Friedman), whose early academic work on the nature of spending behaviour laid the foundation for some of her husband Milton’s research; and Mary Paley Marshall, who made significant contributions to economics in collaboration with her husband, famed economist Alfred Marshall
  • Isabel Paterson, an author and vocal advocate for the individual and capitalism in the 20th century
  • Rose Wilder Lane, whose writing—including her magnum opus, The Discovery of Freedom—helped launch the American libertarian movement
  • Ayn Rand, whose iconic novels—including Atlas Shrugged—celebrated reason, freedom and individualism
  • Anna Schwartz, whose work on central banks and inflation helped change monetary policy worldwide
  • Jane Jacobs, who wrote about (and advocated for) bottom-up decision-making by community members rather than decisions by distant unaccountable bureaucrats and urban planners
  • Elinor Ostrom, the first woman awarded the Nobel prize in economics, who helped change our understanding of how local non-government organizations govern the use of common resources such as forests and waterways
  • Deirdre McCloskey, who made enormous contributions to a wide range of academic interests and increased our understanding of why some countries prosper while others stagnate

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