Jonathan Gullible


The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible tells the story of a boy who becomes shipwrecked on an unfamiliar island after being swept out to sea in a storm. Having previously lived in a relatively free society, in this new strange land he experiences culture shock as he learns of bewildering laws and traditions of the island's 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 highlighted are recognizable as common to many countries throughout the world. As the story unfolds, the part individuals in society play in political decision-making and personal responsibility is introduced for discussion. 

UK Commentary Edition

The original book includes many subtle nuances to the principles explored. To assist readers and educators in more easily understand the meaning of the story, a commentary edition which features relevant commentary and background information to accompany each chapter was created with the guidance of Janette Eldridge. These commentaries are meant to provide only the gist of each issue and books and websites are recommended for further research which makes it particularly useful for projects and debates.

Background on the Book

Why have several hundred people and more than forty public policy institutes and organizations around the globe produced or promoted a couple hundred thousand copies of JG in 71 published editions in 47 languages?

Satire has always been used among intellectuals throughout the world to circumvent censors and to send messages without triggering resistance. The book and film "Hammer and Tickle" asserts that humor helped bring down the Soviet empire. Is satire still useful? I believe so. It is sometimes necessary in order to get past the censors in Iran, in China, and even in many local American school boards that are hostile to free markets.

One case of effective use of JG was in Hong Kong. When Hong Kong was being transferred from British to Chinese authority in 1997, people in Hong Kong worried that many economic freedoms would be lost. Thus Joy Shan Lam Kung,, editor of The Hong Kong Economic Journal, serialized the book as a way of sending a veiled message to a sophisticated audience. Said Joy Shan:

Our company has two publications, the Hong Kong Economic Journal, a Chinese business daily catering to professionals, investors and the intelligentsia and the Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly, a magazine on politics, economics and culture. 

The daily, which carried your book in serialized form has three main sections, 1)  news 2) investment analysis and political and economic commentary and 3) culture and enrichment. All our non-staff writers are either professionals (lawyers, doctors, finance professionals) or academics. Your book appeared in the third section as we sometimes carry educational series on economics and management.

The paper was founded by my father in 73 and he still has a daily column on politics and economics. It has the highest credibility ranking of all media in HK and has the most educated as well as affluent readership. I guess I could give you a lot of reasons why we chose your book to translate but it all boils down to the owner thought it was a wonderful book!   

In case it is of interest, our freelance writers from all seven HK universities are able to cite their publications in our magazine and newspaper as academic publications.

Business and Academia

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey originated as a series of economic and political commentaries for KHVH, an all-news radio station catering to the business and professional community in Hawaii. Response to my weekly economics commentaries was at zero until I tried satire along the lines of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. The response was electrifying.

The book has since been serialized for business and academic communities with The Boss magazine in Nepal and the Keizar (Economic) Seminar journal in Japan. Assen Kanev, founder of the Bulgarian Free Market Institute, reports that during serialization of the book in SEDEM Weekly, the newspaper rose in circulation from 10,000 to 20,000 during the run, helping to make SEDEM the second largest weekly newspaper in Bulgaria. There was so much interest that Assen arranged an interview with me on Radio Free Europe to expound on the philosophy. The book has now been published in two editions in Sofia, becoming a regular reader in both government and private schools.

Dimitrios Malamoulis explained the success of the Greek edition in the daily newspaper Neos Typos of Volos, "As you already know this is a local newspaper with limited circulation, however the response was very high and they estimate that the newspaper circulation increased by at least 25%. The response gave us new courage, we are already in discussion with the newspaper of Athens Kathimerini, which is the most prominent and old newspaper of the center-right with the second highest circulation of the country, second only to the liberal Ta Nea."


Theater, Animation, Film, Internet

One’s first impression of the book cover illustration in some editions gives the feeling that it is for a younger audience. True enough. The book has appealed to youth, just as did Gulliver's Travels. Yet many of the editions have been published without illustrations, targeting the business, professional, or academic audiences in Korean, Italian, German, Bengali, Mongolian, Sinahalese, and the two UK Commentary English editions for the Commonwealth nations, published separately in South Africa and India.

The theme of the story is useful for introducing free market lessons in an inoffensive manner and has been successful in circumventing the mullah censors of the Farsi (Persian) edition in Tehran. It has also been successful with the Urdu edition in Lahore and the Chinese edition in Shanghai. It was one of the first free market books published in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

JG has been endorsed by Milton Friedman, Walter Williams, John Stossel, Steve Forbes, Mark Skousen, Fred Foldvary, and Walter Block, as a useful tool in promoting free market economics. The book has been used at the undergraduate level in economics classes at San Jose State University by Prof. Terry Easton, Santa Clara University by Prof. Fred Foldvary, and others at the Buffalo campus of the State University of New York.

Prof. Ali Massoud uses the English edition of his book in his Economic Law class of 500 students at Asiut University in Egypt. Ali said he will order the new Arabic edition, sponsored by the CATO Institute in Jordan, for his 5,000 introductory economics students every year.

Stage plays have been produced from the book in three countries: Kenya, Slovakia, and Nigeria. Olokesina Peters Ijagbenu wrote this review of the play in Nigeria that was based on the book, written and produced by Adedayo Thomas & Paul Ugbede and directed by Dr. Sam Kafewo at the Drama Village, Ahmadu Bello University this past summer. The play is currently touring various countries in Africa.

"We were pleasantly surprised when the play started and the audience sat in rapt attention, following its message and even comparing images and symbols to the contemporary Nigerian situation. For instance, when one of the lords said that a house was not built according to specification and had to be demolished, the audience chorused the name of Nasir El Rufai. He was the immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria who became infamous for demolishing ‘illegal’ structures in his bid to return the city of Abuja to its original master plan.

"The audience members were unanimous on the three nights that the play should go beyond the four walls of the University and should be taken to the authorities in Abuja who perpetuate the problems enunciated in the play."


An animated film short has been produced from the epilogue of the book, The Philosophy of Liberty, that is being viewed in 44 languages on dozens of sites on the internet. We next hope to develop a movie version of the book.

What's Missing in Education?

What's the importance of a new approach to economics? 1) Economics is usually not taught from a free market perspective and 2) economics is usually boring. The Economist magazine bemoaned this saying: 

Why has economics not done better? Economists tend to blame others for being too lazy or too stupid to understand their textbooks. There is doubtless something to this. Economics is hard to teach well. To the uninitiated, its basic principles often seem surprising or odd.

But the economics profession itself also deserves much of the blame. Crucial ideas about the role of prices and markets are the first ideas that politicians and the public need to grasp if they are to think intelligently about public policy, and the fact is that they are not widely understood.

Smith's Wealth of Nations conveyed this sense that the market, for all its 'failures', is a marvel. Today precious few textbooks even try to guide their readers to any such inspiration. (Economist, April 19th, 1997)

JG is intended to remedy these problems in all levels of economics education. Surveys of my own university economics students show a very positive level of interest. In the Spring of 2005 three Principles of Macroeconomics classes were surveyed to determine how the students reflected on the general level of interest in 1) general college textbooks, 2) economics textbooks, and 3) the The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey:

Survey of Student Interest
Student response All texts   Econ texts JG
Very interesting 0% 2% 61%
Somewhat interesting 35% 27% 34%
Not very interesting 47% 41% 5%
Very dull & boring 18% 31% 0%

Students rarely find standard college textbooks to be very interesting. Indeed, two thirds of the students have a negative opinion of these texts. On the other hand, ninety-five percent of the students had a positive opinion of the Jonathan Gullible book and only 5% held a negative opinion.

One student, Stuart Hayashi, wrote saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you for that wonderful book!! It was very refreshing to read a book so logical, entertaining, and enlightening. The story may be set in a fantasy world, but the situations involved come way too close to reality. Again, thank you for the wonderful book!"

About the Author

Ken Schoolland is presently an associate professor of economics and Director of the Entrepreneurship Center 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 Mont Pelerin Society, President of the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL), a member of the Board of Scholars for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, and is a Sam Walton Fellow for Students in Free Enterprise (now called ENACTUS).

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey

Stages of English editions:
Youth Edition, 2012, hard cover, 40+ full color illustrations, includes audio CD, Aspekt Publishing Co. 
20th Anniversary English 2010 edition, Liberty Publishing Co.
India English Commentary 2005 Edition, Liberty Institute of New Delhi, 250 pages
UK English Commentary 2004 Edition, Leap Publishing of Cape Town, 260 pages
Nigerian English 2005 Edition, Individual Liberty Initiative of Abuja, Nigeria
English 2001 Edition, second revised printing 2005, Small Business Hawaii, 118 pages
English 1995 Edition, Small Business Hawaii, 90 pages
English 1989 Edition, Small Business Hawaii, 47 pages
                Endorsed by economists and media: Milton Friedman, Walter Williams, Steve Forbes, John Stossel
                Leonard E. Read Book Award, 2002, for Excellence in Economic Education,
                                Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York
                Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education, Leavey Scholar 2001
                George Washington Honor Medals for Economics Education & Public Communication
                                The Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
                Book of the Month, November 2001
                                Insituto Liberal, RS, Porto Alegre, Brazil
                Freedom Book of the Month, September 2001
                                Free Market.Net, Henry Hazlitt Foundation, Chicago
                Students in Free Enterprise, top 15 national finalists,
                                Free Market Economics Month Special Competition, 2003, Kansas City
Adopted by public policy institutes for translation, publication, distribution, or recognition:
                        Center for Free Enterprise, Seoul, South Korea

                        True Individual Value Alliance, Seoul, South Korea

                        The Korea Hayek Society, Seoul, South Korea

                        Doimoi Institute, Hanoi, Vietnam

                        Samriddhi Prosperity Foundation, Kathmandu, Nepal

                        Carantania Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia 

        Freedom Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia

                        PAFERE, Polish American Foundation for Economic Research and Education, Warsaw, Poland

                        Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Potsdam, Germany

                        CATO Institute, Washington, D.C.

                        Misbah Al Hurriyya, France

                        Bray-Conn Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah

                        New Economic School, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia

                        Institute for Privatization & Management, Minsk, Belarus

                        Mises Institute, Minsk, Belarus

                        Inter Region Economic Network [IREN Kenya], Nairobi, Kenya

                        The Ludwig von Mises Institute of Romania, Bucharest, Romania

                        Instytut Liberalno-Konserwatywny, Lublin, Poland

                        Instituto Liberal, Porto Alegre, Brazil

                        Liberty Institute, New Delhi, India

                        Centre for Civil Society, New Delhi, India

                        Liberilibri di AMA srl - Macerata, Italy

                        Institute for Market Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria

                        Agroinform Kiadohaz, Budapest, Hungary

                        Liberalni Institut, Prague, Czech Republic

                        Albanian Center for Economic Research, Tirana, Albania

                        Romani matica in Jugoslavija, Novi Sad, Jugoslavia

                        Fundación El Manantial, Quito, Ecuador

                        Latvian Free Market Institute, Riga, Latvia

                        Lithuanian Free Market Foundation Vilnius, Lithuania

                        Alternate Solutions Institute, Lahore, Pakistan

                        Liberal Dusunce Toplulugu, Ankara, Turkey

                        Institute of Public Policy Analysis in Lagos, Nigeria

                        Free Market Institute, Sofia, Bulgaria

                        Free Market Foundation of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa

                        The Pathfinder Foundation, Colombo, Sri Lanka

                        Youth Initiative, Kathmandu, Nepal

                        Euro-Balkan Institute, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

                        F.A. Hayek Institute, Bratislava, Slovakia

                        F.A. Hayek Institute, Vienna, Austria

                        Individual Liberty Initiative of Nigeria (ILIN), Abuja, Nigeria

                        African Students for Liberty, Lagos, Nigeria

                        IMANI: The Centre for Humane Education, Accra, Ghana

                        Free Society Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia

                        International Policy Network, London, United Kingdom

                        Smart Business Hawaii, Honolulu

                        Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, Honolulu                               




Hindi Edition, Liberty Institute, New Delhi, India

Chinese 3rd Edition, East China Normal University Press Ltd, Shanghai, China

Vietnamese Edition, Knowledge Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam

Albanian 2nd Edition, translated by Kozeta Çika, Tirana, Albania



New English illustrated edition, Aspekt Publishing Co., Poland

French edition, Louise Zizka & Jacques deGuenin translators, Tatamis Editions, Paris, France

Slovenian 2nd edition, Mitja and Matjaz Steinbacher and the Carantania Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia 

Romanian 3rd edition, Iulian Tanase, Libertas Publishing Co., Bucharest, Romania

PoL Calendar, Hugo J. van Reijen, Guernsey, Great Britain, & Kathmandu, Nepal

New revised and expanded English Edition, Terry Easton and Liberty Publishing Co, San Francisco, CA



Bahasa Commentary edition, Sugianto Tandra, Freedom Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia,

Slovakian Commentary edition, Branislav Opaterny, former M.P., Bratislava, Slovakia,



Finnish on-line ed., Jonathan Gulliblen seikkailut, Petri Kajander, Talouden perusteet, Helsinki, Finland

Nigerian play production, A Letter from Jonathan Gullible,

written and produced by Adedayo Thomas & Paul Ugbede, based on the original book,

directed by Dr. Sam Kafewo. Performed August 13-15, Drama Village, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria.

Bulgarian 2nd edition, Kalin Manolov, Sofia, Bulgaria

Arabic edition, Jamal Attaib, Misbah Al Hurriyya and The CATO Institute, Amman, Jordan
Sindi edition, Alternate Solutions Institute and Liberal Forum, Lahore, Pakistan
Urdu 2nd edition, Dr. Khalil Ahmad, Alternate Solutions Institute, Lahore, Pakistan
Nepali edition, American Center and Youth Alliance, Kathmandu, Nepal, August
Turkish edition, Dr. Atilla Yayla, Liberal Dusunce Toplulugu, Ankara, Turkey, August
Georgian edition, Georgian, Paata Sheshelidze, New Economic University, Tbilisi, Georgia, July
Audio CD edition, English and Polish, Krzysztof Haladus, Sosnowiec, Poland, March
Polish #3 edition, Krzysztof Haladus, Sosnowiec, Poland, March
Nigerian play, A Letter From Jonathan Gullible, ISIL & Dat & Partners Logistics, Ltd., Nigeria, February
Slovenian serialization in Tribunal, by Matej Steinbacher, Free Society Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia, January
Slovakian play,Divadelná hra Podivuhodné príbehy Jonatána Gullibla, Martin Bičan & Matúš Pošvanc
Mongolian second edition, P. Tsenguun, Batchuluun Baldandorj, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, January
PoL animation, Somali edition Steve Cobb & Faisal Hassan, January
PoL animation, Romanian, Esperanto, Italian, Russian, Hungarian, Polish editions, Steve Cobb, January
Somali edition, Faisal Hassan, Toronto, Canada, November
Slovakian edition, Branislav Opaterny, M.P., Bratislava, Slovakia, July
PoL animation, Ukrainian, Danish, Lithuanian edition, Mario Knezovic, Steve Cobb
Esperanto edition, Steve Cobb, St. Petersburg, Russia, July
Montenegran edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrade, Serbia, June
Serbian 2nd edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrade, Serbia, June
Ideas for a Free Society, CD edition, International Policy Network, London, UK, June
Bosniak edition, Shura Dumanic & Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrade, Serbia
Nepal English edition, The Boss magazine, serialization monthly since October 15
Spanish second revised ed., Hernán Alberro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Sinahala edition, Luxman Siriwardena, Raja M.B. Senanayake, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Philosophy of Liberty animation, Dutch & Russian editions, Mario Knezovic
Norwegian revised edition, Bent Johan Mosfjell, serialized in Nytt Paradigme, Oslo, Norway
Nigerian English edition, Agwu Amogu, Lagos, Nigeria
Persian (Farsi) edition, Henry & Roya Weyerhaeuser family, Tehran, Iran
Bengali Commentary edition,Barun Mitra, Liberty Inst., Academic Foundation, New Delhi, India
India English Commentary ed., Barun Mitra, Liberty Inst., Academic Founda., New Delhi, India
Chinese edition, Dean Peng translator, Century Publishing Group of Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Swedish e-edition, Mats Hinze, Sweden, 2004
Somali serialized edition, Faisal Hassan, Somali Voice, Toronto, Canada
Slovenian e-edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrad, Serbia
Otis Gazette, Angelina Dubourg, Serialization, Otis, MA
Urdu edition, Dr. Khalil Ahmad, Alternate Solutions Institute, Lahore, Pakistan
DVD Philosophy of Liberty, Kerry Pearson, Tim Skousen, & Andrew L. Sullivan
UK Commentary edition, Janette Eldridge, commentary co-author, Leap Publishing, Cape Town, So. Africa
Albanian e-edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrad, Serbia
Gypsy e-edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrad, Serbia
Kiswahili book edition, Shikuku James Shikwati, Director, Inter Region Economic Network, Nairobi, Kenya
Bulgarian ed., book and on-line, Assen Kanev, Institute for Market Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2003-04
Nigerian Pidgin ed., Agwu Amogu, Thompson Ayodele, Inst. of Public Policy Analysis, Lagos, Nigeria
Greek edition, serialized in daily Neos Typos of Volos, Dimitrios Malamoulis, Sept.
Bulgarian ed., SEDEM Weekly, Bojidar Marinov & Assen Kanev, Inst. for Market Economy, April 23-July 1
Kyrgyz edition, Zarina Osmonalieva, SIFE/American University, Bishkek, Kyrgystan
Korean edition, K-mee Jung, Moonwhamada Publishing Co., South Korea
Jonathan Gullible Quiz Game, Mary Disbrow, SIFE@HPU, Honolulu, Hawaii
Flash Animation, Kerry Pearson, Spanish weekly, Costa Rican Television, SINART, Channel 13
PoL animation, French translation, Kerry Pearson & Louis Zizka
PoL animation, Portuguese translation, Kerry Pearson & Gustavo Lacerda
PoL animation, Spanish translation, Kerry Pearson & Judy Nagy
Philosophy of Liberty (PoL) animation, English edition, Kerry Pearson
KXEM radio, Dick Morris and Students in Free Enterprise, weekly series, Phoenix Arizona
Serbian e-edition, Tomislav Krsmanovic, Belgrad, Serbia
French e-edition, translation by Louise Zizka, Phoenix Accrual Corporation, London, Ontario, Canada
Mongolian edition, Dulmaa Baatar, Munkhiin USEG Co. Ltd., Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
Russian revised second ed., K. DeGraaf/E. Mamontova, Inst. for Privatization & Management, Belarus
"The Trials of Jonathan Gullible," Kiswahili theatrical production, Moreno University, Nairobi, Kenya
Kiswahili ed. on-line, Shikuku James Shikwati, Director, Inter Region Economic Network, Nairobi, Kenya
Hawaii Reporter, weekly serialization of English edition, beginning February 12, Honolulu, Hawaii
Romanian revised e-edition, V.Nicolaie, C. Comanescu, The Ludwig von Mises Institute of Romania
Website:, Ginger Warbis & Fortnits, Lighthouse Point, Florida
English edition, published by Small Business Hawaii, revised & expanded
Japanese, Yoko Otsuji/Toshio Murata, Keizai Magazine, Nippon Hyoron Sha Co., Ltd., Tokyo
Romany (Gypsy) edition, Trifun Dimic, Romani matica in Jugoslavija, Novi sad
Polish #1, Jan Jacek Szymona, Instytut Liberalno-Konserwatywny, Lublin
Polish #2, Zwawa, Hajduk, Spolny, Sierpinski, Wydawnictwo "Zielone Brygady", Krakow
Screenplay, Susan Wells, Chicago, Illinois
Portuguese edition, Wilson Ling & Instituto Liberal, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Italian edition, Aldo Canovari, Liberilibri di AMA srl - Macerata, Italy
CD edition, Seig Pedde & Phoenix Accrual Corporation, London, Ontario, Canada
Hungarian edition, Andras Szijjarto, Agroinform Kiadohaz, Budapest, Hungary
Czech edition, Josef Sima, Liberalni Institut, Prague, Czech Republic
Palauan edition, Christina Sakaziro, Saipan
German edition, S.P. Kopp Publishers, Berlin, Germany
Albanian edition, Dr. Zef Preci, Albanian Center for Economic Research, Tirana, Albania
Spanish edition, Judy Nagy, Fundación El Manantial, Quito, Ecuador
Chinese edition, Joy-Shan Lam, ed., Hong Kong Economic Journal, Hong Kong
Croatian edition, T. Krsmanovic, Nas glas, Zagreb, Croatia
Slovenian edition, T. Krsmanovic, Zalozba Likom D.O.O., Ljubljana, Slovenia
Macedonian edition, T. Krsmanovic, Matica makedonska, Skopje, Macedonia
Latvian edition, V. Bluzma & Latvian Free Market Institute, Riga, Latvia
Lithuanian edition, V. Daukas & Valstybinis Leidybos Centras, Vilnius, Lithuania
Romanian edition, V. Nicolaie & Editura ALL , Bucharest, Romania
Serbian edition, T. Krsmanovic, A.S DELO, Zemun-Beograd, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
Russian edition, hardcover, Dmitrii Costygin & William Milonoff, St. Petersburg, Russia, 1993
Norwegian edition, L. Tjelta & Fremskrittspartiets Ungdom, Oslo, Norway, 1993
Dutch edition published by H.&R. Jongen & De Roode Toren, Netherlands, 1990
KHVH, KCAW, KABN dramatic productions, Hawaii & Alaska, 1980-83
Armenian edition
Vietnamese edition
Hindi edition, Barun Mitra, Liberal Institute, New Delhi, India
Estonian edition, Mihkel Välja and Paul Vahur, Tallinn, Estonia
Finnish edition, Jonathan Gulliblen seikkailut, Petri Kajander, Talouden perusteet, Helsinki, Finland
Swedish edition, Mats Walus, Katowice, Poland
Russian second editions, Alexander Kouryaev, Moscow, & Vitaly Milonov, St. Petersburg, Russia 
Kashubian edition, Michôł Òstrowsczi, Poland
Haitian Creole, Parnell Duverger, Miami, Florida
PoL animation: Catalan, Farsi, Arabic, Catalan, Basque, Galician, Armenian, Balinese, Indonesian