[Friedman] mentioned to me a letter he had received from Arthur Burns saying that Eisenhower was turning out well as President. I expressed surprise, to which Friedman responded: 'First, Burns has much better knowledge of Eisenhower. Second, given equal knowledge I would prefer his opinion to yours.' Against The Flow (2005)
In 1961 he was appointed economics editor at The Observer until 1964 and in 1965 was appointed as an advisor at the Department of Economic Affairs. Then in 1966 he was appointed as an economic commentator at the Financial Times.
In March 1981, when 364 leading economists wrote a letter to The Times criticising Margaret Thatcher's economic policy, Brittan was one of the few commentators to openly defend the Conservative government's policy. He was a member of the Peacock Committee on the Finance of the BBC from 1985 to 1986.
He has been awarded the Orwell, Senior Harold Wincott and Ludwig Erhard prizes. In 1993, Brittan was knighted 'for services to economic journalism'. He is the brother of Leon Brittan, who served as Thatcher's Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Home Secretary and President of the Board of Trade, and then as a European Commissioner. He and Leon are cousins of Malcolm Rifkind, who served as Scottish Secretary, Transport Secretary, Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Thatcher and John Major; all three are cousins once removed of producer Mark Ronson. Brittan was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Essex in 1994.
- Samuel Brittan, The Treasury under the Tories, 1951-64 (Secker & Warburg, 1964).
- Samuel Brittan, Left or Right: The Bogus dilemma (Secker & Warburg, 1968).
- Samuel Brittan, Capitalism and the Permissive Society (Macmillan, 1973).
- Samuel Brittan, The Economic Consequences of Democracy (Temple Smith, 1977).
- Samuel Brittan, A Restatement of Economic Liberalism (Macmillan, 1988).
- Samuel Brittan, Capitalism With A Human Face (Edward Elgar, 1995).
- Samuel Brittan, Essays, Moral, Political and Economic (Edinburgh University Press, 1998).
- Samuel Brittan, Against The Flow (Grove Atlantic Ltd., 2005).