Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Essential Reading

Here is a quick list of 'must-reads' for all of you who wish to expand your understanding of conservatism and libertarianism. These are the sorts of books that will deeply affect you and force you to reconsider the stances you've taken up to now. More importantly, studying the rich intellectual heritage of American conservative and libertarian ideas will arm you with the necessary knowledge to push back those who assail them. If you've never heard of or read any of these works before, then you're in for a real treat. Cliche as it sounds, most of these books have been life-changing for millions of people who identify with the fundamental principles of a free society. So, here they are. I'll categorize them by author. You see that some of these authors are contemporary, while others are quite old, but it is great

F.A. Hayek
1. The Road to Serfdom
2. The Constitution of Liberty
3. The Fatal Conceit

Thomas Sowell
1. The Vision of the Anointed
2. Conflict of Visions: the ideological origins of political struggles.
3. Basic Economics
4. Knowledge and Decisions
5. Cosmic Justice

Milton Friedman
1. Free to Choose
2. Capitalism and Freedom

Russell Kirk
1. The Conservative Mind

Adam Smith
1. Wealth of Nations

Barry Goldwater
1. Conscience of a Conservative

Alfred Regnery
1. Upstream

William F. Buckley
1. God and Man at Yale

John Locke
1. Two Treatises on Government

Edmund Burke
1. Reflections on the French Revolution

John Jay, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton
1. The Federalist Papers

Thomas Jefferson
1. Declaration of Independence

James Madison (mostly)
1. The Constitution of the United States of America

George Nash
1. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945

Bernard Bailyn
1. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

David Boaz
1. Libertarianism: A Primer

Ludwig von Mises
1. Human Action

Dinesh D'Souza
1. Letters to a Young Conservative

Allan Bloom
1. The Closing of the American Mind

Clarence Thomas
1. My Grandfather's Son

Ronald Reagan
The Reagan Diaries

This is a short list that I've taken off the top of my head. Please do comment and add to the list.

Addenda: Here are other similar lists compiled by groups such as the Young America Foundation.

1. YAF Reading List
2. Jonah Goldberg's Picks

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