True Knowledge is the key to progress. And, it is my opinion that Knowledge is truly the most important thing that anyone can acquire! We, as individuals, must learn to think and analyze (logic), as well as learn the art of argumentation (rhetoric). (In spite of popular opinion, the word argue is not a “bad” word!)
The mind is a muscle, and to quote a popular idiom, we will “use it or lose it”!
To truly be disciples of Natural Law, and to be true adherents and advocates of the principles of freedom for ourselves, our families, communities, etc. – we must LEARN. We must exercise the faculty of thinking and engage in the practice of studying, and if need be, even learn how to do those very things! We should be thinking, reading, studying; we should read, and we should communicate, and even learn how to articulate valuable information which will better ourselves and those around us.
Yet, how can one adequately argue something that one doesn’t thoroughly understand. In fact, how can one argue if they do not even know how to argue? (Which is not merely a heated expression of one’s own opinion!)
We often hear people speak of the negative physical health of many in society, generally. Some even will speak of the negative emotional and spiritual states that are often seen in society! However, without any desire to negate those legitimate concerns, I would like to ask: Isn’t it interesting that we hardly ever, if at all, hear of the suffering mental and intellectual state of most in society? With how much there is to learn, and even how many ways that are available for this process in today’s society (via accessibility of information, including the realization of technological advancement and availability) – How can one not look around and even sometimes visibly recognize the plague of mental and intellectual atrophy?
Learning is a choice, and even a duty, for the individual to make and seek. We should not procrastinate any longer in seeking to learn more about important subjects! We are all busy, but we must, if we truly value knowledge, make time for study and learning. And if we value an ability to think and understand – there is no “fast food” option!
In the spirit of this realization, in conjunction with the spirit of the new year, I felt that I should make a list of recommended reading for those who are truly dedicated to bettering themselves and seeking to more thoroughly learn the principles of freedom and some related topics. In making the list, I sought efficiency in the sense of seeking books that are shorter in length and yet packed with valuable information which is often never learned by those living in this world. That being said, this list is certainly not even close to exhaustive – and should be recognized for what it truly is: a list that is aimed at helping those begin to better understand some very important principles and topics. In other words, it is just a beginning in what I personally view as the eternal goal of attaining knowledge.
These are some of the books that have aided me in my journey of seeking knowledge in a few of my areas of interest.
First, before we get to the featured list of 25 recommended books/essays – I have chosen four books of fundamental value that is basic to the topics of further interest covered in the list. If you have not already read these four books, please do! The list of 25 books, in a way, assumes that one has read and understood the basic principles found in these four books.
[Note: The hyperlinks lead to Amazon pages where one may find the books to purchase.]
1 – A Rulebook For Arguments by Anthony Weston
2 – As A Man Thinketh by James Allen
3 – Anthem by Ayn Rand
4 – Education: Free and Compulsory by Murray Rothbard
These four books cover the basic topics of learning how to think, how to argue, the power of thought, the worth of the individual, and the reality of the difference between education and schooling (esp. in regards to “public” schools).
And, now, here is the list of recommended books/essays:
1. The Law by Frederic Bastiat
2. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
3. The Proper Role of Government by Ezra Taft Benson
– For those who would like more of Ezra Taft Benson, Freedom and Free Enterprise is also very enlightening.
4. The Moral Basis of a Free Society by H. Verlan Andersen
5. Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises
6. Thrust for Freedom by Andrew J. Galambos
7. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
8. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
9. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
10. Taming the Violence of Faith by Jay Stuart Snelson
11. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin Gutzman
12. The Evolution and Destruction of the Original Electoral College by Gary and Carolyn Alder
13. The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Capitalism by Robert Murphy
14. The Anti-Capitalist Mentality by Ludwig von Mises
15. What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray Rothbard
16. Nullification by Thomas Woods
17. Simple Rules for a Complex World by Richard Epstein
18. The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin
19. Tyranny Unmasked by John Taylor of Caroline
20. The Church and the Market by Thomas Woods
21. From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
22. The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo
23. Constitutional Interpretation by Sotirios Barber and James E. Fleming
24. Explaining America by Gary Wills
25. Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard
And for those who enjoy more of a biographical account (a couple of these not being true biographies) for some additional human element within the scope of learning, here are six of them which I have found very enjoyable within the context of the above subject matter:
1 – Lion of Liberty: Patrick Henry and the Call to a New Nation by Harlow Giles Unger
2 – James Madison and the Making of America by Kevin Gutzmon
3 – Samuel Adams: A Life by Ira Stoll
4 – Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom by Andrew P. Napolitano
5 – The Liberal Republicanism of John Taylor of Caroline by Garrett Ward Sheldon and C. William, Jr. Hill
6 – Vindication: A Life of Mary Wollstonecraft by Lyndall Gordon
Happy Reading! ,
I would be very interested in any book recommendations. So please let me know of any good recommendations that you have!