Once you’ve been red pilled and decide to go down the libertarian rabbit hole and want to learn as much as you can, it can get a little overwhelming. There is tons of great literature on libertarian principles, and there is also some not so great stuff. “I’m new to libertarianism, what books should I read?” is a question I often see in various libertarian forums. The question is usually met with tons of great answers, but in truth it largely depends on where you want to go. Do you want to look into Economics? Some history? Philosophy? Policy? In my opinion you should do a little digging into all of the above. That being said below I have listed 5 books I recommend budding libertarians or people interested in libertarianism read. (I’ve ranked them in the order I find them most important to least important. To be sure though, these are all must reads)
1. Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom (Ron Paul)
Some might be surprised to see this Ron Paul book at the top of this list. Dr. Paul lays out 50 issues from Abortion to Zionism and gives his thoughts. I put this at the top because it’s important to have at least a base line knowledge of the most common topics covered in political discussion. It’s also important to understand liberty and threats it faces. I often use this book to brush up on certain issues while taking notes for the podcast.
2. Anatomy Of The State (Murray Rothbard)
Why do libertarian’s hate the state? It’s violence. It using violence in unjust and immoral ways. How did it get there and why? Uncle Murray has the answers in this classic book. (You can get this book for free from the Mises institute)
3. Economics In One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt)
I often quote this book directly on the podcast when discussing economics on the show. There are few things more important than understanding economics. This book is easy to read, and clocks in at just under 200 pages. It took me 8 days to read and understand. If you read this you’ll never trust Paul Krugman or any mainstream “Economist” again. Seriously if you read only one economics book read this one. (A PDF version can be found for free, but I paid for a paperback version)
4. The Politically Incorrect Guide To Socialism (Kevin D Williamson)
With this disgusting ideology being spread across college campuses across the nation, this is an important read. The author summarizes the history of socialism and defines it better than any soul patch sporting, craft beer drinking, fedora clad SJW could. Socialism is the opposite of libertarianism. Know your enemy, know their arguments, and you just might save some people.
5. The Politically Incorrect Guide To American History (Tom Woods)
Tom Woods has a PHD in History. He is also a leader/key figure in the liberty movement, not to mention the host of two great podcasts. This is not a comprehensive study of American History, it just over 200 pages. It’s meant to break down some myths about our country we learn in school. I, like many believe our founding fathers were libertarians and their goal was to create a country in the libertarian model. If you want to learn a little history this is a good place to start.
+Basic Economics (Thomas Sowell)
+The Revolution A Manifesto (Ron Paul, there is also a sequel coming out soon)