Monday, June 11, 2012

The 30 Day Reading List that will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian

The list below will not make anyone a scholar in libertarianism or an expert in Austrian Economics, it is designed to introduce to the busy individual the essence of libertarianism. There are 30 articles listed below. If one reads one article, slowly and carefully, per day, by the end of 30 days one should have a very strong grasp of libertarian principles and a basic understanding of Austrian economics. The list contains articles on a variety of topics, but does not cover all possible libertarian topics. More than anything it provides an overview of libertarianism and how libertarians think about issues of the day. The completion of the 30 days of reading should not be considered an ending point but rather the start of the beginning of more detailed study.

Day 1The Task Confronting Libertarians by Henry Hazlitt

Day 2 The Fascist Threat by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 3 Free Economy and Social Order by Wilhelm Röpke

Day 4 The Peculiar and Unique Position of Economics by Ludwig von Mises

Day 5 What Soviet Medicine Teaches Us by Yuri Maltsev

Day 6 Economic Depressions: Their Causes and Cures by Murray Rothbard

Day 7 Is Greater Productivity a Danger? by David Gordon

Day 8 Taxation Methods Evaluated by Murray Rothbard

Day 9 Hitler Was a Keynesian by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 10 Seeing the Unseen by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 11 The Watermelon Summit by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Day 12 Equality and Inequality by Ludwig von Mises

Day 13 How to Think Like an Economist by Murray Rothbard

Day 14 The Health Plan's Devilish Principles by Murray Rothbard

Day 15 Vices Are Not Crimes by Murray Rothbard

Day 16 Repudiate the National Debt by Murray Rothbard

Day 17 The Fallacy of the 'Public Sector' by Murray Rothbard

Day 18 The Road to Totalitarianism by Henry Hazlitt

Day 19 The Many Collapses of Keynesianism by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 20 The Crippling Nature of Minimum Wage Laws by Murray Rothbard

Day 21 Who Owns Water by Murray Rothbard

Day 22 Defending the Slumlord by Walter Block

Day 23 The Freedom of Association by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr

Day 24 How to Help the Poor and Oppressed by Walter Block

Day 25 Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 26 Is There a Right To Unionize? by Walter Block

Day 27 What If Public Schools Were Abolished? by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 28 Why Austrian ? an interview with Robert Higgs

Day 29 Economics and Moral Courage by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Day 30 Do You Hate the State? by Murray Rothbard

For longer reads, consider these lists:

A Reading List on War

War Is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America's Most Decorated Soldier by Smedley Butler

War Collectivism by Murray N. Rothbard

Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War by Ludwig von Mises

War, Christianity, and the State: Essays on the Follies of Christian Militarism by Laurence M. Vance

War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy by Laurence M. Vance

A Century of War: Lincoln, Wilson & Roosevelt by John V. Denson

The Costs of War: America's Pyrrhic Victoriesedited by John V. Denson

Depression, War, and Cold War: Challenging the Myths of Conflict and Prosperity by Robert Higgs

The Myth of National Defense: Essays on the Theory and History of Security Production edited by Hans-Hermann Hoppe


Suggested by: Bretigne Shaffer:

Why Peace by Marc Guttman

Suggested by Bionic Mosquito:

Churchill, Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost the World by Pat Buchanan

The Best Books to Read to Get a Solid Introductory Understanding of Austrian School Economics

I am often asked which books I recommend for those who want to gain a solid understanding of sound economics. Below is my list of the books that should be read, in the order listed:

1. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter and Andrew Schiff. This is by far the best introductory book for anyone who has no understanding of economics (Or has been poisoned by Keynesian economic thought) and wants to learn what economics is really all about. Using fish tales, the book simply and clearly explains such economic concepts as the importance of savings, the importance of the division of labor, the importance of trade and how an economy grows. BUT, don't read beyond Chapter 8. The book takes a decidedly confusing and distorted turn when it comes to explaining money.

2. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt. This is a great book that points out the logical fallacies in many current day popular economic views.

3. The Fed Flunks: My Speech at the New York Federal Reserve Bank by Robert Wenzel. This is my own book that includes a speech I delivered at the Fed where I discussed their many failures.

4. The Mystery of Banking by Murray Rothbard. This is the best book on the market that explains how the Federal Reserve prints money and the impact of that printing on the economy.

5. Counter Revolution of Science by Friedrich Hayek. An important book which explains the problems with economists who attempt to mimic the research methods of the physical sciences when studying economics ad other social sciences.

6. Economic Controversies by Murray Rothbard. This important book is a collection of essays by the great Austrian school economist Murray Rothbard discussing the economic issues of the day.

7. Austrian Economics: A Primer by Eamonn Butler. aThis primer is a very important addition to understanding Austrian economics as it ties the basics to the various important Austrian players and the contributions they have made.

8. The Quotable Mises by Mark Thornton. The great economist Ludwig von Mises wrote scholarly works that were not aimed at the general public, but in this collection of Mises quotes, Thonrton captures the essence of the views of Mises in a very understandable fashion.

9. Austrian School Business Cycle Theory by Murray Rothbard. This is a complete examination of business cycle theory, which explains why booms and busts occur in the economy.

The Horrors of Mao Zedong: A Reading List

As a follow up to my post, My Conversation With a "Fuck Capitalism" Capitalist T-Shirt Merchant, Nathan Stewart emails:
I am something of a Mao expert.  I have read all the major English biographies of Mao and other books relating to the Mao era.

Of the evil trinity of Mao, Stalin, and Hitler, Mao was by far the worst.  The "living" conditions he imposed during the Great Leap Forward were worse than those created by Pol Pot, and Mao killed far more than 40 million people during his entire life.

Libertarians have much to learn from Chinese history, but this area is much neglected by libertarians.

I strongly recommend the following books, for they are both terrifying and highly edifying for libertarians:

*Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikotter
*The Tragedy of Liberation by Frank Dikotter
*Mao's Last Revolution by MacFarqhar
*Mao the Unknown Story by Jung Chang

The most important is Mao's Great Famine.

GREAT READS The 17 Books Scrubbed From Rand Paul's Web Site

As Rand Paul continues to scramble to present views more amenable to the establishment elite, his moves get more and more obvious, outrageous and daring. He has now scrubbed from his Senate web page  17 books that once comprised a reading list that was identified as a list of books for "anyone interested in freedom and the role of government in a free society." In my earlier report on the scrubbing (SEE Rand Paul Scrubs His Father's Book From His Web Site), I wrote on the foreign policy books scrubbed by Rand, but it goes well beyond that and includes classics by Mises, Hayek and Hazlitt, and several books by his farther, including End the Fed.

As a public service, here are the 17 books that Rand scrubbed from his web site:

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek

The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

Human Action by Ludwig von Mises

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

End the Fed by Ron Paul

A Foreign Policy of Freedom by Ron Paul

Meltdown by Tom Woods

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression by Robert Murphy

Broke by Glenn Beck

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

The New American Militarism: How Americans are seduced by war by Andrew Bacevich

Blowback by Chalmer Johnson

Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer

Where the Right Went Wrong by Patrick Buchanan

Silent Night:The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce  by Sidney Weintraub


  1. What happened to The Anatomy of The State????

  2. Instant bookmark!

  3. Yes, those who do this reading in a 31-day month should add Anatomy of The State on Day 31. Was a turning point for me.

  4. Excellent, Im gonna bookmark this one.


  5. Nice list.
    Here's a few more.
    For those just starting out I especially recommend, Economics in One Lesson:

  6. Thanks for the list, although I am not a Libertarian, I will bookmark it as well, for furher reference and possible reading.

    One article that I identify with is Vices Are Not Crime. I know an individual who got locked up for 8 years for various charges all related to drug useage. She wasn't helped along the way by any ten step group, or either by God's Grace. It wasn't until she was put away in jail that God took away the desire for drugs; and now living she in living in the community with has a changed heart, mind, and nature; and no longer desires the former intoxicants and thrills.

    Our society, expecially California, has locked up people for years for their vices, rather than finding applying a spectrum of solutions. Many states have seen the escalaging costs, and rather than stop locking people away at unionized cost, have privatized their penal systems, with services from Correction Corporation of America.

    A comment on Day 16 Repudiate the National Debt by Murray Rothbard.

    The debt cannot, and will not be repudiated, as the Sovereign Lord God, Ephesians, 3:1-21 and 2 Corinthians, 5:17-18, is bringing forth the Beast Regime of Revelation 13:1-4, which is the ten toed kingodm of regional governance, Daniel 2:30-33, to replace crony capitalism and European Socialism.

    God intends to apply all the debt to all the people; so that all people live everywhere live in debt servitude honoring the Beast, Revelation 13:3-4, this so that one might come to trust in His Son for deliverance, Revelation 2:26-28. No one, anywhere will be free from the debt requirements of the beast regime. There is no free land as all land everywhere will be under the Beast's sovereignty and seigniorage, that is moneyness, There are only a few places where it is relatively safe to live such as Panama. It is best that one own and possess gold and silver bullion; and own and trade the precious metals as well on Internet platforms such as Money is Gold and Bullion Vault.

    Liberty is a mirage on the Beast Regime's desert of the real. Choice is a principle of the bygoone era of Neoliberalism which featured the Milton Friedman Free To Choose floating currency regime. Money died in April 2011 when investors sold out of stocks, VT, commodities, DBC, and major world currencies, DBV, and emerging market currencies, CEW, as well. Credit died in April 2012 when stocks started to trade lower.

    The Austrian Economist dream for a commodity money system to replace the fiat money system will never occur, as the diktat money system is rising on the failure of the world central banks' monetary authority.

    Diktat will soon serve as both money and credit, as sovereign leaders and sovereign bodies rise to replace sovereign nation states. European Financial Institutions, EUFN, will frist be nationalized, and then regionalized, with the Bundesbank or ECB manndated as Europe's bank. Through regionalization, Germany will come to be preeminent in the EU, leading in a type of revived Roman Empire over the vassal peripheral PIIGS. No one will be considered a citizen of a European country; rather, one be identified as a resident, in a region of economic and political governance.

    The Eurozone will feature totalitarioan collectivism, where a monetary pope, perhaps Gens Wiedman, will rule as seignior, that is top dog banker who takes a cut seen in Revelation 13:11-38. And where an emperor, perhaps Herman van Rompuy, will rule as sovereign, that is king, seen in Revelation 13:5-10.

    Rather than trust in oneself, and hope for freedom. I encourage one to trust in what Witness Lee calls the economy of God, and call upon the Name of the Lord, to be set free by Jesus Christ to knwon the only right there is: to as many as believe in Christ, to them, he gives the power to become a child of God.

    1.'re insane...

    2. Dispensationalism: Not Even Once

    3. Definitely insane.

  7. Quite a list. Thanks. The novel by Hazlitt - time will run back is a good preliminary book as well. It is about how the world ruled by a socialist russian dictator after 100 or so years discovers capitalism. Marginal utility, creation of money, emergence of price system, inability of math to solve the problems, it is all there weaved into an interesting story.

  8. Great list! Well done. Why don't you compile it as a primer for beginners and have it sold through 5-10 bucks to advance the cause of liberty. Your bloods worth bottling :-)

  9. I am not sure that any of those books discuss a strategy for actually getting policies in place here in the real world.

    You can read all the books but if you have not a plan of actually implementing them the state will continue to exist.

    What about strategy? There are books out there, Rothbard, Hoppe, Mises, et al; have discussed them.

    1. Can you list the strategy books? I would like to have a list compiled!

  10. Wow, what a list. I just read the first entry, which I will nee to read again. I think I'm going to do it in 30 days as you suggest but will then re-read everything. Hazlitt makes a great point about all of us doing our own study and grasping the issues.

  11. A Gary Johnson reading list:

    1. Johnson is a natural, instinctual libertarian, but lacks the rigorous intellectual fundamentals behind being one that many of us get from Austrian Economics and the liberty policies it leads to. As I understand it, after an awkward Wentzel interview where Johnson was confronted on this, Gary has begun reading Hazlitt and Rothbard. I like Johnson a lot and have supported his run for presidency for over a year now. Glad to see he is accepting the advice to become more familiar with "Big L" reading material.

    2. True. Johnson has some common sense.

  12. And, if he would prefer to just watch YouTube videos:

  13. Having read one article go and spend some time in your local USPS office.

  14. Great! Now all we need is free Markets!

  15. I make the case for the addition of Henry George's "Progress and Poverty." I welcome comments and debates. Please state whether you have read it first when you respond. I disclose up front that I have not read any of the Hazlitt, Mises, or Rothbard pieces above, although I have read essays by Rothbard and Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom."

  16. What about "I, Pencil" by Leonard Read?

  17. Great list. I've read several of them over the years.

  18. Where the hell is Bastiat or Hazlitt?

  19. Or you could just read "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat and never need to read anything ever again because the man was a flippin genius at articulating arguments in favor of personal freedom. But this looks like a great list.

    1. Bastiat's "Economic Paradigms" is excellent too.

  20. If only you had titled it "The 30 Day Reading List that will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Liberal". That would have been an important step toward reclaiming a misused and abused word from knaves.

  21. Great List! I'm going to read them all!

  22. My brother and some friends and I start a discussion email chain for each article.

    We're reading the article for Day 12 today (Inequality, Mises). However, it's quite clear that the article posted for Inequality is actually How to Think Like an Economist. It's mislabeled on the Mises Institute's website.

  23. What about "The Use of Knowledge in Society"?

  24. I created a single .mobi file of the above articles for easier consumption. I'll be updating with an .epub version too but Calibre should be able to easily convert if need be.

    "The 30 Days of Libertarian" -

    1. This is great. Thank you!

  25. 'The Law' by Frédéric Bastiat is missing !!

  26. The title of the post is enough encouraging! Got stuck by it initially!! I’m very interested to explore it soon. Thanks for a selected list.

  27. Not to diminish the greatness of Rothbard, but I do wish there was more variety. And there doesn't need to be so much Rockwell.

  28. If only you could have fit in there Stephan Kinsella's excellent piece "What Libertarianism is?"

  29. Hazlitt wrote that "the true libertarians are grossly outnumbered on practically all these fronts." I would like to believe that by definition the set of "true libertarians" excludes any and all minarchists including those mentioned yesterday by Rothbard. After all, a minarchist is a statist, and all statism relies upon fraud, intimidation, and aggressive violence for political power.

  30. 18 books...almost 2/3 of the list is Rockwell and Rothbard. C'mon. To be sure, both of those authors have made invaluable contributions, but they are not 2/3 of the entire body of knowledge comprising libertarian thought for goodness sake.

  31. To those suggesting 'The Law' by Frederic Bastiat: while I agree this is a wonderful read and Bastiat presents sound arguments in favor of personal liberty, I see the above as a reading plan for an introduction to libertarianism, whereas 'The Law' is a bit complex and a tougher read for those still looking to the state for solutions.

  32. Several of the links to seem to be redirected to broken links as of July 20. But they may still be available under the subdomain


    is redirected to broken link

    But the article is still available under subdomain, eg,

    It may be a temporary change, or a permanent restructure of files at

    We discover this because we created a course link to these libertarian classic.

    Jason Cheah

  33. second link is broken (Fascist Threat), but this one's good: