Monday, May 26, 2014

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


  1. A worthwhile list. I will only add Buchanan's book. While it is narrowly focused on World War II, it does a great job of blowing up the myth of the "good war."

  2. War Made Easy by Norman Soloman. There is also a documentary by the same name.

    One I haven't read but would like to at some point is We Who Dared to Say No to War (Tom Woods) which is a collection of anti war writings from various people.

  3. I'd like to add the anthology "Why Peace", edited by Marc Guttman:


    It's too recent to be considered one of the classics, but it is a rich and valuable collection of essays - 78 in all - from all over the world: Former North Korean gulag prisoners, victims of war, former perpetrators of war, and from writers such as Lew Rockwell, Bob Higgs, Coleen Rowley, Karen Kwiatkowski, Philip Giraldi, Paul Craig Roberts and Walter Block (I also have an essay in the collection.) Most powerful are the stories from those, including soldiers, who once supported war and now do not. Reading their accounts of how they came to change their minds is instructive for those of us who would like to help others do the same.

  4. I don't think it's possible to over-state the importance of these two books:

    Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War


    Herbert Hoover's "Freedom Betrayed"

    In addition, because it is the definitive book on our longest war (so far):

    Scott Horton's "Fool's Errand"