13 votes

What books/authors should I read to best understand Liberty?

Hi, everyone. I've been very grateful for how much I've learned from Dr. Paul and all of you here about the arguments and philosophies behind the Liberty movement, and various ways to think about the issues of the day. I've realized, though, that I still have huge gaps in my understanding of the main libertarian thinkers of the past; and I've decided that I would like to fill these in with a lot of reading this spring/summer, and beyond. I hear these names like Rothbard and Hayek and such bandied about here, but I have only a vague idea really about the details of what these people wrote about. Of course, I know a little about Ayn Rand, but still not enough, to be sure.

So I wanted to ask you all what you would recommend as 'must-read' material for getting up to speed on what I should know about such things. Which books and authors are in your top ten (or so) list? Where should I start?

Thanks in advance for the help! :)

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

i haven't read many. i read

i haven't read many. i read Zoe Oldenbourg's book about Catherine The Great.

it was Zoe Oldenbourg's first book, she wrote i think. the peasants in the Ukraine were very wealthy because they never paid any taxes. But with the stroke of a pen, Catherine enslaved them overnight. The Ukraine was only mentioned for a paragraph or two. The book was just about Catherine the Great and all her different lovers, mostly.

i only read it because i liked Zoe Oldenbourg. Zoe Oldenbourg got better when she started writing about the Cathars.

I thought i was being kind of funny when i wanted to name a Russian novelist for books recommended on liberty. Maybe there was something very wonderful in the soul, and psychologically with Dostoevsky.....


How About

Thomas DiLorenzo
Tom Woods
Thomas Sowell
Ron Paul Funny I read a lot of Tom's don't I? I left out the ones that are named below since they are already there. All good stuff.


Better throw in...

...good old Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine, too, eh? :) Lots of Toms to read. I did sign up for Tom Woods's Liberty Classroom and have enjoyed some US & Western Civ classes. Looks like they just added a Constitution class. I should read Dr. Woods's books too, though. Thanks for the suggestions!

jrd3820's picture

Rose Wilder Lane...

Ayn Rand, Isabel Paterson, Murray Rothbard, Thoreau, Hazlitt, Hayek, Bastiat, Franz Openheimer... Jump in and have fun.


...Thoreau! I do need to read him again, too. Thanks for the suggestions.

My personal top-ten

1. The Most Dangerous Superstition, by Larken Rose
2. Why Government Doesn't Work, by Harry Browne
3. Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt(free online)
4. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
5. The Machinery of Freedom, by David Friedman (free online)
6. The Law, by Fredric Bastiat (free online)
7. Our Enemy the State, by Albert Jay Nock (free online)
8. The Discovery of Freedom, by Rose Wilder Lane (free online)
9. The Revolution, by Ron Paul
10. The Creature from Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin

If you prefer lighter reading, here's a whole thread about liberty-oriented fiction.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose


Thanks, dabooda. I've got 'Creature from Jekyll Island' and have started into it. Great read so far!

Top Ten Books of Liberty


University of Common Sense


1984 by George Orwell
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley


Looks like that Mises link has a bunch of suggestions in the comments section as well, so that should be helpful. :)

And also remember

that Mises makes lots of its books available for free download.

Good luck on your journey. I am very happy to assist.

The more we learn the more we realize there is to learn.