Comment: I would definitely rank

(See in situ)


I would definitely rank

I would definitely rank historian Will Durant's 11 volume history of civilization high up there, along with companion volume The Lessons of History. "The Story of Civilization." Unrivaled treatment of history and not even slightly dated. Rings truer with every new development in the understanding of human psychology and political behavior.

If you consider the entire work as one "book," it would have to rank higher than any other for me, besides perhaps Thus Spoke Zarathustra or The Bible.

If you told me I had to pick one author and read no other for ever, I would have to choose Mark Twain for sheer pleasure or F. Nietzsche for inspiration and understanding of the whole reality.

The greatest book ever is and remains the the Bible if you count the two parts as one book, and the Old Testament if you had to pick one.

More humble runners up would be Hayek's The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Oswald Spengler's Man and Technics, and James Burnham's The Machievellians: Defenders of Freedom. All three are slim but powerful volumes and easily accessible.

Rothbard's monography 'Wall Street, Banks and American Foreign Policy' is top notch, along with his other historically themed works.

Anything by H. L. Mencken.

A Time is Born by proto Libertarian Garrett Garrett and Tragedy and Hope by proto progressive Caroll Quigley provide an awesome contrast.

Europe and the Faith by Hillaire Belloc was very interesting for me about historical Christianity.

For classical writers, I have heard the highest praise for Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, though I haven't made it through.

Epic poetry, the Iliad cannot be equaled.

Ovid's Metamorphoses for the most complete summation of classical mythology and beautifully rendered. Was required reading for any pre 1960s liberal education.

Roman emperor Marucs Aurelius' Meditations as an exposition of Stoic philosophy is excellent.

Lucretius' On the Nature of Things as an exposition of the materialist proto-atheist Epicurean philosophy.

The Essays of Stoic Roman Seneca.

Machievelli's Discourses on Livy.

The Essays of the Frenchman Montaigne.

Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia.

Mises is surely a difficult read no matter where you go but Profit and Loss is a good place to start, before venturing into Human Action.

Rothbard is more accessible but I would recommend him as more sound on documenting history than putting forward sound theory.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who could overlook The Gulag Archipelago?

That's all for now.