By Elisha Dorfsmith
2010 was a great year for adding new liberty books and essential libertarian classics to my library. My list of recommended books could be much longer but I wanted to focus on the five most important books I read this year. Anyone even remotely interested in what the freedom movement is about should try to track down these titles. I know the Flagstaff library has most of them and the others could probably be requested from another branch.
Those who are already liberty activists will also benefit from this list. These books are filled with ideas, arguments, statistics and history that we all must understand if we are to effectively teach the philosophy of liberty to our friends and neighbors. Here’s my list:
The Five Most Important Books I Read This Year
I proudly voted for Michael Badnarik when he ran for President in 2004 on the Libertarian ticket. He is one of those rare individuals who possess a solid understanding of the Constitution and Bill Of Rights. Good To Be King is based on Badnarik’s United States Constitution class which he has been teaching for several years. For those who wonder what I mean when I say I believe in constitutionally limited government, read this book. It’s all there. You may also want to check out his website. I would love to have him teach a class in Flagstaff sometime!
Tom Woods is an incredibly prolific writer who also happens to be an economist, historian and constitutional scholar. Nullification is one of his most important works to date. Many have heard the term “Nullification” but few understand it and even fewer understand how to apply the concept. This book has been needed for a very long time and thanks to Mr. Woods we now have an excellent resource to point our friends to. Anyone who wants a better understanding of the 10th Amendment and States’ Rights will be pleased.
Judge Napolitano is a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge who is now the host of (IMO) the best political show to ever appear on television…Freedom Watch! Haven’t seen it? Archives can be found here. The Judge is an expert on constitutional law and a strong defender of freedom, liberty, and the bill of rights. In Lies The Government Told You, he tackles 17 lies throughout American history. He exposes deceit from the left and the right and even some founding fathers get busted. The ultimate goal of this book is the truth. We need more writing like this! I would encourage you to pick up a copy of every book the Judge has written. They are all fantastic.
Peter Schiff is one of the few people who predicted the recent economic collapse. He was laughed at and mocked for a long time because he subscribed to the Austrian School of economics and defended the free market system. He suddenly gained respect when the housing bubble burst and the stock market crashed just as he said they would. He recently ran for U.S. Senate in Connecticut but lost the Republican primary to Linda McMahon, a WWE Manager. The fact that Republicans chose a Wrestling Manager over a brilliant economist speaks volumes about the state of politics these days but I’ll save that rant for another time.
Inspired by How An Economy Grows and Why It Doesn’t, a book written by Schiff’s father, Peter Schiff expands on the basic philosophy of the free market system and applies those principles to the economic issues of today. The beauty of this book is that it is so simple and yet so profound. Young students and professional economists will both appreciate it. I read some of it to my 7-year-old son and even at his age he was able to grasp the basic ideas. This book should be added to curriculum across the country.
In 2010 an unbelievable thing happened. The Road To Serfdom by F. A. Hayek soared to # 1 at Amazon. Suddenly it was in bookstores everywhere and even being featured on a special shelf at the Flagstaff Hastings. I read through it in a couple sittings and it left me wanting more. When I saw a copy of The Constitution Of Liberty on the shelf at Barnes & Noble I had to buy it. It’s a thick book and it may require reading some pages twice in order to digest it all. The amount of depth Hayek put into his writing is amazing. He lays out his philosophy and then moves to tackle the folly of the welfare state and socialism, mostly through economic eyes. A new “Definitive Edition” will be released in April, 2011 and I will be buying several copies for friends, family, and of course, a copy for myself (it’s a book that begs to be read more than once).
Exciting Release In 2011!
On April 19th, Ron Paul’s new book Liberty Defined: The 50 Urgent Issues That Affect Our Freedom will be released. I am very excited about this one and will be pre-ordering several copies. I plan on donating one to the Flagstaff Tea Party Library as soon as I receive them. Liberty Defined promises to be a great addition to the liberty writings of Ron Paul which also include The Revolution: A Manifesto and End The Fed. I hope you will consider pre-ordering as well.
For all you book lovers out there, if you have a Facebook page please consider joining Books That Promote Liberty. You may also be interested in the new Liberty Book Exchange which is being organized by Flagstaff Liberty Alliance.
Looking forward to a new year and some great reading!
Ron Paul signs my copy of End The Fed at ASU in December, 2009
Hanging Out With Hayek!