Reading List

Here is a short list of books, pamphlets and documents recommended by CVRP. It is by no means a complete reading list, just a few of the favorite books that stood out in our writers’ minds. Each title is linked to the Amazon page where you can buy the book if you would like to read it for yourself.

The Constitution of the United States of America

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

In THE REVOLUTION, Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has exposed the core truths behind everything threatening America, from the real reasons behind the collapse of the dollar and the looming financial crisis, to terrorism and the loss of our precious civil liberties. In this book, Ron Paul provides answers to questions that few even dare to ask.

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

Frédéric Bastiat’s classic blueprint for a free society offers an eloquent case for individual liberty over government intervention, coercion, legal plunder, and collectivism.

IMPERIAL HUBRIS by Michael Scheuer

When “Imperial Hubris” first came out in 2004, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat was to believe – at the urging of U.S. leaders – that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do. The now-classic showed that a growing segment of the Islamic world strenuously disapproves of specific U.S. policies and their attendant military, political, and economic implications and demonstrated that they will go to any length, not to destroy our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their religion. “Imperial Hubris” remains a must read for an in-depth look at Al Qaeda and the War on Terror.

Dying to win: The stregic logic of suicide terrorism by Robert Pape

One of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of suicide terrorism, the esteemed political scientist Robert Pape has created the first comprehensive database of every suicide terrorist attack in the world from 1980 until today. In Dying to Win, Pape provides a groundbreaking demographic profile of modern suicide terrorist attackers–and his findings offer a powerful counterpoint to what we now accept as conventional wisdom on the topic.

Common Sense by Thomas Paine

Enormously popular and widely read pamphlet, first published in January of 1776, clearly and persuasively argues for American separation from Great Britain and paves the way for the Declaration of Independence. This highly influential landmark document attacks the monarchy, cites the evils of government and combines idealism with practical economic concerns.

Rights Of Man by Thomas Paine

One of the great classics on democracy, “Rights of Man” was published in England in 1791 as a vindication of the French Revolution and a critique of the British system of government. In direct, forceful prose, Paine defends popular rights, national independence, revolutionary war, and economic growth – all considered dangerous and even seditious issues.

The Road To Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

A classic work in political philosophy, intellectual and cultural history, and economics, The Road to Serfdom has inspired and infuriated politicians, scholars, and general readers for half a century. Originally published in England in the spring of 1944–when Eleanor Roosevelt supported the efforts of Stalin, and Albert Einstein subscribed lock, stock, and barrel to the socialist program–The Road to Serfdom was seen as heretical for its passionate warning against the dangers of state control over the means of production. For F. A. Hayek, the collectivist idea of empowering government with increasing economic control would inevitably lead not to a utopia but to the horrors of nazi Germany and fascist Italy.

Why Government Is The Problem by Milton Friedman

Spending by government currently amounts to about 45 percent of national income. By that test, government owns 45 percent of the means of production that produce the national income. The U.S. is now 45 percent socialist. -Milton Friedman

Blowback by Chalmers Johnson

The term “blowback,” invented by the CIA, refers to the unintended results of American actions abroad. In this incisive and controversial book, Chalmers Johnson lays out in vivid detail the dangers faced by our overextended empire, which insists on projecting its military power to every corner of the earth and using American capital and markets to force global economic integration on its own terms.

Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

From the spiritual to the economic, Emerson’s Self-Reliance details the various aspects of a man’s ability to rely on himself for survival. This 19th century essay resolutely supports Emerson’s life-long belief in individualism and encourages mankind to pass over practices like conformity and false consistency for following intuition and instincts instead. Rather than promoting ideas of anti-society, Emerson asserts self-reliance is a starting point for a more efficient society, and not an end goal.

1984 by George Orwell

“Thought Police.” “Big Brother.” “Orwellian.” These words have entered our vocabulary because of George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984. The story of one man’s nightmare odyssey as he pursues a forbidden love affair through a world ruled by warring states and a power structure that controls not only information but also individual thought and memory, 1984 is a prophetic, haunting tale.

What It Means To Be A Libertarian by Charles Murray

Charles Murray believes that America’s founders had it right–strict limits on the power of the central government and strict protection of the individual are the keys to a genuinely free society. In What It Means to Be a Libertarian, he proposes a government reduced to the barest essentials: an executive branch consisting only of the White House and trimmed-down departments of state, defense, justice, and environment protection; a Congress so limited in power that it meets only a few months each year; and a federal code stripped of all but a handful of regulations.

Combining the tenets of classical Libertarian philosophy with his own highly-original, always provocative thinking, Murray shows why less government advances individual happiness and promotes more vital communities and a richer culture. By applying the truths our founders held to be self-evident to today’s most urgent social and political problems, he creates a clear, workable vision for the future.

Courage After Fire by Keith Armstrong, Suzanne Best & Paula Domenici

The bravery displayed by our soldiers at war is commonly recognized. However, often forgotten is the courage required by veterans when they return home and suddenly face reintegration into their families, workplaces, and communities. Authored by three mental health professionals with many years of experience counseling veterans, Courage After Fire provides strategies and techniques for this challenging journey home.
Courage After Fire offers soldiers and their families a comprehensive guide to dealing with the all-too-common repercussions of combat duty, including post traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. It details state-of-the-art treatments for these difficulties and outlines specific ways to improve couple and family relationships. It also offers tips on areas such as rejoining the workforce and reconnecting with children.

It Is Dangerous To Be Right When The Government Is Wrong by Judge Andrew Napolitano

The United States of America was born out of a bloody revolt against tyranny. Yet almost from its inception, the government here has suppressed liberty. In his sixth book on the Constitution and human freedom, Judge Andrew P. Napolitano asks: Where does freedom come from? How can government in America exercise power that the people have not given to it? What forces have collaborated to destroy personal freedom?

The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Piekoff

Here is a frightening look at where America may be heading, a clarion call for all who are concerned about preserving our right to individual freedom.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

With this acclaimed work and its immortal query, “Who is John Galt?,” Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.

Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand

This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics. According to Rand, the choice we make is not whether to have a philosophy but which one to have: a rational, conscious, and therefore practical one, or a contradictory, unidentified, and ultimately lethal one.

Capitalism: The Unkown Ideal by Ayn Rand

The foundations of capitalism are being battered by a flood of altruism, which is the cause of the modern world’s collapse. This is the view of Ayn Rand, a view so radically opposed to prevailing attitudes that it constitutes a major philosophic revolution. In this series of essays, she presents her stand on the persecution of big business, the causes of war, the default of conservatism, and the evils of altruism.

Candide by Voltaire

Voltaire’s Candide is a decidedly playful romp through certain parts of history, satirizing religion, philosophy, and government along the way. The title character is instructed in the concept of optimism, which through the course of the short novel, he finds unraveling about him. When first published, the novel was banned, but it has enjoyed a long life due to its scathing satire on society and the world.

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

The good news is that most soldiers are loath to kill. But armies have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. And contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army’s conditioning techniques, and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman’s thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young.

Upon its initial publication, ON KILLING was hailed as a landmark study of the techniques the military uses to overcome the powerful reluctance to kill, of how killing affects soldiers, and of the societal implications of escalating violence. Now, Grossman has updated this classic work to include information on 21st-century military conflicts, recent trends in crime, suicide bombings, school shootings, and more. The result is a work certain to be relevant and important for decades to come.

On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace by Lt. Col Dave Grossman and Loren W. Christensen

On Combat looks at what happens to the human body under the stresses of deadly battle the impact on the nervous system, heart, breathing, visual and auditory perception, memory – then discusses new research findings as to what measures warriors can take to prevent such debilitations so they can stay in the fight, survive, and win. A brief, but insightful look at history shows the evolution of combat, the development of the physical and psychological leverage that enables humans to kill other humans, followed by an objective examination of domestic violence in America.

If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O’brien

Tim O’Brien’s intensely personal account of his year as a foot soldier in Vietnam. The author takes us with him to experience combat from behind an infantryman’s rifle, to walk the minefields of My Lai, to crawl into the ghostly tunnels, and to explore the ambiguities of manhood and morality in a war gone terribly wrong. Beautifully written and searingly heartfelt, If I Die in a Combat Zone is a masterwork of its genre.

The Libertarian Reader: Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao Tzu to Milton Friedman by David Boaz

In The Libertarian Reader, David Boaz has gathered the writers and works that represent the building blocks of libertarianism. These individuals have spoken out for the basic freedoms that have made possible the flowering of spiritual, moral, and economic life. For all independent thinkers, this unique sourcebook will stand as a classic reference for years to come, and a reminder that libertarianism is one of our oldest and most venerable American traditions.

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience is an important essay written by American author and Philosopher Henry David Thoreau. This influencial work argues for individual resistance to civil government in opposition to an unjust state due to moral reasons. Thoreau compares government to a machine and argues that it is the duty of citizens to make sure that their government is just and that if it is not, it is equally their duty to stop the machine.

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt

Hazlitt’s focus on non-governmental solutions, strong — and strongly reasoned — anti-deficit position, and general emphasis on free markets, economic liberty of individuals, and the dangers of government intervention make Economics in One Lesson, every bit as relevant and valuable today as it has been since publication.

A Foreign Policy of Freedom: Peace, Commerce, and Honest Friendship by Ron Paul

A collection of statements Congressman Ron Paul has made over the past 30 years dealing with foreign policy from the date he was first elected to Congress. Ron Paul provides a history of economic policy in the United States and uses this history to argue that the same free market principles applied to U.S. domestic policy should be applied to U.S. foreign policy.

End the Fed by Ron Paul

Most people think of the Fed as an indispensable institution without which the country’s economy could not properly function. But in END THE FED, Ron Paul draws on American history, economics, and fascinating stories from his own long political life to argue that the Fed is both corrupt and unconstitutional. It is inflating currency today at nearly a Weimar or Zimbabwe level, a practice that threatens to put us into an inflationary depression where $100 bills are worthless.

Who Killed the Constitution? by Thomas Woods Jr.

Think it’s just judges who are trampling on the Constitution? Think again.

The fact is that government officials long ago rejected the idea that the Constitution possesses a fixed meaning limiting the U.S. government’s power. Going right to the scenes of the crimes, bestselling authors Thomas E. Woods Jr. and Kevin R. C. Gutzman dissect twelve of the most egregious assaults on the Constitution. Who Killed the Constitution? is a rallying cry for Americans outraged by a government run amok and a warning to take heed before we lose the liberties we are truly entitled to.

Thomas Jefferson : Writings : Autobiography / Notes on the State of Virginia / Public and Private Papers / Addresses / Letters (Library of America)

The most comprehensive one-volume selection of Jefferson ever published. Contains the “Autobiography,” “Notes on the State of Virginia,” public and private papers, including the original and revised drafts of the Declaration of Independence, addresses, and 287 letters.

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