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Best Libertarian Books

Recommendations from 4 articles, Bill Gates, Ben Shapiro, Paul Graham and 7 others.
13 books on the list
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The Problem of Political Authority
An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey
Michael Huemer - Oct 29, 2012
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Modern states commonly deploy coercion in a wide array of circumstances in which the resort to force would clearly be wrong for any private agent. What entitles the state to behave in this manner? And why should citizens obey its commands? This book examines theories of political authority, from the social contract theory, to theories of democratic...
Radicals for Capitalism
A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
Brian Doherty - May 27, 2008 (first published in 2007)
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On Wall Street, in the culture of high tech, in American government: Libertarianism -- the simple but radical idea that the only purpose of government is to protect its citizens and their property against direct violence and threat -- has become an extremely influential strain of thought. But while many books talk about libertarian ideas, none unti...
Basic Economics
Thomas Sowell - Dec 01, 2014 (first published in 2000)
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Basic Economicsis a citizen's guide to economics, written for those who want to understand how the economy works but have no interest in jargon or equations. Bestselling economist Thomas Sowell explains the general principles underlying different economic systems: capitalist, socialist, feudal, and so on. In readable language, he shows how to criti...
Recommended by
Ben Shapiro
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Robert A. Heinlein - Jul 31, 2018 (first published in 1966)
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For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal).Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal res...
No Treason
The Constitution Of No Authority
Lysander Spooner - Sep 10, 2010 (first published in 1870)
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What is the motive to the secret ballot? This, and only this: Like other confederates in crime, those who use it are not friends, but enemies; and they are afraid to be known, and to have their individual doings known, even to each other. They can contrive to bring about a sufficient understanding to enable them to act in concert against other pers...
Economic Sophisms
Frédéric Bastiat - Jun 01, 2010 (first published in 1845)
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The essays in Economic Sophisms have come to be recognized as among the most cogent and persuasive refutations of the major fallacies of protectionism-fallacies that are still with us today and that will continue to crop up as long as the public remains uninstructed. The great lesson that all these essays teach, in one form or another, is the neces...
Applied Economics
Thinking Beyond Stage One
Thomas Sowell - Dec 09, 2008 (first published in 2003)
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The application of economics to major contemporary real world problems -- housing, medical care, discrimination, the economic development of nations -- is the theme of this new book that tackles these and other issues head on in plain language, as distinguished from the usual jargon of economists. It examines economic policies not simply in terms o...
God of the Machine
Isabel Paterson - Jan 30, 1993 (first published in 1943)
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The God of the Machine presents an original theory of history and a bold defense of individualism as the source of moral and political progress. When it was published in 1943, Isabel Paterson's work provided fresh intellectual support for the endangered American belief in individual rights, limited government, and economic freedom. The crisis of to...
Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville - Apr 01, 2002 (first published in 1835)
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Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59) came to America in 1831 to see what a great republic was like. What struck him most was the country's equality of conditions, its democracy. The book he wrote on his return to France, Democracy in America, is both the best ever written on democracy and the best ever written on America. It remains the most often quote...
Recommended by
Patrick Collison
The Theory Of Moral Sentiments
Adam Smith - Sep 10, 2010 (first published in 1759)
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What can he added to the happiness of the man who is in health, who is out of debt, and has a clear conscience? To one in this situation, all accessions of fortune may properly be said to be superfluous; and if he is much elevated upon account of them, it must be the effect of the most frivolous levity. This situation, however, may very well be cal...
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life
An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness
Russ Roberts - Oct 13, 2015 (first published in 2014)
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A forgotten book by one of history's greatest thinkers reveals the surprising connections between happiness, virtue, fame, and fortune.Adam Smith may have become the patron saint of capitalism after he penned his most famous work, The Wealth of Nations. But few people know that when it came to the behavior of individuals--the way we perceive oursel...
Recommended by
Russell Roberts
The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan
Beyond Politics by Randy T. Simmons