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Best Libertarian Books

Explore the core of libertarian thought with these influential titles. Aggregated from respected sources, these books are ranked by frequency of recommendation.

Recommendations from 17 articles, Bill Gates, Shah Rukh Khan, Elon Musk and 40 others.
Best Libertarian Books
31 books on the list
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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress book cover
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Robert A. Heinlein - 2005-03-14 (first published in 1966)
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This science fiction classic explores personal responsibility and political freedom. Set on a lunar penal colony aided by a self-aware supercomputer, the story follows a diverse group of people as they navigate the rapidly evolving definitions of humanity, technology, and free will. A gripping read that will make you question the role of technology in our lives and society, and ponder the consequences of our actions.
Democracy in America book cover
Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville - 2003-07-01 (first published in 1835)
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Discover the definitive book on both democracy and America. Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America captures the essence of America's equality of conditions and democracy. This classic is often quoted because it has something insightful to teach everyone. With this new translation by Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop, readers can fully appreciate the nuances of Tocqueville's original language and gain a deeper understanding of Tocqueville's thoughts and insights. Perfectly placed annotations and a powerful introduction provide readers with a modern perspective to appreciate a timeless masterpiece.
Recommended by
Patrick Collison
The Myth of the Rational Voter book cover
The Myth of the Rational Voter
Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies - New Edition
Bryan Caplan - 2007-05-06
Goodreads Rating
Discover the hidden biases that plague ordinary voters and prevent sound economic policies in this eye-opening book by economist Bryan Caplan. Through an analysis of voting behavior and economic opinions, Caplan argues that democracy fails because it does what voters want. Learn how voters underestimate the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue labor, and believe the economy is always getting worse. Caplan offers bold solutions to make democratic government work better, urging economic educators to focus on correcting misconceptions and recommending that markets take up the slack. With the presidential election approaching, this thought-provoking book is a must-read for understanding the flaws of our elective system.
Basic Economics book cover
Basic Economics
Thomas Sowell - 2003-01-01 (first published in 2000)
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Learn about the principles of different economic systems in Basic Economics. Written for those who want to understand the economy without the jargon, economist Thomas Sowell explains how to analyze economic policies based on their incentives rather than their goals. With clear explanations of everything from rent control to international trade, this book is perfect for those seeking to understand how the economy functions. The fifth edition includes a new chapter on the disparities of wealth and income between countries. Using real-world examples and plain language, Sowell breaks down the basics of economics for readers of all backgrounds.
Recommended by
Ben Shapiro
The Theory Of Moral Sentiments book cover
The Theory Of Moral Sentiments
Adam Smith - 2006-12-01 (first published in 1759)
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This book delves into the concept of moral sentiments and the idea that true happiness comes from virtuous actions, rather than material possessions. It challenges the idea that wealth and status are essential for happiness, arguing that a clear conscience and good health are the only true necessities.
No Treason book cover
No Treason
The Constitution of No Authority
Lysander Spooner - 2004-06-17 (first published in 1870)
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This book delves into the motive behind secret ballots - fear and a lack of trust among those who employ it. Lysander Spooner explores the use of secret ballots in creating an alliance against others, despite a lack of camaraderie among the users themselves.
Applied Economics book cover
Applied Economics
Thinking Beyond Stage One
Thomas Sowell - 2003-11-13
Goodreads Rating
This thought-provoking book delves into the practical applications of economics in real-world issues such as housing, medical care, and discrimination. The author tackles complex subjects in understandable language, without the usual jargon of economists. The book also explores the long-term effects of economic policies, and how politics and economics intersect to produce similar outcomes across diverse cultures.
The Problem of Political Authority book cover
The Problem of Political Authority
An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey
Michael Huemer - 2012-10-29
Goodreads Rating
This thought-provoking book delves into the question of what gives a state the right to use coercion and why citizens should obey its commands. From the social contract theory to theories of democratic authorization and fairness, the author explores various theories of political authority and ultimately concludes that none succeed. Instead, the author proposes that voluntary and competitive institutions could provide the central goods often attributed to the state, including law, protection, and national security. A must-read for those interested in political philosophy and the role of government.
Economic Sophisms book cover
Economic Sophisms
Frédéric Bastiat - 1996-01-01 (first published in 1845)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the fallacies of protectionism and learn the importance of analyzing economic questions from the perspective of the consumer, with this persuasive collection of essays. Written by a renowned economist, this edition contains helpful cross-references and explanatory comments to enhance understanding for modern readers. Discover the timeless relevance of Economic Sophisms and its lessons for economic policy-making today.
Radicals for Capitalism book cover
Radicals for Capitalism
A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement
Brian Doherty - 2007-02-12
Goodreads Rating
Explore the history of libertarianism in America with this captivating book. Follow the journeys of influential leaders like Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, and Milton Friedman, and learn about the personal battles, character flaws, love affairs, and historical events that shaped the movement. Based on original research and interviews with over 100 key sources, this insightful narrative offers a fresh perspective on American history, from the New Deal to today's most divisive political issues. Perfect for anyone interested in politics.
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman
Beyond Politics by Randy T. Simmons
The Law by Frédéric Bastiat
The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts
God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson
The Wealth Of Nations by Adam Smith
The Libertarian Mind by David Boaz
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
Things Fall Apart SparkNotes Literature Guideby SparkNotes by SparkNotes
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
The Ethics of Liberty by Murray N. Rothbard
The Machinery of Freedom by David D. Friedman
The Noblest Triumph by Tom Bethell
Simple Rules for a Complex World by Richard Epstein
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod
Eat the Rich by P. J. O'Rourke
ANTHEM by Ayn Rand