What 5 Books Best Describe Your Political Philosophy?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:57AM
Kevin Goll

Everyone and their brother comes out with a summer reading list this time of year. I decided it might be an interesting challenge to approach a reading list a little differently. If you were to describe your political philosophy to someone unfamiliar with it, what 5 books would you choose for them to read? It's a difficult task. Here are my 5, each with a brief reasoning:

1. “The Road to Serfdom”- F.A. Hayek

2. “Capitalism and Freedom” – Milton Freidman

These are the two seminal economic texts I would use to explain the importance of the free market, and the consequences of statist interventionism regardless of the motive.

3. “The Federalist Papers” – Hamilton, Madison, Jay

There may be no greater prolonged discussion of the relationship between state and individual, and it is set in the uniquely American context of the creation of the Constitution.

4. “Democracy in America” –Alexis de Tocqueville

This is less a philosophical book in itself, and more of a study and account of the uniqueness of the world’s first modern, free (albeit still imperfect) republic. It also highlights the importance of religious virtue as it relates to a healthy, free society.

5. “Just War against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World” – Jean Bethke Elshtain

By far the most recent work, Elshtain’s book is a wonderfully clear, moral case for the U.S. standing up for freedom against enemies, specifically the extremist wing of Islam. 

Article originally appeared on LastingLiberty.com (http://lastingliberty.com/).
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