I remember the day I became a libertarian like it was yesterday. It was such a lightbulb moment that I will still to this day, ponder why it took me so long to see the light. In hindsight, taking the “red pill” was the easiest part. The hard part, as most libertarians know, is dealing with people who are still plugged into the
state matrix. While the concepts of freedom and the non-aggression principle seem simple enough, I found that backing this logic by facts and knowledge proved to be an uphill battle.
I’ve always said one of the biggest hindrances to the growth of the liberty movement is the inability to explain our positions in a clear and concise (timely) manner. You think there should be no minimum wage? Why do you hate the poor? People shouldn’t be required to have a drivers license to drive? Do you not care about safety? I truly believe liberals biggest advantage is that their views almost always sound good on the surface. They can simply say “We fight for 15 and care about safety” and that sounds good enough for most people. Libertarians have to explain how a minimum wage is not only unethical (state intervention between two consenting adults) but also explain the unintended consequences that result from such a law. Hard to do in a 30 second soundbite.
I often get asked which books I would recommend for liberty minded folks trying to expand their knowledge. Without further ado, these are my top 10 book recommendations. I will purposely list these books from beginner to more advanced. So if you’re just starting off I’d pick something in the 7-10 range.
This book by John Stossel is perfect for someone that considers themselves new to the idea of libertarianism. What I love about this book is Stossel perfectly illustrates how the expansion of government directly correlates to most of our problems and just how destructive it has become. This is great ammo to back the basic libertarian belief that government
almost always makes things worse.
Ron Paul has brought more people to the liberty movement than any other person and possibly everyone combined. Without Ron Paul, I can guarantee I wouldn’t have a podcast or Youtube channel let alone be writing this article. This book is a little more on the philosophical side but gives an excellent breakdown by literally defining liberty.
Peter Schiff is my favorite economist and I also recommend listening to his podcast. Peter actually gave me a signed copy of this book for free because I gave him and his producer a ride at the DNC in Charlotte. Schiff mentioned on his show that he purposely wrote this so that a 3rd grader could understand it. If you want a fundamental understanding of Austrian economics and need to break your indoctrination of Keynesian theory, this is your book.
Tom Woods is the most underrated libertarian in my opinion. Tom Woods has written over a dozen books and honestly I could have just as easily listed them all here. If you haven’t listened to his podcast you’re missing out. This book gives you some serious knowledge to take on liberals when it comes to the 2008 financial crisis and break through the mainstream narrative that deregulation was to blame. He also has a free (not as good but still awesome) book called “The Deregulation Bogey Man” which can be downloaded for free.
If there is one book you chose from this list; Go with this one. This book was published in 1944 but couldn’t be more true today. Just like the book 1984 (which is coming up) this book almost tends to predict the future in a terrible way. This is a great book to show the dangers of state intervention especially in the economy. It’s a little bit long (almost 300 pages) but not a hard read in my opinion.
If you listen to my podcast you’ll soon learn that Ron Paul influenced my beliefs immensely. If the evil giant on the state is the whole body; then the federal reserve is heart of that evil giant. When you truly understand just how the federal reserve works, you start to see just how truly destructive it has become. This book will also show how the federal reserve has produced and allowed so many other tragedies such as war and the moral decline of humans. Understanding the Fed is a must when becoming a libertarian.
Murray Rothbard is considered the OG and founder of the libertarian movement as we know it today. What I love about this book is Rothbard refuses to compromise and lays out compelling arguments for full on anarchy. I’ve always considered myself a minarchist but after reading this book I feel closer to an anarchist. Rothbard has convincing answers to nearly every issue that’s brought against libertarians in this book. Read this book to find out exactly where you are on the libertarian spectrum.
You may have seen shirts or bumper stickers that say “Make Orwell Fiction Again” or “1984 Was a Warning Not an Instruction Manual.” This book truly is frightening considering it was written in 1948. While the book is fiction, it’s clearly (and unfortunately) becoming closer to reality everyday. George Orwell paints a dark future where government is in control of everything including your thoughts. There’s absolutely zero privacy and the government watches and listens to your every move. Sounds familiar?
David Stockman is another one of my favorites. One of the few voices we have left on mainstream television, David never holds back regardless of who he’s criticizing. Stockman is an economist and served under Reagan during his presidency. What I love about this book is David starts back in the 1800’s and works his way up to present day. He puts the majority of the blame on the fed and gives the rest to politicians. This book will show you exactly how we arrived at our current situation.
Depending on who you talk to, this book could be considered conspiratorial. There’s no denying there are somethings in this book that can’t be proven but are simply theory backed with sources and facts to support his claims. I don’t have an issue with this since everything can’t be absolutely proven every single time. Many facts today, were only theories at some point in the past. Edward Griffin gives an intense ride and paints an very disturbing picture about the founding of the federal reserve.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my top picks for libertarian books. Please leave me a comment and let me know if there’s a book you think I left out!