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Top 12 History and Proto-Libertarian Works for Individualists

August 8, 2006 by

In response to Stephen Kinsella, since the comments section was getting a little bogged down in other matters:

The Top 12 History Books for Libertarians

1. The Rise and Decline of the State, Martin Van Creveld
2. Conceived in Liberty, Murray Rothbard
3. The Triumph of Liberty, Jim Powell
4. Modern Times, Paul Johnson
5. Reassessing the Presidency, John Denson (editor)
6. Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Murray Rothbard
7. The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, Thomas Woods
8. How Capitalism Saved America, Thomas DiLorenzo
9. Capitalism and the Historians, FA Hayek
10. Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs
11. The Costs of War, John Denson (editor)
12. The Illusion of Victory, Thomas Fleming

The Top 12 Proto-Libertarian Works

1. The Law, Frederic Bastiat
2. Discourse of Voluntary Servitude, Etienne de la Boetie
3. The Production of Security, Gustave de Molinari
4. Our Enemy, The State, Albert Jay Nock
5. The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State, Auberon Herbert
6. No Treason, Lysander Spooner
7. Social Statics, Herbert Spencer
8. The Rights of War and Peace, Hugo Grotius
9. Les Soirées de la Rue Saint-Lazare, Gustave de Molinari
10. On the Law of Nature and of Nations, Samuel Pufendorf
11. On Power: The Natural History of its Growth, Bertrand de Jouvenal
12. The State, Franz Oppenheimer

Quibble over the ranking if you must, but I had a hard enough time trying to limit the lists to twelve.


jeffrey August 8, 2006 at 9:23 pm

Wow, Justin, you know your stuff. Great lists!

Curt Howland August 11, 2006 at 2:03 pm

While I have read #7 and 8 of the History books, and excerpts of others as made available through daily articles, I haven’t read any of the others.

Makes me wonder how I got to be an anarcho-capitalist without all that derned book-larnin!

Mark April 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

My fave is Rothbard’s For A New Liberty as topping the list at Justin’s other post.

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