CONSERVATIVE BOOKS Frederic Bastiat (Economic Harmonies) A classic, first published in 1850. The doctrine of this book is the great truth that lies at the foundation of all human society, namely that the interests of all men are fundamentally compatible. Mankind can live in peace and prosperity provided that violence or the threat of violence is reserved exclusively for the maintenance, by the state, of a free market in which goods and services are voluntarily exchanged without coercion from any quarter. Bill Bennett (Book of virtues) Responsibility. Courage. Compassion. Loyalty. Honesty. Friendship. Persistence. Hard work. Self-discipline. Faith. Everyone recognizes these traits as essentials of good character. In order for our children to develop such traits, we have to offer them examples of good and bad, right and wrong. And the best place to find them is in great works of literature and in exemplary stories from history. In the Book of Virtues, Bennett has collected hundreds of stories in an instructive and inspiring anthology that will help children understand and develop character — and help adults teach them. Judge Robert Bork (Slouching to Gomorrah) Offers a view of a culture in decline, a nation in such serious moral trouble that its very foundation is crumbling. To understand the plight, we must look to the sixties, a decade in which the moral integrity of our nation came under full-blown assault. Subsequently our cultural institutions have been taken over or heavily modified by the folks who tried to destroy them in the sixties. The decay can only be halted by opposing modern liberalism in every arena. Allen Drury (Advise and Consent series) Fiction which provides interesting insight into the way things work in Washington. Milton Friedman (Free to choose) Published around the time of Reagans election in 1980, and perhaps helpful to Reagan’s cause. Co-authored with Friedman’s wife, Rose. Shows how our freedom has been eroded and our prosperity undermined (in 1980) through the explosion of laws, regulations, agencies, and spending in Washington, and how good intentions produce deplorable results when government is the middleman. The Friedmans then tell us what to do if we want to expand our freedom and promote prosperity. Unfortunately these recommendations have not been followed and things are much worse now than they were in 1980. Newt Gingrich (Breakout, To try men’s souls) Breakout explains how America is poised for one of the most spectacular leaps in human well-being in history. Provided this is not stopped by luddites who have a stake in the status quo. To try men’s souls is “faction”, co authored with William Forstchen. It focuses on the Revolutionary War, and in particular Washingtons crossing of the Delaware River. Very readable and informative. There are additional books in this series which are equally good. Daniel Hannan (The new Road to Serfdom, Inventing Freedom) Daniel Hannan has been a member of the European Parliament representing South East England for the Conservative Party since 1999. He has spoken at CPAC. In “The New Road to Serfdom”, he urges Americans not to abandon the principles that have made our country great. In “Inventing Freedom” Hannan gives an account of the historical origin and spread of these principles and their role in creating economic and political liberty. Sean Hannity (Conservative Victory) Hannity exposes the current campaign to dismantle the American free-market system and forfeit our national sovereignty. He draws on examples of Ronald Reagan and the Contract with America to show how Conservatives can unite behind this country’s most cherished principles and act to get America back on the right track. David Horowitz (Black Book of the American Left) Written by a former member of the new left who changed sides. Arthur Laffer (The end of Prosperity) Laffer is the father of supply-side economics and a member of President Reagan’s Economics Policy Advisory Board. He warns that we risk losing the exceptional standard of living that have made us the envy of the rest of the world if the pro- growth policies of the last 25 years are reversed (lower tax rates, more economic freedom, and sound money). The book was published in 2008, and it appears in 2014 that Laffer got it right. Mark Levin (Liberty and Tyranny, The Liberty Amendments) In Libety and Tyranny, Levin makes the case that the principles undergirding our society and governmental system are unraveling. In the Liberty Amendments, Levin turns to the founding fathers and the Constitution for guidance in restoring the American Republic. Federalist Papers (Madison et al) A collection of papers published at the time the Constitution was written. These give insights into the thoughts of the framers about various relevant issues. George Orwell (Animal Farm, 1984) “Animal Farm” is the Russian Revolution with animals. One quote is “all animals are equal, but pigs are more equal”. The slogan on the wall of the barn was changed to this under the watchful eye of the police dogs. Then the sheep bleated the new slogan, and pretty soon the animals forgot the old slogan. “1984” was written in the 1930s about a future society ruled by big brother. The hero works in the ministry of truth getting rid of all the history about events that big brother has decided did not happen. Big brothers slogans are “war is peace”, “freedom is slavery”, and “ignorance is strength”. Northcote Parkinson (Parkinsons Law) First articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as part of the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955, it was later reprinted together with other essays in the book Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress (London, John Murray, 1958). He derived the dictum from his extensive experience in the British Civil Service. The current form of the law is not that which Parkinson refers to by that name in the article. Rather, he assigns to the term a mathematical equation describing the rate at which bureaucracies expand over time. Much of the essay is dedicated to a summary of purportedly scientific observations supporting his law, such as the increase in the number of employees at the Colonial Office while Great Britain’s overseas empire declined (indeed, he shows that the Colonial Office had its greatest number of staff at the point when it was folded into the Foreign Office because of a lack of colonies to administer). He explains this growth by two forces: (1) “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals” and (2) “Officials make work for each other.” He notes in particular that the total of those employed inside a bureaucracy rose by 5–7% per year “irrespective of any variation in the amount of work (if any) to be done”. Ayn Rand (Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged) Ayn Rand is more than just an author – she is a philosopher and her philosophy is called individualism. In her first book, “the Fountainhead”, she develops her notion of a “perfect individual” Then, in her 2nd book, “Atlas Shrugged”, she develops her notion of a “perfect society” with such perfect individuals. Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations) A classic first published in 1778. It is a recipe for national prosperity that has not been bettered since, based on small government and the freedom of citizens to act in their own best interests. Mark Steyn (America Alone) In America Alone, Steyn looks at demographics and concludes that the muslim population is growing at a far faster rate than population is growing in the western countrys. He argues that we need to be mindful of this or the character of our democratic institutions will eventually become more closely aligned with Islamic law and culture. Clarence Thomas (My Grandfather’s Son) An inspiring story of Clarence Thomas’s journey from poverty to the Supreme Court. Ludwig Von Mises (Human Action) Argues that socialist economy is economic irrationality and socialist planning a prescription for chaos. Pro free markets, private property, and profit motive.