RESOURCES ON FREEDOM

When I find time I update this Word document and update this page accordingly.

Books I’ve written: all available for free

Economics for Children

The Discovery of Freedom

Breaking Free of Nehru

Booklists I’ve created on the internet

Google Books favourites

Wishlists and books I want to read

Amazon

ESSENTIAL

Socrates (Apology by Plato, a Word document, 130 KB)

Magna Carta, 1225 (Word, 62KB)

John Locke, 1690 (Treatise on Govt. Word, 380KB)

  • Second Treatise of Government (or An Essay Concerning Civil Government), by John Locke (1690; student edition, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988). The classic statement of individual rights, justly acquired property, and limited government.
  • Cato’s Letters, ed. by Ronald Hamowy (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1994). An annotated edition of the enormously important set of pamphlets and essays by radical Whig authors John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, who popularized the classical liberal ideas of John Locke. These essays were especially important in the spread of revolutionary ideas in America.

Voltaire 1778 (Letter on Locke, Word, 41KB)

Adam Smith 1776 (Wealth of Nations, Word 2.6 MB)

  • The Scottish Enlightenment and the Theory of Spontaneous Order, by Ronald Hamowy (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987). An overview of the scientific advances made toward our understanding of social order by the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment, including Adam Ferguson, Bernard Mandeville, David Hume, and Adam Smith.

David Hume (390KB, Word doc)

Edmund Burke 1790 (Reflections on the Revolution in France, Text file, 570KB)

James Madison, 1789. Amendments to US Constitution, Word 66KB)

T Jefferson

  • “What Is Still American in the Political Philosophy of Thomas Jefferson?” by Joyce Appleby in The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 39 (April 1982). Appleby reveals the liberalism of Jefferson, who was strongly influenced by the French liberal Destutt de Tracy, and critically examines competing interpretations of Jefferson as a “classical republican.”

John Stuart Mill, 1859 (On Liberty, Word 311 KB)

  • The Limits of State Action, by Wilhelm von Humboldt (1854; 1969; reprint, Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1993). The work that profoundly influenced Mill’s essay, On Liberty. Humboldt’s work is remarkable for its statement of the relationship between freedom and the development of personality.

Ayn Rand

FA Hayek (Use of knowledge in Society,1945, PDF 1.36MB). Do read The Fatal Conceit and The Constitution of Liberty.

  • The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1944). One of the books that launched the modern classical liberal/libertarian movement. Looks at the relationship between economic statism and liberty, concluding that the two are incompatible. Hayek received the Nobel Prize for economics in 1974.

Milton Friedman

  • Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom; link to his Indian writings, 1955) Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962). A clear statement of the economics of the free society, including the relationship between “economic” liberty and “civil” liberty.
  • Free to Choose, by Milton and Rose Friedman (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986). A strong statement of personal and economic liberty by two leading defenders of individual liberty.

Deirdre McCloskey

Peter Bauer

Julian Simon: The Ultimate Resource

RECOMMENDED SUMMARIES

BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat, The Law (on the website of McMaster University in Canada)

_____, Economic Sophisms This witty and brilliant collection of essays explodes myth after myth about protectionism, subsidies, and other forms of state interventionism.

Candlemakers’ Petition by Bastiat

LEONARD REED

I, Pencil

EAMONN BUTLER

Public Choice – A Primer, by Eamonn Butler

HENRY HAZLITT

Economics in One Lesson

JAMES BUCHANAN

Soul of liberalism, 2000

HAROLD DEMSETZ

From Economic Man to Economic System

MAJOR WRITERS

HAYEK

Why I Am Not a Conservative by Hayek

The Pretense of Knowledge by Hayek

The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, by F. A. Hayek (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988). An excellent introduction to the thought of one of the century’s preeminent social thinkers, this work spans economics, history, philosophy, ethics, and more. Controversial and very interesting.

The Constitution of Liberty (An excellent review of Constitution of Liberty by Sinclair Davidson)

The Intellectuals and Socialism by Hayek

Hayek – Intellectuals and SocialismA

Writings of Hayek

The Economics of Abundance

The Moral Imperative of the Market

Planning, Science, and Freedom

The British Genius for Compromise

Socialist Calculation

Down with Legal Tender

The Meaning of Competition

What Price a Planned Economy?

Decline of the Rule of Law

Substitute for Foreign Aid

Mises As We Knew Him

The Pretense of Knowledge

A Free-Market Monetary System

Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle

The Intellectuals and Socialism

Engineers and Planners

The Mythology of Capital

Reflections on the Pure Theory of Money of Mr. J.M. Keynes

Investment that Raises the Demand for Capital

The Skillful Professor Rothbard

 

ISAIAH BERLIN

Four Essays on Liberty (1969) by Berlin

LUDWIG VON MISES

Marxism Unmasked , Socialism, Theory and History

Human Action (on line here–in Adobe pdf format) – starts with first principles and proceeds to the price system, monetary economics, business cycles and economic calculation.

Liberalism – A statement of liberal principles

Socialism (online in pdf)

The Theory of Money and Credit

Theory and History

Epistemological Problems of Economics

The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Nation, State, and Economy

Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism

Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth

The Historical Setting of the Austrian School of Economics

Money, Method, and the Market Process

Liberty and Property

Economic Freedom and Interventionism

AYN RAND

The nature of government

ADAM SMITH

The Wealth of Nations

CARL MENGER

On the Origins of Money

Principles of Economics (1871; New York: New York University Press, 1981). The classic statement of economic theory

JAMES MILL

Elements of Political Economy

On the Overproduction and Underconsumption Fallaciesthe best 19th Century critique of the overproduction and underconsumption fallacies

JOHN STUART MILL

The Principles of Political Economy

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy

DAVID RICARDO

David Ricardo, The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation

JEAN BAPTISTE SAY

A Treatise on Political Economy- a classic treatise includes the statement of “Say’s Law,” which demonstrates that there can be no general “overproduction” in a market economy with a free price system, as each good produced creates effective demand for other goods.

BENJAMIN CONSTANT

  • Benjamin Constant: Political Writings, ed. by Biancamaria Fontana (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988). This collection of writings by the great French political philosopher includes his seminal essay, “The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with That of the Moderns,” which defends modern liberty against the claims of the coercive communitarians. An effective response to modern coercive communitarians in political thought like Alasdair Macintyre, Michael Sandel, and Charles Taylor.
  • Benjamin Constant and the Making of Modern Liberalism, by Stephen Holmes (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984). A sympathetic study of a great French liberal thinker.

HERBERT SPENCER

The Man versus the State (1884) – a warning against encroaching statism and the “New Toryism”

EUGEN VON BOHM-BAWERK

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, some major essays and the translation of the first German Edition of Capital and Interest, which, regrettably is much inferior to the translation of the considerably larger third German Edition published by Libertarian Press, but not available online.

Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk and Friedrich von Wieser on the Determination of Price by Cost of Production (Libertarian Press)

MURRAY N. ROTHBARD

The Ethics of Liberty – an attempt to provide a synthesized ethical foundation for the free society, dealing with both general principles and specific problems.

Man, Economy, and State – a comprehensive treatment of economics

For A New Liberty – a sweeping case for liberty, drawing from history, moral and political philosophy, and economics.

PHILIP H. WICKSTEED

The Common Sense of Political Economy

 

What is classical liberalism?

  • On Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism, by Norman P. Barry (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987). A useful overview of liberalism that includes modern figures.
  • Fifty Major Political Thinkers by Ian Adams and RW Dyson (Routledge, NY), 2003. Excellent summary. Worth buying.
  • Western Liberalism: A History in Documents from Locke to Croce, ed. by E. K. Bramsted and K. J. Melhuish (New York: Longman, 1978). A valuable selection of original sources on liberal thought; includes translations of French, German, and Italian works.
  • The Origins of English Individualism, by Alan Macfarlane (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1978). Macfarlane, an anthropologist and historian, demonstrates that individualism and the market order are not recent inventions, but have roots stretching far back into history. This work overturns the traditional division of the history of the west into starkly distinguished “feudal” and “capitalist” periods.
  • New Individualist Review (1961-1968; reprint; Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1981). Contains excellent essays on the lives and thought of influential classical liberals, including Benjamin Constant and Wilhelm von Humboldt (both by historian Ralph Raico).
  • The Levellers in the English Revolution, ed. by G. E. Aylmer (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975). Valuable collection of documents in the history of liberalism; includes Richard Overton’s important essay, “An Arrow Against All Tyrants,” which presents the case for each person’s “self ownership” as a foundation for property rights.
  • The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, by Bernard Bailyn (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967). Bailyn shows the sources of American Revolutionary thought, placing special emphasis on the libertarian ideas of Trenchard and Gordon.

Videos

Centre for Independent Studies – youtube channel

Institute for Public Affairs.

Learn Liberty

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ia1Jr2vDOvs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1B_1VDyQU0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_hPnCz-CVQ

OTHER LISTS OF RESOURCES

A good list of resources (Capitalism.net)

Liberty Fund

Libertarianism.org

http://www.libertarianbookclub.org/

A list of economists at Cafe Hayek here (see also my comment on that blog post)

My Big Six (or Eight) – by DON BOUDREAUX (also see my FB post)

TEXTBOOKS OF INTERMEDIATE ECONOMICS

  • Applied Price Theory by McCloskey
  • Price Theory, by David Friedman (2d ed., Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing Co, 1989). This is probably the most fun intermediate textbook in economics; Friedman uses colorful examples and a lively style to make understandable complex insights in economics. This book is very useful for understanding how markets work and how economics can help us understand institutions such as law, voting, and marriage.
  • The Economic Way of Thinking, by Paul Heyne (6th ed., New York: Macmillan, 1991). Heyne’s widely used textbook is a helpful overview of economic science and an accessible introduction to economic analysis

Also considered useful but not available virtually anywhere today:

  • University Economics: Elements of Inquiry, by Armen A. Alchian and William R. Allen (3d ed., Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1972). This well written and accessible textbook is undoubtedly one of the best available introductions to economics. It is thorough, clear, and concise.