Capitalism LIBRARY – The Top Books on Capitalism

REQUIRED READING

These three books are required reading and should be on every capitalist’s bookshelf.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The most influential novel of the 20th century, according to a Library of Congress poll of Reader’s Digest book of the month readers. It is the book that launched the capitalist revolution. Also worth reading are Ayn Rand’s Anthem, The Fountainhead, and We The Living.

Capitalism The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand explains the rational and moral basis for capitalism in theory and in practice. The first essay What is Capitalism? is the inspiration for the capitalism tour. Required reading.

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is the best defense of Capitalism, because she takes the offensive by reframing the question on rational premises. OPAR is the best presentation of her philosophy by her greatest student. The chapter on Capitalism is one of the best elaborations and defenses of laissez-faire I have read. Required on every capitalist’s bookshelf.

 

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CAPITALISM

Capitalism Unbound: The Incontestable Moral Case for Individual Rights by Andrew Bernstein
This slim, 150-page book is a passionate and well-researched defense of capitalism.

The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire by Andrew Bernstein
Backed with an enormous amount of history and research, Bernstein provides a riveting answer to Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, showing why capitalism is moral and practical.

Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman
An encyclopedic presentation (1000 pages) of the nature and value of capitalism.

CIVIL RIGHTS

Civil Rights Rhetoric or Reality? by Thomas Sowell
Explains how the collectivist solutions of so-called civil rights “leaders” create more problems than they solve. Also worth reading is Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities.

 

COMMUNISM

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
Distinguished European scholars document the horrors of communism. Brutal.

 

CORPORATIONS & BUSINESS

Why Businessmen Need Philosophy: The Capitalist’s Guide to the Ideas Behind Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged by Debi Ghate, et. al.
Essential and practical, Why Businessmen Need Philosophy reveals the importance of maintaining philosophical principles in the corporate environment at all levels of business from daily operations to executive decisions, and provides the tactical and tactful rational thinking required to defend companies from ideological attacks.

The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure by John Allison
Why the Future of Business Depends on the Return to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
Allison shares his real-world experience growing BB&T into the tenth largest financial services holding company in the U.S.

In Defense of the Corporation by Robert Hessen
How the rights of a corporation derive from the principle of individual rights.

 

CULTURE

The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution by Ayn Rand, et. al.
Examines the primitive, tribalist, “anti-industrial” intellectual roots of the New Left and their impact on our culture today.

Race and Culture: A World View by Thomas Sowell
How culture (a body of human knowledge) fundamentally determines the progress of any racial group, and in fact civilization. Also worth reading is Sowell’s Conquests and Cultures: An International History, Migrations And Cultures: A World View, and Ethnic America: A History.

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson
Neoconservatism as a species of anti-Americanism.

The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought by Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff
Ayn Rand’s Ford Hall Forum talks on topics as varied as education, medicine, Vietnam, and the death of Marilyn Monroe.

 

CRIME

Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow
How a criminal’s actions are fundamentally determined by their thoughts.

 

ECONOMICS

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
A beautifully written book that explains how the market works.

Free Market Economics, Third Edition: An Introduction for the General Reader by Steven Kates
A return to supply-side economics making Say’s Law central to understanding economic phenomena.

Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics by George Reisman
An encyclopedic presentation (1000 pages) of the nature and value of capitalism.

 

EDUCATION

Freedom and School Choice in American Education by Bradley Thompson, et. al.
A series of essays for a variety of perspectives (capitalist and anti-capitalist) on privatizing education. Favorite authors include Andrew J. Coulson, James Toohey, and C. Bradley Thompson.

Market Education: The Unknown History by Andrew J. Coulson
A comprehensive examination of the history of education, that provides a roadmap for transitioning from monopolistic public education to market education.

The Beautiful Tree by James Toohey
An inspiring book on the author’s personal journey exploring how the world’s poorest people are educating themselves.

Teaching Johnny to Think by Leonard Peikoff
Dr. Peikoff makes a compelling case for a rational system of education by contrasting three schools of philosophy and the different educational alternatives they propose to replace our present system. In the process, he defines a proper methodology and curriculum that will produce thinking high school graduates confident of their ability to achieve their goals.

Marva Colins Way by Marva Collins
“The Westside Preparatory School was founded in 1975 in Garfield Park, a Chicago inner-city area. During the first year, Collins took in learning disabled, problem children and even one child who had been labeled by Chicago public school authorities as borderline retarded. At the end of the first year, every child scored at least five grades higher proving that the previous labels placed on these children were misguided.”

 

ENVIRONMENT

The Ultimate Resource 2 by Julian Simon
The ultimate resource is the human mind and its’ ability to use technology to effectively create more resources; a rational response to pessimistic, Malthusian, environmental alarmists.

 

ENERGY

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein
How fossil fuels are moral based on the standard of human flourishing.

 

ETHICS

The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand explains her revolutionary concept of rational self-interest.

Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality by Tara Smith
Dr. Smith provides an academic presentation on the Objectivist ethics. “Viable Values examines the most basic foundations of value and morality, demonstrating the shortcomings of major traditional views and proposing that morality is grounded in the objective requirements of human life.” Issues covered include: how morality depends on values; how values depend on the alternative of life or death; why human beings need to be moral in order to live; how life is the standard of morality; how flourishing is the end and reward of living a moral life; why rational egoism is the path to flourishing.

Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist by Tara Smith
The Virtuous Egoist examines the nature of the essential virtues — rationality, honesty, independence, justice, integrity, productiveness, and pride — and what they demand in practice, while addressing the status of conventional traits such as kindness, charity, generosity, temperance, courage, forgiveness, and humility.

FINANCIAL & HOUSING CRISIS 2008

The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure by John Allison
As the nation’s longest-serving CEO of a top-25 financial institution, Professor Allison has had a unique inside view of the events leading up to the financial crisis. He explains how government intervention and regulation of the marketplace caused the housing crisis and the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Also worth reading is Allison’s The Leadership Crisis and the Free Market Cure: Why the Future of Business Depends on the Return to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Meltdown by Thomas E. Woods Jr.
How government policies are the primary cause of the housing boom and bust that led to the finanical crisis of 2008.

In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance by Yaron Brook and Don Watkins
Explains the economic importance and moral value of finance to human flourishing.

 

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Defending Free Speech by Steve Simpson
How those who attack the freedom of speech are the product of anti-capitalist ideologies.

The Tyranny of Silence by Fleming Rose
“When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2005, Denmark found itself at the center of a global battle about the freedom of speech. The paper’s culture editor, Flemming Rose, defended the decision to print the 12 drawings, and he quickly came to play a central part in the debate about the limitations to freedom of speech in the 21st century.”

 

FREE TRADE & GLOBALIZATION

In Defense of Global Capitalism by John Norberg
Marshalling facts and the latest research findings, the author systematically refutes the adversaries of globalization, markets, and progress.

Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg
“…How far we have come in tackling the greatest problems facing humanity.”

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley
“Prosperity comes from everybody working for everybody else. The habit of exchange and specialization—which started more than 100,000 years ago—has created a collective brain that sets human living standards on a rising trend. The mutual dependence, trust, and sharing that result are causes for hope, not despair.”

 

HISTORY

The Ominous Parallels: The End of Freedom in America by Leonard Peikoff
The intellectual roots of Nazism and their ominous parallels in modern America.

The God of the Machine by Isabel Patterson
“[T]his is a brilliant and extraordinary book. … It is brilliant in the perceptiveness, the incisiveness, the power, the scope of its analysis that presents–in carefully chosen, dramatically illuminating essentials the history of man’s long quest for freedom, from ancient Greece to World War II. It offers an unforgettable experience: a panorama of the centuries, as seen from the elevation of a truly grand intellectual scale.” — Ayn Rand, The Objectivist Newsletter

New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America by Burton W. Folsom Jr.
How Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency reveals government policies that hindered economic recovery from the Great Depression — and are still hurting America today.

The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America by Burton W. Folsom Jr.
“The Myth of the Robber Barons describes the role of key entrepreneurs in the economic growth of the United States from 1850 to 1910. The entrepreneurs studied are Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, James J. Hill, Andrew Mellon, Charles Schwab, and the Scranton family. Burton Folsom, divides the entrepreneurs into two groups market entrepreneurs and political entrepreneurs. The market entrepreneurs, such as Hill, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller, succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price. The political entrepreneurs such as Edward Collins in steamships and in railroads the leaders of the Union Pacific Railroad were men who used the power of government to succeed.”

 

INEQUALITY

Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook
Why the attempt to achieve the altruistic-egalitarian ideal of economic equality (equality of results) at the expense of the moral-capitalist ideal of political equality (equal political rights) will lead to the destruction of all.

 

LAW

Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System by Tara Smith
Elaborates on how the concept objectivity applies to the proper functioning of the legal system in order to explain the conditions required for objective judicial review.

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
One of the great works of political science.

The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty by Timothy Sandefur
Explains why the U.S. Constitution was written not to empower democracy and expand government power, but to secure liberty by limiting government power to protect individual rights.

 

MILITARY & FOREIGN POLICY

The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America by Peter Schwartz
Schwartz advocates a policy under which our nation’s interests are measured by only one standard: the individual liberty of its citizens.

Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History by John David Lewis
John David Lewis shows how victorious military commanders achieved long-term peace by identifying the fundamentals of the enemy’s ideological and social support for a war and then striking at this support destroying the enemy’s will to fight.

Winning the Unwinnable War ed. Elan Journo
America’s self-crippled response to Islamic totalitarianism.

What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict by Elan Journo

Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism: From George W. Bush to Barack Obama and Beyond by Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo

 

MONEY

Gold & Liberty and Breaking The Banks by Richard Salsman
Along with George Reisman, Professor Salsman is the leading Objectivist economist of today.

 

MONOPOLIES & ANTITRUST

The Abolition of Antitrust by Gary Hull (ed.)
Essays on the economics, history, and morality of antitrust.

Antitrust Policy: The Case for Repeal by D.T. Armentano
Why antitrust laws are anti-competitive, incompatible with liberty and should be repealed.

 

POLITICS

A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand by Jonathan Hoenig ed. 
Examines the application of the principle of individual rights to various issues in the 21st century.

Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook
Explains how Ayn Rand’s ideas can solve a host of political and economic problems, including the debt crisis, inflation, overregulation, and the welfare state, while showing how Rand’s philosophy can enable defenders of the free market to sieze the moral high ground in their fight to limit statist government.

Moral Rights and Political Freedom by Tara Smith
Smith’s academic presentation on provides a systematic account of the nature and foundations of rights, and explains why rights are teleological and that a respect for freedom is necessary for individuals’ flourishing.

 

PHILOSOPHY

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff
Ayn Rand’s philosophy is the best defense of Capitalism, because she takes the offensive by reframing the question on rational premises. OPAR is the best presentation of her philosophy by her greatest student. The chapter on Capitalism is one of the best elaborations and defenses of laissez-faire I have read. Required on every capitalist’s bookshelf.

A Companion to Ayn Rand (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy) ed. Allan Gotthelf & Greg Salmieri
An academic examination of Ayn Rand’s ideas on a variety of topics. The chapters on government, markets, capitalism, and objective law will be of special interest to students of capitalism.

Philosophy: Who Needs It by Ayn Rand
This collection of essays was the last work planned by Ayn Rand before her death in 1982. In it, she summarizes her view of philosophy and deals with a broad spectrum of topics.

Foundations of a Free Society: Reflections on Ayn Rand’s Political Philosophy (Ayn Rand Society Philosophical Studies)
“Finally, a volume that offers a systematic, principled alternative to prevailing orthodoxies (on the Left and Right) in economics and political philosophy. Gregory Salmieri and Robert Mayhew bring together scholars who explain, defend, or critically engage with Ayn Rand’s radical moral defense of capitalism and individual rights. This book is a must-read for anyone serious about the conditions of human flourishing. Those wishing to critique capitalism—properly understood—must contend with Foundations of a Free Society.” — Carrie-Ann Biondi, Marymount Manhattan College

 

SOCIALISM

Socialism by Ludwig Von Mises
Professor Mises explains why any attempt to implement socialism will always lead to the destruction of capitalism and civilization.

 

WELFARE-STATE/SOCIAL SECURITY

Rooseveltcare: How Social Security is Sabotaging the Land of Self-Reliance by Don Watkins
This elegantly written book, explains how the entitlement-welfare state is destroying our hope for the future. The definitive case for gradually abolishing social security and the welfare state.

Wealth, Poverty and Politics by Thomas Sowell

 

 

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