Sunday, May 21, 2006

Books on Capitalism and economics

February 2013 Update: The 100-page pamphlet 'Pull the Plug on Obamacare' by Howard Hyde is now available: Click here. See also the companion web page at

The books listed below are in my library, and ought to be in yours.

  • If you want to be an informed citizen,
  • If you want to stop being at the mercy of manipulators in politics and the media,
  • If you want to promote general liberty, peace and prosperity in your own country and time,
  • If you want to have influence over the cycle of crises and group conflict,
  • If you want to understand the inviolable, natural laws governing human society,
  • (or even if you want to preserve and expand socialism and intellectually arm yourself against the capitalist pigs!)

…then you must learn the discipline and logic of economics, not as you were taught by your Keynesian college professor or your closet socialist news commentator, but from the horses mouth; the men and women who have taken the pains to discover and articulate those laws. Their names are Ludwig von Mises, Adam Smith, Thomas Sowell, Ayn Rand, Friedrich von Hayek, Carl Menger, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk, George Gilder, Milton Friedman, George Reisman, David Ricardo, John Locke, Frédérique Bastiat, Robert Bartely, Hernando de Soto, Edmund Opitz, and many more.

So as not to overwhelm the newcomer to the subject, I have organized this bibliography into 4 parts:

  • The Top Ten Easy-to-Read popular expositions on economics and capitalism

  • The Top Ten Hardcore Scholarly Treatises on economics

  • The Top Five Most Dangerous Anti-capitalist Rants

  • Other Books of Interest

The Top Ten Easy-to-Read popular expositions on economics and capitalism:

  1. Sowell, Thomas. Basic Economics, New York NY
  2. Sowell, Thomas. Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One, 2004 by Basic Books, New York NY
  3. Gilder, George. Wealth and Poverty, 1993 by ICS Press
  4. Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom, 1962, 1982 by the University of Chicago Press
  5. Friedman, Milton and Rose. Free to Choose, 1980 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
  6. De Soto, Hernando. The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails everywhere else, 2000 by Basic Books
  7. Hazlitt, Henry, Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics, 1988 by Three Rivers Press
  8. Rand, Ayn. Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 1967 by Signet
  9. Von Hayek, Friedrich. The Road to Serfdom, 1994 by the University of Chicago Press
  10. Hyde, Howard. Capitalism is the Solution. Not yet completed for publication. Give me time. Better yet, give me money! I’m motivated by profit.

The Top Ten Hardcore Scholarly Treatises on economics

Most of the following are all of the 1,000-plus page, literary academic variety. Difficult to approach at first, but well worth the journey. You’ll never go back to World Wrestling Federation reruns after you’ve tasted this!

  1. Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government, first published in 1689. Contains the best-articulated foundation of private property and limited government to influence the American revolution of 1776.
  2. Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, first published in Glasgow, Scottland in 1776; 1977 by the University of Chicago Press.
  3. Ricardo, David. Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, first published in 1817; see The Works of David Ricardo collected by J.R. McCulloch, 2002, by the University of the Pacific.
  4. Say, Jean-Baptiste. A Treatise on Political Economy, first published in 1836; 2001 by Transaction Publishers
  5. Mill, John Stuart. Principles of Political Economy, first published in 1848; 2004 by Prometheus Books
  6. Bastiat, Frederique. Complete Works. Volumes I-VII including Economic Harmonies, Economic Sophisms, The Law and more, first published circa 1860; see 1907 by Guillamin
  7. Menger, Carl. Principles of Economics, first published 1871; available from the Ludwig von Mises Institute:
  8. Mises, Ludwig von. Human Action, first published in 1949. Get the Scholar’s Edition 1998 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute.
  9. Rothbard, Murray. Man, Economy and State with Power and Market, first published in 1962 and 1970, respectively, now available together in one volume, 2004 by the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Personal opinion note: I think Rothbard does an outstanding job of elaborating upon Human Action and working out its ramifications; Then he drives over a cliff. Consume responsibly.
  10. Reisman, George. Capitalism, 1998 by Jameson Books, Ottawa, IL. This 13-pound suitcase bomb is the culmination of all of the above.

The Top Five Most Dangerous Anti-capitalist Rants

Know your enemy.

  1. Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy (a.k.a. in German, 'Das Kapital'), first published circa 1866; see 1976/1992 by Penguin Classics
  2. Marx, Karl. The Communist Manifesto, first published circa 1848; see 2002 by Penguin Classics
  3. Keynes, John Maynard. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1953 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  4. Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Affluent Society, first published 1958; see 1998 by Mariner Books.
  5. Galbraith, John Kenneth. The Great Crash 1929, first published 1955; see 1997 by Mariner Books.

Other Books of Interest

·Sowell, Thomas: Knowledge and Decisions, The Search for Cosmic Justice, A Conflict of Visions, Migrations and Cultures, Conquest and Cultures, Capitalism and Freedom.

·Von Mises, Ludwig: Bureaucracy, Socialism.

·De Soto, Hernando: The Other Path.

·Gilder, George: The Spirit of Enterprise.

·Von Hayek, Friedrich: The Errors of Socialism.

·Rand, Ayn: The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged.

·Wanniski, Jude: The Way the World Works.

·Bartley, Robert: The Seven Fat Years.

·Schlessinger, Laura: The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life.

·Opitz, Edmund: Capitalism and Religion: Allies not Enemies.

·God: My Holy Word (The Bible --- pick your translation carefully)