Personal Development

Between education, entrepreneurship, communication skills and other such important topics, personal development forms a key component of one’s path to personal freedom. No human is perfect and while we ought to balance the recognition of this fact with self-esteem and acceptance of our nature, there is room for improvement in us all (and if nothing else, there is room for us to at least maintain our level of awesomeness).

I’ve included books covering important components of personal development and tools to increase your efficiency. These include productivity and time management methodologies (such as the highly recommended Getting Things Done or GTD), leadership skills, creativity, resilience, organizational skills and many more, all of which require the formation of great habits, self-discipline and willpower. Other intriguing topics like stoicism and minimalism are covered too.

Topics related with personal development include physical and mental wellbeing as well as psychology, which I will cover in my next post.

I know I keep saying that each group of topics is crucial. Indeed if it’s not, why include it in my site? But mastering some of these techniques, creating the right habits, prioritizing your work, etc. have a significant and lasting impact on the rest of your path to self-education and personal freedom.

These books are not necessarily written by people who share all the same views that are common to many guests of Books of Liberty. So please join the conversation and provide other members your comments, reviews and unique insights as to how you applied these concepts to your lives. And as always, thank you for reading!

Communication Skills

If there is one thing that I’m willing to bet on, it’s that there are topics within the pages of Books of Liberty for which you are very passionate. And wouldn’t it be great if you could convince just a few more people to see things the way you do on these subjects? If there is one tool in your tool-belt that you need in order to achieve this aim, it’s improved communication skills.

With techniques such as nonviolent communication, or NVC (for which we have many books and study guides), or other means of empathic connection you can reach a meeting of the minds on almost anything. In addition to convincing an “opponent” in a debate, this may significantly improve interpersonal relations, parenting, help with conflict resolution and is an important social skill to have.

In fact, good communication skills of this sort are so vital, they affect everything from a chat at the water cooler, to negotiating a hostage crisis (because you never know when you might find yourself in that situation).

In order to strengthen your arguments, you will utilize critical thinking and problem solving techniques to help frame your ideas, apply logic consistently and remove cognitive biases, and you will learn to identify others’ use of logical fallacies or fear and manipulation.

Then, with the power of empathic connection you will use your rhetoric to its full potential, whether through writing, debating, negotiation, public speaking or other forms of communication.

Now you just have to promise to use your superior communication skills for good and not for evil… And as always, thank you for reading!

For Parents

The “for parents” topic is a very important component of Book of Liberty. After all, for those who have kids, if you would like to affect change in the world one of the most important roles you have in this context is being a responsible steward of your children. Raising a strong, moral, peaceful individual can have tremendous positive impact.

The non-aggression principle is best displayed through its application in interpersonal relations, of which peaceful parenting is one such strategy. Like many other topics covered by books on this site, this too can be controversial and in no way am I prescribing behavior or applying judgment.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but I do encourage the same rigor and logical consistency to be applied to your relationships with others in your life as we apply to the relationship between the individual and the State.

Topics such as homeschooling, Montessori, or other forms of unschooling can be found when browsing the “for parents” topic, as well as books for young readers. If you have a young reader at home, consider browsing this section for inspiration on books for them to read.

As a parent myself, I know how hard it is. There is definitely not a strict right and wrong (in many cases) and it’s even harder to implement in practice what you think in theory that you should be doing.

I, for one, would love to see the comments, insights and experiences of other parents in the books’ discussion threads in our members-only private Facebook group and hope to see you there too. And as always, thank you for reading!

Education

It should come as no surprise that the education topic is chock-full of great material. Given the range of items it covers, you will see why it is the third most popular topic on this site.

The two largest topics you’ll find within education are your “how to” books and those that bust myths and misconceptions. These two categories assist you greatly in your long path of autodidacticism (self-directed learning). Both the “how to” and the myths and misconceptions books cover a wide range of interests, helping you educate yourself (and others) in pretty much every other topic on this site. Case studies are also well represented and learning from them is a good way to help bring clarity to a subject.

However, in addition to books that educate, a large number of books discuss the education system itself, such as higher education and college alternatives, or the public school system and public school alternatives (whether it be homeschooling, Montessori, a Sudbury School approach, or other forms of unschooling).

For those homeschooling or otherwise teaching young ones, resources exist on reading (including debates between whole-word / look-say and phonics), and for the older student and certainly for the self-directed learners out there, you will find resources on the trivium method that provides a systematic approach (of grammar, logic and rhetoric) to learning any subject effectively, and you will find plenty of study guides on a variety of subjects.

As a self-directed learner, a fan of busting myths and as a father I feel that this is one of the most crucial set of topics. These lay the foundation upon which everything else can be built. I hope you find as much use in these books as I have. And as always, thank you for reading!

Financial Freedom

As part of your overall personal freedom, achieving financial freedom allows you to live relatively unencumbered by the burdens of life. While difficult to realize and rare to find, this can be achieved through hard work and consistent dedication (or sheer luck, for some).

Either through entrepreneurship, finance and investing or by building streams of passive income, the opportunities presented within the books tagged here form a good starting point on the path to success.

Investing and understanding the world of finance is a critical part of achieving and maintaining financial freedom. Whether you invest in precious metals (such as gold or silver), design a Permanent Portfolio, take an interest in money management or retirement planning, or whether you just want to know more about student loans, you will find that info here.

Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of capitalism and the free market system, and books on this topic are well represented. You can find books that provide insight to the entrepreneurial mindset, which, in my view, can be equally applied to those who are employed. This will increase your success in that context too.

But for those looking to bootstrap or start a business of their own, we would recommend the resources here discussing everything from marketing, public relations, copy writing and sales to books about competition, e-commerce or social media.

Don’t be shocked to find Austrian Economics books here, detailing the theoretical side of entrepreneurship and the place of the entrepreneur within the market process. A strong foundation will help those entrepreneurs in practice.

Within the business section you can also find books on the business organization (contrasting to bureaucracy of the State), on decision making, business growth, accounting, etc. While decision making may sometimes be covered in a book completely unrelated to business, it would be tagged to business if the benefits of such content can be applied to those entrepreneurs needing to make decisions for their venture. Likewise, entrepreneurial mindset can often be tagged to books describing characteristics that would prove valuable to an entrepreneur, even if they don’t relate directly to the entrepreneurial space.

Many of these books, you’ll find, are not written by authors who necessarily subscribe to the political or philosophical views common on this site. Nor are the books solely intended for this niche. But the intersection of all these topics are too meaningful to ignore. See what is awakened within you as you browse through these books. And as always, thank you for reading!

Economics

The economics category, as expected, is very well represented within Books of Liberty. If I’d had to guess, I might even say most of the people coming to this site have an above average understanding of this subject compared to their peers.

Of all the economics books, around half are explicitly Austrian Economics texts, and (with a significant overlap) around half discuss monetary theory. You may search specifically for economic treatises or books about economists; you will find historical or theoretical accounts of financial crises; you will stumble upon recent books on crypto-currencies (like bitcoin), books covering topics like income or wealth inequality, as well as more technical subjects like price theory, monopoly, division of labor, public choice theory and others. Additionally, critiques of Keynesian economics are to be found throughout the books in this category.

Of the Austrian Economics books, the largest portion discuss The Austrian Business Cycle and praxeology or human action, but you will find many covering, to one degree or another, topics like time preference, capital and interest, subjective value, and economic calculation, to name a few.

And for those interested in currency or money, whether sound money or fiat money, you will find books arguing the benefits of the gold standard, debates on inflation and deflation, banking, central banks and the Federal Reserve specifically.

As you will see, there are very detailed topic tags in this sections and I’ve tried capturing the details accurately, but if I’ve missed or misapplied a topic, please feel free to contact us with any corrections.

At the heart of the free market system of unregulated, voluntary trade stands capitalism and its emphasis on private property. Unsurprisingly, a large collection of books are available on this subject, many of which outline quite clearly the fundamentals and the outcomes of capitalism, especially in contrast to other economic systems like socialism. Additional related topics, such as free trade, decentralization, risk, uncertainty, and the market process can be found in such books.

These books are extremely important! Economics is one of the fundamental topics where so many people seriously lack an understanding. I’m sure you know someone who might benefit to be pointed in this direction. Don’t keep Books of Liberty to yourself. And as always, thank you for reading!

History

One of the most popular topics on Books of Liberty, history, is a fascinating subject to read. Given the nature of this site it didn’t quite make sense to create a category of ‘revisionist history’ since most of the history books featured are of that nature. Sure enough, there are books with uncontested historical accounts of various historical events, but when you search for history and drill further down into a specific topic (such as various wars, Pearl Harbor, The New Deal or the Great Depression), you are going to get intellectually honest ‘revisionist’ accounts of these events.

While you may expand your history search by historical event or by selecting US history or the history of some other area or nation, we have classified the history texts by period as well. You can indulge your curiosity if you are an avid reader of one of or more of the following periods: Antiquity, Biblical period, Classical period, Medieval period or the Middle ages, Early modern period, the Renaissance, or specifically within the last few hundred years, as grouped by: 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century, or the 20th Century.

And speaking of indulging yourself, with several dozen books on conspiracy theories, you may brush up on such topics as 9/11, the New World Order, False Flag operations, or on the Kennedy deaths, or various institutions and secret societies like The Illuminati, The Freemasons, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, Tavistock Institute, or even Skull & Bones.

For those, like me, who were turned off by history during the public school years, I can tell you that there really is something for everyone within these topics, it’s just a matter of finding what piques your interest. And as always, thank you for reading!

Cultural Issues

Legal and political issues aside, it is often the cultural and social issues that are upstream from any legislative action. Especially in a democracy, politicians know that to get reelected they need to tread a fine line and take a stand on topics that are culturally in vogue. Books providing cultural analysis or ones that talk of the social order are numerous within our site.

Popular at the time of this post are debates about racism, sexism, feminism and other such social justice issues relating to discrimination, freedom of association, freedom of speech, human rights, or political correctness. These topics and others, such as popular culture, American culture and Western Civilization, are all represented within the books at Books of Liberty.

Observations from many writers on these issues are provided through commentary and opinion and often investigative journalism leads down an interesting path, shedding light on such issues.

You’d be anywhere from shocked to amused if you choose one of these books, so choose wisely. And as always, thank you for reading!

The Law

I’m not a lawyer, but I find topics about the law, laws and legislation, justice, law enforcement and judicial systems fascinating, especially when combined with anarchy, as this seems to be one of the last bastions on the road to understanding an anarchist system and how legal order and property rights would be maintained.

Administrative law, regulations, and licensure as we know them today are artefacts of the State that are critiqued in our featured books, but so are dozens of other legislative issues, such as: labor laws (child labor, labor unions, minimum wage), issues relating to the US Constitution or the Articles of Confederation (e.g. the commerce clause, nullification, fugitive slave laws, gun control / second amendment), civil rights issues, Obamacare, Prohibition, and even earlier established legal concepts, such as the Magna Carta and Habeas Corpus.

These can be heavy topics, but in some sense are some of the more critical to master as we talk about moving towards a fully functioning society without the institutions we have today lording over us. Pick up a book, pick up two, and I’m sure you’ll find it worth your while. And as always, thank you for reading!