Philosophy of Freedom

Within this topic you’ll find a wide variety of books, many of which we hold in the highest regard. These books are also associated with other topics, such as anarchist traditions and practical liberty. All your great libertarian manifestos, books that discuss individual liberty, the non-aggression principle, laissez faire, objectivism, etc. are found within.

Anarchist traditions would be a great shortcut to find books specifically calling out anarchist principles. The name “anarchist traditions” is purposefully broad, because in addition to anarcho-capitalism and voluntaryism (with which I associate), there are books on anarcho-syndicalism, anarcho-communism or other forms of collectivist anarchism, as well as egoism and other schools of thought (with which I don’t).

Practical liberty has a hodge-podge of awesome content, from the great anti-war and abolitionist books to theoretical treatises on private defense and private law; from whistleblowing and WikiLeaks to other forms of activism and civil disobedience; from secession to jury nullification and describing revolution and resistance. We’ve even thrown in some interesting “how to” books on affecting change to further one’s activist ends.

The topic of philosophy is closely associated, as many of the books tagged to the philosophy of freedom contain deep philosophical arguments from ethics and epistemology to political theory and religion. A wide variety of ideologies are represented and critiqued within the pages of the books linked here, covering the full political spectrum: whether it is Fascism versus Communism; Neoconservatism versus Progressivism or Liberalism; Nationalism and Nazism versus International Socialism and everything in between.

Do any of these topics spark your curiosity? This is the ‘bread and butter’ of Books of Liberty. While it’s not the most popular tag, it’s first on my Top 100 for good reason. Have a look for yourself. And as always, thank you for reading!

Recommended Starting Points

With the world at your fingertips, where do you start?

I’ve often found myself contemplating what book I should read next. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve read through all my books at home. Yet sometimes what you have just isn’t what you’re in the mood for. Worse still, sometimes you don’t even know what you are in the mood for.

I’ve decided to create a series of posts over the next couple of months, in which I will highlight some interesting topics that can point you in the direction of a captivating journey. Most blog posts thereafter will be about books and topics, but this series is focused on the more fundamental starting points.

Edit: This series of posts has proven so useful, I’ve decided to copy them into the main site, providing recommended starting points at Books of Liberty. Moreover, depending on the topic tags associated with the books, the relevant starting points are also copied into each book page to help you find similar books to the one you’re looking at. So if you’re reading this after May 2017 and the contents look familiar, you’ll know why.

But before we get started, a note on the default order of the topics on our main page. Books of Liberty does not categorize books within a rigid hierarchy. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I designed it such that you can choose any number of topics (regardless of whether they relate to one another) and discover books where those topics intersect.

However, much like in Animal Farm, while all topics are equal, some topics are more equal than others. After analyzing the interrelationship between the topics and books, I’ve identified the top 100 that seem to correlate with the widest range of topics (surprisingly, these aren’t the 100 most popular topics). But there is not a single book in our records or a single other topic that is not connected to one of these 100 topics. So if you sort by top 100 and scroll through them you’re bound to find an interesting starting point.

Otherwise, you can sort the list of topics by popularity to find the topics that are represented in the largest number of books. Furthermore, you can sort the topics alphabetically or simply type in the topic search bar a topic of interest. The search bar has an autocomplete function, so as you start typing you will be shown a hint of which topics are available from which you can choose.

If I had to narrow down the almost 800 topics or even the ‘Top 100’ to the ones that provide the best starting points, these would be the ones with which I would start and the ones on which I will focus in this upcoming series:

Over the next 17 blog posts I will cover each of the above bullet points in more detail. Within each blog I will further link to more topics associated with the main topic, so explore each link that tickles your fancy? And as always, thank you for reading!

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

You may have looked at the Books of Liberty logo and wondered why I chose a turtle. You’re not alone in questioning this. In fact, so many have asked me this question, I’ve decided to add the contents of this short blog post into the Books of Liberty About page.

In many cultures and mythologies turtles or tortoises symbolize a variety of things, but quite often they represent wisdom and knowledge, longevity and stability, patience and tranquility, and of course the resilience and long-term commitment that brings it success against faster, more agile but also arrogant and overconfident opponents.

To me, it symbolizes the philosophy of freedom and non-violence. I appreciate the porcupine analogy and I am not opposed to self-defense. But my hat off to an animal who can withstand attacks from its enemies and defend itself in an admirably non-aggressive and non-retaliatory manner. It inspires me to communicate nonviolently and to try to find ways to bridge the gaps in as peaceful a way as possible.

And in the end, I believe that the ideas of peace and freedom will eventually win. We have truth on our side. We have the knowledge and wisdom and are willing to take our time to peacefully lead others to realize within themselves the veracity and values of our position. We lack the arrogance of the central planners who think they can hasten the coming of the messiah by scientifically forging the perfect state of being for all. Slow and steady wins the race!

What does the turtle mean to you? Join the Books of Liberty Book Club to connect with friends in our members-only Facebook group and let us know your thoughts of this odd creature that inspires so many. Feel free to post your thoughts below on suggestions for what to name this cute little book-turtle. And as always, thank you for reading!

Benefits of Joining the Book Club

Last week I posted about the benefits of joining a book club. While I certainly find it to be a terrific way to meet new people and hear different perspectives on the books you read, there are other ways in which I would like to serve the members of Books of Liberty.

The main benefit membership provides is the ability to save books for future reference. You can save books to your online library to help you keep track of all those books you love and adore. And you can save books to a wish list so you don’t forget about that rare gem you stumbled upon.

And if that’s not reason enough, here’s an even better reason.

Books of Liberty is not just a portal to Amazon. Yes, I would appreciate you making your purchases through our Amazon affiliate links, which help keep on the lights. But in addition to linking to Amazon and Audible, I’ve looked for, found and linked free ebooks and audio-books wherever they exist.

There are literally hundreds of free ebooks and audio-books linked within the pages of our site. This can be your one-stop-shop to access the free versions of the content you love. No more saving down PDFs, only to not find them later! No more filling up your hard drive with MP3 files! No more dozens of bookmarks!

So go ahead and find the books you love, save them to your library! If there is a free ebook or audio-book out there, you can later just log in and access it all with the click of a button from any device. And as always, thank you for reading!

 

Books of Liberty Book Club

If you’ve ever been part of a book club you may know of some of its benefits. From the sense of community and the social benefits to the intellectual stimulation you get or a motivational push to finish the book, there are plenty of reasons you’d want to join like minded people to discuss your favorite topics and books.

But if you’re like me, chances are there are relatively few people in your vicinity who would take the time to read some of the books in your wish list. Thankfully the world is getting smaller and it’s easier than ever to connect with others across the globe.

The Books of Liberty Book Club was designed with you in mind, to create a community of people who are interested in the philosophy of freedom and all it entails, and allow for a place to gather and have meaningful discussions about the books we are reading.

While I have big plans for the future, as at the time of writing, the way we’ve implemented this is through Facebook’s Books of Liberty Book Club private group.

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, but I have to admit it is currently the best way to allow as many people as possible to connect socially online.

I’ve made the group private, not to restrict membership, but rather to protect the privacy of our members. I would like to encourage open dialogue and this is only possible if members are not intimidated by what their friends on Facebook might think of their posts online.

The most challenging aspect to Facebook threads, if you ask me, is finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. It’s not easy to look through past threads in a group that has hundreds of them. So I created a simple solution: each book will have its own thread, which is linked directly within the book’s page on Books of Liberty. If you’d like to join the conversation, simply follow the link.

The folks who join the Books of Liberty Book Club are likely to have a similar outlook on life, philosophy, education, politics or parenting. They will form a community in which you will feel at home. In addition and as a result, their commentary and opinions on our books will be much more relevant to you than reviews you might find on Amazon, Goodreads or other mainstream platform.

Joining a book club has never been simpler! Please consider joining our Facebook group and the Book Club, if you haven’t already. And as always, thank you for reading!

Books of Liberty Introduction

Welcome to the Books of Liberty blog

For my inaugural post, I wanted to share a little about myself and about what you can expect to see within this blog’s parent site, Books of Liberty.

My name is Daniel Shafrir and I love learning new things. Traditionally, this was achieved by reading books or scholarly journals, but these days audio books, podcasts, websites and blogs have increased dramatically the sources of information one has at their disposal. Call me old fashioned, but I still love the concept of a good book.

I am interested in a certain niche (one that should become apparent if you browse through this blog’s parent site) and while there are sites out there that publish or sell books within this niche, there is no one site that covers the full spectrum I am interested in.

So I identified a market opportunity: Build an online collection of books that captures as much of my niche as possible, and provide people with information about these books, from content descriptions and reviews to downloading and purchasing options.

Being an advocate of the free market, I am keenly aware that if there is an untapped niche, it means that potentially there are people out there who would benefit from someone coming in and serving their needs.

Who are those people? What do they need? And why? The more I thought about it, the more I realized how many different types of people I can serve.

    • Some think this niche is so small, there probably aren’t many books on the matter.
    • Some know there are tons of books, but don’t know where to start.
    • Some are curious to learn of what new books have come out.
    • Some are students who would love to know which books discuss which topics.
    • Some are bloggers or podcast creators who are looking for an idea of a book or topic to discuss.
    • Some have a shelf full of books but don’t know what they’re in the mood for.
    • Some are so jaded with the history and economics they’ve been taught, they no longer know which authors to trust.
    • And probably the biggest group of people just want to know what is the one book they can give their uncle to set him straight, once and for all, on a particular topic they debated this past Thanksgiving.

Regardless of where you fit in, there is something in it for you! At the time of writing, there are over 1,600 books in a variety of formats by close to 1,300 authors, editors, contributors and narrators that cover almost 800 different topics and subtopics! I’ve tagged each book with detailed keywords, representing its contents.

Instead of following the traditional method of organizing the books by hierarchical structure like at Amazon (where you must guess where your book might be hidden), we allow you to browse by topic, no matter how granular that topic is.

Not having a hierarchical structure also allows you to choose multiple unrelated topics and find books that cover a broad range of subjects. The sky’s the limit with the range of books available to us… why restrict ourselves to the searching method?

Another benefit of displaying the topics and not just having a blank Google search bar is that you can simply browse the list of topics to get an idea of what is out there.

All this is has been designed with one goal in mind: to help you discover books covering ideas that pique your interest!

So go ahead and visit Books of Liberty and see what you can discover today. And as always, thank you for reading!