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!

Critique of the State

Shedding more light where once was dark, this topic includes a wide array of critiques surrounding the function of the State, but mostly around policy critiques and warfare. As it relates to the State’s functioning, everything from central planning, coercion and government expansion through to propaganda, taxation and the act of voting are discussed.

The State apparatus and its institutions, the CIA, FBI, NSA, and other alphabet soup organizations – they are all brought to account together with their counterparts in the military-industrial complex and the deep state. The Supreme Court, criminal justice system and the prisons are not immune to critique. And the filth of politics and lobbying are described in great lengths in the books highlighted at Books of Liberty.

Policy critiques cover everything from abortion to welfare. It all starts with state intervention in the affairs of private individuals and foreign intervention (which includes the seemingly benevolent foreign aid) in the affairs of other groups of people. More specifically, US foreign policy and US military intervention are popular policies to critique.

Some of the other more common topics include: drugs, eminent domain, environmentalism, poverty, protectionism, muh roads, slavery, and other forms of public policy. Needless to say, these and other policies lead to ridiculous levels of government spending, itself a valid topic to criticize.

And of course, the most destructive activity perpetrated by the State is warfare. The wars abroad and at home are discussed at length. Of the ‘traditional’ wars, World War I and II and the so-called American ‘Civil War’ (always in quotation marks) feature in the most number of books, some of which include discussions on genocide and war crimes. But then there are also the wars on amorphous, undefined entities, such as: the war on drugs, which leads to domestic violence, militarization and a police state; and the war on terror, which brought us torture, more terror and the ever-increasing drone warfare.

With well over 500 books at the time of writing, and approval ratings of politicians and their awful policies in constant demise, there’s plenty of ammunition here for any critique of the State. Dig in! And as always, thank you for reading!

Anti-individualism

Sadly, where there is light, there must be shadow and the topics you’d find in this category pertain to the darker parts of human existence. I’ve included some books that espouse such ideals, for instance various communist treatises, books that advocate various forms of socialism, or those that hail democracy as some crowning achievement of mankind.

I, for one, feel that it is important to know the arguments of the opposing side to strengthen your understanding of your own position. There is much in favor of purposefully exposing yourself to material with which you viscerally and intellectually disagree. But if you do buy these books and enrich the authors or their publishers, please use our affiliate links so that at least a liberty-loving outfit such as mine would gain a buck or two out of this deal…

Aside from a few books that support such views, the majority of the titles tagged with the above topics are there to shine light on, and provide a critique of these views.

Other anti-individualist topics include: the seemingly benign bureaucracy that makes the State inefficient; the deceptive egalitarianism and the nanny state, a path paved with good intentions that we all know where it leads (hint: may include redistribution of wealth and slavery); the outright evil in ideologies such as Fascism and Marxism that lead to despotism, dictatorship, tyranny and totalitarianism; and crony capitalism (corporatism) and its predecessor mercantilism, which masquerades as capitalism in most people’s minds and leads to anti-capitalist views.

So what say you? Are you ready for the dark side? Browse through the books on both sides of the argument and you will increase your chances of either finding common ground or predicting your opponents’ objections. And as always, thank you for reading!

Personal Freedom

Since the mission of Books of Liberty is to help you find content to free your mind, you can’t go wrong with clicking on personal freedom and seeing where it takes you.

Topics that are likely to be correlated with personal freedom include education and critical thinking, entrepreneurship or other means of achieving financial freedom in your life, physical and mental wellbeing, and for the parents out there we have books on peaceful parenting and some reading ideas for your own young readers.

The books within these topics are generally not ones you’d closely associate with the philosophy of liberty, and more often than not, written by authors who probably do not ascribe to the political or economic viewpoints of the majority of our members. But it’s exactly the reason why I wanted to create Books of Liberty – to bring together a wide variety of books that will enable you to ‘free yourself’ in every aspect of your life.

Let me know what you think about the synergy this brings to you, as you incorporate these topics with the traditional topics (e.g. politics, history and economics) that are more popular in these circles. And as always, thank you for reading!

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!