On the bookshelf nearest at hand.

On the bookshelf nearest at hand.






I hold a small celebration every time I finish reading a book. I am often working on (sometimes just skimming) so many books at a time, these days, that when I actually complete the reading of a book, it’s worth at least a half hurrah. So here, in bold, are books I have finished recently. Books in italics are those I’m reading and intend finishing soon. But, as every liberal needs to be told, intentions alone don’t count except in mutual admiration societies.

January 2014:

  • An Essay on Economic Theory, by Richard Cantillon (I wrote the foreword to the Laissez Faire Books edition of this great treatise)
  • Od Magic, by Patricia A. McKillip
  • Unmoral, by Jack Woodford
  • Banking and the Business Cycle, by C.A. Phillips, R.W. Nelson, T.F. McManus (I wrote the foreword to the Laissez Faire Books edition of this fascinating analysis)

February 2014:

  • Power Corrupts: Essays on Freedom and History, by Lord Acton, with an introduction by Gertrude Himmelfarb (I wrote the foreword to the forthcoming Laissez Faire Books edition of this magnificent collection — it’s an education in one volume)
  • The Trials of Quintilian, by Michael Kurland
  • What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen, by Frédéric Bastiat (I wrote the foreword to the forthcoming Laissez Faire Books edition of this classic essay, which also includes both volumes of the “Economic Sophisms”)
  • Socialistic Fallacies, by Yves Guyot

“On Deck” 2014:

  • Economic Harmonies, by Frédéric Bastiat
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt
  • Moon-Flash, by Patricia A. McKillip
  • Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics, by P.J. O’Rourke
  • The Principles of Economical Philosophy, by Henry Dunning Macleod
  • The Principles and Practice of Banking: New Edition, 1871, by James W. Gilbart
  • The Social System, by Talcott Parsons

To Re-Read, 2014:

  • The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations, by Robert Ardrey
  • Principles of Biology, …Psychology, …Sociology, …Ethics (Synthetic Philosophy), by Herbert Spencer

Most Interesting books read in 2013:

  • The Slightest Philosophy, by Quee Nelson (a fine defense of common sense against trendy metaphysical skepticism)
  • Satan’s Bushel, by Garet Garret (a surprisingly fine novel that’s both fantasy and exploration of commodities trading)
  • Common Sense, by Thomas Paine (a classic I had never before bothered to read all the way through)
  • The Ruins: Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires, by C. F. Volney (an important book back in America’s founding period — very oddly written, but quite impressive in its way; George Washington knew Volney, Thomas Jefferson translated much of the book from the original French)
  • Informed Common Sense: The Journals of Albert Jay Nock
  • The Outcome of Individualism, by J. H. Levy (an interesting defense of what we would now call libertarianism, but from more than a hundred years ago; much of it is a critique of John Stuart Mill’s treatise on political economy, but the rousing conclusion is worth winding one’s way to
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