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First libertarian book

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Vladimir Igor N. Ghinculov Posted: Sun, Jun 17 2012 2:31 AM

I'm a hard-core libertarian and I'm trying to convert my sister. She agrees with most of our ideas but isn't organized in thought so I want to give her a book to read. I need your help in choosing it. She's very busy so the book must be clear written and not too long.

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Welcome (back) to the Mises forum!

Be sure to check out The Ultimate Beginner meta-thread (and the welcome thread there).  It's filled with helpful links with forum tips and how to's as well as things you might want to look into in the future and refer back to.

 

As for your request, I'll repeat what I mentioned here:

z1235 has been plugging the hell out of Beyond Democracy.  Says he's gotten a lot of positive results by recommending it.  $0.99 on Kindle (or even borrow it for free if you have a Prime account.)

Other recommendations for good short ones would be The Law and Anatomy of the State.  For more recommendations, I'd check out the One Book for Capitalism thread...but it seems like BD is going to be the ticket.  It's short and (evidently from z's experience) is quite effective in bringing people around.

Let us know how it goes!

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 4:19 AM

We need more info. Is she a leftist, a neocon, a centrist? Does she like social equality? Does she dislike corporations? Environmentalist? The approach is different in every scenario.

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As I said she's libertarian in her almost every stance (anti-statist, pro-choice, capitalist, climate change skeptic) but didn't form yet a philosophy and I'd like a book that will put what we stand for in clear words.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 5:21 AM

Woops. Sorry. I had the unfortunate experience of being convinced of libertarianism mostly by myself, and hence have no "eye-opening books" that helped me. Although I must say that Chaos Theory by Murphy definitely helped to push me from minarchy to AnCap.

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Personally, I was thinking about Rothbard's For a New Liberty but I'm waiting for other suggestions.

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I recommend:

FA Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Hans-Hermann Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism

Anthony de Jasay, Against Politics

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
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Vladimir Igor N. Ghinculov:
As I said she's libertarian in her almost every stance (anti-statist, pro-choice, capitalist, climate change skeptic) but didn't form yet a philosophy and I'd like a book that will put what we stand for in clear words.

Oh.  Well in that case, I'd say you're on the money with For a New Liberty...

For one thing I didn't realize you were looking for an explication of philosophy, and two, I didn't 330 pages was short enough.  I would also recommend Liberty Defined.

Another place you might check is the reading lists.

 

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MMMark replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 9:06 AM

Sun. 12/06/17 10:06 EDT
.post #171

... I'd like a book that will put what we stand for in clear words.

Defending The Undefendable, by Walter Block, is a short, entertaining, easy-to-read book that applies libertarian principles to some of society's most "unsavory" characters, with surprising results.

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 10:09 AM

I haven't read the Ethics of Liberty, only excerpts, but it appears to be quite comprehensive.

I think visiting the Mises forums is quite good, too :)

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@John James

Yeah, I know it's quite long but it was my first Rothbard book, the one that made me an AnCap. If I was sure about this choice I wouldn't have asked you, guys :)

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socialdtk replied on Sun, Jun 17 2012 12:58 PM

For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto was the book that showed me that there a was another option beyond the typical democrat republican paradigm.

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
-Friedrich Nietzsche
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Wheylous:
I haven't read the Ethics of Liberty, only excerpts, but it appears to be quite comprehensive.

Yeah EoL is generally considered the more advanced sequal to FaNL.  From what he described it seems like the latter is perfect.  However if it's too long, I think Beyond Democracy and Anatomy of the State may work well.

 

I think visiting the Mises forums is quite good, too :)

wink

 

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agisthos replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 10:01 AM

In my opinion the best place to start someone is John Stossel's books 'Give me a break' and 'Pass the Shoval'.

The reason is this - the average person is very indoctrinated into thinking the State is their friend and that government protects them from the evil capitalist businessman. Stossels books are great, because they are one example after another of how government rules and regulations are actually for the benefit of big business and special interests, not for the consumer.

Stossel was a left liberal and through constant exposure to consumer investigative journalism, he gradually began to realise government itself was the cause of societies ills.

This is the first step to opening someone to libertarianism and freedom, having them understand the State not the protector but the exploiter on behalf of those wielding the power. Then average joe be ready for 'For A New Liberty' or some other intro book on libertarianism. 

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agisthos replied on Fri, Aug 17 2012 10:09 AM

If someone is already anti statist and capitalist, then Hoppe's A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism or Democracy The God That Failes are my picks.

 

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For a New Liberty.

Its around 400 pages long. Its a pretty good read, rothbard is a good write.

This is a book that i would reccommend since its like many other books combined into 1.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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John james- Liberty defined is more for a person that is in the middle of choosing between statism or not, or who wants to learn more of ron paul's principles.

 

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

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"The Fatal Conceit - The Errors of Socialism" by F.A. Hayek

"Capitalism and Freedom" by Milton Friedman

"Economics in One Lesson" by Henry Hazlitt

Those are some good reads.

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