Libertarians (of either L size): what books influenced your views the most?

Just curious.

In my case, it was largely Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, Anthem, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal), as well as Huxley’s Brave New World.

Also, is The Fountainhead worth reading?

Road to Serfdom, Hayek
Free to Choose, Friedman
Capitalism…, Rand

Yes. I think it’s her best novel-- much better (and less preachy) than A.S.

Oh yeah, and I’m the small 'l" variety.

And the Capitalism… book should be: Rand, et al (including Greenspan)

There’s more than one libertarianism/Libertarianism. I’d suggest Rudolph Rocker.

Human Action, Ludwig von Mises
Liberalism in the Classical Tradition, Ludwig von Mises
The Law, Frederic Bastiat

That one, too. I knew I had left out something.

The one that honestly got me thinking?

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. R.A.H.


Cafe Society (books)?

IMHO (poll)?

Based on the probability that there will be more political discussion than critical review, I’m sending this to IMHO.

[ /Moderator Mode ]

Free to Choose - by Milton and Rose Friedman
Capitalism and Freedom - by Milton Friedman
The Road to Serfdom - by F.A. Hayek
Human Action - by Ludwig Von Mises

Numerous Ayn Rand books - I started with The Fountainhead, then started on her non-fiction collections like Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and a few others, then I read Atlas Shrugged.

Tons of Heinlein. In fact, I’d have to say Heinlein more than anything else, because I started with him when I was very young. By the time I was old enough to read serious philosophy, I was already completely sold on the virtues of personal responsibility, freedom, self-governance and other pre-requisites for a classical liberal outlook. When I read Free to Choose it just made complete, obvious sense. It still does.

From there, I started reading more widely in economics and philosophy. That probably moderated my thinking a bit, as did Ayn Rand’s increasingly obvious looniness.

In the 1980’s I subscribed to Liberty and Reason, which ensured that I got a good Libertarian spin on current events before there was widespread availability of such thought on the Internet.

Thoreau’s Walden. I was fifteen when I read it and it really gave me a new perspective on society vs. my life.

Gah! How could I have neglected *that * one? An excellent choice!

“If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” — HDT, Walden

THE REVELATION TO JOHN (if Ch XIII isn’t a blast at Statism, with an economic emphasis in the last few verses, I don’t know what is).

Bastiat’s THE LAW

Clarence Manion’s THE KEY TO PEACE

Various essays on economics from AMERICAN OPINION (the monthly journal of the John Birch Society), late 1970s

George Charles Roche III’s LEGACY OF FREEDOM

Rand’s ANTHEM & then ATLAS SHRUGGED. Oddly enough, I’ve only skimmed THE FOUNTAINHEAD, but yeah, I’d say it is worth reading. I just have never got around to fully doing so.

BTW, two Sundays ago, Feb 20th was Ayn Rand’s Centennial.

A second for Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. Then **Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, ** and L. Neil Smith’s The Probability Broach. :smiley:

For me it was Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and Ayn Rand’s various nonfiction books, all of which I first read in high school.

I used to be a big-L Libertarian, but these days I’m more the small-l variety.

Milton Friedman, first on the Donahue TV show, then reading Free to Choose.

But more important, I was working for the federal government at the time. That was more persuasive than anything.

Thomas Sowell’s A Conflict of Visions and Harry Browne’s Why Government Doesn’t Work made a big impact on me.