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Back to July Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 270 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS JULY 2008

How Many of These Books Have You Read?
Ten Books Every Republican Congressman Should Read
Human Events asked 22 conservative scholars what they wished every Republican Congressman would read. They're not just for Congressmen — and not just for Republicans.
  1. The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek, 1944. A Nobel Prize-winning economist's classic description of how collectivism and a centrally planned economy lead inevitably to tyranny.
  2. The Federalist Papers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, 1787-8. In a series of articles, these early American conservatives made the case for ratification of the Constitution.
  3. The Bible. The Christian Scriptures, in the Old and New Testaments.
  4. Free to Choose by Milton and Rose Friedman, 1980. On the free market and why excessive government intervention can't improve it.
  5. Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt, 1946. A readable, straightforward book debunking myths about the market and government intervention in the economy.
  6. The Law by Frederick Bastiat, 1849. Bastiat's brief defense of the rights to life, liberty, and property, in response to 19th-century French socialism.
  7. The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater, 1960. Addresses topics equally relevant today, such as education, the welfare state, civil rights, and taxes and spending.
  8. The Pig Book: How Government Wastes Your Money. Every year, Citizens against Government Waste publishes a new Pig Book chronicling Congress's latest "pork" appropriations.
  9. Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson, 2003. A compassionate but unflinching look at illegal immigration and associated issues.
  10. The Constitution of Liberty by F. A. Hayek, 1960. Hayek's defense of classical liberalism.


The Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Why read the books Human Events believes did the most damage over the past 200 years? "Know thy enemy." In defense of the American commitment to free speech, civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate told the New York Times, "The world didn't suffer because too many people read Mein Kampf. Sending Hitler on a speaking tour of the United States would have been quite a good idea." (New York Times, 6-12-08)

  1. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, 1848. The Black Book of Communism estimates Communism's death count at 94 million.
  2. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler, 1925-6. Hitler's vision for racial holocaust and German expansion into France and Eastern Europe.
  3. Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong, 1966. Probably the second-most widely published book of all time (after the Bible), since Mao required every Chinese adult to own a copy. The Black Book of Communism estimates that 65 million people died under Mao.
  4. The Kinsey Report by Alfred Kinsey, 1948. We now know that Kinsey generalized about all males from his studies of incarcerated felons, and that many of his experiments amounted to sexual abuse of young children.
  5. Democracy and Education by John Dewey, 1916. Dewey advocated secular humanism and transformational education to the detriment of traditional schooling focused on academic content.
  6. Das Kapital by Karl Marx, 1867, 85 and 94. Marx's critical analysis of capitalism.
  7. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, 1963. A prominent feminist's attack on stay-at-home motherhood, which she described as life in a "comfortable concentration camp."
  8. The Course of Positive Philosophy by Auguste Comte, 1830. Comte founded the Religion of Humanity, a parallel, post-theistic, "scientific" religion with its own saints and calendar, and with Comte himself as high priest.
  9. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche, 1886. Nietzsche wrote scornfully of the "conventional" morality and Christian premises of other philosophers, and trumpeted the rise of "free spirits" like himself who would make their own rules.
  10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by John Maynard Keynes, 1936. Human Events calls Keynesian economics as set forth in this book a "recipe for ever-expanding government."


Selections from The Telegraph's Perfect Library

It is now rare for high school English classes to assign literary classics. Even many professors at elite colleges skip long or difficult books in favor of short stories and articles. Britain's Telegraph presented in June its new list of "110 Best Books: The Perfect Library." Check out these books this summer, and encourage your favorite student to do the same.

Classics

  • The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, ~9th-7th c. B.C.
  • The Barchester Chronicles by Anthony Trollope, 1855-67.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 1813.
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, 1726.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, 1847.
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, 1865-9.
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, 1849-50.
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, 1847-8.
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, 1871.
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot, 1874.


Poetry

  • Sonnets by William Shakespeare, 1609.
  • Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, 1308-1321.
  • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, 1387-1400.
  • The Prelude by William Wordsworth, 1850.
  • Odes by John Keats, 1819.
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot, 1922.
  • Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1667.
  • Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake, 1794.
  • Collected Poems by W. B. Yeats, 1889-1939.

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