Ten Books Underpinning Conservatism that You Have to Read
Regardless of your ideology, these are worth your time
Liberals and conservatives alike should read these books to understand the intellectual roots of the conservative movement. Agree or disagree, the ideas found in these works have been fundamental in shaping the political discourse and policy in America over the last 70 years.
1. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggle
Thomas Sowell argues that nearly all ethical and policy disputes emerge from a fundamental conflict between two competing visions of human nature that he terms the "constrained" and the "unconstrained".
In the constrained vision, human nature is unchanging and selfish. In the unconstrained vision, human nature is influencible and altruistic. Sowell makes his case by digging into various political disputes throughout American history, framing them in light of this dichotomy.
2. Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties
This is an expansive book of history, delving into world events from WWI through the 90's. Paul Johnson examines all of it from the vantage point of a fiscal and social conservative, interpreting and unifying the events of 70 years through the context of his ideology.
4. Things That Matter
Charles Krauthammer is perhaps one of the most recognizable voices in intellectual conservatism today, with his weekly column a conservative pillar in The Washington Post and frequent TV appearances. In Things That Matter, he reflects on the past 30 years of politics and culture and includes several seminal essays on policy ranging from America's role as a superpower to Jewish destiny.
7. The Road to Serfdom
Published in 1944, The Road to Serfdom was visionary in its forceful argument against collectivist government, seeing how it might devolve into the very sort of facist regimes that the US was fighting at the time. As the Soviet Union emerged from the other side of the conflict, it quickly became clear that Hayek's arguments were all too prescient.
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