Reading List

“The Great Books Of The Aristocracy”

The ruling class under the monarchies never produced a canon of it’s own: a collection of works whose content is politically scientific and rationally written. The rulers simply did their job with tradition, pragmatism and familial wisdom. So a rich, fully articulated analysis of the western social and political system has been unavailable to us, other than Plato’s – and he was tragically wrong.

There have been a number of ‘Great Books’ lists, in an effort to develop a western, or even world canon1 . These lists start by sharing a desire for freedom, and at some point for democracy, and finally, evolve to a desire for communism. They are not scientific, but merely moral appeals for power. As such they are sentimental and political propaganda and little more than efforts to seize political power or seize assets from the aristocracy by promoting redistribution, collectivism and democracy, using derivatives of Christian arguments.

This list is my attempt to cover the body of ‘scientific’ political thought: writing that is based upon the record of what humans actually do, rather than what we fantasize that they should do. I also try to be consistent in avoiding appeals to sentiments, and instead, limit selections to rational or scientific arguments. I’ve tried to select books that the inquiring reader can wade through, and avoided the most abstract texts wherever possible. (The distraction of Bohm Bahwerk for example.) And I have tried to provide selections from a breadth of fields which serves to prevent the errors inherent in selective specialization. And because I believe that practical wisdom is the result of accumulated general knowledge and the further synthesis of common principles regardless of their field of origin.

Included are: Art, Mythology, History, The Behavior Of Man, Philosophy, Politics, Economics, Law, and War. These are, together, the technologies of cooperation and conflict resolution.

THE SHORT LIST: THE CURRENT STATE OF KNOWLEDGE

Ricardo Duchesne: The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
JP Mallory: In Search of Indo Europeans
John Keegan: A History Of Warfare
Joseph Campbell : The Hero’s Journey
Karen Armstrong : The Great Transformation
Bryan Ward-Perkins: The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

Emmanuel Todd: The Explanation of Ideology
Emmanuel Todd: The Invention of Europe
David Hackett Fischer: Albion‘s Seed: Four British Folkways in America
Daniel Hannan: Inventing Freedom
Alan MacFarlane : Origins of English Individualism
Gregory Clark: A Farewell to Alms

William Tucker: Marriage and Civilization
Nicholas Wade: A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History
Matt Ridley: The Red Queen
Dale Petersen: Demonic Males
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow
Peter Turchin: Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth
Garett Jones: Hive Mind: How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own
Francis Fukuyama: Trust
Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind
Stephen Hicks : Explaining Postmodernism
Hans Hoppe: Democracy The God That Failed
Doolittle: Propertarianism: Truth is Enough.

Working Topics
LIES

Dallas Denery: The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment
Thomas Carson: Lying and Deception: Theory and Practice
Jennifer Mather Saul: Lying, Misleading, and What is Said
Clancy Martin: The Philosophy of Deception 1st Edition
Herbert Fingarette: Self-Deception
Brooke Harrington: Deception: From Ancient Empires to Internet Dating
Edward Bernays: Propaganda
Jason Stanley: How Propaganda Works Hardcover

Jeremy Elkins: Truth and Democracy
David Livingstone: Less Than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others
Daniel Nanavati: A Brief History Of Lies

DUPLICITY
(iffy stuff I think is largely nonsense)
Michael Hoffman: Judaism Discovered

Removed:
I am a little iffy on Pinker despite the fact that he fired the first salvo against pseudoscience in the social sciences. I can’t tell where his defense of market for his books begins and his academic honesty ends. Better angels is not true for the reasons he states. And that really troubles me.
Steven Pinker: The Better Angels of Our Nature
Steven Pinker : The Blank Slate
I am a little iffy on harris because I have figured out his biases and errors, and his book on lying is too weak to include versus the alternatives.
Sam Harris : Lying

I. POLITICS


POLITICS2

Aristotle: Ethics, Politics
Machiavelli: The Prince, Discourses
Burke: Reflections On The Revolution In France
Hamilton: The Federalist Papers
Bastiat: The Law
Sorel: Reflections On Violence
Mosca: Ruling Class
Michels: Political Parties
Burnham: The Machiavellians
Hayek: The Road To Serfdom, The Constitution Of Liberty
Mancur Olson: The Logic Of Collective Action
Andrew Heywood : Political Ideologies : An Introduction.

POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY
David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature, Essays Moral and Political, An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Locke: Two Treatise on Government
Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments, The Wealth of Nations
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy in America
Weber: Economy And Society, Essays in Sociology
Pareto: Mind And Society
Hayek: Individualism And Economic Order
Veblen: The Theory of the Leisure Class
Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Durkhiem: Division Of Labor In Society
Hoppe: The Economics And Ethics Of Private Property, Democracy The God That Failed

POLITICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Thomas Sowell: A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles
Thomas Sowell: Intellectuals and Society
Thomas Sowell: The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation As a Basis for Social Policy.
Thomas Sowell: Knowledge and Decisions

II. THE RECORD OF MAN’S ACTIONS


HISTORICAL ANALYSIS AND CRITICISM

HISTORY
Gregory Clark: A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World
Huntington: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order
Fukuyama: The Origins Of Political Order
Carroll Quigley: The Evolution Of Civilizations
Braudel: A History of Civilizations
Durant: Lessons Of History (Everything really)
Toynbee: A Study Of History

BIRTH
Ricardo Duchesne: The Uniqueness of Western Civilization
Emmanuel Todd: The Invention Of Europe (French Only)
Emmanuel Todd: The Causes of Progress
McNeil: The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community
McNeil: Plagues and Peoples
Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
Pomeranz: The Great Divergence (Anything he has written.)

DECLINE
Acemoglu: Why Nations Fail
Gibbon: The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire
Spengler: The Death Of the West
Yockey: The enemy Of Europe, The Enemy Of Our Enemies, Imperium
Burnham: Suicide Of The West
Buchannan: The Decline Of The West
Whittaker Chambers: Witness

CONFLICT
Keegan: A History Of Warfare (Anything he has written.)
Victor Davis Hanson’s “The Other Greeks”, Carnage and Culture (Anything he has written)
Sir Lawrence Freedman: Strategy: A History

RELIGION
Karen Armstrong: The Great Transformation
James C. Russell: The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity

MORALITY
Emmanuel Todd: The Explanation of Ideology
Robert Nisbet: The Quest for Community
Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
Niall Ferguson: (Everything he has written)
Murray: Human Accomplishment (Everything he has written)
Mokyr: The Gifts Of Athena, The Lever Of Riches (Anything he has written)

CYCLE THEORY – HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF
Strauss and Howe: Generations, The Fourth Turning

FUTURE GEOPOLITICS
Christopher Hayes: Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
Fareed Zakaria: The Post-American World: Release 2.0
Joseph S. Nye Jr.:The Future of Power [Kindle Edition]
Samuel P. Huntington: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order [Kindle Edition]
Joseph Tainter), Colin Renfrew:The Collapse of Complex Societies (New Studies in Archaeology)
Fred Guterl:The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It

SOCIOLOGY
Banfield: The Unheavenly City, The Moral Basis of a Backward Society
Axelrod: The Evolution Of Cooperation

Mancur Olson: The Rise and Decline Of Nations
Edward O. Wilson: The Social Conquest of Earth [Kindle Edition]
Gregory Cochran, Henry Harpending: The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution
Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson: Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty [Kindle Edition]
Peter L. Berger, Thomas Luckmann:The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge [Paperback]
Bryan Caplan: The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies [Hardcover]
Samuel P. Huntington: Political Order in Changing Societies (The Henry L. Stimson Lectures Series) [Paperback]
Niall Ferguson: Civilization: The West and the Rest
Charles Murray: Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950
Tim Harford:Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure [Kindle Edition]

III. HUMAN BEINGS


EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY
Cavalli-Svorza; The Great Human Diasporas
Cochran & Harpending: The 10,000 Year Explosion
Richard Dawkins:The Selfish Gene:30th Anniversary edition
Jared M. Diamond: The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (P.S.) [Paperback]
Robert Axelrod: The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition
Matt Ridley: The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature [Kindle Edition]
Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha: Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
Dale Peterson, Richard Wrangham: Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence
Simon Baron-Cohen : The Essential Difference: Male And Female Brains And The Truth About Autism
Steven Goldberg : Why Men Rule: A Theory of Male Dominance Paperback

INTELLIGENCE
Flynn: What Is Intelligence?
Sternberg/Kaufman : The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence
Earl Hunt: Human Intelligence
Jeff Hawkins: On Intelligence
Richard Lynn: The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide [Perfect Paperback]
Richard Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen:IQ and the Wealth of Nations (Human Evolution, Behavior, and Intelligence)

Essays:
The humorous essays of “Le Griffe Du Lion” (Prof Robert Gordon. Some subtle statistical errors, but in general useful. His smart fraction theory is being explored by others at the moment.)

EVOLUTIONARY MORALITY

THE MIND
Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow
Steven Pinker: How the Mind Works
Ramachandran: The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human
Steven Pinker: The Language Instinct: How The Mind Creates Language (P.S.) [Kindle Edition]
Steven Pinker: The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature
Steven Pinker: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
Jonathan Haidt: The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

BELIEF
(From Amazon – I don’t spent time on this subject but others do.)
“The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life”
“Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” by Leonard Mlodinow,
“Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment” by Phil Zuckerman,
“The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths” by Michael Shermer,
“SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable” by Bruce M. Hood,
“The Brain and the Meaning of Life” by Paul Thagard.
“Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain” by David Eagleman

IV. SOCIAL MAN: COOPERATION AND TRUST

SOCIAL CLASS
Paul Fussell: Class: A Guide Through the American Status System
Richard J. Herrnstein, Charles Murray: Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life
Robert Gordon (La Griffe Du Lion): “Smart Fraction Theory” (Methodological flaws aside, the theory is insightful) and Smart Fraction Theory II
Charles Murray: Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 [Hardcover]
Stanley, DankoThe Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
Stanley: The Millionaire Mind
Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable Fragility”
Mandelbrot, Hudson:The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence

TRUST
Harrison, Huntington: Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress
Francis Fukuyama: Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity [Paperback]
Sam Harris: Lying
Joel Kotkin: Tribes
Frank Salter: Risky Transactions: Trust, Kinship and Ethnicity; On Genetic Interests
Huntington: The Clash Of Civilizations
Becker: The Economic Approach To Human Behavior

THE HANJAL LINE – MATING PATTERNS (Trying to trim this section down)
SUMMARY: Kevin MacDonald “What Makes Western Culture Unique?”
John Hajnal, (1965): European marriage pattern in historical perspective en D.V. Glass and D.E.C. Eversley, (eds.) Population in History, Arnold, Londres
Ansley J. Coale & Roy Treadway, (1986): The Decline of Fertility in Europe
David Levine, (1977): Family Formation in an Age of Nascent Capitalism
Wally Seccombe (1992): A Millennium of Family Change, Feudalism to Capitalism in Northwestern Europe, Verso.
Göran Therborn, (2004): Between Sex and Power, Family in the World, 1900–2000, Routledge Press (see pp. 144–45).
Mary S. Hartman (2004): The Household and the Making of History, A Subversive View of the Western Past, Cambridge University Press.
David I Kertzer and Marzio Barbagli. 2001. The history of the European family. New Haven: Yale University Press. p xiv
David Levine (1977): Family Formation in an Age of Nascent Capitalism, Academic Press. 152
Peter Laslett: The World We Have Lost.
Stephanie Coontz: Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage.
De Moor, Tine and Jan Luiten van Zanden. 2009. Girl power: the European marriage pattern and labour markets in the North Sea region in the late medieval and early modern period.

MANORIALISM
Michael Mitterauer: Why Europe?: The Medieval Origins of Its Special Path
Bloch, Marc (1989-11-16). Feudal Society: Vol 1: The Growth and Ties of Dependence (2 ed.).
Bloch, Marc (1989-11-16). Feudal Society: Vol 2: Social Classes and Political Organisation (2 ed.). (“Feudal Society”, in its modern sense was coined in Marc Bloch’s 1939-40 books. He emphasized the distinction between economic manorialism which preceded feudalism and survived it, and political and social feudalism, or seigneurialism.)
Prosper Boissonnade; Eileen Power, Lynn White; Life and work in medieval Europe : the evolution of medieval economy from the fifth to the fifteenth century.
Henri Pirenne: Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe. Harcourt Brace & Company.

Articles:
^ Peter Sarris, “The Origins of the Manorial Economy: New Insights from Late Antiquity”, The English Historical Review 119 (April 2004:279-311).
^ Horn, “On the Origins of the Medieval Cloister” Gesta 12.1/2 (1973:13-52), quote p. 41.
^ Andrew Jones, “The Rise and Fall of the Manorial System: A Critical Comment” The Journal of Economic History 32.4 (December 1972:938-944) p. 938; a comment on D. North and R. Thomas, “The rise and fall of the manorial system: a theoretical model”, The Journal of Economic History 31 (December 1971:777-803).
^ C.R. Whittaker, “Circe’s pigs: from slavery to serfdom in the later Roman world”, Slavery and Abolition 8 (1987:87-122.
^ Averil Cameron, The Mediterranean World in Late Antiquity AD 395-600, 1993:86.

RACE AND RACISM
Michael Levin: Why Race Matters:Race Differences and What They Mean
J. Philippe Rushton: Race, Evolution and Behavior
Gobineau; The Inequality of Human Races

V. LAW


LAW
Core:
– Milsom’s Natural History of the Common Law.
– Plucknett’s A Concise History Of The Common Law.
– Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty
More:
Bastiat: The Law
Hayek: Law, Legislation, and Liberty
Leoni: Freedom and the Law
Benson: Enterprise of Law
Randy E. Barnett: The Structure of Liberty: Justice and the Rule of Law
Richard Epstein: How Progressives Rewrote the Constitution, Simple Rules for a Complex World.

LEGAL CODES
The Code Of Hammurabi
(UNDONE: list the other early laws here)
The Athenian Constitution
Roman Law
The Anglo Saxon Codes
Magna Carta
The Articles Of Confederation
The US Declaration Of Independence, Constitution, and Original Bill of Rights.

VI. ECONOMICS AND HUMAN COOPERATION


ENTRY LEVEL ECONOMICS
Bernard Mandelville: The Fable Of The Bees: Private Vice Public Benefit
Leonard Read: “I, Pencil”
Hazlitt: Economics In One Lesson
Thomas Sowell: Basic Economics

ECONOMICS AND POLICY
Aristotle: Topics
Xenophon: Economics
Cantillon: Essai Sur la Nature du Commerce en Général.
David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751)
Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834),An Essay on the Principle of Population.
David Ricardo (1772–1823),
Adam Smith (1723–1790).
Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850);
William Stanley Jevons (1835–1882).
(undone)

THE KNOWLEDGE AND CALCULATION PROBLEMS
Popper: Sources of Knowledge And Ignorance
Popper: The Open Universe
Taleb: The Black Swan, Fooled By Randomness
Mandelbrot: ??
(undone)
(undone: the essays on the socialist calculation debate, the essay on the incentive priority)

THE PROBLEM OF ABSTRACTIONS
Religions:
States:
– Nock: Our Enemy, The State
– Rothbard: Man, Economy and State
Corporations:
Abstract Property Types (Options)
(UNDONE)

VII. PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY


PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY
Montaigne: Essays
Hazlitt: Foundations Of Morality
Henry: In Defense Of Elitism
(undone)

RELATED 
Robert Greene: The 48 Laws Of Power
Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends & Influence People (Mass Market Paperback)

VIII. EDUCATION


Inside American Education, Thomas Sowell
The Conspiracy of Ignorance, Martin Gross
Real Education, Charles Murray
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, Charlotte Iserbyt

IX. THE NARRATIVE ARTS


ART
Anthony F. Janson: History Of Art
Paul Johnson: Art: A New History
Ayn Rand: The Romantic Manifesto

MYTHOLOGY
Anon: Gilgamesh
Euripides:Cyclops, Heracles, Alcestis, Hecuba, Bacchae, Orestes, Andromache, Medea, Ion, Hippolytus, Helen, Iphigenia at Aulis
Aristophanes : The Birds, The Clouds, The Frogs, Lysistrata, The Knights, The Wasps, The Assemblywomen
Aesop’s Fables
Homer: The Illiad and the Odyssey
Virgil: The Aneid
Plutarch: Life of Alexander
Julius Caesar: The Conquest Of Gaul
Anon: Beowulf
Mallory: Le Morte De Arthur (England)
The Carolingian Cycle (The Matter Of France)
The Nibelungenlied (Germany)
The Norse Sagas (Norse)
Grimm: Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Spenser: Prothalamion; The Faerie Queene
Scott: Ivanhoe (Scott)
Tolkein: The Hobbit, The Lord Of The Rings (English)
Heinlein: Starship Troopers (American)
Herbert: Dune (American)

PLAYS
(Undone)

NARRATIVE ANALYSIS
Bullfinch: Mythology
Campbell: The Hero’s Journey, The Hero With A Thousand Faces
Frazer: The Golden Bough
Nietzsche: The Birth Of Tragedy

HISTORY
Herodotus
Livy
Plutarch
Tacitus
Kagan: The Peleponnesian War
(undone)

X. WAR


THE WAR OF STATES
Sun Tzu: The Art Of War
The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics)
Julius Ceasar: Caesar’s Commentaries: On the Gallic War And on the Civil War
Julius Ceasar: The Conquest of Gaul
Machiavelli: The Prince
Machiavelli: The Art Of War
Carl Van Clausewitz: On War (2G Second Generation Warfare)
Antoine De Jomini: The Art Of War
Moltke: The Art Of War
Mao Tse-Tung: The Art of War (4G Fourth Generation Warfare)
B. H. Liddell Hart: Strategy: Second Revised Edition (Meridian)
Michael Handel: Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought
Martin van Creveld: Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (Paperback)
Robert Leonhard: The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver Warfare Theory and Airland Battle (3G Third Generation Warfare)
John Keegan: The Price of Admiralty: The Evolution of Naval Warfare

IDEOLOGICAL GUERILLA WAR
Martin van Creveld: The Rise and Decline of the State, Transformation of War, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century

ADDITIONAL WORKS OF GENERAL THEORY
Michael Handel: Masters of War: Classical Strategic Thought
Bevin Alexander: How Wars Are Won: The 13 Rules of War from Ancient Greece to the War on Terror
Bevin Alexander: How Great Generals Win (Paperback)
John Keegan: The Mask of Command
Martin van Creveld: Command in War (everything he has written)
John Keegan: The Face of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme
Donald Kagan: On the Origins of War: And the Preservation of Peace (everything he has written)

WORKS ON REBELLION
Étienne de La Boétie: The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude
The IRA Green Book
The Marxist Mini Manual
The Protocols Of Zion
The Ten Planks Of The Communist Manifesto
Michael Jacoby Brown: Building Powerful Community Organizations
Saul Alinsky: Rules for Radicals
Rinku Sen: Stir It Up (Lessons in Community Organizing & Advocacy)
Randy Shaw: The Activist’s Handbook
Joe Szakos and Kristin Layng Szakos: Lessons from the Field: Organizing in Rural Communities

ADDITIONAL WORKS OF HISTORY3
Donald W. Engels: Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army
The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third
John Keegan: A History of Warfare (Everything he has written.)
Archer Jones: The Art of War in Western World
Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age
Donald Kagan: (everything he has written)

ANALYTICAL METHODS
Two-Person Game Theory
Differential Games: A Mathematical Theory with Applications to Warfare and Pursuit, Control and Optimization
Numbers, prediction, and war: Using history to evaluate combat factors and predict the outcome of battles
Attrition: Forecasting Battle Casualties and Equipment Losses in Modern War

XI. Other Reading Lists


LIBERTARIAN READING LISTS
1) Hans Hoppe’s Anarcho Capitalism Reading List.
2) David Gordon’s On Liberty Reading List.
3) Lew Rockwell’s Reading For Liberty Reading List.
4) The Economic Policy Journal’s 30 Day Reading List
5) Stephan Kinsella’s Reading List

THE CONSERVATIVES
1) A Conservative Reading List, (Compiled from various sources.)

THE PROPERTARIANS
1) Mises: Human Action (Jewish Middle Class classical liberalism)
2) Hayek: The Constitution Of Liberty. “The Use of Knowledge in Society”. Individualism and Economic Order. (Christian Aristocratic classical liberalism)
3) Rothbard: Man Economy And State. The Ethics Of Liberty. “The Libertarian Manifesto”. (Jewish Anarchism)
4) Hoppe: “A Theory of Socialism & Capitalism”. Democracy The God That Failed. The Economics and Ethics Of Private Property. (German Nationalism)
5) Doolittle: “Propertarianism”. “A Manifesto For Conservatives”. (Anglo Aristocratic Empiricism)