* General Philosophy  
   * Epistemology  
   * Psychology    
   * Morality      
   * Ethics        
   * Politics      
   * Economics     
   * Esthetics     
   * Books and Movies in the Romantic Art Form  
   * Miscellaneous good stuff  

   Caveat Lector: 
   Some of the authors cited here are not Objectivists, nonetheless many of 
their ideas are excellent expressions of Objectivist principles. 
   There is a plethora of books, many of which are trash, on the subjects 
which I mention in my writings. You should beware the reviews in the Laissez 
Faire catalog, as they present many books as libertarian which are in fact 
the writings of political conservatives. If you're not careful you could 
waste a lot of money buying things which do not tell you what you want to 
learn. The books included in this BOOKLIST are the best I have found for a 
good presentation of Objectivism and libertarianism. 

   Most of the stuff in this BOOKLIST can be purchased from:
   Laissez Faire Bookstore

   And take a look in the world's largest bookstore:

   Consider also: The Objectivism Research CD-ROM 
   This contains all of Rand's works and two of Leonard Peikoff's (The 
Ominous Parallels  and  Objectivism: The Philosophy Of Ayn Rand). 
   Writings by the Brandens and other authors are not included, nor is THE 
   The search engine for this material is outstanding! And the text is in 
easily readable format. I find it to be well worth the price of $150. 
   For more info, and to order it, see: 

   * General Philosophy 
   THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS - Ayn Rand & Nathaniel Branden (Signet book 
   ATLAS SHRUGGED - Ayn Rand - Random House 
OBJECTIVIST FORUM  A series of monthly journals published from 1962 to 1985 
by Rand et al. 
   BASIC PRINCIPLES OF OBJECTIVISM - 20 lectures by N. Branden 
   FOR A NEW LIBERTY - Murray Rothbard - Libertarian Review Foundation 
   An excellent application of libertarianism to all aspects of social 
existence. Everything is nicely explained by detailed reference to the non-
aggression principle. 

   * Epistemology 
   PRINCIPLES OF EFFICIENT THINKING - 10 lectures by Barbara Branden 
   1984 - George Orwell - New American Library (Signet) 451 CY688 
   This is the most prophetic book of the 20th century. Orwell's concepts of 
Newspeak and Prolefeed are indispensable to an understanding of the 
development of American culture during the last half of that century. A 
thorough knowledge of Newspeak, as it has been implemented in America, is 
the best means by which one can avoid an immense quagmire of faulty 
and Peikoff - Penguin 452-01030-6 
   These three excellent books by David Kelley are available from The 
Institute for Objectivist Studies, 82 Washington St #207, Poughkeepsie NY 
   Institute for Objectivist Studies

   * Psychology 
   PSYCHOLOGY OF SELF-ESTEEM - Nathaniel Branden - Bantam 23449 
   If you haven't read this book, you don't really know what psychology is. 
In this work Psychology has found an Aristotle to organize its material, 
systematize its problems and define its fundamental principles. 
   THE DISOWNED SELF - N. Branden - Bantan 22794 
   THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ROMANTIC LOVE - 16 lectures by N. Branden 
   Nathaniel Branden's WebPage
   ROBIN AND MARIAN - James Goldman - Bantam T2772    
   Is the screenplay for the movie starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn 
(the story of how Robin Hood died). The introductory essay, on the subject 
of heroes, is magnificent. 

   * Morality 
   HOW I FOUND FREEDOM IN AN UNFREE WORLD - Harry Browne - Macmillan 
   Practical procedures for achieving as much personal freedom as possible 
in an authoritarian society. 

   * Ethics 
   LIBERTARIANISM - John Hospers - Nash, 1971 (out of print) 
   LIBERTARIANISM IN ONE LESSON - David Bergland - Orpheus Publications 
   Clearly shows the fundamental differences among the Liberal, 
Conservative, and Libertarian ethical views. 
   EVOLUTION OF COOPERATION - Robert Axelrod - Basic Books 
   Explains how cooperation can emerge among self-seeking individuals when 
there is no central authority to police their actions. Not surprisingly, the 
most practical way of dealing with the Prisoners' Dilemma is to use a 
technique based on the libertarian ethic. (Axelrod is not a libertarian.) 
   MARKET FOR LIBERTY - Morris and Linda Tannehill - Laissez Faire Books, 
   Contains some excellent statements of principle, but all else consists of 
the WouldChuck argument. THE ENTERPRISE OF LAW contains the proof for the 
principles presented in this book. FOR A NEW LIBERTY fills in the principled 

   * Politics 
   CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE - Henry Thoreau (in "Walden and Other Writings", 
Bantam 21246)    A classic portrayal of the anarchist principle. 
   ENTERPRISE OF LAW - Bruce Benson - Pacific Research Institute 
   This book is a very good documentation of the historical rise and 
development of government law, the present disastrous state of government 
law, and the present nature of private law. It is a good answer to the 
question "What is government?" A strong case is made that government in the 
USA is a tool of coercion used by special-interest groups to effect wealth 
   SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY? The Supreme Court and Individual Rights - by Henry 
Mark Holzer (The Common Sense Press, 1983) 
   Prior to reading this book you should read Ayn Rand's two essays, "Man's 
Rights" and "Collectivized 'Rights'" which appear in THE VIRTUE OF 
SELFISHNESS. Rand identified the underlying ethical principle, Holzer shows 
how the Supreme Court has applied that principle throughout its existence. 
   By quoting the opinions written by various justices, Holzer presents the 
Court's justification for its decisions. He makes it perfectly clear that 
ALL the Court's decisions, both those that accidentally accord with 
libertarian precepts, and those that deliberately deny them, arise from the 
altruist-collectivist-statist philosophy. 
   Holzer reveals the Court's decisions to be clear expressions of the idea 
that individual rights come from, and are subordinate to, "society" - that 
it is a proper function of government to deny individual rights for the 
"common good." Holzer shows that in spite of the Bill of Rights and 
everything else in the Constitution, there are two and only two basic ideas 
underlying the decisions of the Court: "the interests of the government," 
and the Court's estimate of "the will of the people." 
   Though from time to time and issue to issue some justices appear to care 
about individual rights, this "care" has been both superficial and 
selective. For example: though "liberals" usually oppose government 
restraints on speech, they frequently support government regulation of 
economic behavior. And on the other hand, though "conservatives" usually 
oppose government restraints on economics, they often support government 
regulation of speech. To the extent that there has been disagreement among 
the justices, it has not concerned the fundamental principle of whether or 
not government should control people's lives, but merely the details of how, 
when, and to what extent individual lives are to be controlled. Thus, it 
isn't important what kind of judges are interpreting the Constitution, i.e., 
whether the Bench is made up of "liberals" or "conservatives" or "strict 
constructionists" or "loose" ones. What is significant is that the Supreme 
Court consistently upholds the constitutionality of laws which violate 
individual rights. And it has done so from its very beginning, as is shown 
in this opinion by justice Iredell in 1798: 
       Some of the most necessary and important acts of Legislation 
       are... founded upon the principle that private rights must 
       yield to public exigencies.... if the owners should refuse 
       voluntarily to accommodate the public, they must be 
       constrained, as far as the public necessities require.... 
   Even for a hard-core anti-statist libertarian like me, who has been aware 
of and studying the phemonenon of statism for many years, it is truly 
frightening to see how the Court has explicitly created the absolute and 
unlimited government power that underlies the law in America. 
   This book conveys an enormously distressing message, all the more so 
because Holzer demonstrates that it is not at all difficult to ferret out 
the justices' standards of judgment. Anyone who monitored the several 
confirmation hearings held in 2005-2006 had the opportunity to look inside 
the minds of people who, often as not, do not themselves know what they 
think on an issue, much less why they think it, but whose thoughts do, 
nevertheless, rest upon identifiable premises. 
   It is not the case that Holzer is making a biased presentation that rests 
on "proof by selected instances." Just take a look at recent Court decisions 
involving individual rights and you will see that the two "basic ideas" I 
mentioned above are being applied right to this day. For example: 
                    (03-5554) 542 U.S. 177 (June, 2004): 
       In the ordinary course a police officer is free to ask a 
       person for identification without implicating the Fourth 
       Amendment.... As best we can tell, petitioner refused to 
       identify himself only because he thought his name was none 
       of the officer's business.... A state law requiring a 
       suspect to disclose his [identity]... is consistent with 
       Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches 
       and seizures.... [The state is merely] balancing its 
       intrusion on the individual's Fourth Amendment interests 
       against its promotion of legitimate government interests. 
   After reading this book you will realize full well that there is not, and 
cannot ever be, any hope for libertarian politics. Only a restructuring of 
the Constitution could possibly save America from eventual dissolution. 
   This book should be required reading for any American who believes that 
he lives in a free society - a society governed by a Constitution that 
protects individual rights. He does not. 

   Here are some novels that illustrate political ideas: 
   THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS - Robert Heinlein - Berkley 0 425 06262 7 
     A colony on the Moon is Earth's "Botany Bay." The central managing 
computer becomes a conscious entity and it, along with a few of the humans, 
stage a revolution, freeing Luna from Earth's control. The best SF story 
ever written. It contains some of Heinlein's best political philosophy. 
   THE GREAT EXPLOSION - Eric Frank Russell - Avon (Equinox) 23820 
     Includes a portrayal of a society without government 
   VOYAGE FROM YESTERYEAR - James P Hogan - Ballantine Del Ray 29472 
     Another portrayal of a society without government 
   THE SYNDIC - C.M. Kornbluth - Avon (Equinox) 20586 
     The government has been driven out of America, and the country is ruled 
by a consortium of the Mafia et al. 
   THE PROBABILITY BROACH - L. Neil Smith - Ballantine 28593 
     What would America be like today if the Whiskey Rebellion had been 
successful, Washington executed, the Constitution abolished, and the 
political ideals of the Anti-Federalists implemented? 

   * Economics 
House, 1970 (out of print)  Despite its unfortunate name, this is an 
excellent textbook on economics. 
   ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON - Henry Hazlitt - Harper & Row 
   This book is an excellent refutation of many economic errors. But that's 
all it is. The entire work is a criticism of economic error and an apology 
for the institution (government) that perpetrates that error. He nowhere 
proposes what might be the proper course of economic endeavor. I think this 
would make a good primer--something that would clear away the mistaken 
beliefs in a person's mind.  
   CAPITALISM THE UNKNOWN IDEAL - Rand et al. - Signet E9227 
   HOW THE WEST GREW RICH - Nathan Rosenberg and L.E.Birdzell, Jr. - Basic 
Books. This is a fascinating and illuminating history of the economic growth 
of our society, from the demise of the feudal system of the Middle Ages to 
the beginning of the 20th century. This book is an excellent starting point 
for a study of economic history. 
   AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN BUSINESS - Edited by John Brooks - Doubleday 
   PANICS AND CRASHES - Harry Schultz - Pinnacle Books 230516 
   This is an excellent history book, with lots of fascinating 
documentation, but not much at all in the way of principled guidance. 
   THE ECONOMIC TIME BOMB - Harry Browne - St. Martin's Press, 312-92133-0. 
   Browne argues that the larger danger in a crisis situation is not the 
crisis itself but the potentially destructive effect of the government's 
response to the crisis. This applies not only to real crises, but also to 
imagined ones. As such "non-problems" as the trade deficit, stock market 
declines, and America's new status as a debtor nation are exploited as 
excuses for more government, the probability of catastrophe increases.  
   Another aspect of this analysis is that government might already have 
taken actions (prior to a crisis) that preclude an alleviation of the 
crisis. For example: Environmental laws passed prior to the California 
earthquake made it illegal for Route 1 to be repaired. 
   PUBLIC GOODS & MARKET FAILURES - Edited by Tyler Cowen - Transaction 
   Only the third section of this book (Case Studies) has any real value. 
But it is pricelessly valuable! It consists of examinations, in the real 
world, of situations contemplated theoretically in the first two sections. 
It clearly shows the tremendous difference between the fantasy of economic 
theory and the reality of economic fact. 
   TRIUMPH OF CONSERVATISM - Gabriel Kolko; Quadrangle Books, Chicago 1967 
   Shows how a political-industrial complex came into being in America 
during the early years of the 20th century as businessmen tried 
(successfully) to use the federal government as a tool of coercion in the 
marketplace. This book is good for background but not as a primary source. 
It corroborates the "special-interest" thesis in THE ENTERPRISE OF LAW. 
   FREE TO CHOOSE - Milton & Rose Friedman - Avon 52548 
   The best--and really the only useful--parts of this book are chapters 7 
and 8, where the Friedmans critique government intervention in the 
marketplace. These two chapters have a lot of useful historical analysis. 

   * Esthetics 

   * Books and Movies in the Romantic Art Form 
   I will begin by naming the principle that underlies those works of 
literature that I, as an Objectivist, find esthetically appealing. The thing 
they all have in common is a manifestation of VALUES; to be precise: a 
striving to achieve important values in the face of great adversity. The 
defining characteristic of Romantic Art is that it portrays Man as a 
volitional being whose choices are significant determining factors in the 
course of his life. For a full philosophical explanation of what values are 
and why they are a fundamental necessity of life, you should read Ayn Rand's 
essay "The Objectivist Ethics", which appears in her book THE VIRTUE OF 
   When a person strives to achieve great values--and is successful--that 
person is a HERO. Indeed, it is precisely this behavior that is the defining 
characteristic of a hero. So, to put it quite simply, since I am a man whose 
life is built around very firmly and explicitly held values, I love stories 
about heroes. Stories which show me, in symbolic form, the achievements of 
others and thus help give me the spiritual strength to work toward my own 
goals. For a magnificent description of heroes--and why we don't have them 
anymore--you should read James Goldman's screenplay for ROBIN AND MARIAN. 
   Man needs heroes. We need to believe in strength, nobility and courage. 
Otherwise we become sheep. 
   There is one more attribute a good story should have: it should be a 
well-told story: a story that consists of a believable world--one that is 
internally coherent and can induce in the observer an appropriate mental 
frame-of-reference. J.R.R. Tolkien described this attribute as a condition 
of "...literary belief, the state of mind that has been called 'willing 
suspension of disbelief.' What really happens is that the story-maker proves 
a successful 'subcreator.' He makes a Secondary World which your mind can 
enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of 
that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The 
moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has 
failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little 
abortive Secondary World from outside. If you are obliged, by kindliness or 
circumstance, to stay, then disbelief must be suspended (or stifled), 
otherwise listening and looking would become intolerable. But this 
suspension of disbelief is a substitute for the genuine thing, a subterfuge 
we use when condescending to games or make-believe, or when trying (more or 
less willingly) to find what virtue we can in the work of an art that has 
for us failed." 
   Tolkien's masterpiece, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, is by far the best example 
of the sort of Romantic Art described here. It is a magnificent fairy tale 
about a fabulous land, Middle Earth, where the forces of Good war against 
and are victorious over the forces of Evil. A land where the Kings have 
majesty, the Heroes have grace, and even the Villains have stature. 
   Some other good examples of Romantic Art are: 
   DOWN THE LONG HILLS - Louis L'Amour - Bantam #02038 
    One of L'Amour's best - the hero is a 7-year-old boy. 
   ON THE BEACH - Nevil Shute - Bantam #S3875 
   THE GIRL WHO OWNED A CITY - O.T. Nelson -Dell (Laurel Leaf) #92893 
    A plague takes all human adults, leaving only the children. 
   THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA - Hemingway - Scribner #SL104 
   CYRANO DE BERGERAC - Edmond Rostand - Bantam HT4650 
   THE MIRACLE WORKER - William Gibson - Samuel French, Inc. 
    How Annie Sullivan taught the child Helen Keller to be a human. One of 
the very few works of literature that has an explicitly epistemological 
   ANTHEM - Ayn Rand 
   TOILERS OF THE SEA - Victor Hugo 
   WATERSHIP DOWN - Richard Adams 

   Here are some of the movies that are excellent portrayals of heroism (I 
think it unfortunate that many of them have a setting of war and violence, 
but human society being what it is, this context is what gives rise to much 
of the heroism in fiction): 
   Black Stallion   Firefox        Spartacus         Man From Snowy River 
   Dam Busters      Great Escape   Muppet Movie      Swiss Family Robinson 
   Dark Crystal     High Noon      Train             Philadelphia Experiment 
   Dark Victory     Lassiter       Raid on Entebbe   Somewhere in Time 
   Dragonslayer     Last Unicorn   Watership Down    Benji the Hunted 
   These three movies I take special note of, because they portray a rarely-
encountered hero--a strong-willed, self-assertive woman: 
   Conan the Barbarian       Time Rider            Yentl 

   * Miscellaneous good stuff 

   Cato Institute  1000 Massachusetts Ave NW  Washington DC 20001 
   The Cato Institute 
   Cato is a think tank run by Ed Crane--an enormously intelligent 
libertarian. But some of his associates are not nearly as intelligent, and 
not at all libertarian. 

   THE VINTAGE MENCKEN - ed. by Alistair Cooke - Random House (Vintage) #V-
25   Mencken was one of the greatest masters of the English language. 
   THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY - Ambrose Bierce - Dover #T487 
   In the form of a dictionary, this is some of Bierce's strange humor. 

   I am sorry to say that I have not found any periodicals that make a 
genuine effort to develop libertarian ideas. No one at all advocates 
Shrugging, and most people who call themselves Objectivists and/or 
Libertarians reject--either implicitly or sometimes even explicitly--the 
non-aggression principle. 
   The Randites have always been vehemently anti-libertarian and, by and 
large, the libertarian movement that arose during the 1970s has since been 
co-opted by political conservatives. The Libertarian Party has been 
infiltrated with them to the extent that many of its members are now merely 
disenchanted Republicans. 
   REASON magazine was at the forefront of libertarianism during the 1970s 
but has since become mostly conservative in its orientation. 
   The IOS JOURNAL (from the Institute for Objectivist Studies, 82 
Washington Street, Suite 207, Poughkeepsie NY 12601-9768  Directed by David 
Kelley.) This has a strongly statist political frame-of-reference. David 
Kelley, however, is an extremely intelligent man with a very high level of 
philosophical acumen. Many of his writings are quite valuable. 

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