Top 10 Lew Rockwell Books

Lew Rockwell is a libertarian writer, activist, and founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, which he once was President of. He’s contributed greatly to society and to American thought and top 10 list would like to dedicate this article to him by writing a short description about his best-selling books.

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1. The Left, Right & The State

In this book, Lew Rockwell covers every topic related to economics and politics, from the business cycle  to trade, to the drug wars to environmentalism. In it, he argues that the threat to liberty comes not from just the left, but the right as well, and that neither really offers a consistent way of doing things. The real problem is much deeper than either the right or the left can recognize. It is the institution of the state itself, which almost every civic being wants to use to his/her own philosophical advantage.

The problem, he further argues, is that we do not have public policy. All forms of policy decisions made by state institutions that affect the uses of private property according to political priorities resort to the invasions of liberty. Relentlessly moving from left-wing to right-wing and back to left-wing policy is no progress.

Beautifully edited and pristinely argued, this is a work in applied Austro-libertarian theory, tracking issues and headlines as they occur and bringing the light of logic and evidence to bear on the question at hand. The articles collected can be read in a matter of five minutes each, and they are organized along topical lines.


2.  Speaking of Liberty

This book is actually a collection of speeches delivered over a period of ten years and is long (470 pages). It is the type of book people will want to see in the hands of  just about anyone they know. The book begins with economics  and explains why Austrian economics matters, how the Federal Reserve brings on the business cycle and why we need private property and free enterprise to name a few. Another section deal with war, using Mises and the work of other important thinkers in the libertarian tradition.

The book has a number of set principles: the corruption of politics, the universality and immutability of the ideas of freedom, the centrality of sound money and free enterprise, the moral imperative of peace and trade, the importance of hope and tenacity in the struggle for liberty, and the need for everyone to join the intellectual fight.


3. Pursue the Cause of Liberty: A Farewell to Congress

This is actually Ron Paul’s “Farewell to Congress” and a loud call for education in Austrian economics and liberty, delivered to the House of Representatives on November 14th 2012. Fittingly, Lew Rockwell Jr. wrote the courageous introduction which argues that Ron is the anti-politician. For Rockwell, Paul tells unfashionable truths, educates the populace rather than flatters them and stands up for the right principles even when the whole world is lined up against him. It’s Ron’s truth-telling and his urge to educate the public that should inspire us as we carry on into the future.


4. Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard

Man, Economy, and Liberty were essays published following a conference celebrating Murray Rothbard’s 60th birthday in 1986. 30  contributors-economists,  philosophers,  historians,  political  scientists, sociologists, and long-time friends and companions-honored one of the world’s living champions of liberty.

The essays were edited  by  Walter  Block  and  Llewellyn  H.  Rockwell,  Jr., Man,  Economy,  and Liberty  amply  and  yet  incompletely  attests  to  Rothbard’s productivity  and his  achievements and goals. Author  of  16 books  and thousands of articles, scholarly and journalistic,  Rothbard ranks among the great  social and libertarian thinkers. A system-builder, he is the architect of a rigorously consistent social philosophy.  Economics  and  ethics  are the  cornerstones  of the Rothbardian system and for good reason.


5. Pillars of Prosperity: Free Markets, Honest Money, Private Property

When the economic history of our times is being written, one man emerges as the philosopher of both the financial collapse and the disasters associated with government management and that is Ron Paul. He alone among the political class sounded the warnings and foresees the way out.

This manifesto is a treasure and a collection of his greatest speeches and debates over the last 30 years and provides documentary evidence that he is not only a master of the topic; he has provided a coherent explanation of nearly everything the government has done wrong in this area since he first entered public office. He also provides a way out, which is intriguing to read.


6. The Gold Standard

Perspectives in the Austrian School. This book contains seminal essays on the ideal monetary system, with the introduction written by Lew Rockwell Jr. From Sennholz’s discussion of Mengerian monetary theory to Ron Paul’s employment of a political agenda that champions a gold standard, readers will find that this book serves two purposes–It is a purposeful introduction to Austrian monetary theory and a guide to important events in monetary history.


7. Murray N. Rothbard: In Memoriam

Murray Newton Rothbard was an American economist, historian and political theorist that was adored and followed by many modern theorists such as Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul. He was a prominent exponent of the Austrian School of economics in the United States and a key figure in the emergence American libertarian movement.

His wife JoAnn wrote in the Preface to this 1995 tribute (which collects obituaries and remembrances from a variety of supporters, such as Hans Sennholz, Ralph Raico, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Gary North, Lew Rockwell, etc.). Lew Rockwell authored it.

In the book, Ron Paul argues that although Rothbard was born Jewish, he was a man of no faith. He loved Christianity and viewed it as “the source of almost everything good in Western civilization.


8. The Case for Discrimination

The book was predominately written by Walter Block, with a forward by Lew Rockwell.  Block has been writing on the economics of discrimination – and in defense of discrimination, rightly understood  for over 30 years. This book was a collection of nearly all of this writing to present a radical alternative to the mainstream view.

His argued that discrimination is one of the most inevitable features of the material world where scarcity of goods and time is the ongoing feature. There is no getting around it. You must discriminate, and therefore you must have the freedom to discriminate, which only means the freedom to choose. It’s a chaotic world.


9. Building Blocks for Liberty

Lew Rockwell contributed to the book written by Walter Block.

Walter Block is ranked amongst the most celebrated and provocative libertarian thinkers in human history. This volume fills an important gap in his corpus of writing: a series of accessible articles on interesting, scandalous topics. His research and writing on roads, education, labor, secession, drugs, and money fill important scholarly journals.

The book extends the logic of liberty in new directions, helping the reader to come to a better, but radical understanding of the consequences s of economic liberty and what it means for the social and political order. His mind is sharp as a tack in dealing with conventional objections.


10. The Irrepressible Rothbard : The Rothbard-Rockwell Report Essays of Murray N. Rothbard

These essays, edited by Lew Rockwell, show forth not only Rothbard’s intellect, but the wholesome joy with which he embraced life, and how his extreme optimism made even the most severe delays tolerable. He experienced great disappointments and great successes in life, but through it all he was heroic, nice, and irrepressible. He was a role model for all who desired and still desire liberty.

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