Your Favorite History Books

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Your Favorite History Books

  • Daniel Morris

    What are some of your favorite history books? They can be anything, liberty-oriented or not.

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  • Cameron M. Belt

    I’ve got so many it’s hard to break them down.  But, there are a few that stick out right away.  “The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine” by  Shigehisa Kuriyama, “Promised Land, Crusader State” by McDougall, “The Cold War” by Gaddis, “Reassessing the Presidency” by Denson, and “The Invisible Hook” by Leeson.  Along with the usual ones by Woods, Rothbard, etc.

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    Stephen Davis

    Adams, Charles – For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization
    Berman, Harold – Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition
    Burch, Philip – Elites in American History
    Courtois, Stephane – The Black Book of Communism
    Denson, John V. – Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom
    Fergusson, Adam – When Money Dies: The Nightmare of Deficit Spending, Devaluation, and Hyperinflation in Weimar Germany
    Gatto, John Taylor – The Underground History of American Education
    Gouge, William – A Short History of Money and Banking
    Hazlitt, Henry – From Bretton Woods to World Inflation: A Study of the Causes and Consequences
    Higgs, Robert – Crisis and Leviathan
    Hughes, Jonathan – American Economic History
    Johnson, Paul – A History of the American People
    Johnson, Paul – Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties
    Kilpatrick, James – The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia
    Kolko, Gabriel – The Triumph of Conservatism
    Lewis, Bernard – What Went Wrong
    McNeill, William – The Rise of the West
    Murray, Charles – Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980
    Reimann, Gunter – The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism
    Rothbard, Murray – A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II
    Rothbard, Murray – America’s Great Depression
    Rothbard, Murray – Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought
    Rothbard, Murray – Conceived in Liberty
    Rothbard, Murray – The Origins of the Federal Reserve
    Rothbard, Murray – The Panic of 1819
    Rummel, R.J. – Death by Government
    Shaffer, Butler – In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918-1938
    Sowell, Thomas – Black Rednecks and White Liberals
    Van Creveld, Martin – The Rise and Decline of the State
    Vedder, Richard – Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America
    Vieira, Edwin, Jr. – Pieces of Eight: The Monetary Powers and Disabilities of the United States Constitution
    Weinstein, James – The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State: 1900-1918
    Yates, Robert – Secret Proceedings and Debates of the Constitutional Convention

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    Massimo Mazzone

    Hiperlinking in Wikipedia, by far.

    “The decline and fall” of Gibbon

    Too many works to be mentioned on the military history of IIWW, especially the Eastern front.

    In economic history, Diamond’s “Guns, germs and steel” and Landes’ “The wealth and poverty of nations”. I know, I am not a purist, but the books are beautiful…

    But I will definetely take suggestions from this thread…

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    Daniel Morris

    Guns, Germs, and Steel is supposed to be good, but I’ve heard there a lot of other historians who take issue with it. So just be mindful of that, I suppose.

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    Massimo Mazzone

    Simplifying a lot, Diamond is probably the most important guy of the geographic theory of development. Landes one of the most important of the cultural, weberian current. Robinson and Acemoglu (Why nations fail), together with North are the ones with the institutional theory.

    Many libertarians take issue with Diamond, because he does not consider the “human action” (typical critique: “So the spanish conquered America just because there were goats in Europe?”). I tend to agree with them in the short period (let’s say from the Reinassance on), but the geographical hipothesis is powerful for the long-term explanation, going back to the agricultural revolution. And the book is very good!

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    Rebecca Lau

    A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World by Gregory Clark. It was written partially as a response to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel. So if you were unsatisfied with Guns, check it out

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    Massimo Mazzone

    Thanks Rebecca, I will do it.

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    Steven Horton

    Lies my Teacher Told Me by James Loewen.

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    Mike Vroman

    I would submit two which I feel do a good job of explaining not what happened in the wars of the 20th century, but why things happened are, “The War of the World” by Niall Ferguson and, “Valley of Death” by Ted Morgan.

    I am also looking for literature on the history of iron mining in Minnesota if any one knows of anything I can use. The fascinating thing I am exploring is how the private industries built almost all of the infrastructure that people now rely on the government for, even in one instance financing the move of an entire town so they could access the ore beneath it. At the same time, several local governments funded themselves with the use of municipal bars and restaurants. I would like to retell this story once I acquire enough information.

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    B.K. Marcus

    Cross-posted in The Book Scene:

    Last night in the Bookworm Hangout, Matt (@mattgilliland) was describing to us the plot of The Probability Broach by L. Neil Smith, about an alternate history in which the Whiskey Rebellion succeeded and the result was a far more libertarian America. (Murray Rothbard argued that it did succeed, by the way.)

    I didn’t realize at the time that we were reviewing the history of the rebellion on the eve of its anniversary. On this day in 1794, the Whiskey Rebellion broke out in Pennsylvania.

    Here are some other books we mentioned on the general subject:

    The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution by Thomas P. Slaughter

    The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels Who Challenged America’s Newfound Sovereignty by William Hogeland (Author)

    The Whiskey Rebels a historical novel by David Liss, author of a couple of other historical novels on topics of great interest to libertarians:
    A Conspiracy of Paper (a murder mystery that takes place during “the beginnings of a strange new economic order based on stock speculation”) and The Coffee Trader (a prequel of sorts that takes place in Amsterdam in the world’s first commodities exchange). What becomes clear in The Whiskey Rebels is that Liss is much more of a Hamiltonian than a Jeffersonian, but he is a compelling writer of suspense and an intelligent observer of crucial moments in cultural and financial history.

    Not on the subject of the Whiskey Rebellion, but also mentioned last night because of its important historical ties to that even is Shays’s Rebellion: The American Revolution’s Final Battle by Leonard L. Richards.

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    Nate Stover

    First books to come to mind would be Tom Dilorenzo’s “How Capitalism Saved America” and “The Real Lincoln.” Dilorenzo has a superb grasp of the significance of history and he is an awesome communicator.

    Of course, the Bible is the most important historical account of all time as well as the philosophical foundation of freedom.

    For explaining the libertarian models of how the law, politics, history, and economics fit together, Rick Maybury has some excellent books, inculding several history books about how things like the thousand year war in the Middle East, the two world wars, and Rome impact us today. His models help you understand who you can trust, based on their models and biases. Everyone’s models bias their work whether they realize it or not. Not only does he communicate with incredible clarity, but he is also an international investor and explains how your models can be applied to your business, career, and finances. I don’t agree with everything from him, but very few people can explain a consistent set of libertarian models like he does.

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