What Books Should You Read in 2015?

mustread-01At AAI’s recent seminar, Three Big Ideas, UALR economics professor Richard Ford spoke about the reading list that he gave to his students in his “Free Markets and Freedom” seminar. Because so many people asked him for it, he wanted me to supply the first few books from it here. (I’ve supplied an Amazon.com listing for each book.)

  • The Road to Serfdom: Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek’s eloquent warning that the growth of the welfare state and central planning might lead to oppression and tyranny.
  • The Forgotten Man: Amity Shlaes’s compelling account of the way Hoover’s and Roosevelt’s policies lengthened and worsened the Great Depression.
  • Intellectuals and Society: Thomas Sowell’s trenchant discussion of what intellectuals really do, the lack of accountability they face, the incentives that drive them, and their effect on our lives.
  • The Financial Crisis and the Free-Market Cure: John A. Allison IV (currently president and CEO of the Cato Institute) describes how economic intervention (such as the housing bubble and activism by the Federal Reserve) created the financial crisis we still suffer from.
  • Life at the Bottom: Theodore Dalrymple (Anthony Daniels’s pen name) provides a gripping set of essays describing how the welfare state has destroyed the family – and, indeed, the very lives – of the poor.

After Professor Ford sent me his list, I started thinking about what books I’d recommend to friends on a similar theme – namely, how modern American government has failed to live up to its promises of guarding the people’s rights:

A couple of final notes:

  1. In addition to our Three Big Ideas conference speakers, we also published several papers on tax reform, immigration reform, and free trade. You can find our tax reform papers here: our immigration reform and free trade papers are here.
  2. If you’re going to order books through Amazon and you want to help the Advance Arkansas Institute and the Arkansas Project, you should use Amazon Smile! Make sure to select the Advance Arkansas Institute when you order books through Amazon Smile; they’ll give us a few pennies each time you order a book.
  3. Arkansas Project readers, send us your favorite books that you think we should be reading: we’ll do a follow-up post later on.
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One thought on “What Books Should You Read in 2015?

  • January 3, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Readiing Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell. He really comes down on teacher education and the poor quality of our teachers—among other things. I have not discussed this book with my tearcher friends, but would be interested to learn their thoughts.


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