Book List: The 85 Books About Capitalism You Should Read

Perhaps capitalism’s greatest asset is that it has a rich intellectual heritage. Unfortunately, this heritage has been lost and ignored over time. With the rise of progressivism in 20th century America and the widespread disdain for capitalism by many academic elites, it’s not necessarily easy or popular to tell your sociology professor that free markets are the most significant benefit to mankind in all of human history.

However, pure free market capitalism has a rich heritage that can be discovered if one picks up the right books. That’s exactly what this page is for.

It’s essential that people who defend free market capitalism understand the theory behind it in order to survive in the midst of an otherwise hostile intellectual environment. This includes reading books by brilliant defenders of capitalism as well as books by those who were critical of capitalism or who articulated ideas that are hostile to free market theories.

The following book list is Capitalism Institute’s official recommended reading list. It features 85 books grouped into seven different categories. Here, at Capitalism Institute, we believe in constantly challenging ourselves to gain knowledge. We don’t have a blind faith in capitalism because it sounds good. We believe in capitalism because it is intellectually superior, theoretically stronger, and systematically consistent than any other perspective out there.

We have also set up a store through Amazon where you can buy most of the books listed below. If you purchase any of your books through our store, Capitalism Institute will receive a cut of the profits. For those books that we couldn’t find on Amazon, we’ve linked below to free and legal copies that you can read online.

The Capitalism Institute Book List:

Economic Theory
Human Action by Ludwig von Mises
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek
Principles of Economics by Carl Menger
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
Economic Harmonies by Frederic Bastiat
Economic Sophisms by Frederic Bastiat
The Economic Point of View by Israel Kirzner
The Pure Theory of Capital by Friedrich Hayek
Knowledge and Decisions by Thomas Sowell
Capital and Its Structure by Ludwig Lachman
A Treatise on Political Economy by Jean Baptiste Say
The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes
Prices and Production by F.A. Hayek
Against Intellectual Property by Stephen Kinsella

Modern Political Philosophy
The Law by Frederic Bastiat
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
Man, Economy, and State by Murray Rothbard
Two Treatises of Government by John Locke
Socialism by Ludwig von Mises
Liberalism by Ludwig von Mises
The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by Ludwig von Mises
Omnipotent Government by Ludwig von Mises
The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich Hayek
The Federalist Papers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
The History of Freedom and Other Essays by Lord Acton
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Further Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Robert Nozick
A Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell
A Beautiful Anarchy by Jeffrey Tucker
Deleting the State by Aeon J. Skoble
Liberty vs. the Tyranny of Socialism by Walter Williams
The Reformation of Rights by John Witte

Ancient Political Philosophy
City of God by St. Augustine
Republic by Plato
Politics by Aristotle
The Republic and the Laws by Cicero
The Apology by Plato
Christian Faith and Modern Democracy by Robert Kraynak

Witness by Whittaker Chambers
1776 by David McCullough
FDR Goes to War by Burt Folsom
New Deal or Raw Deal by Burt Folsom
The Myth of the Robber Barons by Burt Folsom
Dependent on D.C. by Charlotte Twight
The World is Flat 3.0 by Thomas Friedman
A Conservative History of the American Left by Daniel Flynn
Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg
A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
Meltdown by Thomas Woods
The Real Crash by Peter Schiff
Power Kills by R.J. Rummel
Education, Free and Compulsory by Murray Rothbard
America’s Great Depression by Murray Rothbard

Educational Texts
A Basic History of the United States (Volumes 1-6) by Clarence Carson
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? by Richard Maybury
Are you Liberal? Conservative? Or Confused? by Richard Maybury
Whatever happened to Justice? by Richard Maybury
Striking the Root by Lawrence Reed
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism by Robert Murphy
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R.C. Gutzman
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism by Kevin Williamson
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert Murphy
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas Woods Jr.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents: From Wilson to Obama by Steven Hayward
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Founding Fathers by Brion McClanahan
I, Pencil by Leonard Read
Anything that’s Peaceful by Leonard Read

The Driver by Garet Garrett
Animal Farm by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Financial Security
Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver by Michael Maloney
The Clipper-Ship Strategy by Richard Maybury
The Science of Success by Charles Koch
Fail-Safe Investing by Harry Browne

Read this Next:

  1. How to Learn Economics
  2. This is Not the Study of Economics
  3. The 5 Basic Principles of Austrian Economics
  4. The 10 Principles of Economics You Should Know
  5. Austrian Economics in Real Life

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