Wealth of Nations
Adam Smith's (1723-1790) ground-breaking book on free trade and market economics. Want more? Try the Adam Smith Web site.
The Accidental Theorist and Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science
Author Paul Krugman is a Keynesian through-and-through. He's anti supply-side economics, pro globalization, and regularly published in Slate -- though his "In Praise of Cheap Labor" essay must have caused a few aneurysms amongst his loyal readers.
Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy
Writer Thomas Sowell is very conservative and very readable. He's able to reduce complex theory to lay language that will keep you entertained throughout.
Eat the Rich
Cross conservative values and Rolling Stone, what do you get? PJ O'Rourke, of course. Here the humorist preys on all things economic, from Albania to Sweden.
Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School
It's simple: property rights, rule of law, and currency stability. Author Gene Callahan hangs out at the Ludwig von Mises Institute as an adjunct scholar.
An Essay on the Principle of Population
Thomas Robert Malthus: Pessimist (though his followers would likely prefer the euphemism "realist.") If you're looking for a good argument for celibacy, here's your guy.
Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
Milton Friedman is, arguably, the 20th century's most important economist. His once-radical ideas are the foundation of the modern conservative political movement.
General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
Politicians love John Maynard Keynes! They can use his theory to justify spending in any economy.
Human Action: A Treatise on Economics
This is the seminal work of Ludwig von Mises, the cranky father of the Austrian school of economics. Classic for its libertarian teachings, among which: that there is an inverse relationship between State control of the economy and individual freedom.
The Making of Modern Economics: The Lives and Ideas of the Great Thinkers
Economist Mark Skousen is unabashedly conservative, and nearly libertarian. In this book he tells the stories of great economists from Adam Smith through Friedman and Schumpter.
The Marx-Engels Reader
An indexed anthology of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (Known to bad spellers as Carl "Reiner" Marks and Fredrick "Pa" Ingalls). This anthology begins with Marx on Hegel, continues through the "Jewish Question" and "The Communist Manifesto" and moves right along to morality, anarchy, private property and the state. Whew.
Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist
Gotta love these conservative Chicago economists, of whom author George J. Stigler is one. Not quite Austrian, not quite Keynesian, definitely not Marxist.
Principles of Political Economy and Taxation
Read David Ricardo! Be smarter than presidential candidates who get his name wrong in debates! But tread carefully. Karl Marx loved this guy.
The Road to Serfdom
While everyone else was being fitted in white polyester leisure suits, Friedrich A. Hayek was earning a Nobel Laureate in Economic Science and making famous the Austrian school of economics.
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