What’s Your Favorite Nonfiction Book?

There are several useful bibliographies and recommended reading lists out there. See, e.g.:

I also published my own list, The Greatest Libertarian Books, a few years ago, and expanded on it in the post Top Ten Books of Liberty and Other Top Ten Lists of Libertarian Books..

Of the books I’ve read, I’d have to say the most important, significant, and influential one I’ve ever read is Hans-Hermann Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism. As I wrote in my LRC piece:

Topping my list is A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, as well as a host of other works, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, our greatest living intellectual. Hoppe’s other influential works include Democracy: The God That Failed, The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, and Economic Science and the Austrian Method. Sure, Hoppe stands on the shoulders of giants — primarily Mises and Rothbard — but to my mind his edifice of thought is the pinnacle of Austro-libertarian thinking. Somewhat sobering is the realization that Hoppe was only forty when he wrote Capitalism. Gulp.

This is one reason I did an extensive review essay of the The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, in 1994. And used it for my own theories, e.g. on rights, contract, IP, and the like. And conducted a whole Mises Academy course around Hoppe’s thought. TSC is systematic, lucid, dense, stimulating, and solidly anchored in Misesian praxeology and economics and Rothbardian political radicalism, while extending both. My copy is peppered with marginalia and notes. Such an amazing book. If you can only read part: Chapters 1, 2, and 7. But you must read the whole thing.

What are your favorites, more important, most influential?

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  • Thanks for the reading lists. My most influentail non-libertarian book is Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age by Eugene Rose. My most influential libertarian book is Democracy: The God that Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.