American History X is one of my favorite Edward Norton movies. He plays a fatherless, LA skinhead, white power zealot that is involved in a racially motivated homicide, serves prison time and is released. He has a transformative experience as a result of all this and learns the error of his ways and sets out to make amends. Sadly it ends in tragedy. This is a powerful metaphor for learning revisionist American history during these turbulent times
As you are reading Lew Rockwell’s daily web site, probably support Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy, and have a revisionist historical bent (even if currently unrecognized) I welcome you to peruse my own American History X. It is a personal blueprint of how to overcome mass media and 19 years of public education. These will make beautiful Christmas gifts for the revisionist, neo-Austrian, dedicated Misean or Libertarian on your shopping list. Give the gift that shows you care. I present them in chronological order from the oldest first to the most recent to follow my personal path of growth from the watery gruel of etatist swill that is passed off as history in public schools. You can support the cause of freedom by purchasing these from Amazon through the embedded links, or from the Mises Institute directly.
I consider myself an educated man yet I was able to graduate from an American University with only 3 credit hours in history required, a weak survey course in Western Civilization. These intellectual jolts run up your spine and set the brain ablaze.
- Socialism by Ludwig von Mises. This is the finest exposition of liberty proof by negation of the converse, etatism. This opus clinically dissects the state in its most virulent form. Mises’ singular deductive logic predicted the demise of the Soviet Union in 1922, 5 years after its inception. His prophesy was realized 69 years after this presentation. I find this to be his finest book (a much easier read than Human Action).
- Omnipotent Government by Ludwig von Mises. Interpret the events of the Second World War from the Austrian perspective. This is a fine companion to William L. Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer exposits on how, Mises explains why. After reading Omnipotent Government it will be obvious as to the reasons for the SS raid on Mises’ home during the Austrian occupation.
- Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises. Finance, Money and Economics are confusing subjects for many. This work peels the cloak of mystery back and demonstrates that these really are for the common man. Economics is what all governments do with everybody’s money. If this is heady stuff, you might start with Gene Callahan’s sequel for everyman: Economics for Real People, differential equations and Riemannian geometry not required.
- The New Dealers War: FDR and the War within World War II by Thomas Fleming. Fleming starts with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s treasonous collaboration with British agents against the people and the Constitution he was sworn to protect and preserve. The prose is excellent: it reads like a novel, I was compelled to read this in a couple of sittings. His economics is Keynesian and elementary but is kept it to a minimum and will be easily overlooked by Austrians.
- Illusion of Victory: America in World War I also by Thomas Fleming. His previous work was so good I bought this immediately when I saw the title. It is actually a better book as it lays bare, in contemporary language, the perfidy of Woodrow Wilson et al., and how they deceived the country while planning for involvement in needless war to bail out their British co-conspirators on behalf of the Morgan bank while preaching peace.
- The Real Lincoln by Thomas DiLorenzo. This is a brilliant recitation of Lincoln’s role as America’s first military dictator. Honest Abe was anything but, and here you will read as to why. The lawyer Lincoln cuts his teeth in the art of prevarication as he represented railroad interests that fleeced the Illinois taxpayer, which provided the training ground for what came next. The unnecessary deaths of 600,000 Americans were required for Lincoln to realize Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay’s vision for America, and DiLorenzo pulls no punches. The cult of Lincoln is still on the ropes after this one.
- The Roosevelt Myth by John T. Flynn This is one of the finest muck-raking works of the Twentieth Century. Flynn drives a stake into the heart of the cult of Roosevelt worship: from his wife’s boarding of card-carrying communists (McCarthy did have a point on this one), to his son’s extortion of war-times suppliers, to his senile capitulation to Stalin that doomed millions as a result. You’ll like this one so much that his earlier work targeting robber barons can be had for free.
- Washington’s Farewell Address 1796 by George Washington. The previous 7 books are what our first president was presciently warning about. His Excellency is an excellent follow-up to this speech. Read how Washington diversified his crops thanks to actually understanding something about finance (Jefferson did not and died almost broke), freed his slaves, and spread his wealth ensuring that hegemonic economic dynasty would result (he was America’s wealthiest individual at his death according to Ellis).
- Reassessing the American Presidency by John V. Denson. Freedom has suffered at the hands of these ruthless men. He ranks them in order, and by now it should come as no surprise that the picture painted is not what most of us learned in school. I highly recommend his other excellent works: A Century of War, and The Costs of War.
- Tragedy and Hope by Carroll Quigley The previous nine books will prepare you for Quigley’s expos of the power behind the power during the American Century that has lead us to the American Empire. Quigley’s presentation of history is crystal clear. Quigley is no apologist for the powers that be, but is a confidant at the highest level. He wrote this book out of a belief that Americans had the right to understand what is going on under their noses, and in their pocketbook.
I became a life-long Libertarian in 1972 with the candidacy of John Hospers and Tonie Nathan. This was a visceral decision for an 18-year-old, that turned out to be correct. You can undergo your own transformative experience by reading some if not all of the above works. Many of them are available for free at Mises Institute web site. Yet I personally find reading books on the computer to be tiring. Nothing invigorates the mind like the heft of a fine book, the feel of the cover, the gentle caress of the paper as you turn page after page. The satisfaction of sitting at the feet of intellectual giants is palpable. These are old friends you will visit again and again.
These will compel the necessity of the Ron Paul candidacy from a historical perspective.