Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reading Liberty

Henry Hazlitt assembled a list of 550 titles addressing the concept of Liberty in his book, THE FREE MAN'S LIBRARY: A Descriptive and Critical Bibliography, published in 1956.[1] One can only imagine the number of more-recent books deserving a spot among the 500. The sad fact is that there is no chance that I will make much of a dent in this list during my lifetime. But, there it is anyway.

The point: The next time your local school district creates a summer reading list, see how many Oprah recommendations and NY Times Best Sellers make the cut. I'd wager that none of the Hazlitt books will be listed. Why? Your local school districts are about feeding rot. Keep in mind, a unionized government workforce has no place for the concept of Liberty; just fluff and collectivist muddle.

[1] This book is available at
Mises.org as a downloadable PDF.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have had the opportunity to teach Anthem by Ayne Rand in a public school *it is on Hazlitt's list*. There is more talk about individualism and liberty in the schools than you think. And I realize that in the classroom is not the same as the reading list, but the students are still exposed to some of the ideas you love.
I also would not negate some of the Oprah books. Night by Eli Weisel made her list.
I guess the point is, readings on government and philosophy do belong in the schools; especially in government/social studies. And we could be teaching our students more about this.
But approaching any single agenda is just as devastating as another. We always need to be careful that we are getting a robust curriculum.

Anonymous said...

Jim Bunning dropped out of the US Senate race in KY. That leaves Rand Paul (son of Ron) and Ted Grayson, who is KY Sec of State. The Party fave is Grayson, but--who wants another Country Club Republican? I see a deluge of cash going Paul's way. Good stuff.