Books that Introduce Conservatism and Critical Thinking

The Heddasdf

  • [T]=Link to free text
  • [A]=Link to free audio recording


  • Young adult/children
  • The Little Prince by Saint-Exupery
  • Where the sidewalk ends by Silverstein
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Dunn
  • Sophie’s World by Gaarder
  • The Great Good Thing by Townley
  • The Jungle Book by Kipling [T][A]
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Diamond
  • The Westing Game by Rasking
  • Lillies of the Field by Barrett
  • Flowers for Algernon by Keyes
  • The Wrinkle in Time Series(Wrinkle In Time, Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet)  by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper
  • The Tripod Trilogy by John Christopher
  • The Hobbit by Tolkien
  • Coraline, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King
  • The Original Shanara Trilogy (Sword, Elfstones, Wishsong) and Landover (Magic Kingdom for Sale, SOLD!, The Black Unicorn, Wizard at Large, The Tangle Box) by Terry Brooks by Elizabeth George
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  • Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Twain [A]


  • Literature 
  • Winter’s Tale, A Soldier of the Great War, Freddy & Frederika by Mark Helprin
  • Shakespeare (Especially Othello, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, Tempest, Henry IV parts 1 & 2, Henry V, sonnets) [T][A]
  • Iliad [T][A]  Odyssey [T][A]  by Homer (I like the Fagles translation)
  • Sophocles–Oedipus Trilogy , [T][A] [A][A], Philoctetes [T][A], Women of Trachis [T][A]
  • Orestia by Aeschylus  [T][A]
  • Medea by Euripides [T][A]
  • Victor Hugo
  • Les Miserables [T][A]
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dam by Hugo [T][A]
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens [T][A]
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte [T][A]
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [T][A]
  • Complete works of Faulkner ( esp.The Sound and the Fury, Light in August) by Faulkner
  • Howard’s End by Forster [T][A]
  • Diary of a Young Girl by Frank
  • The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne [T][A]
  • Catch 22 by Heller
  • Gone with the Wind by Mitchell
  • Frankenstein by Shelley [T][A]
  • The Portrait of Dorian Gray [T][A], Importance of Being Earnest[T][A] , An Ideal Husband by Wilde[T][A]
  • The Time Machine by Wells [T][A]
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Hansberry
  • Night by Wiesel
  • The Glass Menagerie by Williams
  • The Devil’s Disciple by Shaw
  • A Man for All Seasons by Bolt
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Ronstad (unless you speak French only the Hooker translation)
  • Dracula by Stoker [T][A]
  • Inherit the Wind by Lawrence and Lee
  • Magnificent Obsession by Douglas
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot [T][A]
  • Decameron –Boccaccio [T][A]
  • A Modest Proposal—Swift
  • Self-Reliance, The American Scholar, Experience—Emerson
  • Up from Slavery, Building Character—Booker T. Washington
  • Mystic River, A Drink Before the War–Dennis Lehane
  • The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean Auel


  • Philosophy
  • A History of Knowledge by Van Doren
  • The Cave and the Light by Herman
  • Plato (Euthyphro [T][A],  Apology [T][A], Gorgias [T][A], Crito[A], Phaedo [A], Symposium [T][A], Republic [T][A])
  • Aristotle (Metaphysics [T][A], Nicomachean Ethics [T][A], Eudemian Ethics [T][A], Politics [T][A], Rhetoric [T][A],  Poetics [T][A])
  • The History of Philosophy by Copleston
  • Discourses on Livy by Machiavelli [T]
  • Ethical and Political Writings of St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Aristotle for Everybody, 10 Philosophical Mistakes, The Great Ideas, How to Read A Book by Adler
  • Cicero (On the Gods [T][A], On Duties [T][A], 1st and 2nd Philippics [T][A]
  • Superheroes and Philosophy edited by Morris
  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Philosophy edited by South
  • Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft


  • History
  • History of the Ancient World, Medieval World, Renaissance World by Susan Wise Bauer
  • The Forgotten Man, Coolidge by Shlaes
  • History of the Peloponnesian Wars by Thucydides [T][A]
  • John Adams by McCullough
  • From Dawn to Decadence by Barzun
  • Plutarch’s Lives [T][A]
  • Cicero, Augustus by Everitt
  • Letters of John and Abigail Adams [T]
  • Washington by Ron Chernow
  • The Glorious Cause by Robert Middlekauff
  • Lost Enlightenment by Starr
  • Reagan’s War by Schweizer
  • Patriot’s History of the United States by Schweikart and Allen
  • The closing of the Muslim Mind by Reilly
  • The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
  • 1775 by Kevin Phillips


  • Economics/Politics
  • Who Really Cares, The Conservative Heart.  and The Road to Freedom by Arthur Brooks
  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
  • Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway by Barry
  • Democracy in America by de Tocqueville  [T][A]
  • The Law by Bastiat [T][A]
  • The Upside of Down by McArdke
  • Spirit of the Laws [T][A]
  • The Federalist Papers [T][A]
  • Adam Smith (Theory of Moral Development [T][A], Wealth of Nations [T][A])
  • My Journey by Blair
  • The Conscience of a Conservative by Goldwater
  • Locke (Second Treatise of Government [T][A], A Letter Concerning Tolerance [T][A])
  • Parliament of Whores, Eat the Rich, On Wealth, Peace Kills by O’Rourke
  • In Defense of Globalization by Bhagwati
  • Novus Ordo Seclorum by McDonald
  • Basic Economics, Civil Rights by Sowell
  • The Next 100 Years by Friedman
  • The Mystery of Capital by de Soto
  • The Road to Serfdom by Hayek
  • Capitalism and Freedom and Free to Choose by Friedman
  • New Threats To Freedom edited by Bellow
  • A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful; Reflections on the Revolution in France [T][A] by Burke
  • The General Theory by Keynes
  • The Origins of Political Order, Political Order and Decay by Fukuyama
  • Bourgeois Virtues, Bourgeois Equality, Bourgeois Dignity by Deirdre McCloskey
  • Capital by Marx [T][A]
  • The Conservative Mind by Kirk


  • Other nonfiction
  • Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
  • The Universe in a Nutshell by Hawking
  • Freakanomics by Levitt & Dubner
  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu
  • Scratch beginnings by Shepard
  • The Tao of Physics by Capra
  • Shadowplay by Asquith
  • Human Excellence by Muarry
  • The Better Angles of Our Nature by Pinker
  • 48 Laws of Power by Greene
  • The Story of Western Science by Bauer


  • Pleasure reading
  • Man in the High Castle by Dick
  • Beat to Quarters, Ship of the Line, Flying Colours by Forester
  • The Road to Gandolfo, Bourne Trilogy by Ludlum
  • Big Trouble by Barry
  • Eaters of the Dead, State of Fear by Crichton
  • Red Storm Rising by Clancy
  • I, Claudius by Graves
  • The Walking Drum by L’Amour
  • Gates of Fire by Pressfield
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Ozcry [T][A]
  • It and The Green Mile by King
  • The Agony and the Ecstasy by Stone
  • Pillars of the Earth by Follett
  • The Historian by Kostova
  • Grail Quest by Cornwall
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Stterfield
  • Lamb, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Vampire Trilogy, The Stupidest Angel and Fool by Moore


  • Sci fi/Fantasy 
  • Mists of Avalon, The Forrest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (et. al)
  • Dune Series by Frank Herbert (et. al)
  • The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind
  • Works of Robert Heinlein (esp. Stranger in a Strange Land, Puppet Master, Starship Troopers, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Double Star)
  • Good Omens by Gaiman and Pratchett
  • Watership Down by Adams
  • Ender’s Game by Card
  • American Gods by Gaiman
  • Anthem, Atlas Shrugged by Rand
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Adams
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • 2001–Clarke
  • World War Z by Brooks


  • Spiritual 
  • The Robe by Douglas
  • Lost Horizon by Hilton
  • God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita by Yoganada
  • The Second Coming of Christ by Yogananda
  • The Tao Te Ching (best to read at least two translations)
  • The Alchemist, Veronica Decides to Die, Warrior of Light by Coelho
  • Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda
  • Evidence of the Afterlife by Long
  • A Course in Miracles
  • The Messengers by Ingram
  • The Celestine Prophecy by Redfield
  • Life before Life by Tucker
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions by Bach
  • Siddartha by Hesse
  • Koran
  • The Book of Certitude
  • Holy Bible
  • Book of Mormon
  • Varieties of Religious Experience by William James


  • Poetry
  • The Prophet, The Broken Wings, Song of Man by Gibran
  • Leaves of Grass by Whitman [T] (esp. Preface, Song of Myself, I hear America Singing, When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer, O Me! O Life!, O Captain! My Captain!)
  • Works of Tennyson (especially The Lady of Shalott, Ulysses, Charge of the Light Brigade, For I dipped into the Future, In Memoriam A.H.H., Crossing the Bar, Ulysses[T][A])
  • Works of T.S. Eliot (especially The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Wasteland, Hollow Men, Preludes-, Four Quartets)
  • Divine Comedy by Dante (I like the Mandelbaum translation) [T][A]
  • Metamorphoses by Ovid [T][A]
  • Hesperides and Nobel Numbers by Herrick [T] (esp. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, Argument of his book, Delight in Disorder, To His Conscience, Upon Julia’s Clothes, Corinna’s Going A-Maying,
  • Faust by Goethe Part I [T][A] Part II [T][A]
  • Works of Sappho, Hafiz, Rumi, Li Po, Tu Fu (best to read several translations)
  • Tagore (esp. Gitanjali), The Hero
  • Spencer– Amoretti (Sonnets 1,8, 10, 35, 37, 67,68, 70,75, 79)
  • Sidney —Astrophil & Stella (Sonnets 1,6,9,15, 31,39,45,52,69,71,72,87,89,108)
  • The Passionate Shepherd to His Love—Marlowe
  • The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd—Raleigh
  • Shakespeare’s Sonnets (all them)
  • Meditation 17, Holy Sonnet 10, The Bait—Donne
  • To a Mouse, To a Louse, Auld Lang Syne. A Red Red Rose–Burns
  • The Lamb, The Tyger—Blake
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan—Coleridge
  • She Walks in Beauty Like the Night, When We Two Parted, Darkness, We’ll Go No More A Roving, When A Man Hath No Freedom to Fight for at Home—Byron
  • A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing—Pope
  • The Measure of a Man—Unknown
  • Invictus–Henley
  • Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi—Unknown (but probably not St. Francis)
  • Ozymandias, The Flight of Love, To—, —Shelly
  • Ode on a Grecian Urn, La Belle Dame Sans Merci—Keats
  • Sea Fever–Masefield
  • My Last Duchess, Andrea del Sarto, Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister—Browning
  • Sonnet 43—Barret Browning
  • Remember, Up-hill, Echo, Promises like Pie-Crust, Lord thou thyself art love,—C.G. Rossetti
  • Sudden Light, The House of Life, Soul’s Beauty—D.G. Rossetti
  • The New Colossus–Lazarus
  • Second Coming, Sailing to Byzantium, When you are Old, Lake Island of Inishfree—Yeats
  • Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night—Thomas
  • Work—Angela Morgan
  • The Keeping of the Bridge–Lord Macaulay
  • The Highwayman–Noyes
  • Casey at Bat—Thayer
  • Jabberwocy, Walrus and the Carpenter, The Hunting of the Snark–Carroll
  • Dream Deferred, I too sing America– Hughes
  • The Road Not Taken, Birches, Mending Wall, Fire and Ice, Out, Out–Frost
  • The Day Before the Trial– Algernon Charles Swinburne [T]

  • Guenevere— Sara Teasdale [T]

    The Defense of Guenevere–William Morris [T]

  • Short Stories
  • Wilde (The Carterville ghost [T][A], The model millionaire [T][A], The nightingale and the rose  [T][A], The Selfish Giant, The Happy Prince
  • Poe (Masque of the Red Death [T][A]. Tell tale heart [T][A], Cask of Amontillado [T][A], Fall of the house if of usher [T][A], The Purloined Letter [T][A],The Thousand and Second Tale of Scheherazade  [T][A], Pit and the Pendulum [T][A], Mertzengerstein [T], The Duc De L’omlette [T][A], The black cat [T][A], The Murders of the Rue Morgue [T][A], Van Kempelen and his discovery [T], Mesmeric revelation [T][A]
  • Hawthorne (My Kinsman Major Molineux [T][A], Young Goodman Brown [T][A],  Rappacini’s Daughter [T][A], Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment [T][A], The Snow Image [T][A], The Minister’s Black Veil [T], The Maypole of Merry Mount [T][A], The Celestial Railroad [T][A], Sister Years  [T][A], The New Adam and Eve [T][A], The Artist of the Beautiful [T][A]
  • O. Henry ( Lickpenny Lover [T][A], The Gift of the Magi [T][A],After Twenty Years [T][A], The Last Leaf [T][A], The Cop and the Anthem  [T], The Clarion Call [T], The Skylight Room [T][A], The Buyer from Cactus City [T][A], The Duplicity of the Hargraves [T][A], The Furnished Room [T][A], Witches loaves [T][A], The Third Ingredient  [T][A], Spring time a la Carte  [T][A], The Green Door [T][A], By Courier, The Romance of the Busy Broker, One Thousand Dollars, Tobin’s Pal, Fourth in Salvador, A Retrieved Reformation, The enchanted kiss
  • Lovecraft—(The Cats of Ultar [T][A], The Outsider [T], Beyond the wall of sleep [T][A], Hypnos [T][A], The call of Cuthulu  [T], Dunwich horror [T][A], Dagon)
  • EM Forrester (The Other side of the Hedge [T][A], The Machine Stops [T][A])
  • Edith Wharton –The fullness of life [T][A]
  • Collins–Mr. Lismore and the Widow [T][A]
  • Bradbury—Exiles, Sound of thunder
  • Hans Christian Anderson –( In a thousand years  [T][A], Little mermaid [T][A])
  • Ambrose Bierce–Occurrence at owl creek bridge[T][A]
  • Connell–The most dangerous game [T]
  • Thousand and One nights–Aladdin and his magic lamp [T][A]
  • The necklace by Maupassant [T][A]
  • Anthony Hope–The Philosophy in the Apple Orchard [T][A]
  • Doyle (The Red Headed League [T][A], Scandal in Bohemia[T][A])
  • Gilman–The Yellow Wallpaper [T][A]
  • Harrison Bergeron by Vonnegut
  • The story of an hour by Kate Chopin [T][A]
  • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson [T]
  • Rikki tiki tavi by Kipling
  • The ones who walk away from Omelas by Le Guin  [T]
  • Bartley the scrivener by Melville[T][A]
  • The lady or the tiger by Frank Stockton [T][A]
  • Abbot–Flatland[T][A]
  • Jericho Road by Henry van dyke [T][A]
  • Henlein– (The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, All you zombies, By his bootstraps, Waldo, Beyond this horizon)
  • Philip K. Dick (We can remember it for you wholesale, Paycheck, Second Variety, The Minority Report, The Golden Man, Variable Man)
  • William Faulkner (A Rose for Emily, The Tall Men, Shingles for the Lord, Shall not Perish, Elly, Uncle Willy, That will be Fine, That Evening Sun, Red Leaves, A Justice, A Courtship, Lo!, Ad Astra, All the Dead Pilots, Wash, Mountain Victory,  Beyond)
  • Mark Twain (The celebrated jumping frog of Calaveras County[T][A],  Diary of Adam and Eve[T T][A])
  • Washington Irving (Sleepy Hollow, [T][A],  The Devil and Tom Walker  [T][A])
  • Gelett Burgess–The number Thirteen [A], The MacDougal street affair  [A]
  • Lord Dunsany– The bureau d’exchange de Maux [T][A], The Exiles club [T][A], The Sword of Walleran  [T][A]
  • The mortal immortal  byMary Shelly [T][A]
  • The Adventure of the Snowing Globe By F. Anstey[A]
  • The Sleeper and Spindle by Gaiman
  • I am Legend, Steel, What Dreams May Come–Richard Matheson
  • Mark Helprin (Katherine comes to yellow sky, Ellis island,  Tamar[T])



Blood, Sweat and Tears; Their Finest Hour, We shall fight on the beaches, Iron Curtain –Churchill
The Third Philippic—Demosthenes
First Inaugural, Decision to go to the moon—Kennedy
Abolition Speech—Wiliam Wilberforce
First Oration against Catiline—Cicero
First Inaugural, Fifth State of the Union, 40th Anniversary D-Day, Brandenburg Gate, A Time for Choosing,Crisis of Communism—Reagan
Funeral Oration—Pericles
What to the slave is the fourth of July—Fredrick Douglas
I have a dream—MLK
Perils of Indifference—Wiesel
“Doctrine of the International Community”, Speech to US Congress–Blair
The Need to Expand speech—Hitler (obviously for historical purposes not because it’s good)
Thatcher first speech as PM
‘Orwellian nightmare’ if Tories fail, claims Margaret Thatcher
Fire Sermon—Buddha
Empress Theodora’s refusal to run
Sermon on the Birds—St. Francis
Thomas Moore on Charges of Treason
Queen Elizabeth on the Spanish Armada
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God—Johnathan Edwards
Give me Liberty or Give me Death!—Patrick Henry
Washington to Troops on Insurrection
Washington’s Farewell Address
First and Second Inaugural, Gettysburg—Lincoln
Barry Goldwater Convention Speech
William Faulkner Nobel Speech
Age of Liberty—George W. Bush

Short Non-Fiction
A Letter for Garcia

  • Podcasts
  • The History of Rome, Revolutions
  • Redifining Reality—Great Courses

3 responses to “Books that Introduce Conservatism and Critical Thinking

  1. Pingback: Reflections on the Election: Why I was wrong, Why Obama Won, and what the GOP needs to do. Part III | The Conservative New Ager

  2. Yeshaya Rotbard

    I just came upon this site now – and thank you. It’s good to know you’re out there. I just had this thought regarding books and movies that have conservative values. I am a film buff and there are films out there that can also clearly show what happens to people or to a society when Leftist or Liberal ideas take over, and it may be of value to utilize those in the discussion and sharing of ideas as well. For me, some examples of these are Invasion of the Body Snatchers (but only the original 1956 film). There is also a made for TV film called Harrison Bergeron (it’s on youtube) based on a story by Kurt Vonnegut. And move recently, a film like V for Vendetta. These are just a few. I’m sure there are more, but they do depict what happens when the opposite of conservative values take over. Just a thought, and thanks again.

  3. Yeshaya Rotbard

    I just posted a comment listing some film titles. I would be remiss if I did not add one more title to that comment by mentioning the great German film – The Lives of Others.

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