Books Every Conservative Must Read

Here is a bibliography that I have compiled. Start with the titles in red.

  • Allitt, Patrick. The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities Throughout American History. See his audio course Conservative Tradition.
  • Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford World’s Classics).
  • De Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield & Delba Winthrop (University of Chicago).
  • Eliot, T. S. Christianity and Culture (includes “The Idea of a Christian Society” and “Notes towards the Definition of Culture”).
  • Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers. Edited by Terence Ball (Cambridge).
  • Himmelfarb, Gertrude. The Moral Imagination: From Edmund Burke to Lionel Trilling. See the chapters on Edmund Burke, Jane Austen, Benjamin Disraeli, and Michael Oakeshott.
  • Kirk, Russell. The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot. 
  • Kirk, Russell (ed.). The Portable Conservative Reader.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory.
  • Muller, Jerry Z. Conservatism: An Anthology of Social and Political Thought from David Hume to the Present.
  • Nash, George H. The Conservative Intellectual Movement in American Since 1945.
  • Oakeshott, Michael. Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays.
  • Schneider, Gregory (ed.). Conservatism in America Since 1930: A Reader.
  • Scruton, Roger. The Meaning of Conservatism.
  • Weaver, Richard. Ideas Have Consequences.

Read PDF booklet Ten Books That Shaped America’s Conservative Renaissance by Jeffrey O. Nelson (ISI Books).

From Benjamin Wiker, 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read: Plus Four Not to Miss and One Imposter *

Part 1: Just What Exactly Is Conservatism?

  • Aristotle, The Politics. Edited by Stephen Everson (Cambridge).
  • G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (WaterBrook Press).
  • Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics.
  • C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.

Part 2: Democracy and the Founding of the American Republic

  • Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (Oxford World’s Classics).
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield & Delba Winthrop (University of Chicago).
  • Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, The Federalist Papers. See The Debate on the Constitution: Part One and Part Two (Library of America).
  • The Anti-Federalists. See The Debate on the Constitution: Part One and Part Two (Library of America).

Part 3: The Place of Economics for Conservatives

  • Hilaire Belloc, The Servile State.
  • Friedrich August von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom.

Part 4: The Conservative Story and Conservative Stories

  • William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Arden Shakespeare).
  • Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics).
  • J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
  • Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

* Editions recommended by me.

From FiveBooks:

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