Top 10 Books for Tenthers
Top 10 Books for Tenthers
Posted by Michael Boldin
Tom Woods recently put together a list of recommended books, and I thought that this was a great idea for Tenthers as well. His introduction was perfect, it fits here as well:
People often ask me what books they ought to read in order to get quickly up to speed on economics, politics, and history. Here are some suggestions.
If youâ€™re like me, you are annoyed by books that teach you three new things. My time is limited. I like books that are full of things I didnâ€™t know, or ideas Iâ€™d never thought of.
The books I recommend below belong in that category. They teach you something new and unexpected on every page. And they are a perfect antidote to the propaganda fed to us in the ideological prison camps where most of us spent our formative years. I list them in no particular order.
Tom, thanks for the great introduction, it applies here as well! So with that, hereâ€™s my recommendation list of the top-10 books for Tenthers. I urge you to read them in the order presented. Doing so will almost act like a series of course as you work towards your â€œTenther Degree!â€
To start, get a great introduction to the Founderâ€™s constitutional thought â€“ and vision with two books. The Founding Fathersâ€™ Guide to the Constitution by Brion McClanahan might be the definitive laymanâ€™s handbook on the Constitution. And Kevin Gutzmanâ€™s Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution is THE book for the layman to overcome the â€œreceived wisdomâ€ about what constitutional law is.
For those that want to dig deeper into the original legal meaning of the Constitution, the ultimate book is Rob Natelsonâ€™s The Original Constitution: What it Actually Said and Meant, published right here at the Tenth Amendment Center. TOC gives you the tools you need to understand the proper role of the federal government and to counter common myths about Americaâ€™s Founders and the Constitution they gave us.
As Natelson shows so well in The Original Constitution, itâ€™s essential to understand what the constitution meant to those who drafted it (the Framers) and those who approved it (the Ratifiers). St. George Tuckerâ€™s 1803 View of the Constitution of the United States was the standard text on the understanding of the document for decades. The importance? Well if this is the book that explained the common public understanding of the constitution at that time, it holds great value for understanding it today.
Once youâ€™ve got a good understanding of the Constitutionâ€™s framework is all about, the question almost always remains: What do we do when the Constitution is violated? Tom Woodsâ€™ Nullification is the handbook on the topic. Itâ€™s filled with all the historical information you need to understand the constitutional basis for the doctrine. And Mike Maharreyâ€™s new book, Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty, places nullification in a modern context, and even provides some insight on good action steps for you to take today.
At this point, youâ€™re more than half way through. You know more than most on the Constitution and what to do about violations of its limits. Moving forward, is taking a bit of a step back. I think Murray Rothbardâ€™s Conceived in Liberty is not only the most information-packed history of America ever written, itâ€™s also in a style thatâ€™s extremely engaging. Rothbard had a story-telling knack like few others and youâ€™ll find yourself immersed in the long history of the early days of America.
Next, youâ€™ll want to dive head-first into Kevin Gutzmanâ€™s James Madison and the Making of America. This book isnâ€™t just the best-written biography on the 4th president, itâ€™s much more Read it to find out why. You wonâ€™t be disappointed!
The last two books on this reading list take you to some deep scholarly study on two of the most important issues that Tenthers address. The Origins of the Necessary and Proper Clause serves as a reference source for scholars seeking to understand the intellectual foundations of one of the Constitutionâ€™s most important clauses. It was written by four of the nations leading constitutional experts, Gary Lawson, Geoffrey P. Miller, Robert G. Natelson, and Guy I. Seidman.
Finally, Raoul Bergerâ€™s Government by Judiciary might be the most important book youâ€™ll read moving forward. It is the thesis of this monumentally argued book that the United States Supreme Courtâ€”largely through abuses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitutionâ€”has embarked on â€œa continuing revision of the Constitution, under the guise of interpretation.â€ If you choose just one book after the first half, this is the one you should get.
Ok, I couldnâ€™t stop at 10. So as a bonus read, Louis Fisherâ€™s Presidential War Power is just plain awesome.
Have you read any of these books? If so, which have you read and what are your thoughts on them? Post in the comments below.
Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.
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