The Creature from Jekyll Island – G. Edward Griffin
This is the best book I have found on the Federal Reserve. It documents how the FED was conceived at a secret meeting on Jekyll Island, Georgia by a handful of the worlds most powerful men. He describes how the FED became a cartel, backed by laws passed by Congress and how it’s primary goal is to protect the large banks. He also explains how central banks around the world were created and how they have preyed on countries by creating and then financing wars. He also explains how the FED creates money and how this devalues the currency and creates inflation. While this book is almost 600 pages it reads like a good novel. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Broke – Glenn Beck
Mr. Beck clearly explains what the “real” national debt is, how we got here and proposes some common sense solutions. This is an excellent book and it is easy to read. It includes a lot of excellent graphs which clearly show how bad the problems are. This is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the debt crisis we face today.
New Deal or Raw Deal – Burton Folsom, Jr.
This is an excellent book documenting the failure of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration to deal with the depression. He begins by explaining the two main factors that started the depression – The Smoot Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 and the contraction of the money supply by the FED. Mr. Folsom clearly documents each of FDR’s programs and why they actually extended the depression. He debunks the popular theory that FDR saved the country from the depression. The book clearly demonstrates the fallacy that deficit spending and government intervention helps the economy. The truth is that these programs make recessions worse – not better.
Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
This is the classic novel about what happens when the government runs amuck. It appears that the novel was based on her experiences in Communist Russia during her childhood and the effects of FDR’s policies after she moved to the United States. The book clearly leads you down the path of destruction that failed government policies create. And, when government policies make the problems worse the solution is always more government policies to fix the problem.
How Capitalism Saved America – Thomas J. DiLorenzo
This book provides a new perspective on how capitalism really works and how it has made the United States the greatest country in the world. He begins with how community property nearly killed the Pilgrims and how the change to capitalism saved them. He covers subjects such as government’s failure at building infrastructure and how the free enterprise system worked so much better. He explains how capitalism enriched the working class and debunks the stories about the “robber barons.” He explains the truths about how the Sherman Anti-trust act has crippled private enterprise and driven up costs to consumers. This is a must read for everyone – from junior high students to every government employee and every editor of every newspaper.
The Myth of the Robber Barons – Burton W. Folsom, Jr.
The book begins with Commodore Vanderbilt’s steamship business and covers the railroads, the steel industry and the oil industry. Mr. Folsom clearly documents the benefits to consumers that the free enterprise system afforded them, with lower prices, better products and better service. Again, this is a must read which sets history straight on the contribution that these “robber barons” made to the United States.
The Real Lincoln – Thomas J. DiLorenzo
This is a new look at the policies and events that debunks the traditional “politically correct” view of President Lincoln. The book tells the truth about Lincoln’s view of slavery, why and how he forced the South to fire the first shot of the Civil War and the numerous things Lincoln did during the war that are rarely discussed in history books. These include suspending habeas corpus, the imprisonment of over 13,000 Northerners for merely speaking out against the war, the destruction of newspapers for opposing the war, the censoring of telegraph communications, interfering with State elections, instituting unconstitutional income taxes and the printing of “greenbacks”, declaring war on Southern civilians and burning their cities to the ground and emancipating only those slaves in Southern controlled areas while not emancipating the slaves in Northern controlled areas.
The Road to Serfdom – F.A. Hayek
This is the best book ever written on why socialism does not work. It explains why it hurts the very people who it is designed to help and how these people become wards (i.e. surfs) of the state. If you have not read this book you must do so immediately. It’s a shame that this book is not required reading in high school.
The House of Morgan – Ron Chernow
This book is subtitled “An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance.” It is a fascinating read on JP Morgan and their banking empire. It begins in 1835 and concludes in 1989 before the most recent crash. The book is over 700 pages long but is certainly worth the effort.
The First Tycoon – The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt – T.J. Stiles
Cornelius Vanderbilt was the father of transportation in the United States. From shipping to railroads he showed remarkable vision and became the richest man in America at the time. One of the most interesting aspects of Vanderbilt’s life is that his company’s continually competed against companies subsidized by governments and proved that the free market benefited the consumer much more than a subsidized market.
Titan – The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. – Ron Chernow
Like him or hate him – you must read this book to understand him. Rockefeller flourished in the free markets of his time and brought enormous benefits to consumers and the environment. While many people have criticized his tactics you must remember that there were few rules in his day. It was dog eat dog and the best man won. But in winning he reduced the cost of kerosene from over $1.00 per gallon to $ .05 per gallon, he cleaned up the environment and saved millions of whales – something you don’t read in the history books. It is a fascinating story of one of the greatest businessmen who ever lived.