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What other books should be read in addition to Ayn Rand's works?

asked Sep 23 '10 at 00:03

JohnHarris's gravatar image


A bit of context would be helpful—I assume you're looking for other books on philosophy? Clearly, in general, there are lots of books worth reading outside Rand!

(Sep 23 '10 at 03:24) jasoncrawford ♦ jasoncrawford's gravatar image

Hello, everyone! This question is a perfect candidate for someone to get some serious style points by creating a "community wiki" answer that contains the information from the comments. Then, folks can all edit that community answer to add and subtract parts, and (importantly) delete the big pile of distracting, redundant comments.

(Sep 23 '10 at 12:09) Greg Perkins ♦♦ Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

If you're looking for economics, definitely read Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt, as well as pretty much anything by von Mises.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 10:08

ryankrause's gravatar image

ryankrause ♦

Others have made a number of good suggestions for what to read to learn more about Objectivism. Here are some suggestions for other, related topics:


  • Henry Hazlitt - Economics in One Lesson
  • Gene Callahan - Economics for Real People
  • Thomas Sowell - Basic Economics (watch out for his collectivism, though)
  • George Reisman - Capitalism


  • John Locke - Second Treatise on Government, and Letter Concerning Toleration
  • The collected writings of Thomas Jefferson, and of James Madison
  • Tom Bethell - The Noblest Triumph
  • Marvin Olasky - The Tragedy of American Compassion


  • Thomas DiLorenzo - How Capitalism Saved America
  • Burton W. Folsom - The Myth of the Robber Barons
  • Andrew Bernstein - The Capitalist Manifesto (I think this book has significant problems, but the stuff on history is excellent)
  • John Samples - The Struggle to Limit Government
  • Arthur Ekirch, Jr. - The Decline of American Liberalism

Bad guys you should know (in politics):

  • Anything by Thom Hartmann
  • Paul Krugman - The Conscience of a Liberal
  • James K. Galbraith - The Predator State
  • Thaler and Sunstein - Nudge
  • Cass Sunstein - Free Markets and Social Justice
  • Jay Richards - Money, Greed, and God
  • The Essential Russell Kirk
  • Irving Kristol - Two Cheers for Capitalism
This answer is marked "community wiki".

answered Sep 23 '10 at 14:20

Publius's gravatar image

Publius ♦

edited Sep 23 '10 at 16:13

Almost all of these (and more) can be found at mises.org. Also Mises institute on YOUTUBE for some excellent lectures. Happy learning!

(Sep 25 '10 at 16:53) adamsdad ♦ adamsdad's gravatar image

It depends on what you're looking for, though I'll give one suggestion:

For some absolutely fantastic articles dealing with current issues, I can't recommend The Objective Standard any higher. I've read some really well-considered articles in there.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 02:40

infallible's gravatar image

infallible ♦

actually maybe this isn't the right place so feel free to delete this comment but what books on egoism - if any - do you guys recommend? I have viable values and rand's normative ethics

(Sep 23 '10 at 02:48) Michael Michael's gravatar image

For philosophy, I found W. T. Jones's A History of Western Philosophy very helpful. It contains extensive quotes from primary sources, along with a lot of helpful analysis.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 03:25

jasoncrawford's gravatar image

jasoncrawford ♦

If you are looking for books by serious Objectivists other than Ayn Rand, I recommend "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand", by Leonard Peikoff, as well as books by Tara Smith such as "Viable Values".

I also recommend "Objectivism in One Lesson" and "Capitalism Unbound" by Andrew Bernstein.

"The Ominous Parallels" by Leonard Peikoff is also excellent.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 11:12

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦

Before Kelley went all mushy, there's his Evidence of the Senses from the '80s, if you're into the whole epistemology-of-perception thing. (I was bored to tears myself.) The works I've read by the people on the Ayn Rand Society's steering committee are good.

(Sep 23 '10 at 12:32) Chris Cathcart Chris%20Cathcart's gravatar image

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by Leonard Peikoff is an excellent volume dealing with the specific application of logic in everyday life. This is an excellent contemporary substitute to Aristotle's Logic, which I would also definitely recommend.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 15:42

Colin%20MacDonald's gravatar image

Colin MacDonald ♦

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology is actually by Ayn Rand herself. I think Dr. Peikoff wrote an introduction or something for the latest edition. And it describes the Objectivist theory of concepts, more than the application of logic to everyday life. But yes, it's a great book!

(Sep 23 '10 at 15:46) jasoncrawford ♦ jasoncrawford's gravatar image

Ahh thank you for the correction, no wonder I couldn't find it :P

(Sep 23 '10 at 15:48) Colin MacDonald ♦ Colin%20MacDonald's gravatar image

I think you may have meant Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff. It draws heavily from ITOE, but is easier to digest especially if you are new to the Objectivist theory of concepts. It is very easy to confuse the two.

(Sep 23 '10 at 15:57) kelleyn ♦ kelleyn's gravatar image

I'm not so sure that OPAR or IOE regard application of logic to everyday life. OPAR certainly draws from available evidence, but it is more about all of the Objectivist principles and how they all relate to each other in a structure than it is about everyday applications. IOE is even more theoretical. Still, they are both excellent books. For applications of Objectivism to everyday life, see Ayn Rand's fictional heroes -- even though their lives are not "everyday".

(Sep 24 '10 at 10:51) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image
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Asked: Sep 23 '10 at 00:03

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Last updated: Sep 25 '10 at 16:53