Feature

Paul Ryan's 6 favorite books about economics and democracy

The Wisconsin congressman recommends works by Milton Friedman, Alexis de Tocqueville, and more

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman (Univ. of Chicago, $17.50). Republicans of late have confused corporate favoritism and special earmarks with pro-market policy. That's called crony capitalism. Friedman schools us on a better way to unleash the power of free markets: Be pro-market, not pro-business.

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek (Univ. of Chicago, $17). Hayek wasn't just an economist; he was an intellectual dissident whose ideas stand as a bulwark against collectivism's empty promises.

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (Penguin, $14). What isn't to like about a French-man with an appreciation of American culture? In Democracy, Tocqueville had the great insight that "liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith." He's the king of one-liners and had an enduring point of view on what makes our country special.

The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm by William Manchester and Paul Reid (Bantam, $20). Churchill's staggering accomplishments, fearless leadership, and near monomaniacal wartime work ethic are richly recounted here. His reward for leading Britain through its darkest days? Getting kicked out of office. This fascinating book shows how the wide lens of history contextualizes a lifetime of victories and failures.

Wealth and Poverty by George Gilder (Regnery, $30). By the time I read this book, in the early 1990s, it was a primer for young conservatives. Gilder's views on the drivers of economic growth and job creation are underpinned by his strong belief in individual empowerment. He's both wonky and inspiring.

The Way the World Works by Jude Wanniski (Gateway, $17). Jude was an adviser to my friend and mentor Jack Kemp and helped coin the term "supply-side fiscalism." His 1978 book served as the foundation for national policies in the 1980s that led to an era of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Wanniski asks an enduring question: How do we maximize freedom while promoting equality? His answer delivers equal doses of analysis, history, and wit.

Paul Ryan was the 2012 Republican vice presidential candidate. His new book, The Way Forward, argues that conservatism offers America the best path to a brighter future.

Recommended

What does the GOP want from debt ceiling negotiations?
the Republican elephant
Briefing

What does the GOP want from debt ceiling negotiations?

Arizona Legislature exempts itself from state public records law
Arizona Capitol buidling.
hmmmmm...

Arizona Legislature exempts itself from state public records law

Rep. Adam Schiff announces bid for Senate
Rep. Adam Schiff.
here comes adam

Rep. Adam Schiff announces bid for Senate

Newsmax CEO decries 'discrimination' after conservative network dropped
Newsmax sign
Newsmax minimized

Newsmax CEO decries 'discrimination' after conservative network dropped

Most Popular

Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell unleash on McCarthy's committee rejections
Eric Swalwell, Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff
The gloves are off

Schiff, Omar, and Swalwell unleash on McCarthy's committee rejections

The big debate about alcohol
Alcohol.
In depth

The big debate about alcohol

Egypt's mummified 'golden boy' digitally unwrapped 2,300 years after burial
entrance to the Egyptian Museum
history unveiled

Egypt's mummified 'golden boy' digitally unwrapped 2,300 years after burial