I have been asked to suggest some of the writings that have influenced me (positively) and that I recommend.  Here are some.

The Nature and Destiny of Man, Reinhold Niebuhr (I list this first for a reason. Start here, then take the others in any order.)

Terror and Liberalism, Paul Berman (A liberal’s reflections on 9/11 and the terror threat faced by the West. Berman places jihad in its fascist context. If he underplays its roots in Islamic doctrine, he still provides a valuable corrective to much leftist wishful thinking about the “anti-imperialism” of the jihadis.  If this were more widely read, fewer on the Left would be seduced by these murderous thugs.)

Modernity Without Restraint, Eric Voegelin ( a collection of three short works regarding gnostic politics, i.e. ideologies. EV has a reputation as a thick writer, but these are his clearest works.)

After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre (This is justly well-regarded.)

Modernity on Endless Trial, Leszek Kolakowski (This is unjustly little-known.)

I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Rene Girard (Who would have thought there was something entirely new to say about Christianity in the 21st century?)

Confessions, St. Augustine (Maybe the clearest analysis of sin and human nature.)

Blood, Sweat and Tears, Winston Churchill’s speeches (Including the monumental speech on Munich, which ought to be read and studied in every history class.)

Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky (The best fictional insight into sin and human nature – and much easier to read than Crime & Punishment.)

The Drama of Atheist Humanism, Henri de Lubac (Outstanding insight into modernism.)

The End of the Modern World, Romano Guardini (More about this later.)

Camelot and the Cultural Revolution, James Pierson (Outstanding!)

CATEGORY:  Books of Witness    (These are all first-hand accounts of the brutal realities of the 20th century.)

Witness, Whittaker Chambers  A fascinating spy story that never flinches from the truth about communism and the West.  If you are in a hurry,  at least read the “Foreword in the Form of a Letter to My Children”.

I Chose Freedom, Victor Kravchenko  A Soviet engineer-bureaucrat’s compelling autobiography of Stalinism.

The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn  A suitably famous work, but we often forget that it is largely autobiographical.

Against All Hope, Armando Valladares  “A Memoir of Life in Castro’s Gulag”, by a democratic dissident who reminds us of the daily reality of Cuba.

We Wish To Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With our Families, Philip Gourevitch   Though not first-hand, a journalist reviews our most recent non-ideological tribal genocide.

Night, Elie Wiesel   Even Oprah recognizes it as a true classic.

5 Responses to “Books”


  1. 1 Jeannie May 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    An excellent list, several I have never even heard of but will now attempt! In the piece about you there is no mention of WHY you are a Democrat. As a person who is not a citizen of the United States and not too knowledgeable about its history, I would like to know why.
    would you tell me?

  2. 2 Mister Moleman May 18, 2009 at 10:19 am

    I am a Democrat for reasons of history, culture, and association. I was born into a Democratic family. My first political hero was John F. Kennedy. His inaugural statement of commitment to defend freedom and democracy around the world has served as my political manifesto. Learning later about Truman and Roosevelt, and about the history of Republican isolationism, I felt even more firmly in the Democratic camp.

    As a union organizer and negotiator, I recognized the friendlier Democratic attitude towards unions, and so I campaigned for Democrats for several decades. Motivated more by my unionism than concerns over foreign policy, I continued in the D. camp until 9/11.

    That day I saw with startling clarity how badly my party had fallen off its historic commitment to freedom and democracy abroad, and how it had weakened our country. Since then I have become another Democrat in exile, wandering with Joe Lieberman through the wilderness, trying to push our party out of its new proclivity towards appeasement and virtual anti-Americanism.

    Now tell me about yourself, Jeannie.

  3. 3 ianras July 3, 2009 at 6:05 am

    I dropped by after googling “The Drama of Atheist Humanism” + girard and then when I spooted Modernity on Endlass Trial and After Virtue, two of my favourite books too, I said I had to comment. Just sayin’ hello.

  4. 4 ianras July 3, 2009 at 6:06 am

    spooted = spotted, Endlass = Endless. I’d love to say English isn’t my first language but… it is.

  5. 5 read books internetowego April 23, 2015 at 6:05 am

    The Ferst Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Madison, GA by Robin Ferst.
    5) A forum for showing a product, together with benefits and advantages can be established.

    In some cities you can borrow books electronically from your public library.


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