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By: Leo Tolstoy

The Slavery of Our Times by Leo Tolstoy The Slavery of Our Times

This little book shows, in a short, clear, and systematic manner, how the principle of Non-Resistance, about which Tolstoy has written so much, is related to economic and political life.

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

The People of the Abyss by Jack London The People of the Abyss

Jack London lived for a time within the grim and grimy world of the East End of London, where half a million people scraped together hardly enough on which to survive. Even if they were able to work, they were paid only enough to allow them a pitiful existence. He grew to know and empathise with these forgotten (or ignored) people as he spoke with them and tasted the workhouse, life on the streets, … and the food, which was cheap, barely nutritious, and foul.He writes about his experiences in...

By: Daniel Defoe (1661?-1731)

Book cover An Essay Upon Projects

By: Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde The Soul of Man

“(T)he past is what man should not have been. The present is what man ought not to be. The future is what artists are.”Published originally as “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” this is not so much a work of sober political analysis; rather it can be summed up as a rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the Individual. Socialism having deployed technology to liberate the whole of humanity from soul-destroying labour, the State obligingly withers away to allow the free development of a joyful, anarchic hedonism...

By: Alfred Marshall (1842-1924)

Principles of Economics by Alfred Marshall Principles of Economics

“The most valuable of all capital is that invested in human beings.” An uncannily prophetic quote from an 1890 book, Principles of Economics by Alfred Marshall presents an idea that has been accepted by major corporations and governments all over the world today. People's understanding of market behavior and how industries operate has its roots in the work done by European economists more than a century ago. Little has changed in terms of principles, though the effects of globalization and technology resulted an unmistakable impact on how business is done today...

By: Stephen Leacock (1869-1944)

The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice by Stephen Leacock The Unsolved Riddle of Social Justice

This lengthy political essay by noted Canadian humourist Stephen Leacock was written while he was professor of political economy at McGill University. He argues for a middle ground between individualism/capitalism and pure socialism. Listeners in the early 21st century may find this 90-year old essay oddly topical.

By: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

Book cover American Woman's Home

By: Karl Marx

Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production by Karl Marx Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production

Karl Marx’s Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production is a critical analysis of the political economy or the capitalist system. In this 3 volume work, he says that a capitalist economy can only survive by exploiting the working class. The concepts discussed in this book laid the foundations of the political doctrine that would later be known as communism. This book has three volumes, the first volume is Marx’s critical analysis of the capitalist mode of production and how it’s effects on poor people...

By: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (1818-1883, 1820-1895)

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto was conceived as an outline of the basic beliefs of the Communist movement. The authors believed that the European Powers were universally afraid of the nascent movement, and were condemning as "communist," people or activities that did not actually conform to what the Communists believed. This Manifesto, then, became a manual for their beliefs.In it we find Marx and Engel's rehearsal of the idea that Capital has stolen away the work of the artisan and peasant by building up factories to produce goods cheaply...

By: Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Wage-Labour and Capital by Karl Marx Wage-Labour and Capital

Orignally written as a series of newspaper articles in 1847, Wage-Labour and Capital was intended to give a short overview, for popular consumption, of Marx’s central threories regarding the economic relationships between workers and capitalists. These theories outlined include the Marxian form of the Labour Theory of Value, which distinguishes “labour” from “labour-power”, and the Theory of Concentration of Capital, which states that capitalism tends towards the creation of monopolies and the disenfranchisement of the middle and working classes...

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day

This book is a classic piece on self improvement teaching you to live to the fullest. Judging from the title of the book, the reader might expect that the book is a manual on how to manage your time better. Nothing could be further from the truth, this book is a flowery and witty self help book aimed at helping readers improve the quality of their lives, in fact it is one of the firsts of its kind in the world. Bennett describes the twenty four hours in a day as a miracle and that it should be used for the betterment of health, wealth, respect, pleasure and contentment...

By: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy by John Stuart Mill Essays on Some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy

This is Mill’s first work on economics. It foreshadows his Political Economy which was the standard Anglo-American Economics textbook of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mill’s economic theory moved from free market capitalism, to government intervention within the precepts of Utilitarianism, and finally to Socialism.

Book cover Principles Of Political Economy Abridged with Critical, Bibliographical, and Explanatory Notes, and a Sketch of the History of Political Economy

By: Adam Smith (1723-1790)

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” gives an in-depth discussion of different economic principles like the productivity, division of labor and free markets. Although written and published more than 200 years ago, it’s still hailed as one of the most original works in the field of economics and is still used as a reference by many modern economists. “An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” is the complete title of this book and it was first published in 1776, the same year that the American colonies declared their independence from Britain...

By: Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

Book cover Political Ideals

By: Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon The New Atlantis

In 1623, Francis Bacon expressed his aspirations and ideas in New Atlantis. Released in 1627, this was his creation of an ideal land where people were kind, knowledgeable, and civic-minded. Part of this new land was his perfect college, a vision for our modern research universities. Islands he had visited may have served as models for his ideas.

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

The Gray Mills of Farley by Sarah Orne Jewett The Gray Mills of Farley

As contemporary today as it was over a century ago, this relatively unsentimental tale of labor relations still packs a punch.

By: H. G. Wells (1866-1946)

A Modern Utopia by H. G. Wells A Modern Utopia

H. G. Wells's proposal for social reform was the formation of a world state, a concept that would increasingly preoccupy him throughout the remainder of his life. One of his most ambitious early attempts at portraying a world state was A Modern Utopia (1905). A Modern Utopia was intended as a hybrid between fiction and 'philosophical discussion'. Like most utopists, he has indicated a series of modifications which in his opinion would increase the aggregate of human happiness. Basically, Wells' idea of a perfect world would be if everyone were able to live a happy life...

By: John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Unto this Last:  Four Essays on the First Principles of Political Economy by John Ruskin Unto this Last: Four Essays on the First Principles of Political Economy

John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) is best known for his work as an art critic and social critic, but is remembered as an author, poet and artist as well. Unto This Last is an important work of political economic though that influenced Gandhi, among others. (Hugh McGuire/Wikipedia)

Book cover The Crown of Wild Olive also Munera Pulveris; Pre-Raphaelitism; Aratra Pentelici; The Ethics of the Dust; Fiction, Fair and Foul; The Elements of Drawing

By: Hilaire Belloc

The Servile State by Hilaire Belloc The Servile State

A clear boundary exists between the servile and the non-servile condition of labour, and the conditions upon either side of that boundary utterly differ one from another, Where there is compulsion applicable by positive law to men of a certain status, such compulsion enforced in the last resort by the powers at the disposal of the State, there is the institution of Slavery; and if that institution be sufficiently expanded the whole State may be said to repose upon a servile basis, and is a Servile State. (Hilaire Belloc)

By: George Berkeley (1685-1753)

Book cover Querist

By: Lysander Spooner

Vices Are Not Crimes by Lysander Spooner Vices Are Not Crimes

Lysander Spooner was an American individualist anarchist, entrepreneur, political philosopher, abolitionist, supporter of the labour movement, and legal theorist of the nineteenth century. Here he gives his views on the role of Governments in the private lives of their citizens

By: Timothy S. Arthur (1809-1885)

Trials and Confessions of a Housekeeper by Timothy S. Arthur Trials and Confessions of a Housekeeper

Is housekeeping such a trial? Mrs. Smith thinks so and confesses all in this merry account of her escapades and near disasters!

By: Russell Herman Conwell (1843-1925)

Acres of Diamonds by Russell Herman Conwell Acres of Diamonds

Text of famous inspirational lecture and biography of Russell Conwell, a Baptist minister and Temple University Founder

By: Mrs. Isabella Beeton (1836-1865)

The Book of Household Management by Mrs. Isabella Beeton The Book of Household Management

“Mrs. Beeton’s” is a guide to all aspects of running a household in Victorian Britain. Published in 1861, it was an immediate bestseller, running to millions of copies within just a few years. In the cookery sections, Mrs. Beeton follows the animal “from his birth to his appearance on the table.” Learn how to care for poultry during moulting season, how to wean calves, how to cure hams, salt cod, carve mutton, and much more.

By: Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1834)

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas R. Malthus An Essay on the Principle of Population

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison with the second (Malthus).

By: Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929)

The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen The Theory of the Leisure Class

Originally published by the Norwegian-American economist Thorstein Veblen while he was a professor at the University of Chicago in 1898, the Theory of the Leisure Class is considered one of the great works of economics as well as the first detailed critique of consumerism. In the book, Veblen argues that economic life is driven not by notions of utility, but by social vestiges from pre-historic times. [Summary modified from Wikipedia.]

By: Frederic Bastiat

Essays on Political Economy by Frederic Bastiat Essays on Political Economy

Bastiat asserted that the only purpose of government is to defend the right of an individual to life, liberty, and property. From this definition, Bastiat concluded that the law cannot defend life, liberty and property if it promotes socialist policies inherently opposed to these very things. In this way, he says, the law is perverted and turned against the thing it is supposed to defend.

By: Louis D. Brandeis (1856-1941)

Other People's Money by Louis D. Brandeis Other People's Money

Other People's Money and How the Bankers Use It is a collection of essays written by Louis Brandeis published as a book in 1914. The book attacked the use of investment funds to promote the consolidation of various industries under the control of a small number of corporations, which Brandeis alleged were working in concert to prevent competition. Brandeis harshly criticized investment bankers who controlled large amounts of money deposited in their banks by middle-class people. The heads of these...

By: Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Twenty Years at Hull-House by Jane Addams Twenty Years at Hull-House

Jane Addams was the first American woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In a long, complex career, she was a pioneer settlement worker and founder of Hull-House in Chicago, public philosopher (the first American woman in that role), author, and leader in woman suffrage and world peace. She was the most prominent woman of the Progressive Era and helped turn the nation to issues of concern to mothers, such as the needs of children, public health and world peace. She emphasized that women have a special responsibility to clean up their communities and make them better places to live, arguing they needed the vote to be effective...

By: Samuel Merwin

Calumet Calumet "K"

"A novel, with several elements of rather unusual interest. As a tale, it is swift, simple, and absorbing, and one does not willingly put it down until it is finished. It has to do with grain-elevator business, with railways, strikes, and commercial and financial matters generally, woven skilfully into a human story of love." --The Commercial Advertiser "'Calumet "K"' is a novel that is exciting and absorbing, but not the least bit sensational. It is the story of a rush.... The book is an unusually good story; one that shows the inner workings of the labor union, and portrays men who are the bone and sinew of the earth...


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