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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: 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: 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.

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: 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)

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: 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...

By: John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

Book cover Economic Consequences of the Peace

The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1919) was a best seller throughout the world, published by John Maynard Keynes. Keynes attended the Versailles Conference as a delegate of the British Treasury and argued for a much more generous peace with Germany. The book was critical in establishing a general worldwide opinion that the Versailles Treaty was a brutal and unfair peace towards Germany. It helped to consolidate American public opinion against the treaty and involvement in the League of Nations...

By: Frédéric Bastiat

Sophisms of the Protectionists by Frédéric Bastiat Sophisms of the Protectionists

"To rob the public, it is necessary to deceive them," Bastiat said and believed. He reasoned, employing repetition to various applications, against fallacious arguments promoting the "Protection" of industries to the detriment of consumers and society. (Introduction by Katie Riley)

By: P.T. Barnum

The Art of Money Getting by P.T. Barnum The Art of Money Getting

Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.(br />His successes may have made him the first "show business" millionaire. Although Barnum was also an author, publisher, philanthropist, and for some time a politician, he said of himself, "I am a showman by profession...and all the gilding shall make nothing else of me," and his personal aims were "to put money in his own coffers". (Reference: Wikipedia.org)

By: John R. Lynch (1847-1939)

Book cover The Facts of Reconstruction

After the American Civil War, John R. Lynch, who had been a slave in Mississippi, began his political career in 1869 by first becoming Justice of the Peace, and then Mississippi State Representative. He was only 26 when he was elected to the US Congress in 1873. There, he continued to be an activist, introducing many bills and arguing on their behalf. Perhaps his greatest effort was in the long debate supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1875 to ban discrimination in public accommodations.In 1884 Lynch was the first African American nominated after a moving speech by Theodore Roosevelt to the position of Temporary Chairman of the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois...

By: Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924)

Book cover Pushing to the Front

Published in 1894, this is the first book by the renowned inspirational author, Dr. Orison Swett Marden. Pushing to the Front is the product of many years of hard work, and marks a turning point in the life of Dr. Marden. He rewrote it following an accidental fire that brought the five-thousand-plus page manuscript to flames. It went on to become the most popular personal-development book of its time, and is a timeless classic in its genre. Filled with stories of success, triumph and the surmounting of difficulties, it is especially well-targeted at the adolescent or young adult...

Book cover How to Succeed

In this volume, Orison Swett Marden explains the road to success in simple terms for the benefit of anyone, who wishes to follow in his footsteps. Over 100 years after publication, most of these lessons are still valid today.

By: Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865)

Book cover What is Property? An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government

What Is Property?: or, An Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government (French: Qu'est-ce que la propriété ? ou Recherche sur le principe du Droit et du Gouvernment) is an influential work of nonfiction on the concept of property and its relation to anarchist philosophy by the French anarchist and mutualist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, first published in 1840. In the book, Proudhon most famously declared that “property is theft”. Proudhon believed that the common conception of property conflated two distinct components which, once identified, demonstrated the difference between property used to further tyranny and property used to protect liberty...

By: Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)

Woman and the New Race by Margaret Sanger Woman and the New Race

Margaret Sanger was an American sex educator and nurse who became one of the leading birth control activists of her time, having at one point, even served jail time for importing birth control pills, then illegal, into the United States. Woman and the New Race is her treatise on how the control of population size would not only free women from the bondage of forced motherhood, but would elevate all of society. The original fight for birth control was closely tied to the labor movement as well as the Eugenics movement, and her book provides fascinating insight to a mostly-forgotten turbulent battle recently fought in American history.

By: Richard W. Church (1815-1890)

Bacon by Richard W. Church Bacon

This investigation of Bacon the scholar and man of letters begins with a look at the early days ang progresses to his relationships with Queen Elizabeth and James I. It includes accounts of his positions as solicitor general, attorney-general, and chancellor. The book concludes with Bacon's failure, his overall philosophy, and summaries of his writings.

By: Roger Babson (1875-1967)

Book cover Fundamentals of Prosperity

What these principles are and whence they come to us. "The fact is, we have become crazy over material things. We are looking only at the structure above ground. We are trying to get more smoke from the chimney. We are looking at space instead of service, at profits instead of volume. With our eyes focused on the structure above ground, we have lost sight of those human resources, thrift, imagination, integrity, vision and faith which make the structure possible. I feel that only by the business men can this foundation be strengthened before the inevitable fall comes."( from the preface )

By: Frances Swain

Book cover Food Guide for War Service at Home

"The long war has brought hunger to Europe; some of her peoples stand constantly face to face with starvation. To meet all this great food need in Europe—and meeting it is an imperative military necessity—we must be very careful and economical in our food use here at home. We must eat less; we must waste nothing; we must equalize the distribution of what food we may retain for ourselves; we must prevent extortion and profiteering which make prices so high that the poor cannot buy the food they actually need; and we must try to produce more food...

By: Cornelia Stratton Parker (1885-?)

Book cover American Idyll: The Life of Carlton H. Parker

In a memoir marked by joy, love, and an unbending sense of adventure, Cornelia Stratton Parker reveals the heart of a unique man and their life together. As a member of California's turn-of-the-20th-century Immigration and Housing Commission, Carlton H. Parker came to understand the problems surrounding migrant camps and the labor movement in general. In this volume she recounts his undertakings in that regard and their family life.

By: Samuel Merwin and Henry Kitchell Webster (1874-1936 and 1875-1932)

Book cover The Short Line War

"The Short Line War is a story that will appeal more particularly to the sterner sex, and we take it that the hyphenated name, Merwin-Webster, stands for two healthy-minded young men who have put their heads together and who have mapped out this story of a railroad war, in which politics form a considerable part. Jim Weeks is the central figure in the fight, and we like him so much better for knowing of the romance in his early life. He was a man 'without much instinct or imagination; he took everything seriously and literally, he could not understand a whim'--therefore a very foolish little woman came into his life only to leave it desolate...

By: Various

Catholic and Anti-Catholic History by Various Catholic and Anti-Catholic History

G.K. Chesterton and James Walsh join Hilaire Belloc in an energetic rollout of the means by which history becomes propaganda, to the damage, not only to truth, but to the human soul.

By: Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993)

Book cover Thinking as a Science

Written in a conversational style that will appeal to the younger person as well as seasoned professional, "Thinking as a Science" is timeless classic. Through eleven chapters, the last being a descriptive, annotated bibliography, Henry Hazlitt systematically takes the step-by-step on the process of introducing logic and context into the thinking process. The rather long chapter on "Reading and Thinking" clarifies several notions on where one needs to understand where mere knowledge acquisition ends and using reading the stimulate thinking begins.For an individual who was largely self taught, Hazlitt's contribution to the process of thinking is a must-read.

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

Anticipations by H. G. Wells Anticipations

Wells considered this book one of his most important, a natural follow-up to such works as his Man of the Year Million and The Time Machine. His goal was to get people to think and act in new ways. The book starts with a look at how humans get along socially and how they carry out their business ventures. It then discusses how these elements influence others, such as politics, the world of work, and education. H. G. tried to make clear how the current social order was disintegrating without preparing another to take its place. He then traced the roots of democracy, which in its present state he saw as unworkable. Instead, he proposed a new republic. He also critiqued modern warfare.

By: Various

The Night Side of New York by Various The Night Side of New York

This nonfiction collection of sketches, by "members of the New York press," takes the reader on a tour of 1866 New York City after dark, with stops along the way to vividly depict scenes ranging from the splendid to the squalid - but focusing largely on the latter!

By: Plato (424-348 BC)

Book cover Laws

Νόμοι (Laws) is Plato's final dialogue written after his attempt to advise the tyrant Dionysius II of Syracuse. The dialogue takes place between: an Athenian Stranger (Socrates? A god in human form?); the quiet Lacedaemonian Megillus; and the Cretan Cleinias. The Stranger asks whether humans live to be more effective at waging war or if there is something more important a legislator should seek to achieve. During their pilgrimage Cleinias discloses his role in the establishment of a new colony...

By: Various (1833-1884)

Book cover John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

This biography is actually a series of essays by prominent personalities of the time that shed light on John Stuart Mill's life and areas of endeavor. Those areas include his experiences in India House, his moral character, certain botanical explorations, how effective he was as a critic, studies in morals and the law, and discoveries concerning political economy. They also explore ideas concerning his influence on institutions of higher learning, accomplishments as a politician, and fame as a philosopher.

By: Theodor Herzl (1860-1904)

A Jewish State by Theodor Herzl A Jewish State

Read in English, this is a pivotal document in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. Herzl designed this work to elevate the discussion of "the Jewish Question" so it would "no longer take the form of violent abuse or sentimental vindication but of a debate, practical, large, earnest, and political." While few of Herzl's proposals were actually carried out, the importance of A JEWISH STATE was in the groundswell of support for a Jewish homeland engendered by its solutions to the practical problems of establishing a new state...

By: William Morris (1834-1896)

Book cover Signs of Change

In the 1880s William Morris, the artist and poet famously associated with the Arts and Crafts movement, left the Liberal Party and threw himself into the Socialist cause. He spoke all over the country, on street corners as well as in working men's clubs and lecture halls, and edited and wrote for the Socialist League's monthly newspaper. Signs of Change is a short collection of his talks and writings in this period, first published in 1888, covering such topics as what socialism and work should be, and how capitalism and waste developed.

By: Unknown (427? BC - 347? BC)

Book cover Eryxias

Eryxias (ΕΡΥΞΙΑΣ) may not have been written by Plato (ΠΛΑΤΩΝ). The dialogue discusses whether wealth has value and what the aim of philosophy should be.

By: Frank Albert Fetter (1863-1949)

Book cover Principles of Economics with Applications to Practical Problems

Frank Albert Fetter was an American economist of the Austrian school, but referred to himself as a member of the “American Psychological School” instead. Fetter contested the position that land is theoretically distinct from capital, arguing that such a distinction was impractical. His stand on this issue led him to oppose ideas like the land value tax. Fetter also asserted that just as the price of each consumer good is determined solely by subjective value, so the rate of interest is determined solely by time preference...

By: Anne Robert Jacques Turgot (1727-1781)

Book cover Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth

"This Essay May be Considered as the Germ of the Treatise on The Wealth of Nations, Written by the Celebrated Smith" —Condorcet's Life of Turgot.

By: Henry George (1839-1897)

Book cover Progress and Poverty

What I have done in this book, if I have correctly solved the great problem I have sought to investigate, is, to unite the truth perceived by the school of Smith and Ricardo to the truth perceived by the schools of Proudhon and Lasalle; to show that laissez faire (in its full true meaning) opens the way to a realization of the noble dreams of socialism; to identify social law with moral law, and to disprove ideas which in the minds of many cloud grand and elevating perceptions.

By: Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

Book cover Economics

Economics (Greek: ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΙΚΑ; Latin: Oeconomica) may not have been written by Aristotle. The author provides examples of methods used by the state to raise money including debt, currency devaluation, commodity controls, tariffs, sales tax, fines, violence and sacrilege.


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