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By: Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

The Kingdom of God is within you by Leo Tolstoy The Kingdom of God is within you

The title of the book comes from Luke 17:21. It is a non-fiction work of the famous Russian author Leo Tolstoy. He wrote it after many years of reflexion on Christianity and Jesus. Many subjects are present such as wars, non-violence, misunderstanding by believers of the faith, etc.

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.

Bethink Yourselves! by Leo Tolstoy Bethink Yourselves!

As Russia goes to war against Japan, Tolstoy urges those at all levels of society, from the Tsar down to the common soldier, to consider their actions in the light of Christ's teaching. "However strange this may appear, the most effective and certain deliverance of men from all the calamities which they inflict upon themselves and from the most dreadful of all—war—is attainable, not by any external general measures, but merely by that simple appeal to the consciousness of each separate man which, nineteen hundred years ago, was proposed by Jesus—that every man bethink himself, and ask himself, who is he, why he lives, and what he should and should not do...

By: Mark Twain (1835-1910)

1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors by Mark Twain 1601: Conversation, as it was by the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors

An atypical piece of writing by Mark Twain, the short bawdy skit documents a conversion between Queen Elizabeth and several notable writers of the time, including Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Beaumont, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare. Despite first being published in 1880, the piece remained anonymous for a period of time, until it was later acknowledged by Twain in 1901 as his own. Comprised of humor, descriptive imagery, ribald connotations, and vulgar language, the faux conversation is simultaneously humorous and repulsing, but nonetheless a wonder for its satirical precision...

The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today by Mark Twain The Gilded Age, A Tale of Today

The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today is an 1873 novel by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner that satirizes greed and political corruption in post-Civil War America. The term gilded age, commonly given to the era, comes from the title of this book. Twain and Warner got the name from Shakespeare's King John (1595): "To gild refined gold, to paint the lily... is wasteful and ridiculous excess." Gilding a lily, which is already beautiful and not in need of further adornment, is excessive and wasteful, characteristics of the age Twain and Warner wrote about in their novel...

Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again by Mark Twain Goldsmith's Friend Abroad Again

This satire on the U.S.A.'s myth of being the "Home of the Oppressed, where all men are free and equal", is unrelenting in its pursuit of justice through exposure. It draws a scathingly shameful portrait of how Chinese immigrants were treated in 19th century San Francisco. (Introduction by John Greenman)

By: William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

King John by William Shakespeare King John

The Life and Death of King John, a history play by William Shakespeare, dramatises the reign of John, King of England (ruled 1199–1216), son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and father of Henry III of England. It is believed to have been written in the mid-1590s but was not published until it appeared in the First Folio in 1623. John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216), also known as John Lackland or Softsword, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death. His reign...

By: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867-1941)

This Country of Ours by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall This Country of Ours

History made interesting for young readers—This Country of Ours by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall provides a simple and easy to comprehend way of looking at the history of the United States. Arranged chronologically in seven long chapters, it presents events in a story form, making them memorable and very different from other formats. One of the challenges that writers of history face is about fleshing out the characters and making the bland repetition of dates and dynasties seem relevant to modern day readers...

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

Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells Ann Veronica

Ann Veronica was a controversial book detailing the development of a naive school girl into a “New Woman”. When it was published, the Spectator described it as a “poisonous book … capable of poisoning the minds of those who read it.” Although it is unlikely to offend modern listeners in this way, this novel addresses many feminist issues that are still relevant today.

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

The Iron Heel by Jack London The Iron Heel

A dystopian novel about the terrible oppressions of an American oligarchy at the beginning of the Twentieth Century, and the struggles of a socialist revolutionary movement. (Introduction by Matt Soar)

By: Sun Tzu (c. 554 BC - c. 496 BC)

The Art of War by Sun Tzu The Art of War

The Art of War is a 6th Century BC Chinese treatise on war and military strategy known for its timeless examples of strategy and planning. There is intense interest in this ancient work since it teaches how to be victorious in conflict and that the final victory ultimately is to see war as an effort to win minds and hearts rather than a mere acquisition of territory and wealth. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a two thousand year old work, reputedly authored by a famous military general and strategist who lived in ancient China...

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: G. K. Chesterton

What's Wrong With the World by G. K. Chesterton What's Wrong With the World

Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874–1936) has been called the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” His prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry, biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction. The title of Chesteron’s 1910 collection of essays was inspired by a title given to him two years earlier by The Times newspaper, which had asked a number of authors to write on the topic: “What’s wrong with the world?”...

A Utopia of Usurers by G. K. Chesterton A Utopia of Usurers

“Now I have said again and again (and I shall continue to say again and again on all the most inappropriate occasions) that we must hit Capitalism, and hit it hard, for the plain and definite reason that it is growing stronger. Most of the excuses which serve the capitalists as masks are, of course, the excuses of hypocrites. They lie when they claim philanthropy; they no more feel any particular love of men than Albu felt an affection for Chinamen. They lie when they say they have reached their position through their own organising ability...

By: Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

On the Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Civil Disobedience (Resistance to Civil Government) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War.

By: Anthony Trollope

Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope Phineas Finn

Phineas Finn is the sequel to “Can you Forgive Her?” and the second novel in Trollope’s Palliser series. The eponymous hero is a young Irishman who becomes a member of the English parliament. Trollope aspired to become an M.P. himself, and he ably describes the workings of the English political scene. There is also a love interest, as the somewhat inconstant Phineas courts three different women: his Irish sweetheart, Mary Flood Jones; Lady Laura Standish, the daughter of a prominent Whig politician; and a lovely heiress, Violet Effingham.

The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is the fifth in Trollope's series of six Palliser novels. With Phineas' difficulties resolved, Trollope introduces new characters. A respectable young girl forsakes the man her family had always intended her to marry when she falls in love with a man of foreign extraction and an unknown family. He has a gentleman's education and manners, but his family background and financial means are mysterious. Is he really a gentleman? Meanwhile, Plantagenet Palliser becomes Prime Minister of a shaky coalition government, and Glencora and Madame Goessler are busy with the ensuing social obligations.

The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope The Small House at Allington

Fifth novel in the Barsetshire series, The Small House at Allington is largely focused on the Small House's inhabitants, Mrs. Dale and her two marriageable daughters, Lily and Bell. The two girls, of course, have suitors: their cousin, Bernard Dale, his friend Adolphus Crosbie, and the local boy, Johnny Eames, whose career in London is to mark him as far more than the "hobbledehoy" that he has earlier been considered. Crosbie is a social climber, and his connection with the dysfunctional de Courcys of Barsetshire give the author a chance for a splendid portrayal of an aristocratic family in decline...

By: Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince

Machiavelli has created a ruthless guide on how to rule the country in his volume "The Prince". The book is dedicated to Lorenzo De Medici, the ruler of Florence. The author explains in simple language about the nature of great men and the characters of the government. The first chapter gives an outline of the book discussing various styles of ruling as a prince, character traits that a ruler should have and the political situation of Italy in the 16th century. The book is composed of 26 chapters which fall into four major sections...

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy by Niccolò Machiavelli History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy

History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy is an historical account by Niccolò Machiavelli. Toward the end of 1520, the Cardinal Giulio of Medici, later Pope Clement VII, offered Machiavelli the appointment to write a history of Florence. Although Machiavelli was reluctant to accept, accepting was his only way to regain the good graces of the Medici who had regained power and were in a position to offer him employment and protection. Doing the history also provided a way for Machiavelli’s views to become the “official” history of Florentine and Italian affairs. Once completed, the work was presented officially to Giulio, now Pope, in May of 1526.

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility.

Book cover The Social Contract

The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, given November 19, 1863 on the battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war. . .testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated. . . can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live...

By: Aristotle (384-322)

Politics by Aristotle Politics

The Politics, by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, is one of the most influential texts in political philosophy. In it, Aristotle explores the role that the political community should play in developing the virtue of its citizens. One of his central ideas is that “Man is a political animal,” meaning that people can only become virtuous by active participation in the political community. Aristotle also criticizes his teacher Plato, classifies and evaluates six different types of constitutions and political institutions, and describes his vision of the ideal state...

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...

Eleven Theses on Feuerbach by Karl Marx Eleven Theses on Feuerbach

The “Theses on Feuerbach” are eleven short philosophical notes written by Karl Marx in 1845. They outline a critique of the ideas of Marx’s fellow Young Hegelian philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach. The theses form a basis for the activism emphasised by Marx’s work, and this short text is perhaps best know for its ending – a Eureka for revolutionary socialism. The theses were written in 1845, but not published until 1888 (five years after Marx’s death), with slight modifications by Friedrich Engels. The original text was published in 1924. This translation is based on the 1888 version.

By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers

In order to promote the ratification of the United States Constitution in the late 1780s, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Hay wrote a series of 85 articles and essays explaining their reasons to support the constitution. Most of these articles were published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet and they later became known as “The Federalist Papers.” In reading the articles, one will encounter very interesting issues like Hamilton’s opposition to including the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and why he thinks a Union is better than a Confederation...

By: The 9/11 Commission

The 9/11 Commission Report by The 9/11 Commission The 9/11 Commission Report

Taking the reader back to the horror and devastation of September 11, 2001, the 9/11 Commission Report by the 9/11 Commission, is the official report that presents the final findings of the committee Krean Hamilton Commission (better known as the 9/11 Commission.) The report reveals not just the events that happened on that fateful day, but also describes the circumstances that led up to it. It analyzes the role of several government agencies in the drama and also pinpoints the lacunae in the system that allowed such events to occur...

By: John Milton (1608-1674)

Areopagitica by John Milton Areopagitica

A prose tract or polemic by John Milton, published November 23, 1644, at the height of the English Civil War… Milton, though a supporter of the Parliament, argued forcefully against the Licensing Order of 1643, noting that such censorship had never been a part of classical Greek and Roman society. The tract is full of biblical and classical references which Milton uses to strengthen his argument. The issue was personal for Milton as he had suffered censorship himself in his efforts to publish...

By: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)

The Prussian Officer and Other Stories by D. H. Lawrence The Prussian Officer and Other Stories

The collection of short stories – of which The Prussian Officer is one – was Lawrence’s first such book. A German officer and his orderly are the focus of the piece and, while socially the superior of his orderly, the officer demonstrates his is the distinctly baser character. (Introduction by Cathy Barratt)

By: Sigmund Freud

Reflections on War and Death by Sigmund Freud Reflections on War and Death

Anyone, as Freud tells us in Reflections on War and Death, forced to react against his own impulses may be described as a hypocrite, whether he is conscious of it or not. One might even venture to assert—it is still Freud’s argument—that our contemporary civilisation favours this sort of hypocrisy and that there are more civilised hypocrites than truly cultured persons, and it is even a question whether a certain amount of hypocrisy is not indispensable to maintain civilisation. When this...

By: Founding Fathers of the United States

The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 by Founding Fathers of the United States The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4, 1776. It announced that the thirteen American colonies, who were at war with Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, no longer considered themselves part of the British Empire. They now called themselves a new nation, The United States of America. This famous document went on to become a well-known keystone of the human rights movement. However, the newly formed state had no real identity or philosophy and were merely a loose collection of states that had freed themselves from colonial rule...

The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America by Founding Fathers of the United States The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America

Declaration of Independence is the document in which the Thirteen Colonies declared themselves independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain and explained their justifications for doing so. It was ratified by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.

By: Thomas Paine

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine The Age of Reason

A Universalist book, The Age of Reason advocates for the existence of natural religion and challenges the structure of all organized religion. First written and distributed as pamphlets, the book was later published into two parts. Paine puts forward his personal beliefs, debating reason and revelation, while analyzing the Bible and the influence organized religion has on society. Exploring topics including natural religion, criticism of corrupt religious institutions, and distinction between rationality and blind faith in the supernatural, the book presents a guide for the conscious and free spiritual thinkers...

Common Sense by Thomas Paine Common Sense

First published anonymously due to its seditious content in 1776, the pamphlet argues for the need of American colonists to pursue complete independence from Great Britain, and not be driven simply by the urge to free themselves from unfair taxation. Paine provides argumentation for his revolutionary ideas, suggesting the unification of colonial forces to achieve this goal. Furthermore, Paine strengthens his case by clearly asserting the advantages that would come out as a result of independence, and further fortifies his argumentation with religious references...

By: John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill The Subjection of Women

The Subjection of Women is the title of an essay written by John Stuart Mill in 1869, possibly jointly with his wife Harriet Taylor Mill, stating an argument in favor of equality between the sexes. It offers both detailed argumentation and passionate eloquence in opposition to the social and legal inequalities commonly imposed upon women by a patriarchal culture. Just as in “On Liberty,” Mill defends the emancipation of women on utilitarian grounds, convinced that the moral and intellectual advancement of women would result in greater happiness for everybody.

Book cover Considerations on Representative Government

Mill's volume was published in 1861 as an argument favoring this form of governance. Mill covers what forms of government work best, including when representative government is applicable and when not. He details appropriate functions of representative bodies and warns of problems to avoid. He distinguishes between true and false democracy. Other areas covered include how voting is carried out, the role of a second chamber in Parliament, and how an executive branch might function.

By: Patrick Henry (1736-1799)

The Anti-Federalist Papers by Patrick Henry The Anti-Federalist Papers

During the period of debate over the ratification of the Constitution, numerous independent local speeches and articles were published all across the country. Initially, many of the articles in opposition were written under pseudonyms, such as “Brutus”, “Centinel”, and “Federal Farmer”. Eventually, famous revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry came out publicly against the Constitution. They argued that the strong national government proposed by the Federalists was a threat to the rights of individuals and that the President would become a king...

By: Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859)

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America

Arguably, one of the most influential and insightful pieces of work concerned with American political life, Democracy in America directs itself towards American politics and society, and is considered to be one the best books written on the subject. Published in 2 volumes, in 1835 and 1840, Tocqueville records his findings after studying the thriving nation in his nine month exploratory journey. The young French aristocrat first came to America on an official assignment to study the American penal system, but instead used this as a pretext to study American society...

By: Bertrand Russell

Book cover Proposed Roads to Freedom

Bertrand Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872 – 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, political activist and Nobel laureate. He led the British “revolt against idealism” in the early 1900s and is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. In this book, written in 1918, he offers his assessment of three competing streams in the thought of the political left: Marxian socialism, anarchism and syndicalism.

By: Emma Goldman (1869-1940)

Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman Anarchism and Other Essays

Chicago, May 4, 1886. In the Haymarket region of the city, a peaceful Labor Day demonstration suddenly turns into a riot. The police intervene to maintain peace, but they soon use violence to quell the mob and a bomb is thrown, resulting in death and injuries to scores of people. In the widely publicized trial that followed, eight anarchists were condemned to death or life imprisonment, convicted of conspiracy, though none of them had actually thrown the bomb. A young Russian immigrant, Emma Goldman, had arrived just the previous year in the United States...

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: Rabindranath Tagore

The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore The Home and the World

Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), also known by the sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali poet, Brahmo religionist, visual artist, playwright, novelist, and composer whose works reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became Asia’s first Nobel laureate when he won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Home and the World is a 1916 novel, set in the estate of the rich Bengali noble Nikhil. He lives happily with his beautiful wife Bimala until the appearance of his friend and radical revolutionist, Sandip...

By: Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

Utopia by Sir Thomas More Utopia

He was a trusted aide of Henry VIII, but when he supposedly opposed the monarch's second marriage, he was thrown into prison and executed for treason. More than two hundred years later, he was canonized as the patron saint of statesmen and politicians by the Catholic Church. Philosopher, writer, diplomat, lawyer, Renaissance man, avid gardener, humanist thinker and statesman are only some of the words used to describe him. A lifelong opponent of Protestantism who was rumored to have had heretics imprisoned, murdered and burned at the stake, Thomas More is even today an enigmatic figure...

By: Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil by Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil

Books 1 and 2. Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil is a book written in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes. The book concerns the structure of society (as represented figuratively by the frontispiece, showing the state giant made up of individuals). In the book, Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by a sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war – situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto bellum omnium contra omnes (”the war of all against all”) – could only be averted by strong central government...

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

Book cover The Profits of Religion

The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation is a non-fiction book by the American novelist and muckraking journalist Upton Sinclair, first published in 1917. It is a snapshot of the religious movements in the U.S. before its entry into World War I. In this book, Sinclair attacks institutionalized religion as a "source of income to parasites, and the natural ally of every form of oppression and exploitation."

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: William Shuler Harris (b. 1865)

Life in a Thousand Worlds by William Shuler Harris Life in a Thousand Worlds

A jolly romp, which could be perhaps be described as Gulliver’s Travels Through Our Solar System and Beyond, as written by a great admirer of C. S. Lewis, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, after one too many mugs of cocoa. Includes some thought on alien philosophies and how to apply them to moral and social problems here on Planet Earth.

By: Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography by Theodore Roosevelt Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography

In his vital, illustrative and dynamic autobiography, Theodore Roosevelt let us into the life that formed one of the greatest and outspoken presidents in American history. Not only are we privy to the formation of his political ideals, but also to his love of the frontier and the great outdoors.

By: William James (1842-1910)

The Moral Equivalent of War by William James The Moral Equivalent of War

The Moral Equivalent of War, the last public utterance of William James, is significant as expressing the opinions of a practical psychologist on a question of growing popular interest. For the past fifteen years the movement for promoting international peace has been enlisting the support of organizations and individuals the world over. That this is a question on which much may be said for the opposition, James, though a pacificist, admits with his usual fair-mindedness, pointing out that militarism...

By: Friedrich Schiller

Book cover The Thirty Years War

The History of the Thirty Years War is a five volume work, which followed his very successful History of the Revolt of the Netherlands. Written for a wider audience than Revolt, it is a vivid history, colored by Schiller’s own interest in the question of human freedom and his rationalist optimism. Volume 1 covers the background of the war, through the Battle of Prague in late 1620. (Introduction by Alan Winterrowd)

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: John Locke (1632-1704)

Two Treatises of Civil Government by John Locke Two Treatises of Civil Government

The Two Treatises of Civil Government is a work of political philosophy published anonymously in 1689 by John Locke. The First Treatise is an extended attack on Sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which argued for a divinely-ordained, hereditary, absolute monarchy. The more influential Second Treatise outlines a theory of civil society based on natural rights and contract theory. Locke begins by describing the “state of nature,” and goes on to explain the hypothetical rise of property and civilization, asserting that the only legitimate governments are those which have the consent of the people...

By: Frances Burney (1752-1840)

The Wanderer by Frances Burney The Wanderer

This is the fourth and final novel by Fanny Burney, the author of Evelina, Cecilia, and Camilla. "Who is "Miss Ellis?" Why did she board a ship from France to England at the beginning of the French revolution? Anyway, the loss of her purse made this strange "wanderer" dependent upon the charity of some good people and, of course, bad ones. But she always comforts herself by reminding herself that it's better than "what might have been..." This is not only a mystery, not at all. It's also a romance which reminds readers of novels by Jane Austen...

By: William Morris (1834-1896)

News From Nowhere by William Morris News From Nowhere

News from Nowhere (1890) is a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction written by the artist, designer and socialist pioneer William Morris. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems...

By: Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921)

The Conquest of bread by Peter Kropotkin The Conquest of bread

In this work, Kropotkin points out what he considers to be the fallacies of the economic systems of feudalism and capitalism, and how he believes they create poverty and scarcity while promoting privilege. He goes on to propose a more decentralised economic system based on mutual aid and voluntary cooperation, asserting that the tendencies for this kind of organisation already exist, both in evolution and in human society.

By: Brooks Adams (1848-1927)

The Theory of Social Revolutions by Brooks Adams The Theory of Social Revolutions

Brooks Adams (1848- 1927), was an American historian and a critic of capitalism. He believed that commercial civilizations rise and fall in predictable cycles. First, masses of people draw together in large population centers and engage in commercial activities. As their desire for wealth grows, they discard spiritual and creative values. Their greed leads to distrust and dishonesty, and eventually the society crumbles. In The Law of Civilisation and Decay (1895), Adams noted that as new population centers emerged in the west, centers of world trade shifted from Constantinople to Venice to Amsterdam to London...

By: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

The Free Press by Hilaire Belloc The Free Press

I propose to discuss in what follows the evil of the great modern Capitalist Press, its function in vitiating and misinforming opinion and in putting power into ignoble hands; its correction by the formation of small independent organs, and the probably increasing effect of these last. (Introduction by Hilaire Belloc)

By: United States Supreme Court

Civil Rights and Equal Protection Cases 1856-1948 by United States Supreme Court Civil Rights and Equal Protection Cases 1856-1948

Landmark United States Supreme Court decisions focusing on civil rights and equal protection between 1856 and 1948.

By: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915)

Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington Up From Slavery

Up From Slavery is the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by the bootstraps. He reflects on the generosity of both teachers and philanthropists who helped in educating blacks and native Americans...

By: Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Philippics by Marcus Tullius Cicero The Philippics

A philippic is a fiery, damning speech delivered to condemn a particular political actor. The term originates with Demosthenes, who delivered an attack on Philip II of Macedon in the 4th century BCE.Cicero consciously modeled his own attacks on Mark Antony, in 44 BC and 43 BC, on Demosthenes’s speeches, and if the correspondence between M. Brutus and Cicero are genuine [ad Brut. ii 3.4, ii 4.2], at least the fifth and seventh speeches were referred to as the Philippics in Cicero’s time. They were also called the Antonian Orations by Aulus Gellius...

By: Winston S. Churchill

Selected House of Commons Speeches by Winston S. Churchill Selected House of Commons Speeches

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874 – 1965) was a British politician known chiefly for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historical writer, and an artist.

By: H. Rider Haggard (1856-1925)

Book cover The Brethren

Set in the days of the Crusaders, this books tells of a young maiden named Rosamund, and her twin cousins. Godwin is the grey eyed thoughtful man, and Wulf is the blue eyed warrior. They are both knights of England and they are both in love with their fair cousin. But the riddle of the story is which does Rosamund love?The adventure begins when Rosamund is taken from England and carried to the East. The plot thickens as the two young knights follow her in hopes of rescuing her from the Muslim leader, Saladin...

By: Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)

Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty by Jeremy Bentham Offences Against One's Self: Paederasty

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He was a political radical and a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law. He is best known as an early advocate of utilitarianism and animal rights who influenced the development of liberalism. The essay Offences Against One’s Self (c. 1785), argued for the liberalisation of laws prohibiting homosexuality. The essay remained unpublished during Bentham’s lifetime for fear of offending public morality...

An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation by Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation

Jeremy Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, a classic text in modern philosophy and jurisprudence, first published in 1789, focuses on the principle of utility and how this view of morality ties into legislative practices. Bentham's ambition in life was to create a complete Utilitarian code of law. The philosophy of utilitarianism argues that the right act or policy is that which would cause "the greatest good for the greatest number of people", also known as "the greatest happiness principle", or the principle of utility...

By: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Book cover Major Barbara

George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara focuses on the family of aristocratic Lady Britomart Undershaft and her estranged husband Andrew, a millionaire armaments manufacturer. Their daughters Sarah and Barbara are both engaged to be married, and Lady Britomart decides to ask Andrew for monetary support. Barbara is a Major in the Salvation Army, and agrees to let her father visit the mission in the East End of London where she works. In exchange, she agrees to visit his munitions factory. The conflict between Barbara's philanthropic idealism and her father's hard-headed capitalism clash when he decides he wants to fund the Salvation Army...

By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

The Pentecost of Calamity by Owen Wister The Pentecost of Calamity

Nonfiction. Appalled by the savagery of World War I, Owen Wister in 1915 published an attempt to move the United States out of neutrality into joining the Allies against Germany. His aim was the quicker defeat of that nation. (Wister: “the new Trinity of German worship – the Super-man, the Super-race, and the Super-state.”) He was but one of many literary personages who joined in this effort. A moving quote: “Perhaps nothing save calamity will teach us what Europe is thankful to have learned again – that some things are worse than war, and that you can pay too high a price for peace; but that you cannot pay too high for the finding and keeping of your own soul.”

By: Thames Williamson

Problems in American Democracy by Thames Williamson Problems in American Democracy

Problems in American Democracy is a very detailed, specific explanation of some of the underlying and surface problems of a democracy system of government, particularly of the American form of democracy. Though lengthy, it is a great read for people who want to learn more about different types of government and the foundations of our own government in the United States of America.

By: Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831)

Book cover On War

A classic work on military strategy by a veteran of the Napoleonic Wars. The author's style is dialectical: he makes two strong but opposing statements and then draws them together to describe many facets of war. Free of technical jargon, and suitable for modern readers. This audiobook is based on a 1909 English translation.

By: United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives by United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War: Some Perspectives

This is a concise yet thorough explanation of what might happen to our world in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The myriad of potential effects will be global and wide-spread, and the potentials are glazed over in this short work.

By: William Blackstone

Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765) by William Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765)

The Commentaries on the Laws of England are an influential 18th century treatise on the common law of England by Sir William Blackstone, originally published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford, 1765-1769.The Commentaries were long regarded as the leading work on the development of English law and played a role in the development of the American legal system. They were in fact the first methodical treatise on the common law suitable for a lay readership since at least the Middle Ages. The common law of England has relied on precedent more than statute and codifications and has been far less amenable than the civil law, developed from the Roman law, to the needs of a treatise...

By: Voltairine de Cleyre

Selected Essays by Voltairine de Cleyre Selected Essays

Voltairine de Cleyre (1866–1912) was, according to Emma Goldman, “the most gifted and brilliant anarchist woman America ever produced.” Today she is not widely known as a consequence of her short life. De Cleyre was especially influenced by Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft and Clarence Darrow. After the hanging of the Haymarket protesters in 1887, she became an anarchist. “Till then I believed in the essential justice of the American law of trial by jury,” she wrote in an autobiographical essay, “After that I never could”...

By: José Rizal (1861-1896)

Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer) by José Rizal Noli Me Tangere (The Social Cancer)

Noli Me Tangere (Latin for Touch Me Not) is a novel by the National Hero of the Philippines, Dr. José Rizal. It was originally written in Spanish, and first published in Germany in 1887. Noli Me Tangere exposed the corruption and abuse of the Spanish government and clergy towards the Philippine people and the ills of the Philippine society. This novel, and its sequel El Filibusterismo were banned in many parts of the Islands. Rizal was later arrested for inciting rebellion, based largely on his writings, and was excuted in Manila...

By: Fabian Franklin

What Prohibition Has Done to America by Fabian Franklin What Prohibition Has Done to America

In What Prohibition Has Done to America, Fabian Franklin presents a concise but forceful argument against the Eighteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 1920, this Amendment prohibited the sale and manufacture of alcoholic beverages in the United States, until it was repealed in 1933. Franklin contends that the Amendment “is not only a crime against the Constitution of the United States, and not only a crime against the whole spirit of our Federal system, but a crime against the first principles of rational government...

By: Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson (1862-1932)

The Greek View of Life by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson The Greek View of Life

“With the Greek civilisation beauty perished from the world. Never again has it been possible for man to believe that harmony is in fact the truth of all existence.”This elegantly-written work provides a splendid introduction to the Greeks of the classic period: how they thought, wrote, and organised their lives and loves. Although it dates from the 1890s, there is very little about it that has dated. To its author’s credit, the subject of “Greek love” is dealt with in a sane and factual context - despite the judicial assassination of Oscar Wilde going on in the background...

By: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Third Class in Indian Railways by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Third Class in Indian Railways

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 – 1948) was the pre-eminent political and spiritual leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He was the pioneer of satyagraha — resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience. This philosophy was firmly founded upon ahimsa, or total nonviolence, and led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Gandhi is commonly known around the world as Mahatma Gandhi and in India also as Bapu. He is officially honoured in India as the Father of the Nation; his birthday, 2 October, is commemorated there as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday.

By: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964)

Sabotage by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn Sabotage

Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1890-1964) was a leading American socialist and feminist. Her book “Sabotage, the conscious withdrawal of the workers’ industrial efficiency” was written to explain the utility and legality of sabotage.

By: Mrs. Eugenia Dunlap Potts (1840-1912)

Historic Papers on the Causes of the Civil War by Mrs. Eugenia Dunlap Potts Historic Papers on the Causes of the Civil War

While claiming to be historical papers on the causes of the United States Civil War, the author indulges in some Slavery Apologetics. An interesting view from a southern lady on what caused the war and why the south was the underdog.

By: Frank Norris (1870-1902)

The Octopus by Frank Norris The Octopus

Frank Norris based his 1901 novel The Octopus (A Story of California) on the Mussel Slough Tragedy of 1880, a bloody conflict between ranchers and agents of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The central issue was over the ownership of the ranches, which the farmers had leased from the railroad nearly ten years earlier with intentions of eventually purchasing the land. Although originally priced at $2.50 to $5 per acre, the railroad eventually opened the land for sale at prices adjusted for land improvements; the railroad’s attempts to take possession of the land led the ranchers to defend themselves as depicted in the book.

By: George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924)

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall by George Washington Plunkitt Plunkitt of Tammany Hall

“I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”, George Washington Plunkitt of Tamminy Hall. There’s honest graft and dishonest graft according to Plunkitt. Listen to this candid discourse from a 19th century politician, and decide for yourself if things have changed.

By: Doris Stevens (1892-1963)

Jailed for Freedom by Doris Stevens Jailed for Freedom

A first-hand account of the 1913-1919 campaign of American suffragists, detailing their treatment at the hands of the courts, and the true conditions of their incarceration.

By: Susan Glaspell (1876-1948)

Book cover Trifles

On the surface, this short play is a slice-of-life story about a murder investigation in the rural United States. However, it is also a story about the relationships between men and women, husbands and wives, and the often-overlooked "trifles" which can say so much about a person's life.

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...

The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets by Jane Addams The Spirit of Youth and the City Streets

Much of the material in the following pages has appeared in current publications. It is here presented in book form in the hope that it may prove of value to those groups of people who in many cities are making a gallant effort to minimize the dangers which surround young people and to provide them with opportunities for recreation. (Introduction by Jane Addams) Jane Addams (1860 – 1935) 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, a public philosopher, a sociologist, an author and a spokesperson for women's suffrage and world peace.

By: Henry Adams (1838-1918)

Democracy - An American Novel by Henry Adams Democracy - An American Novel

Not until after his death in 1918 was it revealed that Henry Adams was the anonymous author of Democracy, which had been published to great acclaim in 1880. Though the book avoids dates and the characters are fictitious, the setting is no doubt that of Washington in the 1870s, the age of Presidents Grant and Hayes. The young widow, Madeleine Lee, wealthy and independent, is the protagonist, who leaves her New York for Washington to turn her intelligence to politics and to see what makes her country tick...

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: Friedrich Engels (1820-1895)

Book cover Condition of the Working-Class in England in 1844

This is Engels' first book (since considered a classic account of England's working class in the industrial age), which argues that workers paid a heavy price for the industrial revolution that swept the country. Engels wrote the piece while staying in Manchester from 1842 to 1844, based on th bohis observations and several contemporary reports conducted over the period.

By: Francis Fisher Browne (1843-1913)

Book cover Every-day Life of Abraham Lincoln

This detailed biography covers the places in Lincoln's life: Indiana, Illinois, Washington. It also traces his various roles as storekeeper, serviceman, state legislator, lawyer, politician, Republican Party leader, and of course President. Along the way we learn about his days of hardship as a beginning lawyer, his love for Anne Rutledge, such myths as "Honest Abe," and his deep concerns over the issue of slavery. The author uses Lincoln's correspondence with others to show his personality traits and opinions about topics of his world.

By: Katherine Thurston (1875-1911)

The Masquerader by Katherine Thurston The Masquerader

The Masquerader is one of two Katherine Cecil Thurston’s books that appeared on the Publisher’s Weekly best-sellers list in 1905. The Masquerader is part mystery, part romance and part political thriller – all tied up in one neat package. Nature has a way of sometimes making two people nearly indistinguishable in appearance. Such is the premise for this book. John Chilcote, a British politician, and John Loder, a man down on his luck meet by accident one night during one of London’s worst fogs...

By: National Gambling Impact Study Commission

National Gambling Impact Study Commission Final Report by National Gambling Impact Study Commission National Gambling Impact Study Commission Final Report

The National Gambling Impact Study Commission was given the task of conducting a comprehensive legal and factual study on the social and economic implications of gambling in the United States. This report presents the principal findings of that work and recommendations for action.

By: Las Cortes y el Pueblo Español

Book cover Constitución Española de 1978

Constitución vigente en España actualmente, fruto de la Transición a la democracia tras la muerte de Francisco Franco. (Introducción por AGV)

By: Charles F. Dole

Book cover The Coming People

Dole briefly sketches the history of life, and shows how it has a definite direction - toward the survival of the kind and gentle people. It's a challenging, and quite persuasive argument, and also a much needed one in light of the dog-eat-dog theories out there. Dole shows that in our evolving society, our traditional understanding of "survival of the fittest" needs to be updated. A book that was way ahead of its time, yet so suited to it. Some may argue that - since he was writing The Coming People before the first two world wars - that he was obviously wrong...

By: United States Federal Bureau of Investigation

Unidentified Flying Objects by United States Federal Bureau of Investigation Unidentified Flying Objects

Through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) this series of communications has been de-classified and made public. Most names have been omitted, however much information of the sightings of UFOs in 1947 can be gleaned from these communications which were primarily between the FBI and other U.S. Government and military organizations.

By: Jacob A. Riis (1849-1914)

How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York by Jacob A. Riis How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York

How the Other Half Lives: Studies Among the Tenements of New York (1890) was a pioneering work of photojournalism by Jacob Riis, documenting the squalid living conditions in New York City slums in the 1880s. It served as a basis for future muckraking journalism by exposing the slums to New York City’s upper and middle class. The title of the book is a reference to a phrase of François Rabelais, who wrote in Pantagruel: "one half of the world does not know how the other half lives".

By: John Addington Symonds (1840-1893)

Book cover A Problem in Modern Ethics

“Society lies under the spell of ancient terrorism and coagulated errors. Science is either wilfully hypocritical or radically misinformed.” John Addington Symonds struck many an heroic note in this courageous (albeit anonymously circulated) essay. He is a worthy Virgil guiding the reader through the Inferno of suffering which emerging medico-legal definitions of the sexually deviant were prepared to inflict on his century and on the one which followed. Symonds pleads for sane human values in...

By: Johanna Brandt (1876-1964)

The Petticoat Commando by Johanna Brandt The Petticoat Commando

In introducing the English version of this book I venture to bespeak a welcome for it, not only for the light which it throws on some little-known incidents of the South African war, but also because of the keen personal interest of the events recorded. It is more than a history. It is a dramatic picture of the hopes and fears, the devotion and bitterness with which some patriotic women in Pretoria watched and, as far as they could, took part in the war which was slowly drawing to its conclusion on the veld outside...

By: Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

Industrial Conspiracies by Clarence Darrow Industrial Conspiracies

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