Elisabeth Meinecke

Proud of being conservative, but want to learn more?  Here's the summer reading list you won't want to miss.


Do you have any books you would recommend for a young college conservative trying to defend himself against the liberal onslaught on U.S. campuses? Are there books you could suggest for everday Americans to read to get a  better understanding of conservative principles and our nation's founding?

These are common questions posted to right-wing speakers, writers, editors, celebrities et al.

In the July issue, members of the Townhall editorial team put their heads together to come up with a list of books that every conservative who wants a strong grasp on conservatism, the nation's Founding and the principles that make this American experiment so great should read.

The full list is available in the next issue of Townhall Magazine. Here are a few highlights:

#3. Basic Economics, by Thomas Sowell

One of the most crucial sets of tools in the adroit conservative’s arsenal is a basic understanding of economic theory, which is exactly what Thomas Sowell provides in his aptly titled, educational and revelatory book. Sowell steers clear of numbers, graphs and highfalutin terminology to straightforwardly explain the nuts and bolts of economics, and the reading experience is like sitting in on a college Economics 101 course with a down-to-earth, entertaining professor. In his characteristically logical and unfettered style, Sowell elucidates the many ways in which passing political ambitions are often substituted for long-term economic realities—to the detriment of both individuals and entire societies.

#6. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand’s opus describes a futuristic society in which the most productive people are simultaneously exploited and vilified by those who aren’t successful. In the world that Rand describes, it isn’t enough to produce a product that others buy voluntarily. One has to cozy up to lawmakers and ask for regulations to stifle competition. Protagonist Dagny Taggart struggles to keep her business afloat in an age of stifling laws deployed by vindictive regulators. Most conservatives believe that today’s political environment is coming to resemble much of what Rand envisioned. Congressmen align with unions to demand more from the successful, all the while decrying success. It’s enough to make you wonder what would happen if all the business owners and entrepreneurs went on strike.

#21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

If the Midwest is the heart of America, then Mark Twain may be the nurse who best took its pulse. In “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” conservatives get a taste of what was most right—and most wrong—with America as the country went through the growing pains of adolescence. It’s a spoonful of humor that best makes the medicine go down and a great novel for conservatives to digest about one of the most American characters ever created.

Want to find out which book made #1? Order Townhall Magazine today...

Elisabeth Meinecke

Elisabeth Meinecke is TOWNHALL MAGAZINE Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @lismeinecke.