Key Books on Liberty


Well-known member
Hi guys,

Wondering if someone could point me to some key books which would have influenced the founding fathers of the US. Just enjoyed Common Sense by Thomas Paine. I found the Federalist papers to specific.

I am looking for info on the nature of liberty and theories on good government (non-monarchical).


Well-known member
There are so many! Consider that many of the founders were francophiles (Jefferson, etc.) and rabid readers of everything European (when it comes to the evolution of government - they were decidedly british...but then with the French idea of getting rid of the monarchy).

Although it's not the book that influenced them, if you want to know a lot about their thinking, read Miracle at Philadelphia - about the making of the Constitution. The particular speeches, thinking and debating while writing it says a lot.

I also like the bios of Alexander Hamilton, as he is really a key figure in terms of what the USA turned out to be (industrial development, stronger Federal Government, etc.). This view turned out to be much truer than the "other side" which envisioned a nation of farmers, trappers, hunters, etc.

Strangely enough our particular system ended up being largely a British one...just evolved a little further in terms of not having even a puppet monarchy nor an official religion tied to the state (although many here...even today...claim we DO have a national religion).