History

The European Miracle, by E. L. Jones (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981). A remarkable book that shows how the political fragmentation (or "anarchy") of Europe provided the conditions for economic growth, as principalities competed among each other for merchants. Compares Europe with Asia, India, and the Ottoman Empire.

Freedom and Domination, by Alexander Rustow (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980). A wide ranging critique of culture by a prominent German classical liberal opponent of Hitler. An excellent starting place for the study of the history of freedom.

How the West Grew Rich, by Nathan Rosenberg and L. E. Birdzell, Jr. (New York: Basic Books, 1986). Shows the role of liberty and free movement of labor, capital, and ideas in lifting the masses of the population out of poverty.

Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, by Harold J. Berman (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983). This sweeping historical work offers a rich understanding of the development of the western legal system, including such concepts as the rule of law. Berman shows how the competition among overlapping jurisdictions and sources of law (for example, urban law, feudal law, canon law, manorial law, folk law, mercantile law, and royal law) resulted in the emergence of liberty in the West.

Medieval Cities: Their Origins and the Growth of Trade, by Henri Pirenne (1925; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1974). This important work by a renowned Belgian historian shows the roots of western liberty in the formation of the medieval cities and revolutionary communes, which were based on trade and production rather than feudal exploitation.

Capitalism and the Historians, ed. by F. A. Hayek (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954). An important work that explodes many myths about the industrial revolution.

Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government, by Robert Higgs (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). A widely respected economic historian shows how American government has grown in the twentieth century. Includes useful presentations of various theories of state growth; the chapters on the political economy of war are especially valuable.

Modern Times: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties, by Paul Johnson (New York: Harper Collins, 1991). A history of the rise of the twentieth century state and its powers of destruction.

The Decline of American Liberalism, by Arthur Ekirch (New York: Atheneum, 1955). Displays the effects on liberalism of the growth of the welfare-warfare state.

The Triumph of Conservatism, by Gabriel Kolko (New York: Free Press, 1963). Shows how the economic regulations of the "Progressive Era" stemmed from the attempts by business groups to escape from market competition and garner monopolies and privileges through government regulation.

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