Mar 21, 2023
The conservative tradition embodies centuries of accumulated wisdom from some of the brightest and most inspiring thinkers you’ll find. Yet for the young conservative eager to learn more about this tradition, choosing which books to read can be a daunting task.
Most online lists of top conservative books contain familiar titles of classic tomes that inspire and challenge readers to this day. Yet far too often such lists also include authors such as Charlie Kirk, Ann Coulter, Sebastian Gorka, Dinesh D’Souza, Dan Bongino, and Mike Lindell who, while they may be gifted at inflicting liberal tears, have nothing of value to say on behalf of their supposed conservative convictions. There is so much more to conservatism than owning the libs and brandishing firearms in your social media profile picture. What’s more, many lists are inflated with works on libertarian, patriotic, religious, or cultural topics that, important though they may be, are only tangential to conservatism.
It is particularly challenging for us younger conservatives to cut through the noise on the Right today to explore the deeper, auspicious truths of our rich heritage. As such, I’ve compiled a list of 40 must-read conservative books worth your time and attention for this episode. Whether you read all, some, or only one below, you will be getting a healthy dose of conservative thought that cuts through the banality of most political discourse and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a conservative.
It would be an impossibility to rank these books in order of importance, relevance, insightfulness, readability, etc. As such, I have opted to list the titles alphabetically. There is no perfect place to start; just find a book that strikes your interest and dive in!
In this episode I cover the second twenty books in the list. If you want to hear the first twenty check out episode 126. Here are the books I cover in this episode:
Heaven Can Indeed Fall: The Life of Willmoore Kendall – Christopher Owen
How to be a Conservative – Roger Scruton
I, Pencil – Leonard Read
Ideas Have Consequences – Richard Weaver
In Defense of Freedom and Related Essays – Frank Meyer
Intellectuals and Society – Thomas Sowell
Natural Right and History – Leo Strauss
Neo-conservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea – Irving Kristol
The Quest for Community – Robert Nisbet
Rationalism in Politics – Michael Oakeshott
The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism – Leo Strauss
Reflections on the Revolution in France – Edmund Burke
The Right – Matthew Continetti
The Road to Serfdom – F. A. Hayek
Suicide of the West – Jonah Goldberg
The Vision of the Anointed – Thomas Sowell
The Theft of a Decade – Joseph Sternberg
Them – Ben Sasse
What Is Conservatism? – Frank Meyer
Witness – Whittaker Chambers