I’ve spent most of my adult life in academia. Sometimes I think this was a huge mistake, other times I’m thankful for what I learned. But in both cases I’m a little annoyed at how much it cost me to acquire the knowledge I have.
Often I wonder whether I would have been better off simply taking all the money I spent on grad school and opening a small business. Maybe if I were a seventeen year old looking at colleges I would look at trade schools as well. Carpentry seems fun.
But here is the deal. The past is the past, and I’ve made my peace with it. So now I want to give to my readers the knowledge that was given to me, only I’m giving it to you for the bargain price of free. There are a lot of reading lists online. I’m not saying mine is better, but I’ve put a lot of time into curating it.
If you want to share the intellectual adventures with me, as I get this blog into shape and turn it into a real website, please feel free to email me questions you have about these books. If there is enough interest I may expand this into a kind of right wing history book club.
The books will be divided into what I believe are useful sections. I’ll try not to have much overlap between them. That is I won’t put a book into two categories unless there is a really good reason to do so. I may also eventually add Amazon affiliate links here, but for now this is just a list of books that have influenced me in some way, and I think you might find useful.
For the most part the books will be offered without annotation. This is because I simply don’t have the time to tell you want each and every book that will eventually end up on this list is about. I’m just asking you to trust my judgment. Not all of the books will be a white pill either. Some are books you should read simply because in debating with Marxists and neocons you will encounter the ideas contained in the book. I wouldn’t be a good teacher if I sent you out into the world unprepared.
From time to time I will do a book review on select works. But I would rather you read for yourself and decide what you believe. Additionally, not all the books will be nonfiction. Some will be fiction that in my opinion serves to illuminate history or philosophy.
To me history without philosophy or literature is shallow, and philosophy and literature without history is directionless.
Expanding your knowledge of history, philosophy, theology, and literature won’t be easy, but I think you’ll really benefit from historical perspective. Indeed part of the AltRight is all about understanding history and approaching it in a realistic way. I believe in reading history on history’s terms, just as I believe in addressing reality on reality’s terms.
Not all of the writers I list here are right wing, or even necessarily nationalist. In face one of the finest historians of the Twentieth Century, is, I suspect, Jewish. And yes I’m recommending his books. Don’t freak out. I’m not pushing a Marxist or Neocon agenda in recommending their books. If you wish to understand the world you must explore more than just the points of view that you already agree with. History is not a safe space.
(And if you feel the temptation to send me an email saying LOL NOOB YOU MISSED ONE!!!!!!1111!! Please don’t. I’m going for the major works first. As time goes on I’ll probably get to whatever book you want to suggest. After all, this list, like this site and its author, is a work in progress).
Europe: A History by Norman Davies
The Americans (The Full Trilogy) by Daniel Boorstin
Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson
The Location of Culture by Homi K. Baba
Orientalism by Edward Said
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Theories of History by Patrick Gardiner
The Idea of History by RG Collingwood
Classical Works and Works about the Classics
The Republic by Plato
The Metaphysics by Aristotle
The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides to be read with The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan (Trust me you’ll need an outside source to understand most of what Thucydides says)
The Histories by Herodotus (You will likely struggle with this book as it’s not exactly history, but it is important. If you have questions of course feel free to email me.)
Works and Days by Hesiod
The Civil War by Julius Caesar
Bulfinch’s Greek and Roman Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
The Jewish War by Josephus
The Iliad by Homer
The Odyssey by Homer
The Aeneid by Virgil
The Poetic Edda by Author unknown, probably various poets
The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson
Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise of Western Power by Victor Davis Hanson
The Soul of Battle: From Ancient Times to the Present Day, How Three Great Liberators Vanquished Tyranny by Victor Davis Hanson
The Confessions by Saint Augustine
The Early History of Rome by Livy
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
The Sayings of the Desert Fathers by Various Writers
The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know Himself and His World by Daniel Boorstin