4 Great Reads for the 4th of July

4 Great Reads for the 4th of July

Summer is a great time to indulge in good book. Whether sprawled out on a blanket under a shade tree, lounging by the pool, or passing the hours on a road trip to a vacation destination, it’s easy to get absorbed in a compelling read.

Americans will soon celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July, remembering the day in 1776 when thirteen colonies declared independence from Great Britain, and the Declaration of Independence was signed.

At the Platte Institute, we envision a place where Nebraskans have the freedom and opportunity to achieve the Good Life, Nebraska’s own version of the American Dream.

Here are 4 books on liberty and freedom for you to consider in the spirit of the upcoming 4th of July holiday:

  • The Second Treatise of Government by John Locke. According to Locke, the basis of a legitimate government is when a ruler gains authority through the consent of the governed. The duty of that government is to protect the natural rights of the people, those rights being life, liberty, and property. If the government should fail to protect these rights, its citizens have the right to overthrow that government. This idea deeply influenced the Declaration of Independence.
  • Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. The study of economics looks not only at the immediate consequences of policy, but at the longer effects of policy. Among the books policy recommendations are the advocacy of free trade, an opposition to price controls, an opposition to monetary inflation, and an opposition to stimulative governmental expenditures.
  • Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff by Matt Kibbe. Kibbe discusses a few simple concepts regarding liberty:  free people just want to be left alone, not hassled or harmed by someone else with an agenda or designs over their life and property; America’s founders fought to ensure property rights and our individual right to the fruits of our labors; liberty demands personal responsibility over waiting for someone else to solve your problems; and that in every action there is an equal reaction, meaning work hard and you’ll be rewarded.
  • Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman. Friedman’s book is an advocacy of free market principles and a criticism of government interventionist policies. There is emphasis that freedom is highly tied not to just the monetary outcomes but also to individuals having autonomy over their own choices and directions. With more government control there is less freedom and a greater sharing of poverty.

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