Edited By: Toby Mac & Michael Tait
Using Unforgettable Accounts of both Famous & Little-Known Americans, Under God Tells the Stories of Men & Women of Faith Who Forged Our Nation
Author: Ayn Rand
Introduction By: Leonard Peikoff
Who is more evil? Someone who works hard to create a product that people want (be it steel, trains, cars, oil, etc), or someone who thinks that that person is wrong for making money producing said product?
Ayn Rand’s Magnus opus answers that, and many other questions. In her bleak view of socialism, the true producers of the country such as car manufacturers, bankers, judges, doctors, oil men, and so on are disappearing without a word because they are called 'evil' and punished daily (over taxation, ridiculed in the press) for making a profit despite providing services essential to the function of the society. As the best minds are lost, society begins to crumble, and those that fight the decline of civilization question if they are doing the right thing, or should they let it collapse.
Rand, who escaped communism in the 40's, considered it the greatest evil on earth and demonstrates what the true effect on people is; and how important values and morals are to society. It is a must read, prophetic and thought-provoking after over 50 years after publication.
AYN RAND'S ATLAS SHRUGGED
Edited By Edward W. Younkins
A Philosophical and Literary Companion
Very few novels have stood the test of time. This year marks a venerable exception to this axiom, with the fiftieth anniversary of the first publication of Ayn Rand's groundbreaking novel Atlas Shrugged, which has never been out of print since its initial publication. Hugely popular among literature and philosophy buffs alike, it has meant many different things to many people over the years. To some, it is just an entertaining story with fascinating characters and plot twists, while to others it is the cornerstone of their business, political, economic, and life's philosophy.
One such man, Dr. Edward Younkins of Wheeling Jesuit University, has long argued the merits and deeper meaning of Ayn Rand's ideas and Objectivist philosophy, which was laid out so completely in her culminating work, Atlas Shrugged. While Dr. Younkins has authored other works on related ideas, he may well consider this his crowning achievement. Few have understood this complex and artistic work with the depth and breadth of Dr. Younkins, and he has worked with many of the world’s leading scholars, authors, philosophers, businessmen, and educators to compile thirty six different essays on various aspects of Atlas Shrugged. Each contributor has laid out in easily understood form a different aspect of Atlas Shrugged and its significance to the human condition.
Dr. Younkins has then organized each of these separate works into a comprehensive companion, designed to help anyone understand the deeper truths Ayn Rand worked so hard to articulate to those who are willing to look. After reading Dr. Younkins' companion compilation, it is clear to anyone why the works of Ayn Rand have had such staying power and influence over the best and brightest minds of our age, from such minds as Alan Greenspan all the way down to the casual reader just looking for a good story. Anyone wanting to expand their knowledge and understanding of this classic work need look no further.
Author: Ayn Rand
Introduction By: The Author
This is one of the fastest paced books I have ever read. Ayn Rand's characters come to life as she paints very clear pictures of who they are and what they represent. She does this in spite of the fact that the dialogue is sometimes a bit wooden and stilted. In this novel, she sets forth her philosophy of "objectivism." She exposes those, such as a character named Peter Keating, an architect, who seemingly achieve greatness by copying others but somehow give the illusion of originality and creativity. In order to achieve "greatness," Keating was literally willing to sell anything, including his wife. Thus despite wealth and apparent achievement, his life was empty. Rand begins to formulate her values that altruism is an evil because a society which seeks to achieve this must do so at someone's expense and therefore leads to collectivism. In the person of Ellsworth Toohey, a flamboyant newspaper columnist, she shows how the power hungry manipulate the masses by setting a standard of mediocrity which fosters collectivism.
This book is full of passion, including a flaming, complex romantic affair between individualist architect Howard Roarke and socialite Dominique Francon. Their relationship develops from one in which they each seek to assert power over the other while achieving sexual release to one of true love between genuine soul mates. Roarke also has a passion for his work and is uncompromising in his creativity in accomplishing his professional goals. He will not ever compromise these goals despite enormous pressures to do so. Rand believed that there is only black and white in moral issues; there is no gray. Therefore, giving in a little is not compromise but rather, selling out your values and giving in to evil. Roarke was not a man to sell out, he had the courage of his convictions.
While setting forth her philosophy, Rand has also given us a novel which has a well developed plot. I found the novel to be gripping and I couldn't put it down. Following the career of Howard Roarke and the machinations of his enemies was fascinating. The plot had enough twists to provide surprises and to hold the reader's interest. This book is both an enjoyable novel as well as a challenging philosophical statement. I like Rand's philosophy and I love this book.
CAPITALISM: THE UNKNOWN IDEAL
Author: Ayn Rand
With Additional Articles by Nathaniel Branden, Alan Greenspan,
And Robert Hessen
Ayn Rand is not the only person who authored this book’s essays. The works of Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan both are worth the price. These two authors do not emphasize the "moral" aspect of capitalism but its bare bones practicalities. And as such nobody has ever been able to shoot their arguments down, on moral grounds or otherwise.
In one essay, Branden dissects the criticisms of capitalism during the Industrial Revolution. He shows the relationship between the Industrial Revolution and the Population Explosion. More to the point he shows how Capitalism improved peoples' lives--by providing more sustenance for people to live on.
Alan Greenspan's Essay "Gold and Economic Freedom" is a masterpiece frequently quoted elsewhere, but originates with this book. If you want to know how the Fed kept inflation down throughout Greenspan's reign as Chairman, here's the essence of his philosophy and modus operandi in a few pages. Greenspan also in another essay explains how corrupt monopolies cannot exist--without the help of government.
Rand herself, while sometimes going overboard on the "Morality" side, does make some very valid points in two essays in particular: "The Roots of War", and "Man's Rights." The theme of both is "being generous with other people's fortunes." (If I had the ability to take all of your money, I will show you just how compassionate to the world I can be.)
In "Roots of War" Rand explains that, outside of voluntary charity there are two ways to acquire something: take it, or swap something for it, conquest or trade. There is no other option. Government is the agent of conquest, capitalism the agent of trade. She also shows the logical progression of each. In a conquest driven society, the pick pocket beats the honest man, but the robber beats the pick pocket, and the murderer beats the robber. Welfare states are not based on altruism but quite the opposite, and will eventually either collapse or look elsewhere for plunder. In a trade society, those who offer the best value win.
In "Man's Rights" she goes over the same concepts as in the Roots of war but more on the individual's level. She also discusses how "Rights" have gone from claims you have on your own life to claims someone else has on your life, and its potential consequences.
Finally, "Extremism--or the Art of Smearing", is a powerful essay on how left-leaning collectivists smear their opponents. Change the names and you've got the exact same thing occurring today, but this essay was written in 1964! It shows that the fundamental tactics of collectivists have not changed in at least 35 years.
Author: Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand (1905-1982), in this book written in 1937, expertly refutes collectivists schemes; such as, Communism and Fascism and shows the utter peril that collectivism poses to individual freedom. One of my favorite historians, Lord Acton, warned us in the 19th century "that socialism is slavery."
This is a short novel about a man who escapes a society from which all individuality has been squeezed. Written a full decade before Orwell's "1984" Rand expertly shows how collectivism is destroying individuality and is being practiced throughout the world including the "New Deal" programs in the United States. During this time in world, history people are becoming serfs to the state as F. A. Hayek, the noted libertarian economist would put it. Rand's philosophy is really quite simple; planning is a synonym for "collectivism" and "collectivism" is a metaphor for Communism. Rand's literary style is easy to read and understand, I love how she uses the third person plural in the book until the hero finds his "ego" at which time she switches over to first person singular. This is a book that should be read by all who wonder what role the government should have in our lives.
Author: Glenn Beck
The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure
THE FIGHT TO FIX AMERICA—
BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
In the words of Harvard historian Niall Ferguson, the United States is “an empire on the edge of chaos.” Why? Glenn Beck thinks the answer is pretty simple: Because we’ve turned our backs on the Constitution.
Yes, our country is financially broke, but that’s just a side effect of our broken spirit, our broken faith in government, the broken promises by our leaders, and a broken political system that has centralized power at the expense of individual rights.
There is a lot of work ahead, but we can’t move forward until we first understand how we got here. Starting with the American Revolution, Glenn takes readers on an express train through 234 years of history, culminating with the Great Recession and the bipartisan recklessness of Presidents Bush and Obama. It’s the history lesson we all wished we’d had in school. (Did you know, for example, that FDR once made a key New Deal policy decision based on his lucky number?)
Along the way, you’ll see how everything you thought you knew about the political parties is a lie, how Democrats and Republicans alike used to fight for minimum government and maximum freedom, and how both parties have been taken over by a cancer called “progressivism.” By the end, you’ll understand why no president, no congress and no court can fix this problem alone. Looking toward them for answers is like looking toward the ocean for drinking water— it looks promising, but the end result is catastrophic.
After revealing the trail of lies that brought us here, Broke exposes the truth about what we’re really facing. Most people have seen pieces of the puzzle, but very few have ever seen the whole picture—and for very good reason: Our leaders have done everything in their power to hide it. If Americans understood how dire things really are, they would be demanding radical reform right now. Despite the rhetoric, that’s not the kind of change our politicians really believe in.
Finally, Broke provides the hope that comes with knowing the truth. Once you see what we’re really up against, it’s much easier to develop a realistic plan. To fix ourselves financially, Glenn argues, we have to fix ourselves first. That means some serious introspection and, ultimately, a series of actions that will unite all Americans around the concept of shared sacrifice. After all, this generation may not be asked to storm beaches, but we are being asked to do something just as critical to preserving freedom.
Packed with great stories from history, chalkboard-style teachable moments, custom illustrations, and Glenn Beck’s trademark combination of entertainment and enlightenment, Broke makes the case that when you’re traveling in the wrong direction, slight course corrections won’t cut it—you need to take drastic action. Through a return to individual rights, an uncompromising adherence to the Constitution, and a complete rethinking about the role of government in a free society, Glenn exposes the idea of “transformation” for the progressive smokescreen that it is, and instead builds a compelling case that restoration is the only way forward.
GLENN BECK'S COMMON SENSE
Author: Glenn Beck
The Case against an Out-Of-Control Government
Inspired By Thomas Paine
The Lefties who think they're Paine's legacy are sorely mistaken. How can anyone invoke Paine as support for communism, socialism, fascism or 20th-century progressivism (which can righteously be lumped together like varieties of vinegar)? Paine wasn't about building suspense; he let the reader know where he stood, early on within a work, for example:
"If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretences for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey, and permits none to escape without a tribute."
Does this sound like a man who supported taxation to support every whim of a federal government grown beyond the bounds of the Constitution? A modern Progressive claiming brotherhood with Paine the progressive thinker, is like William Ayers claiming brotherhood with George Washington, or my ancestor who was at the Battle of Lexington, simply because they've been labeled "revolutionaries."
Add to this that I enjoyed Glenn's book. If you're conservative or libertarian, I think you will like it, too. The Lefties are rabidly concerned that you'll swallow all the book's contents "hook, line & sinker," but they're just projecting their weaknesses upon us, who do not share them.
THE OVERTON WINDOW
Author: Glenn Beck
A plan to destroy America, a hundred years in the making, is about to be unleashed . . . can it be stopped?
There is a powerful technique called the Overton Window that can shape our lives, our laws, and our future. It works by manipulating public perception so that ideas previously thought of as radical begin to seem acceptable over time. Move the Window and you change the debate. Change the debate and you change the country.
For Noah Gardner, a twenty something public relations executive, it’s safe to say that political theory is the furthest thing from his mind. Smart, single, handsome, and insulated from the world’s problems by the wealth and power of his father, Noah is far more concerned about the future of his social life than the future of his country.
But all of that changes when Noah meets Molly Ross, a woman who is consumed by the knowledge that the America we know is about to be lost forever. She and her group of patriots have vowed to remember the past and fight for the future—but Noah, convinced they’re just misguided conspiracy-theorists, isn’t interested in lending his considerable skills to their cause.
And then the world changes.
An unprecedented attack on U.S. soil shakes the country to the core and puts into motion a frightening plan, decades in the making, to transform America and demonize all those who stand in the way. Amidst the chaos, many don’t know the difference between conspiracy theory and conspiracy fact—or, more important, which side to fight for.
But for Noah, the choice is clear: Exposing the plan, and revealing the conspirators behind it, is the only way to save both the woman he loves and the individual freedoms he once took for granted.
PAINE COLLECTED WRITINGS
Author: Thomas Paine
Common Sense, the Crisis, Rights Of Man, The Age Of Reason,
Pamphlets, Articles, & Letters
This book collects together Paine's Common Sense (which was instrumental in collecting and gathering America's attention to the benefits of strict independence from Great Britain); his letters or series entitled "the American Crisis," which galvanizes his previous topics; gives a brief account of his engineering work for arches bridges; provides another span of letters on his involvement in the French Revolution, and finishes with his Age of Reason, in which he examines and debunks the Bible. Though his reasoning and conclusions may alarm some and even offend others, his thinking and writing is lucid and cogent, and for reflective minds will provide much food for thought. Accused of sophistry and impudence by some of his contemporaries, his reasoning is normally sound and simple, as he inquires into the root of things, and only seldom does he make debating points fit only for the playground. A sensible and likable man, Paine's writing should engage any American for its historical sense, any lover or researcher interested in human rights and the hope of removing human misery, and any person interested in reading the entertaining but vital arguments of a man whose love of liberty and order forced him late in life to become one of America's most influential revolutionary and socially-minded voices.
Author: George Washington
George Washington is far more revered than known; but, as this splendid book proves, when you come to know him you feel even more admiration for him. This installment in the indispensable LIBRARY OF AMERICA series gathers hundreds of Washington's letters, as well as his more formal public statements as Virginia legislator and revolutionary leader, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, advocate of federal constitutional reform, and First President of the United States. The formal public statements display the heavy style that Washington fell into when consciously speaking to posterity. It is in his letters that Washington's vigorous mind, strong emotions, and sound judgment emerge most clearly -- and that portray his humanity and his nobility most clearly and accessibly. Readers of this volume would be well-advised to read John Rhodehamel's superb chronology (appearing at the back of the book) first, and then turning to the text. If they do this, they will have! a sound chronological and historical basis for setting Washington's writings, public and private, in context and for seeing the critical founding decades of the American republic as he saw and experienced them.
-- Richard B. Bernstein, Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School; Daniel M. Lyons Visiting Professor in American History, Brooklyn College/CUNY; Book Review Editor for Constitutional Books, H-LAW; and Senior Research Fellow, Council on Citizenship Education, Russell Sage College
THE REAL GEORGE WASHINGTON
Prepared By: Jay A. Parry, Andrew M. Allison, and W. Cleon Skousen
The True Story of America’s Most Indispensible Man
Everyone should read this. After reading the book you wonder how we ever managed to win the war and start our new nation. This is not taught in schools. It should be. I always thought God played a major part in the forming of our country. After reading this I know it is true.
Read this book and read everything you can about our history. We are losing our country and we need to educate ourselves before it's too late.
THE FIVE THOUSAND YEAR LEAP: REVISED 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Author: W. Cleon Skousen
Foreword By: Glenn Beck
28 Ideas That Changed the World
This is the ONLY edition authorized and commissioned by the W. Cleon Skousen Family. Also, no other edition except this one includes the revisions made by the author during the 25 years after the original printing. NEW in 2009! THE 5000 YEAR LEAP 30 Year Anniversary Edition with Glenn Beck s Foreword! NOW also includes Common Sense by Thomas Paine No other edition offers the revisions and updates of this remarkable book detailing how the Founding Fathers used 28 principles to create a 5000 year leap in freedom, prosperity, and progress; all based upon morality, faith, and ethics. THIS BONUS EDITION INCLUDES: Common Sense by Thomas Paine, 101 Constitutional Questions to Ask Candidates, The US Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, and Two landmark addresses by author Dr. W. Cleon Skousen never before offered in print. Revised 30 Year Anniversary Edition. During the last 26 years of Dr. Skousen's life he continued his extensive study of the constitution and founding values. He kept his original copy of The Five Thousand Year Leap with him and would write notes in the margins and on envelops and note cards of the refinements and updates he wished to add to the book. This new 30 Year Anniversary Edition includes those refinements and updates. Our gratitude goes out to the Skousen family for supplying us with this information to enable us to bring you this new edition. The 5000 Year Leap will take you by the hand as you discover the ideals of the Founding Fathers and their 28 principles for success. The values explored in detail by Dr. Skousen range from the Founder's prerequisite that the Constitution was designed for a moral people, to a government empowered by the people with checks and balances, along with an understanding of the critical nature of fiscal responsibility and family values. This book sums up the secrets to what James Madison called a miracle.
THE MAKING OF AMERICA
Author: W. Cleon Skousen
The Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, Including a Clause by Clause Explanation by the Founding Fathers
I love this book. It taught me about the Constitution and its simple, exalted ideas. If you read this book you will understand America's "charter of freedom" better than you would from taking a college course in political science. (At least, that's what happened to me.)
I wouldn't say The Making of America is "bipartisan." It fully lauds the Constitution as having a "success formula" for prosperity and freedom that is unique and superior to any other political system in the world. If you want a book that regards America's Constitution as neither better nor worse than other government systems, then this is not the book for you.
The Making of America is well organized. Here is a synopsis of the contents: It begins with interesting biographical information on “the man who discovered America's Freedom Formula" - Thomas Jefferson. The next chapter explores various governments - real governments that existed, such as what the Anglo-Saxons, Israelites, and French (during the times of Napoleon) had, contrasting their advantages and weaknesses. All of these were assessed by the Founders (especially Jefferson), so the author is showing what influenced the Founders' thinking about governments. It's amazing. The third chapter describes some of the Revolutionary War battles, and the Colonial leaders, and how the existing government - the Articles of Confederation - was severely deficient and in need of replacement, which chapter 4 explores further. Chapter 5 is all about the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia, and 7 explains, very simply, the balance of powers in government and all that complex stuff about three branches and division of powers and the Great Compromise and all that.
Chapter 8 is one of my favorite parts; it explains capitalism - not just what it is, but exactly why it works: It allows maximum freedom for people to invent, try, sell, buy, prosper and fail. It gives real examples of what happened when the government intervened in the economy, such as with price controls, and discusses whether big business is bad or good. Chapter 9 recounts the ratification of the Constitution and the reaction of the states and people, and talks about the Federalist Papers. It then examines the Preamble, its wording and principles.
Now we get to the heart of the book. From here until the conclusion, each chapter explores, in depth, every article and section of the Constitution - almost sentence by sentence. The author chose a very interesting way to do this - instead of boringly stating why this or that clause was included, he identifies the principle that the section allows. So after giving a sentence straight from the Constitution, he writes: "This provision gives the American people the RIGHT to ..." and says what it lets us do. Here's an example. On page 500, you read the text from Article I.10.1, "No state shall grant any title of nobility." The author says, "This further secures the RIGHT of the American people not to have [government] creating an aristocracy of privileged citizens." And then interesting history is given, describing how before the Constitution granted this right, King George III and the House of Lords were corrupt and arrogant and elitist because they were given special titles and considered above the common people, and so the American Founders wanted to forbid this practice to protect the people. Every sentence almost, of the Constitution is explained in this way. Throughout The Making of America, plenty of history is provided, in an easy-to-understand way, to help the reader see what life was like before the Constitution; also, the entire book is replete with quotations from the Founding Fathers - this is so that the reader knows exactly what the Founders intended, because much of the Constitution is misinterpreted now. Also, the amendments are studied in the same format as the Constitution, analyzing them in their historical contexts. After you read this book, you'll feel smart because your mind will be buzzing with philosophy, history, and political science. I can't tell you how much I've learned from this book. It has increased my understanding, and therefore, my love, for America's Founders and Constitution.
Also, there is a handy subject index, a copy of the Constitution's text, brief description and pictures of each of the Convention delegates, and a good introduction and conclusion.
My only complaint about this book is that there isn't a new edition; it seems it was written in the mid 80s. Don't worry, though - the information isn't outdated - because it only deals with timeless principles; but still, it would be nice if there were a newer edition; it has a rather plain cover - pale yellow with grey and red letters - and, for some reason, the print is huge, like it's for the visually-impaired or something. But that doesn't really matter; the text itself is fascinating.
You can use this great book as a reference tool - like if you hear some legislation is passing in the House and you want to know if it's really Constitutional or not - or you can read it cover-to-cover, as I did; either way, get this book, if you want to understand the Constitution and America's "freedom formula."