Here at ToBeRead, we pride ourselves in our bipartisanship when it comes to reading books. Reading opens a vast number of worlds, it introduces us to people from the past—some great like our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, a Republican; it introduces as to different philosophical principles such as Ayn Rand’s objectivism; it brings to light a political and personal convictions of a man who at one point was a Hollywood Democrat and later became revered as the Republican Party’s savior.
Below are six books we recommend that every Republican should read. And even if you’re a Democrat, or lean further left, we believe that these books will offer illuminating viewpoints that will interest even jaded, partisan readers.
The Reagan Diaries, by Ronald Reagan
During his two terms as the 40th president of the United States, kept a daily journal where he recorded his innermost thoughts from the historic to the routine occurrences of his presidency. The Reagan Diaries sheds new light on the man and provides insights of his administration.
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
A favorite of vice-presidential Paul Ryan and considered the second most influential book for Americans today” after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club. Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers. Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world–and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder–and rebirth–of man’s spirit.
Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear, by Frank J. Luntz
Luntz, The nation’s premier communications expert shares his wisdom on how the words we choose can change the course of business, of politics, and of life in this country. Luntz offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the tactical use of words and phrases affects what we buy, who we vote for, and even what we believe in. With chapters like “The Ten Rules of Successful Communication” and “The 21 Words and Phrases for the 21st Century,” he examines how choosing the right words is essential.
Lincoln, by David Herbert Donald
David Herbert Donald’s Lincoln is a stunningly original portrait of Lincoln’s life and presidency. Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever- expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.
The Conscience of a Conservative, by Barry Goldwater
For a majority of Republicans, The Conscience of a Conservative was must reading. It is just as vital today as it was then. The late Senator Goldwater offered a clear warning about impending dangers to the survival of American freedoms with recommendations of appropriate action to avoid those dangers. Had Goldwater been elected, Americans might find today’s political landscape very different. The book explores the perils of power, States rights, Civil rights, taxes and spending, and perhaps the most important, the welfare state.
The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future, by Arthur Brooks
According to Newt Gingrich, this slim volume will be judged in the future as “one of the pivotal books around which American history turned.” Citing a 2009 poll, Brooks (Gross National Happiness), president of the American Enterprise Institute, examines the 30 percent of Americans who don’t support Free Enterprise, calling them an “intellectual upper class” His claim that this 30 percent coalition has taken over the country is based on answers to two questions: should government promote policies to narrow the gap between rich and poor? Or should it foster job growth and allow “people to keep more of what they earn?” While the economy and Obama’s appeal to minorities and young people swept Democrats to victory in 2008, “Statism had effectively taken hold in Washington” long before, in Brooks’s view. Brooks’s main target is the “unprincipled Republican party” which has “strayed too far from its free-enterprise values,” and needs new leadership.