The Rand Paul Reading List

The candidate from Kentucky has pursued a graduate-level syllabus.

HAMPSTEAD, NH - MARCH 21: U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) listens to a question after speaking at Beantowne Coffee House & Cafe March 21, 2015 in Hampstead, New Hampshire. Paul, who has made many trips to New Hampshire which holds the first primary in the nation, has set a date in early April to decide on whether he will or will not run for president.

Photographer: Darren McCollester

Rand Paul's speeches and writings are liberally sprinkled with literary references—and in many cases, he seems to have actually read the books. He has a student's enthusiasm for broad learning—what other senator would cite Milan Kundera's The Book of Laughter and Forgetting? But in some cases, forgetting is necessary. The below reading list for students, on his Senate website, was removed last July. The Washington Free Beacon speculated that it was because views hostile to Israel informed some of the books. 

A recommended reading list for students on Paul's Senate website, since removed:  

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek 

The Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater

Human Action by Ludwig von Mises

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

End the Fed by Ron Paul

A Foreign Policy of Freedom by Ron Paul

Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal by Robert P. Murphy

Broke: The Plan to Restore Our Trust, Truth and Treasure by Glenn Beck

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War by Andrew J. Bacevich

Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror by Michael Scheuer

Where the Right Went Wrong: How Neoconservatives Subverted the Reagan Revolution and Hijacked the Bush Presidency by Patrick J. Buchanan

Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub

Books and poems cited in Paul's March 2013 filibuster (as compiled by

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich von Hayek

The Spirit of the Laws by Montesquieu

The Promise of American Life by Herbert Croly

Unconstitutionality of Slavery by Lysander Spooner (the name by which Paul signed a spoof essay during his 1982 initiation to Baylor secret society NoZe)

Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights against Progressive Reform by David E. Bernstein

Lord Acton's Letters to Bishop Creighton

Letter From a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Books, poems and authors mentioned in various recent speeches: 

Reagan Library, 2013: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver; Folks This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin 

Howard University, 2013: Life Behind the Veil by George Wright; “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 2013: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; “Si tu me Olvidas” by Pablo Neruda; Vida de Don Quijote y Sancho by Miguel de Unamuno

Republican National Convention, 2012: A Dad Like Jack: The Influence of Ronald Reagan’s Father by Paul Kengor.

Values Voter Summit, 2012: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky; All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque; Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce by Stanley Weintraub

Heritage Foundation, 2013: The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror by Bernard Lewis; George F. Kennan: An American Life by John Lewis Gaddis

CPAC, 2013: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Bowling Green Daily News editorial, 2010: Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera

Center for the National Interest, 2014: The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

Values Voter Summit, 2013: “Khushbu” by Parveen Shakir

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