Recommended Reading: Public Policy

Welcome to my recommended reading list. On this page you will find my suggestions in the Public Policy category. You may select from other categories on the menu below.

History—US History—World Public Policy Education General

RECOMMENDED READING

Aldrich, Gary. Unlimited Access
Inside story of how the Clinton White House operates, written by an FBI agent who was there. This book generated a lot of controversy when it was first published. The author endured active neglect from the mainstream media, but, in spite of this treatment, his work became a bestseller. I consider this a must-read. 

Ashcroft, John. Never Again: Securing America and Restoring Justice.
Ashcroft was Attorney General when the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred. His book is an account of how that event led to a transformation of security policy in the United States. He earnestly defends the steps that were taken, showing how many other potential disasters have been averted due to the nation’s greater diligence in preventing terrorism. This is a ringing endorsement of the Patriot Act from someone who desires both security and personal liberty.

Bastiat, Frederic. The Law.
A classic! Bastiat was a French legislator in the mid-nineteenth century who fought tirelessly against burgeoning socialistic propaganda and programs in his country. Although he wrote to his countrymen, the principles he enunciated are universal. A small book that can be used as a powerful introduction for anyone who wonders why socialism is wrong.

Cord, Robert. Separation of Church & State: Historical Fact and Current Fiction.
Excellent documentation on the history of the relationship between church and state. Even though the author is a member of the ACLU, he rejects the organization’s claim that the state has always been neutral (an impossibility) in regard to religion.

Eidsmoe, John. God and Caesar: Christian Faith and Political Action.
A valuable primer on the Christian’s responsibility in civil government, as well as an introduction to Biblical concepts of government.

Goldberg, Jonah. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change.
Goldberg argues that liberals aren’t really all that liberal. Whereas classical liberalism believed in liberty, modern liberalism, which often goes by the name of progressivism, is anything but devoted to liberty. Rather, it imposes a uniformity of thought that none dare challenge without consequences. He shows that this new brand of liberalism has more in common with fascism than anything else. That comparison has led to controversy, but Goldberg does a superb job of research to provide evidence for this thesis. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to understand the nature of modern liberalism/progressivism.

Grant, George. Bringing in the Sheaves: Transforming Poverty into Productivity.
A clarion call for the church to recapture its role as the dispenser of welfare. Positive Biblical instruction on how to carry out this responsibility properly.

Grant, George. Grand Illusions: The Legacy of Planned Parenthood.
Powerful expose of the history and policies of the number one advocate of abortion in America. Strips away the veneer of respectability that has somehow attached itself to an organization built upon racism and genocide.

Grant, George. Trial and Error: The American Civil Liberties Union and Its Impact on Your Family.
Grant exposes the ACLU in the same manner as he did Planned Parenthood in the previous book.

Huckabee, Mike. A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need from Washington (and a Trillion That We Don’t).
For those who want to know Huckabee’s philosophy of government, this is it in a nutshell. It’s an easy read, but not simplistic. In these clearly defined chapters, Huckabee clearly lays out his belief in local government, federalism, and other key components for effective government. I find his approach to be faithful to the Founders’ vision of what they hoped to establish. There is little here to give credence to those who criticize the author as some kind of “progressive” politician. His focus is on the importance of family, community, and the concept of self-government.

Morley, Felix. Freedom and Federalism.
Straightforward and constitutional explanation of how federalism is really supposed to work.

Murray, Charles. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980.
Essential reading for anyone who still thinks the welfare-state actually helps those in poverty. Murray, through use of statistical information and logical analysis, devastates any arguments in favor of maintaining the status quo.

Nash, Ronald. Poverty and Wealth: The Christian Debate over Capitalism.
One of the finest books written on economics from a Biblical perspective. Nash begins with a basic explanation of economics-a sort of primer for the uninitiated-and then shows how welfare-state politics is really opposed to a Biblical understanding of economics.

Palin, Sarah. America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag.
Unlike her earlier autobiography, this book provides the opportunity for Palin to express what she really believes about government, the place of America in the world, and the significance of religious roots for the health of our society. In it, she constructs a framework, or worldview, within which to understand her positions on the issues that confront us all, whether in culture or in politics. Palin makes extensive use of quotes from conservative thinkers throughout American history, including Ronald Reagan. I was also gratified that she recognizes the value of Whittaker Chambers in our history.

Presser, Stephen. Recapturing the Constitution: Race, Religion, & Abortion Reconsidered
Superb analysis of a legal scholar who compares the decisions of the earliest federal judges with those made by judges in the past four decades. Presser focuses on decisions dealing with affirmative action, race-norming, First Amendment religious liberty rights, and the regulation of abortion. He calls for a return to the Framers’ understanding of law and society.

Reinsch II, Richard. Whittaker Chambers: The Spirit of a Counterrevolutionary.
Reinsch takes one of my favorite people and dissects his political philosophy superbly. He concentrates on Chambers’s own description of himself as a counterrevolutionary rather than a conservative. Conservatives merely seek to conserve the past, notes Chambers, while counterrevolutionaries challenge what has changed and seek to restore. Reinsch’s analysis is deep, and it requires a reader’s whole attention to grasp what he is saying at times, but the effort is worth it.

Schmidt, Alvin. The Menace of Multiculturalism.
The devastating consequences of multiculturalist thinking are documented. The author makes a distinction between true cultural differences that should be understood and the multicultural ideology that stifles critique and leads America into harmful governmental policies.

Steyn, Mark. America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It.
It took me a while to get to this book, but once I did, I must acknowledge that it exceeded my expectations. Steyn’s thesis is that most of the Western world is gradually submitting to Muslim sensitivities to the extent that Islamic culture and Sharia law will soon overtake nearly all Western European countries. The book is a warning to the United States not to let that happen here. Steyn’s gift for poignant and simultaneously humorous explanations is marvelous. It’s not easy to be so insightful with respect to the dangers of radical Islamic ideology while making the reader laugh at the same time, but Steyn accomplishes the goal.

Story, Joseph. A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution.
Story was a Supreme Court justice in the first half of the nineteenth century. His treatise on the Constitution is considered by many (myself included) as a true and faithful explanation of the dominant view of the Founders. As a commentary, it has no contemporary equal.

Titus, Herbert. God, Man, and Law: The Biblical Principles.
Thorough explanation of the foundations of law in Western Civilization. Shows how the Bible and Biblical concepts were the root of all Western views of law, government, and society.

Vaughan, Joel. The Rise and Fall of the Christian Coalition: The Inside Story.
This book is from one of the leaders of the Christian Coalition during its glory days of the early-to-mid 1990s. This is not your typical tell-all book. Vaughan shared the goals of the Coalition and still speaks highly of its accomplishments. Yet he doesn’t gloss over the pitfalls. He delves into the organization’s problems in a straightforward manner, clearly revealing some of the bad decisions that led to its fall. Yet he does so in a thoroughly Christian way. This is not a bitter memoir; instead, it carries a tone of sadness–an appropriate tone because what transpired was a tragedy. I appreciate his spirit. We can read this book and learn significant lessons about how to be involved politically and what to avoid. I consider it a valuable guide for a new generation of Christian leaders.