From Liberty Fund, Inc. <[email protected]>
Subject Liberty Fund Connection / Summer 2021
Date July 15, 2021 5:59 PM
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Find out what Liberty Fund staff are reading this summer! 🌞

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This summer our staff can be found reading a variety of books, representing a great array of perspectives on questions both timeless and timely. As we like to say around the office and in our programs, the aim of our labors is to continue the conversation—and books are central to that effort. Engaging with classic works and with books that may well be headed for classic status, we encounter new ways of looking at the world and often return to the conversations of the present with our perspectives enriched. Reading draws us in and slows us down, preparing us for deep and thoughtful reflection on the issues that matter. In a world that tends toward brevity and acceleration, a renewed appreciation for the literary arts reconnects us to the bygone experiences of previous eras, and promises to make us more insightful—and possibly even more hopeful—participants in our own present.

Below, members of the Liberty Fund staff
share what they are reading this summer.

Steve Ealy says, “I am reading The Library Book ([link removed]) by Susan Orlean. It is an account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library that destroyed roughly half a million books. In addition to a dramatic account of the fire itself, and the mystery of who set the library on fire, Orlean also offers profiles of some of the quirky people who worked and used the library, a brief history of book burning for religious or political reasons, the role of libraries in building communities, and a personal reminiscence of her first trips to the library with her mother. Good on so many levels!”

John Grove will be reading a book he has just agreed to review, Max Skjönsberg's The Persistence of Party ([link removed]) .

Sarah Skwire says, “As I drive to go pick my kids up from summer camp, I'll be listening to A Spy Among Friends ([link removed]) by Ben Macintyre about Kim Philby, who spied for the Soviets while working high up in MI6. When I get home I'll be reading Poet of Revolution: The Making of John Milton ([link removed]) by Nicholas McDowell—I'll be recording a discussion with Garth Bond and Steven Pincus about that soon, and people can watch for that to be released soon at the Online Library of Liberty. I'll intersperse both those with Mary Robinette Kowal's Nebula, Locus, and Hugo award winning Lady Astronaut ([link removed]) science fiction series.”

Shanon FitzGerald will be reading Grand Strategies: Literature, Statecraft, and World Order ([link removed]) , by Charles Hill, to advance his understanding of literature as it relates to international affairs.

Leonidas Zelmanovitz says, “If someone else would like to practice his or her Portuguese, a book I am planning to read over the summer is a new book about the Portuguese Jews who took refuge in the Low Countries, helped the Dutch first to occupy Brazil and next to establish themselves in what is now New York. It is called Arrancados da Terra ([link removed]) .

Richard Reinsch is reading Wilhelm Ropke's A ([link removed]) Humane Economy ([link removed]) (1958), because: “The book helps us to justify morally free markets. This question weighed upon the twentieth century German economist Wilhelm Röpke as he and other German economists, academics, and lawyers known as the ordoliberals created a new Germany on the ashes of Nazi despotism. Their economic plan was straightforward and well-executed. The result was incredible growth from the year it was implemented in 1948, the so—called German Economic Miracle. They robustly outlined the need for political constitutionalism and the rule of law to prevent cartelism, a problem that had plagued Germany since the 1870s. What Röpke can teach us in our own time is what
actually constitutes and holds together a free economy and liberal constitutional order. His is a moral as well as an economic defense of the market order, not one appealing only to efficiency.”

Doug Den Uyl will be reading The Betrothed ([link removed]) by Alessandro Manzoni.

Diane Mosbrucker says, “I'm currently reading Dante's The Divine Comedy ([link removed]) . Hillsdale College offers free online courses and I signed up for the Divine Comedy course (not one of my better ideas). I can honestly say the Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey ([link removed]) course was a LOT more enjoyable.”

Sean Shelby, Liberty Fund’s President and CEO, plans to read Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English ([link removed]) by John McWhorter.

Amy Willis shares, “I try to up my fiction intake over the summer, and this summer will be no exception. In addition to lots of pop fiction titles, in the next couple of weeks I plan to read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe ([link removed]) . What prompted this choice? Last month, we hosted a Virtual Reading Group ([link removed]) on Adam Ferguson's History of Civil Society ([link removed]) . In the Introduction, several mentions of Scott are made. While I've spent a good bit of time with Ferguson and Scott's non—literary contemporaries, I have no relationship with Scott. And it turns out that Ivanhoe is the only novel of Scott's in Mr. Goodrich's personal library. (P.S. You can expect a #ReadWithMe series on my adventure later this summer at AdamSmithWorks ([link removed]) .)”

Laura Goetz will be reading Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory ([link removed]) and Nadezhda Madelstam's Hope Abandoned ([link removed]) .

Last but not least, Colleen Watson is reading The Anthropocene Reviewed ([link removed]) , by John Green. “Green, who is better known as a fiction writer (The Fault in Our Stars) and as a web content creator (Crash Course, Vlogbrothers), is trying his hand at nonfiction in this newly released collection of essays. Each essay in The Anthropocene Reviewed is written in the style of a starred review and summary of a specific part of our existence on Earth—from sycamore trees, to Canada geese, to human temporal range, to the plague (the plague gets only 1 star). I found the book to be an interesting mix of humor, of wisdom, of quiet observation, and, ultimately, of hope. Great for a light, yet thought-provoking summer read.”

We hope that this list might inspire you to embark on a summer reading journey of your own. As you consider what you might like to read, or what you might like to suggest to others, we encourage you to browse the collection of works published by Liberty Fund ([link removed]) .

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ECONTALK / Bruce Meyer on Poverty on EconTalk. Join the conversation ([link removed]) .

Guides / Ten Key Ideas: Opening the Door to the Economic Way of Thinking. Read now ([link removed]) .

ARTICLE / Nikole Hannah-Jones vs the UNC Board of Governors: Academic Freedom for Whom? Read now ([link removed]) .

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ARTICLE / Why We Cannot Just "Follow the Science". Read now ([link removed]) .

FORUM / On the Legacy of A Theory of Justice. Read now ([link removed]) .

PODCAST / Rebuilding a Culture of Academic Freedom. Listen now ([link removed]) .

BOOK REVIEW / Honor Thy Father. Read now ([link removed]) .

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** OLL
Virtual Reading Groups / Our VRGs will each focus on a particular topic and a common set of readings will form the basis for our discussions. Join the conversation ([link removed])

Newsletter sign-up / Stay up to date on current projects Sign-up here ([link removed])

Liberty Matters / Liberty and Virtue: Frank Meyer's Fusionism
Read here ([link removed])

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Essays / LUMOS! Learning Moral Sentiments with Harry Potter. Read now ([link removed]) .

Lesson Plans / #WealthOfTweets in the classroom. Read now ([link removed]) .

Newsletter sign-up / Stay up to date on current project. Read now ([link removed]) .


As we commemorate our nation's independence this month, we also invite you to explore our American Founding titles. We offer critical primary sources and other writings that helped shape the nation's cultural, religious, and historical tradition. See the titles below and many more! Preview our complete collection here ([link removed]) .
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The Federalist: The Gideon Edition, by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison. Edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan.

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The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Petitions, Proclamations, and Letters of the Delegates to the First National Congresses, compiled, edited, and with an introduction by Barry Alan Shain.

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The American Republic: Primary Sources, edited and with an introduction by Bruce Frohnen.

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The Crisis: A British Defense of American Rights, 1775-1776, edited and with an introduction by Neil L. York.

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