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10 Books Every Conservative Must Read: Plus Four Not to Miss and One Impostor Hardcover – June 15, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

If you care about restoring America’s liberty, you must read this book.

Never has America’s understanding of herself been more at risk than it is now. But if conservatives are to restore America, they need first to rearm themselves with the wisdom of true conservatism—and stepping up to the plate to offer just that is Dr. Benjamin Wiker.

Readers of his rollicking 10 Books That Screwed Up the World: And 5 Others That Didn’t Help demanded this sequel, and now you have it—ten books that could actually make the world better, plus four bonus books not to miss, and a warning about one celebrated book that has unfortunately led some conservatives astray. In an easy, approachable format, you’ll discover:

* how the United States is following what Friedrich Hayek warned was The Road to Serfdom
* why The Federalist Papers offer less help to us today than The Anti-Federalists
* how Alexis de Tocqueville predicted Americans could fall prey to a politician like Obama
* why Shakespeare was a conservative—and what he has to teach us
* how “family values” conservatism began with Aristotle in the 4th century B.C.
* the evil roots of liberalism: you’ll find them in Ancient Greece and in a Christian heresy
* why J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is essential conservative reading—and why Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged isn’t

Controversial, enlightening, and thought-provoking, Benjamin Wiker’s 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read is sure to dominate conservative conversation for years to come.

From the Back Cover

Praise for 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read

“Because of too much TV and too little decent schooling, too many Americans are unread in the classics that have defined our culture. That’s why Wiker’s 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read is so important: it provides a shopping list for those who want to understand what makes America and the West exceptional.”
—Brett M. Decker, Editorial Page Editor, Washington Times

“Benjamin Wiker illuminates some of the great books of our civilization with an insightful simplicity that is not only breathtaking but potentially life changing.”
—Joseph Pearce, author of biographies of Chesterton, Belloc, C. S. Lewis, and J. R. R. Tolkien

Praise for 10 Books That Screwed Up the World

“Benjamin Wiker has read the worst books in Western Civilization so you don’t have to. Professor Wiker’s poison pen portraits are great critical aids to analyzing some of the worst ideas that have ever contaminated Western Civilization. Professor Wiker recommends actually reading the books—but his own book is a whole lot more fun.”
—Thomas E. Woods, Jr., Ph.D., author of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

“If you want to know where Western civilization ran off the rails, read this book. And if you want to help get us back on track, buy extra copies and see what you can do to get them into doctor’s office waiting rooms, faculty lounges, and your local public library. Wiker has the goods on the authors of our current confusion about (among other things) human nature, morality, sex, economics, law, and government—this book will open many eyes.”
—Elizabeth Kantor, Ph.D., Editor of the Conservative Book Club and author of The Politically Incorrect Guideto English and American Literature


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing; 1St Edition edition (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596986042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596986046
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Benjamin Wiker is a writer, teacher, husband of one wife, and father of seven children. He has a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. in Political Philosophy from Furman University. He has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), Thomas Aquinas College, and Franciscan University. He is now an Associate Professor of Political Science at Franciscan University, and a Senior Fellow of Franciscan's Veritas Center.

Benjamin Wiker's website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 185 people found the following review helpful By Jordan M. Poss VINE VOICE on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying I'm in favor of anything that encourages people to read more C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. If J.R.R. Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen can benefit, too, then so much the better. 10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, as its author states at the beginning, is not a definitive list of conservative books or THE books conservatives should read, but it is a very good list.

The ten books are:
Aristotle's Politics
Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton
The New Science of Politics, by Eric Voegelin
The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis
Reflections on the Revolution in France, by Edmund Burke
Democracy in America, by Alexis de Tocqueville
The Federalist Papers
The Anti-Federalists
The Servile State, by Hilaire Belloc
The Road to Serfdom, by F.A. Hayek

And the four not to be missed (and one impostor) are:
The Tempest, by William Shakespeare
Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Jerusalem Bible
Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

The thing that struck me most is the internal consistency of Wiker's selections. All of these books highlight some facet of the central conservative beliefs that 1) human beings are flawed and 2) all government should be structured accordingly.
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94 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Catholic Dad on June 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the first Wiker book I've read, and I'm hooked. Clarity, logic, and a refusal to be cowed by "conventional wisdom" from academia are the foundations of this book. I am giving copies to my own college-bound children, friends, and saving a few copies for myself. It is a great way to learn about some great thinkers, plus it helped remind me what I'd learned in college--and how I should re-apply this timeless wisdom in this hectic world of soundbites and emotionalism-as-thinking that is our modern media. I need to get his 10 Books that Screwed up the World to give me a quick overview of the bad ones, too. This is the 11th book every thinking person (conservative or not) must read.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Larry Taunton on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Walking through a bookstore a few years ago, a book titled "Ten Books That Screwed Up The World" caught my eye. I had never heard of the author, Dr. Benjamin Wiker, but decided to take a chance on him anyway. What I discovered was an academic who could write as few academics can--clearly, cleverly, and with no small measure of wit. "Ten Books That Screwed Up the World" was a romp through history's baddies, but with an eye toward the future and where such books and their philosophies have too often taken us.

In "Ten Books Every Conservative Must Read", Wiker is back with another "Ten Books" installment and he does not disappoint. This time, we consider the opposite side of the question: what are the books that have positively influenced the public mind? Wiker's choices may surprise you, but he makes a compelling case for each; offering more than a summary of the books in question, he analyzes their ramifications and gives us something of the backstory. As is his gift, this is one of those books that makes us feel smarter for the experience. I highly recommend this and other Benjamin Wiker books.
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71 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Mary S. on June 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Sound the alarm! Ayn Rand has been removed from her pedestal!

Can I get an "alleluia," brothers?

Don't ya just love Ben Wiker? He doesn't just cut through the malarkey; he leads the way, cleaving through it with his literary machete, leaving all the overgrowth to the side.

"10 Books Every Conservative Must Read" is an important book on many levels, not the least of which is the frenzied need at this time in history for Wiker's crystal-clear logic, and flat-out wisdom. Nobody has the kind of insight Wiker has when it comes to history, literature and the political and cultural landscape of our day.

Beginning with his objective and authentic analysis of Aristotle's "The Politics;" Wiker brings us on a journey, in some cases familiar, in some cases delightfully surprising, through works and authors that - even if they're our long-time favorites (for me, Chesterton, Belloc, Austen, Tolkein) - end up beckoning us to pay them a visit sometime... sooner rather than later. Because, as Wiker says, "Conservatism is not blind acceptance, but careful consideration, and that includes reconsideration."

And, really, at the crux of his book, Wiker is calling on conservatives to connect the dots between these, and other, great works which have helped to influence and form what true conservatism is. To paraphrase Professor Wiker, as conservatives, we cannot and must not waiver from an insistence on concrete and objective truth. We must always defend life's immutable truths, and avoid the liberal tendency towards abstract theories, which are the underpinnings of moral ambiguity. Once again, with his current book, Ben Wiker proves himself a master at translating yesterday's wisdom into today's reality.

"10 Books Every Conservative Must Read?" This makes it 11.
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