Reason Picks the 9 Most Transformative Books of the Last 45 Years


When Reason magazine was founded in 1968, historians and political scientists routinely assumed that bigger government was better government. Constitutional law consisted largely of excuses for expanding the state. Keynesians dominated the economics profession. Technology meant ever-more-intrusive methods of surveillance and bureaucratic management. Even the fiction shelves were filled with authoritarian ideas. Clearly, not much has changed.

Except it has. Countertrends were already emerging in 1968, and in the 45 years since then they've flowered. Statism has hardly gone away, but the movement to roll it back is stronger than ever. We asked seven libertarians to recommend some of the books in different fields that made this cultural and intellectual revolution possible. A list this short is bound to be incomplete. But each of these volumes is an excellent place for a reader to start.