Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading for Rebels


A Facebook friend asked me for a list of books I would recommend, and several people commented, messaged, or texted me to ask for the same.

Okay, okay, I get it: you want the red pill.

There are countless articles and essays I could add, but I'm sticking to books for now. Later I may add another post devoted to shorter works.

I'm not including the many, many, many, embarrassingly many books I read from the "other side." I was a college leftist back in the day. I read Michael Moore and Al Franken. I read CrimethInc. and Culture Jam. I read Chomsky and Vidal. I read Mother Jones and The Nation. I read Assata Shakur and Mumia Abu Jabal. I've been there, okay? And I've so, so done that. So before you say something dumb like "Of course you're a conservative, you're exposed to only one viewpoint in these books!"

No. Just... no.

Why is it important that you read books? Because it helps you decide what you believe, and why. This is extremely important. Don't believe things without knowing why. Don't allow yourself to be swayed by emotion. I've done it. I don't ever want to do it. It sucks to wake up and realize you were dreadfully wrong about something important.

Of course, you also shouldn't fear waking up. I've changed my mind about major things many times. I change my mind about something huge about once a year. I've changed my mind about the death penalty 400 times. Changing your mind means you are learning and thinking. Don't be afraid of it, and don't be ashamed of it. Admit you were wrong, explain how you came around, and let your learning experience be a lesson and guide for others.

Here go the books:

Books I've Read That You Should Read

The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture by David Mamet

This book was written and published, presciently, right before the Occupy Wall Street movement smeared its stench over the country. Mamet, an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer, was destined to be a liberal: Jewish, born and raised in Chicago, working in the arts. He was doomed. He admits he didn't even know any conservatives until he was well into middle age. But in his 60s, Mamet started to look around and wake up. He turns his formidable brain to the task of describing what's wrong with liberalism, and his words are so extraordinarily, eloquently, elegantly brutally true that this book goes at the top of my list.

Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting Our Future by Ben Shapiro

Oh, Ben. Poor Ben. He's a bit down on his luck right now but I still have tremendous respect for him. I don't believe I have ever seen a more talented debater. Shapiro is a genius, and this book - written before he went to Harvard - was the first book of conservative commentary I ever read. I was still a liberal when I read it, and on my way to not being a liberal when I was finished. It's about porn, but it's about so much more.

Everything Ann Coulter Has Every Written by Ann Coulter

I can't pick just one, folks. You've got to read them all. Yes, all. I believe at last count she had written 13 NYT best-sellers. They look longer than they are, because about 1/3 of the book is endnotes. She is a Lexis/Nexis black belt and a Cornell Law grad who cut her teeth on Ken Starr's legal team prosecuting Bill Clinton, so her research skills are impeccable. But not only is she accurate, giving you tons of real-life examples with impeccable references, but she is hilarious. As Gavin McInnes describes, it's like reading a 'zine. He also uses this analogy to describe reading Coulter: it's like stepping on the moving walkway at the airport and just getting swept along. She takes care of you. The language is clear, practical, and funny. I don't know if you've ever read Noam Chomsky, but the experience is exactly the opposite of that.

I would start with Adios America, her second to latest book, which Donald Trump asked for a copy of, and which informed his immigration policy. After reading this book and exploring some of the endnotes, you will be high-tailing it down to the border with a truckload of bricks to start building the wall yourself. Next, read In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome! (can you even fucking handle how amazingly funny that title is?) so you can have a better understanding of why Trump was elected and why he was the right choice. After that, you may consider any of her others. Most of her arguments -- that liberalism is essentially a godless religion (Godless), that liberalism is a demonic mob mentality (Demonic), or that leftists use brown people to get power and money (Mugged) -- are more or less evergreen. My personal favorite is Demonic, which includes an in-depth look at the French Revolution, its horrific outcomes, and its equally horrific origins.

Even though it's not funny, read her first book, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton, to understand why Hillary's election would have put a criminal and probably a murderer in the White House.

Witness by Whittaker Chambers

This is the autobiography of a former Communist spy. The man who accused Alger Hiss of spying for the Soviets shares his side of the story in perhaps the most brave and moving self-examination I have ever read. Not only is it a deeply personal story of conversion and redemption, it gives you an inside look at Communist espionage in the United States. This is a book that changes people. One of my top 3 favorites of all time, and should in my humble opinion be required reading for all Americans.

The War Against Boys by Christina Hoff Sommers

I'm going to be a little more brief with my descriptions so I don't end up writing an entire book just about books. This one is written by a self-described equity feminist who explores how the women's movement is purposely marginalizing, denigrating, and hurting young males. It will make you think twice about the "good intentions" behind the women's movement.

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

This book made me Catholic, but first it made me think, possibly for the first time. I will never forget the experience. It is an argument for the Christian worldview, and while reading it, almost every other sentence made me think: how could something be so obvious and so surprising at the same time?

Read it. You must also read his essays, and his books Heretics and The Man Who Was Thursday.

SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day

I was going through something unpleasant recently, and while going through it I was messaging with my good friend for insight and sanity, when she responded to me with: "You're under an SJW attack."

She started sending me photos of pages in Day's book, and I recognized my situation, perfectly laid out and explained, along with steps for how to navigate it. (Luckily, following my instincts, I had inadvertently already taken his advice. Step 1: Don't apologize.) To my delight, a copy of the book appeared in my mailbox a couple days later, courtesy of my wonderful friend. I read it immediately, and I consider it a valuable weapon in the fight against "outrage culture."

Vox Day is a science fiction writer and founder of Castalia House publishing company who was involved not only in GamerGate but in wresting some of the power away from SJWs in scifi. He is a formidable thinker and strategist, and this excellent guide is essential to anyone who plans to go toe-to-toe with SJWs, which hopefully means you.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism by John Zmirak

I almost left the Church recently. It would have been a mistake, had I done it, and some of it would have been my fault, but what it kicked it all off was Pope Francis. His viewpoints and statements have been a tremendous source of confusion for Catholics around the world, and I am one of them. I believe that his words have caused great scandal. He is a good man, in that his intentions are good. But he is a bad Pope.

This book will make you feel good about being Catholic again. He explains why we don't have to agree with the current Pope's crazy statements, and what the Church actually teaches and has taught for millennia. We have weathered worse storms than Hurricane Francis and we will weather this one.

Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million by Martin Amis

If you want to begin understanding what Communism was and is -- and you should understand it, because it is the source from which all modern leftism springs -- read this book about Josef Stalin, and prepare it to never stop haunting your soul.

Blacklisted by History by M. Stanton Evans

McCarthy was right.

Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus by Thomas Cahill

Nothing I've ever read has brought the people of the Bible -- particularly the New Testament -- alive like this book. This is an absorbing, easy read that will bring you closer to the historical Jesus and therefore closer to faith. Be aware: not orthodox Catholic when it comes to Mary, but nevertheless quite devout, without losing scholarly objectivity. This will give you a clear and astounding view of how Christianity -- a weird little offshoot of Judaism that started with thirteen working joes -- utterly changed the world, and how miraculous that is.

Life After Death: The Evidence by Dinesh D'Souza

D'Souza makes the scientific and philosophical evidence not only for life after death, but the Christian version of it. A fascinating and absorbing read that will calm that little niggling "what if..." in the back of your head.

The Devil's Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions by David Berlinski

Mathematician, scientist, and Sorbonne professor Berlinski, an agnostic Jew, takes on the arrogant and essentially (ironically) religious nature of atheist scientists. He frankly goes over my head in some sections, such as when he discusses string theory, but his point is that science does not and cannot disprove God and that for a scientist to declare himself an atheist requires a leap of faith.

Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell

My husband sent me this one from Afghanistan before we ever met, so it has a special place in my heart.

After fighting with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell began to have second thoughts about socialism. Haven't we all.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades by Robert Spencer

Huge fan of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, and speeches of theirs on Islam form a large percentage of my YouTube viewing (along with Milo, Ben Shapiro, Gavin McInnes, Stefan Molyneux, Ann Coulter, and Tucker Carlson). I can see with my human eyeballs and think with my human brain, so I know Islam is a huge problem on this earth, but for information about how and why and what it means, I want a fount of true knowledge. Spencer is a scholar of Islam and comparative religion. He is not an angry crackpot with a webcam. He is an authoritative expert on Islam, its history, ideology, culture, and politics.

Follow-up reading, also by Spencer: The Complete Infidel's Guide to Isis, which I just started reading. It has taken me a full hour just to examine, process, and comprehend the timeline at the front of the book. Wowza, Muslims be fightin'!

Fiction

I have read a lot of fiction, and much of it has been wonderful and I would highly recommend it. Here I am only listing a few rare works of fiction that have informed my current worldview.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This is a novel about a weird little kid who has a vision of his own death and becomes convinced that his life is being guided by providence and that everything that happens to him is a piece of a specific plan ordained by God. When I started reading it I was an agnostic in the midst of a serious spiritual crisis, and it was one of the main things that lead to my conversion. It catalyzed for me a tremendous epiphany, in which I suddenly looked around me and realized I too was being led, that there were too many "coincidences," and SOMETHING was working hard to get my attention. When I was done reading it I put my head down and sobbed, partly because the book was moving, and partly because I felt that something huge was happening to me.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Remind yourself what the art of the novel meant before the genre was co-opted by multiculturalists, communists, atheists, and other degenerates. This is one of the most important works of fiction ever published, and you owe it to yourself to read it. If I could do it at 17, you can do it.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Libertarian science fiction at its finest. A wonderfully politically incorrect adventure that also answers some of the question: what would a libertarian society look like?

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

I'm not a Randian and I have some beefs with her, but I do think it's important for all modern thinkers to confront her philosophy. Most likely you will find much of value in it. This story dramatizes the inestimable value of the individual and why capitalism is necessary for the individual to thrive. There is also some pretty hot lovin', for its time.

1984 by George Orwell

This is a gimme, but you really should read it.

Note to college students: this is not a book about Trump. This is a book about socialism. Sorry, but Bernie Sanders is not as innocuous as he looks.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Again, it's an obvious addition to the list, but has to be on here. Huxley creates possibly an even more terrifying dystopia than Orwell's.

Legion by William Peter Blatty

This is a sequel to The Exorcist (adapted for film as The Exorcist III) that examines the natures of God and man and morality while telling a truly terrifying story. One of my favorites by one of my favorites.

Books On My Reading List

These are some I haven't gotten to yet, but are on my short list.

Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers

I just started this one but have already learned a lot. I have come to some conclusions a little different from hers, but she's a brilliant woman with a lot of knowledge and insight into this subject.

Death of the West by Pat Buchanan

Western civilization is in trouble, and we need to save it.

Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder

My husband has been encouraging me to read this for a while, but Koba the Dread depressed me so badly I am loathe to pick it up. Communism bums me out, y'all.

Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke

I got rolled in a lit class for defending an excerpt from this. Burke's condemnation of the French Revolution is not popular among modern day humanities professors and students, it seems. Shocking. Burke is often called the father of modern conservatism, and what little I have read of this is extremely interesting.

The Politically Incorrect Guides

I want to read all of them. I was skeptical, but they are well-written and thoroughly researched by experts in their fields. So far I have read Catholicism and Islam. I also intend to read Capitalism, Western Civilization, and more.

Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos

Because he's the most fabulous supervillain on the Internet. (Pre-order it now. Released May 2017.)

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Vox Day introduced me to Taleb. The idea of antifragility builds on the first two books in this trilogy, though I've read that they stand alone well. Becoming antifragile means that you adjust yourself and your life so that you gain from disorder. For example, working for a wage or salary is a fragile position. You are at the whim of your boss or the company. Working for yourself, and having diverse streams of passive income, is a much less fragile position. Taleb argues that the future belongs to the antifragile.

Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in America by Charles Murray

Done a little reading on this topic, and want to see what all the fuss is about straight from the horse's mouth.

The Art of the Deal by Daddy

Love him or hate him, he sure knows how to deal.

The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know -- and Men Can't Say by Suzanne Venker

Title says it all.

The Conservative Case for Trump by Phyllis Schlafly

The woman the Left hates even more than Sarah Palin passed away before she got to see Trump elected, which makes me sad. I intend to read this little book as she was a magnificent woman and always a voice of reason.

Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case by Allen Weinstein

I want to reread Witness (again) before I tackle this one.

It was hard to decide what to include here, but I hope I'm given you some good choices. Comment below with your recommendations for me!

6 comments:

  1. i recently finished A Man Called Ove and was feeling *pretty* proud of myself for reading a book until i read this post.

    now i've...CHANGED. MY MIND.

    also, Following the Wolf is good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dang! I thought I was a reader....I primarily read for escape, but, you're right, after reading your speech the other day - I want the red pill. Thanks so much for pointing the way.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Naked Communist by Skousen is a good one.

    ReplyDelete
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