You camped out by Best Buy for Black Friday, perused the neighborhood shops on Small Business Saturday, crashed the computer on Cyber Monday, but still didn’t get a gift for your father-in-law, stocking stuffers (that aren’t socks), or a good book to survive that four-hour layover in Atlanta.
You need the First Principles gift list. We have collected the top 10 books from our list:
- Religious Liberty in the American Republic by Gerard V. Bradley: Whether your celebrations involve a menorah, a manger scene, or performing feats of strength for Festivus, ‘tis the season for religious liberty. Far from wanting to expunge religion from public life, Gerard Bradley explains, the Founders encouraged religion as a necessary and vital part of their new nation.
- A Citizen’s Introduction to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by Matthew Spalding: Tired of the liberal myths about the Founding? Here’s how to defend the self-evident truths of liberty, equality, and consent of the governed at the core of the Declaration of Independence and woven into the fabric of our Constitution. With the Declaration of Independence and Constitution included in the appendix, this is the go-to stocking stuffer for everyone on your list.
- How to Read The Federalist Papers by Anthony A. Peacock: Let’s face it, Sparknotes will get you a Gentleman’s C. Get an A with our equally readable but more insightful guide to The Federalist, its themes, and key passages.
- Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law in America by Herman Belz: Nowhere expressed yet evident throughout, the United States Constitution depends on the bedrock concept of the rule of law. Herman Belz tells the story of the foundational principle on which the American legal and political system was built (and it’s great reading material for that long line at airport TSA screenings).
- NEW! Ronald Reagan: A Basic Introduction by Lee Edwards: Don’t forget to give one for the Gipper. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the hundreds of books about Reagan, but this short monograph stands out from the rest by providing a clear, accessible, and engaging basic introduction to the accomplishments of the President who defined an age. This monograph will be available in the next two weeks. Check the First Principles bookstore to get your copy.
- A Brief History of the Modern American Conservative Movement by Lee Edwards: A perfect gift for that liberal aunt who thinks conservatism consists of “irritable mental gestures which seem to resemble ideas.” Help her see the light with this succinct account of the rise and influence of the modern conservative movement.
- The Heritage Guide to the Constitution edited by Edwin Meese, David Forte, and Matthew Spalding: Wanna look scholarly in front of the electronic Yule log? Get the Heritage Guide to the Constitution, the only line-by-line analysis of the Constitution. Between sips of eggnog, stun your friends with insights gleaned from the Guide’s essays, written by more than 100 of the nation’s leading legal experts. (Don’t forget to look for the forthcoming teaching companion).
- Reading the Right Books: A Guide for the Intelligent Conservative by Lee Edwards: Is your student inundated with boring textbooks? Reading the Right Books is the ideal stocking suffer for the intelligent conservative reader eager to learn about politics, literature, economics, religion, history, and statesmanship.
- Why States? The Challenge of Federalism by Eugene W. Hickok: Stockpile your facts and make the case for federalism against the bureaucrats itching to regulate your light bulbs, blinds, and Christmas trees. Eugene Hickok covers the early practice and modern challenges to federalism.
- We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future by Matthew Spalding: We don’t need to remake America in 2012 or discover new and untested principles. Make your New Year’s Resolution well before December 31—renew your commitment to America’s core principles and learn how apply them to the questions of our day.
Want more? Don’t spend hours on Amazon; we have narrowed the list for you. Check out the First Principles Resource page for the best books on Lincoln, Economics, Foreign Policy, and Progressivism. Better yet, subscribe to our newsletter New Common Sense for weekly book recommendations and First Principles perspective on the issues of the day.