Free Man’s Reading List Project

Chevalier de Johnstone asks about what will happen with the Free Man’s Reading List in the community.

I decided today that I am going to begin a project to read all of these books, including rereading those I have not read in years. I want to understand what I believe and why. I need to build my life philosophy so I can build my life around it.  While doing this I will post any blog-related insights I might have here and I will also post a review whenever I finish a book. I estimate the project will take a few years (how many I’m unsure), and hope to finish one or two a month (we’ll see).

If anybody else is reading from this list and has any insights they would like to share, feel free to contact me. I am always up for publishing well-written and/or interesting guest posts on blog-related topics. (I’m also open to guest posts on any other blog-related topic, assuming I find it worthwhile to post).

I’ll be doing reading outside this but will be curtailing it. I’ve narrowed down a list of fiction authors to about a half dozen from whom I will continue to read, and outside of this (probably about a dozen books a year) I will start trying to eschew fiction to work on this list. I will still be reading non-fiction books for various purposes.

I am going to be starting with Adler’s How to Read a Book. I figure if I’m going to take on a project this big, I should learn how to properly read a book. I will then follow-up with Boston’s Gun Bible because I have recently purchased guns and want to learn more about firearms. I will then be reading The Trivium so that I have a clear understanding of logic, rhetoric, and grammar. During this same time period, I plan to read Vox’s new book, In Mala Fide’s book, and the Captain’s Enjoy the Decline, in addition to a book or two on evolutionary psychology and whatever fiction from the list of fiction authors the library happens to get in. Altogether, I estimate this should take roughly until the end of March.

As for the Bible,  because Johnstone asked, I am not going to read that in one end-to-end go through or have a review of it. I will be discussing the Bible as I normally do on here and will be reading it, but I’ve already read the entire book. I’ve read the NT through a half-dozen times and I’ve read the OT (excepting the prophets) through about 3 times, and I’ve read all the prophets at least once. That’s not including all the Bible studies, readings that were not end-to-end, a quarter century of regular church, and so on. While not a Biblical scholar, I believe I am sufficiently conversant on the scripture for the purposes of the project.

On the advice of Tim, I’ve added Musashi and Taiko to the fiction section (although, I know they’re somewhat biographical) as they seem to be good books on martial manhood and conquering one’s self. I’ve also added Whose Justice, Which Rationality, the sequel to MacIntyre’s After Virtue, and Outline of Sanity after talking to a friend.

I will not be adding “opposing viewpoints” such as Das Kapital for the reasons Johnstone outlined here.


  1. I wish you well on your reading, this is quite a serious list. I don’t envy you the reading of a few of the books that you have picked, Man, economy, and state, is rough going even though it is quite interesting.

    Johnstone’s argument against the socialists being added to the list makes a lot of sense.

  2. Nice. I always find it interesting what other red pill meb decide on as a reading list. I’ll look out for your enjoy the decline review. Been considering putting it into my own list

  3. @Free Northerner

    Wonderful. I will definitely be following you on this journey. I think the format you’ve described makes great sense.

    There was a comment thread at Unqualified Reservations recently (recently for that blog) in which several commenters suggested defanging the Cathedral by excising “general education” requirements from the curriculum. I responded with the opinion that this was the wrong way to go about things; what we need is not a removal of “general education”, but a restoration of such requirements as they were originally intended. If I could have described what format such a restoration might take, this project would be pretty close to what I think is necessary.

    As Tim says, this is a serious undertaking. I commit and I hope other blog readers will commit to encouraging and supporting you in this endeavor. I, for one, will have a greater incentive to read the books in a timely fashion knowing that you and perhaps others are also working towards the same common goal.

    Have you considered a complete syllabus? I have some thoughts on what order I might read these (beyond the first three as mentioned), but I will hold them for now. Part of the expected benefit (for me anyways) is in reading these and following Free Northerner’s reading as a member of a blog community, and not simply doing things on my own and my own way. I admit to the preconceived notion that being a free-thinking man is a lot easier with the support and encouragement of other free-thinking men.

  4. @ Tim: Thanks for the encouragement. I know some of this will be dry, so I’m hoping I don’t get bogged down.

    @ Leap: You can look forward to it. I’ll put it up as soon as the book is delivered and read.

    @ Chevalier: A general education in the classics would be a great boon to society, but I don’t think that will happen as long as the education system insists on its current regime of diversity and equality.

    As for a syllabus, I haven’t figured one out yet; I was mostly planning to play it by ear. Once I get the above books done, I’m thinking of starting with a couple of the basic economics books, then moving through the freedom politics list, interspersed with some of the books from other categories, but I’m not sure yet.

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