Since the invention of movable type by Gutenberg, books have been the principle means of great freethinking minds speaking to us through the ages, past and present, and thus it remains so to this day. In addition to advances in technology that have introduced the ability to create an Internet library and to deliver books via the Internet in digital format, the simple joy of holding a  book in one's hands, to turn the pages at one's own pace and the smell of the paper that represents the canvas on which the words must appear, will never lose its unique appeal.

In the spirit of reading a really good book or even, dare we hope, delivering the impact of a "eureka" moment, when the book profoundly inspires or connects in an almost unimaginable way, we present below an introductory list of ideas in print that are intended to inspire and even possibly ignite your own insight into the understanding of the pathways possible for our journey.
This "Bibliography", first, is organized using the following categories of knowledge:

                Physical Science | Biological Science | Social Science | Economics

And, second, is alphabetically ordered by author, not title. In this fashion, multiple works by such freethinking minds as Thomas Paine, Ludwig von Mises, Richard Dawkins and others may be reviewed for their collective content and possible selection. In addition, we've provided links to enable you to search directly from within this page without your having to open additional windows in your browser.
Also, book titles followed by an asterisk denote those that are in the public domain and are available for reading online or storing on your hard drives at no cost.  When you click on the book title link and arrive at the web page, refer to the "View the book" box on the left and select one of the readable formats.





Sir Isaac Newton: His Life and Work
by E.N. da C. Andrade, Anchor Books, Doubleday & Company, First Edition 1954

This concise biography of Sir Isaac Newton is notable for the clarity with which Edward Neville da Costa Andrade, himself a distinguished scientist, discussed Newton’s monumental discoveries and the changes they made in man’s view of the universe. Andrade treats the enigmatic personality of the great genius as fully as the science, and the combination makes this book the best brief introduction to Newton’s life and works now in print.

In addition, Andrade presents in Chapter 1 a chronological history of science before Newton which follows the ideologies of Newton’s greatest predecessors and whose works are those upon which Newton largely based his most important discoveries. This chronology is an excellent review of that scientific history and is one of the added benefits of reading this small but excellent book.

Sir Isaac Newton
by Colin Ronan, International Profiles, A. S. Barnes & Co., Inc., 1969

This is a very short but powerful commentary on Newton’s life as described, among others, by his younger contemporary, Alexander Pope who stated: "Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night: God said, Let Newton be! And all was light".

And his later giant, scientific successor, Einstein, who once said of Newton … “[he] stands before us, strong, certain, and alone: his joy in creation and his minute precision are evident in every word [that he wrote]”. Finally of Newton, Joseph Lagrange, who was one of those to spend years following up the scientific lead Newton had given, referred to him as “the greatest genius that ever existed”.

New Pathways In Science
by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, Ann Arbor Paperbacks, 1959 – PB

A lucid and accessible explanation of some of the most advanced scientific discoveries of the 20th century, including indeterminacy, quantum theory, the expanding universe, the constants of nature, and astrophysics, for scientists and non-scientists alike.

The Crime of Galileo
by Giorgio De Santillana, The University of Chicago Press, 1955

"In the gallery of what might be called the martyrs of thought, the image of Galileo recanting before the Italian Inquisition stirs the minds of educated modern men second only to the picture of Socrates drinking the Hemlock. That image of Galileo is out of focus . . . because it has been distorted by three centuries of rationalist prejudice and clerical polemics. To refocus it clearly, within the logic of its own time . . . de Santillana has written The Crime of Galileo, a masterly intellectual whodunit which traces not the life but the mental footsteps of Galileo on his road to personal tragedy."—Time
The Nature of the Physical World
by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, Ann Arbor Paperbacks – PB

Eddington's profound discussion of the nature of physical reality as we perceive it and as science describes it, and how the elusive quest for an "ultimate" reality has rocked the epistemological foundations of human knowledge; a reprint of the original 1928 edition.

The Philosophy of Physical Science

by Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, Ann Arbor Paperbacks – PB

The author states:
"This book contains the substance of the course of lectures which I delivered as Tarner Lecturer of Trinity College Cambridge in the Easter Term 1938. The lectures have afforded me an opportunity of developing more fully than in my earlier books the principles of philosophic thought associated with the modern advances of physical science.

“It is often said that there is no ‘philosophy of science’, but only the philosophies of certain scientists. But in so far as we recognize an authoritative body of opinion which decides what is and what is not accepted as present-day physics, there is an ascertainable present-day philosophy of physics. It is the philosophy to which those who follow the accepted practice of science stand committed by their practice. It is implicit in the methods by which they advance science, sometimes without fully understanding why they employ them, and in the procedure which they accept as giving assurance of truth, often without examining what kind of assurance it can give.”
This then, in the words of the author himself, is the exposition of a man who finds “no disharmony between a philosophy which embraces the wider significance of human experience and the specialized philosophy of physical science, even though the latter relates to a system of thought of recent growth whose stability is yet to be tested”.

If you are of a mind to tackle the intellect of one of the only contemporary living intellects of Einstein that could and did absorb and explain Einstein’s theories almost better than the innovator himself, this is a must read of the highest order.
The Wright Brothers: The Authorized Biography of Two Americans Whose Inventive Genius Changed the World
by Fred C. Kelly, Ballantine Books, 1975 – PB

The Wright brothers is a story of total adventure – the sharp physical adventure of flight in perilously frail machines, and the breathtaking intellectual adventure of minds discovering through tireless research and sudden, brilliant hunches the solution to the “impossible” problem of flight.

Fred Kelly was recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the Wright brothers – their growth, their struggles, their disappointments, and their ultimate triumph. For more than thirty years he was a personal friend of Orville Wright and talked with him daily while writing this book. The result is a vivid re-creation of the birth and pioneer days of aviation and an intimate, affection portrait of two men whose inventive genius changed the world.

Also, be sure to navigate to the website outlining The Wright-Smithsonian Feud that ensued during Orville's remaining life following the death of his brother, Wilbur. This is a classic example of denial of rightful ownership to a monumental achievement by none other than the bureaucratic institution that now proudly displays the machine that actually accomplished history.

Prodigal Genius: The Life of Nikola Tesla
by John J. O'Neill, Cosimo Books, 2006

Even the gods of old, in the wildest imaginings of their worshipers, never undertook such gigantic tasks of world-wide dimension as those which Tesla attempted and accomplished. -from Chapter One First published in 1944 and long a favorite of Tesla fans, this is a definitive biography of the man without whom modern civilization would not exist. Nikola Tesla, pioneer of electrical engineering, was a close friend of Pulitzer Prize-winning author O'Neill, and here, O'Neill captures the man as a scientist and as a public figure, exploring: how Tesla's father inspired his life in engineering, why Tesla clung to his theories of electricity in the face of opposition, how the shy but newly popular Tesla navigated the social life of New York in the gay 1890s, Tesla's friendship with Mark Twain, the story of Tesla's lost Nobel Prize, Tesla's dabblings in the paranormal and much more.
Darwin and The Beagle

by Alan Moorehead, Harper & Row, 1969 - HC

In 1831 Charles Darwin, aged twenty-two and fresh from Cambridge, was offered the post of naturalist on board HMS Beagle, a ten-gun brig sent by the Admiralty on a surveying voyage around the world. The voyage lasted five years, during which time the Beagle visited Brazil, Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, Chile, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, new Zealand, Australia and other countries and islands on the way.

For the young Darwin this was not only a great and exhilarating adventure, but the beginning of a whole new conception of the origin and evolution of the various species of life on earth, which, a few decades later, was to revolutionize most of the beliefs hitherto held sacred.

The Origin of Species
by Charles Darwin, Gramercy Books (Random House), 1979 - HC

On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature by Charles Darwin which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to The Origin of Species. Darwin's book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition (see Darwin and the Beagle immediately above) in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.

The Descent of Man and Selection In Relation To Sex

by Charles Darwin, Google eBook

The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex is a book on naturalist Charles Darwin, first published in 1871. It was Darwin's second book on evolutionary theory, following his 1859 work, On The Origin of Species. In The Descent of Man, Darwin applies evolutionary theory to human evolution, and details his theory of sexual selection. The book discusses many related issues, including evolutionary psychology, evolutionary ethics, differences between human races, differences between sexes, the dominant role of women in choosing mating partners, and the relevance of the evolutionary theory to society. 


Inclined To Liberty: The Futile Attempt To Suppress The Human Spirit
by Louis E. Carabini

In the words of the author: “I have often wondered why those with strong opinions about social affairs are always attracted toward one of two opposing poles. There are those inclined to liberty – freedom of the individual to live his or her life in any peaceful way. And there are those who are inclined to mastery – permitting others to live their lives only as another sees fit.

The Life of Thomas Paine *
by Moncure Daniel Conway, Benjamin Bloom, Inc., 1976

Moncure Conway presents his long-planned biography of the misunderstood Anglo-American revolutionary and fellow deist Thomas Paine, a man Conway had admired for decades.

The Writings of Thomas Paine
by Moncure Daniel Conway, Volume IV, G. P. Putnam’s Sons., 1896 – HC

Be sure to visit where all four volumes of Conway’s original The Writings of Thomas Paine have been reissued in digital format (Kindle) for free. This is an amazing offering not to be missed.

The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine
by Phillip S. Foner, Ed., Citadel Press, Inc., 1969 – HC, in slip case

This two-volume set includes all of the books, letters, pamphlets, essays, and dissertations written by the founder of the United States of America. Very limited quantities available.

Liberty: A Path to Its Recovery
by F.A. Harper, Foundation for Economic Education, 1949 – HC

Although categorized as an economist, this brilliant analysis of the central problem of the philosophy of human governance — the reconciliation of liberty and coercively enforced authority and the quest for a truly liberal society. Includes a preface by Dr. Han Sennholz.

Citadel, Market & Altar
by Spencer Heath, Science of Society Foundation, 1957 – HC

A Review by Roy Halliday: This book, written by the grandfather of Spencer Heath MacCallum, one of FNF's most admired contributors, reminds me of Isabel Patterson's God of the Machine. Both books provide sweeping interpretations of history from a libertarian perspective, and both books use terminology from the physical sciences to describe human society "scientifically." If you start reading Citadel, Market and Altar from the beginning, you are likely to give up quickly and do something else. I suspect that many readers quit this book before they get past the pages numbered with roman numerals. If my suspicion is correct, it is a shame, because they miss all the good parts.

Scipio Africanus: Greater Than Napoleon
by B. H. Liddell Hart, Da Capo Press, 1994

Scipio Africanus offers the strongest possible argument against the hypothesis put forward by some Marxists alleging that individuals have not mattered very much in history and what matters is only a series of impersonal trends and tendencies. Scipio Africanus, in a variety of different ways, left his individual stamp on history which would not have turned out in the same way, or at the very least, would have had an extremely different chronology if he had never existed.

In addition to his military genius, as the major topic of this book, Scipio’s fame and influence meant a great deal more with his moral and political accomplishments. For Rome’s victory over Carthage in the Second Punic War, in which Scipio played such a decisive part, meant that Rome had become not merely an Italian power but a Mediterranean power as well, a fact that was reinforced by Scipio’s subsequent activities in Asia. In other words, he played the leading role in the immensely significant process which made the Romans became the rulers of the western world for a considerable number of centuries to come.

As Paine was the principal influence and intellectual father of our nation with his pen, Scipio was the father of western civilization through his military conquests followed by his compassionate, moral and political acumen as a consummate administrator of the vanquished. This is a fascinating, must read historical account and would make a secondary school or even collegiate school book report project.

To claim a single individual is responsible for the establishment of the Roman empire, as opposed to a Carthaginian empire (about which one only can ponder), is simply remarkable. Hart accomplishes this and more with his wonderful, I don’t want it to end book.

Thomas Paine: Author of the Declaration of Independence
by Joseph Lewis, The Freethought Press Association, New York, 1947.

Joseph Lewis (June 11, 1889 - 1968) was an American freethinker and atheist activist, publisher, and litigator. During the mid-twentieth century, he was one of America’s most conspicuous public atheists, the other being Emanuel Haldeman-Julius. Born in Montgomery, Alabama to a Jewish family, he was forced by poverty to leave school at the age of nine to find employment. He read avidly, becoming self-educated. Lewis developed his ideas from reading, among others, Robert G. Ingersoll, whose published works made him aware of Thomas Paine. He later credited Paine’s Age of Reason with converting him to atheism.

Lewis believed that Thomas Paine was the true author of the Declaration of Independence, so arguing in his 1947 book Thomas Paine, Author of the Declaration of Independence. His other noteworthy publications included The Ten Commandments (1946), a massive justification for atheism, and An Atheist Manifesto (1954), published at the height of the Cold War to dispute popular ideas that atheism was un-American.

To Spit Against The Wind
by Benjamin H. Levin

Tom Paine was an innovator. He saw ways of doing things that no one had perceived clearly before. In his writing, he moved people to action with his visions. His most memorial work, a short pamphlet entitled Common Sense, fanned the flames of independence in the colonies to a fiery heat. This novel takes us from his early life in England, through the Revolutionary war in America, and later through his life during the French Revolution.

Thomas Paine: Collected Writings: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Aricles and Letters
by Thomas Paine,  Library of America – HC

As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he became one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. His ideas reflected Enlightenment era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination. In the minds of most, he will be judged as a genius in his ability to motivate people at all levels of early American society to understand ideas that, prior to his writings, may have been considered above and beyond the mental means of most who read his profoundly simple rhetoric for freedom.

Revolutionary Characters: What Made The Founders Different
by Gordon S. Wood, The Penguin Press - 2006

Once Thomas Jefferson realized in the immediate aftermath of the Revolution that he and his colleagues might become famous, he began to collect portraits and busts of those he came to call "American worthies." ... This book might be regarded as a written collection of these American worthies. 

However, more importantly, it is a chronicle of what sincere, just and worthy men wanted to establish for a deserving nation which came oh so close to achieving individual sovereignty. But, in the process of establishing this nation based on ideas, our forefathers opened the door to a more insidious form of human control which has culminated today in the systemic ill known as majority rule democracy controlled by the character of individuals who are anathema to every thing the founding fathers set out to achieve.

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The Tariff Idea
W.M. Curtiss, Foundation for Economic Education, 1972 – PB

An incisive analysis of why tariffs don't work—indeed, why they can't work; in one short and well-written book you will understand what politicians consistently fail to learn.

Why Wages Rise
by F.A. Harper, Foundation for Economic Education, 1972 – PB

Written in Harper's lucid style, this book is an extraordinary clear and understandable exposition of the subject of its self-descriptive title; out of print and difficult to find but available in PDF format by clicking on the title above.

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics
by Henry Hazlitt, Manor Books, 1975 – PB

This book explains in simple, direct language the fundamental principles of economics that most economists and virtually all politicians do not understand. It is essential reading for every person who wants to understand economics.

by Ludwig von Mises, Arlington House, 1969 - HC

Mises' 1944 book applies his insight concerning economic calculation to delineate the difference between bureaucratic management and profit-and-loss management in the free market. The implications of his argument are far reaching, for it shows that all types of public administration lack the ability to conduct their affairs in an economic rational manner.

Liberty is not a battle that requires the conversion of others in order to win. Liberty is won when you accept the idea that you are the sole master of your life, when your life is subordinate to none, and no other life is subordinate to yours. When you accept that idea, you are liberated. There will always be those who will claim to be your master, but you will know otherwise.”

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