100 books like The Law by Frederic Bastiat

By Frédéric Bastiat,

Here are 100 books that The Law by Frederic Bastiat fans have personally recommended if you like The Law by Frederic Bastiat. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Economics in One Lesson

Caleb S. Fuller Author Of No Free Lunch: Six Economic Lies You've Been Taught And Probably Believe

From my list on the economic point of view.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an associate professor of economics at Grove City College, where I love introducing students to the economic point of view. My first book, listed below, pursues the relentless logic of tradeoffs. My second book (co-authored with Art Carden), Mere Economics: Lessons for and from the Ordinary Business of Life, is due out in early 2025. It examines how human beings expand their options through cooperation. For me, internalizing the economic point of view is a lifelong project. I think it will become yours, too, if you try these books! 

Caleb's book list on the economic point of view

Caleb S. Fuller Why did Caleb love this book?

This is the rare book that is as eye-opening for the novice in economics as it is stimulating for the professional economist. Hazlitt will show you why economics is the golden key to unlocking an endless series of social mysteries.

If you really take his classic 1946 “Lesson” to heart, you can outthink many professional economists who have mistaken mathematical pyrotechnics for economic insight. 

By Henry Hazlitt,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Economics in One Lesson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With over a million copies sold, Economics in One Lesson is an essential guide to the basics of economic theory. A fundamental influence on modern libertarianism, Hazlitt defends capitalism and the free market from economic myths that persist to this day.

Considered among the leading economic thinkers of the “Austrian School,” which includes Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich (F.A.) Hayek, and others, Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993), was a libertarian philosopher, an economist, and a journalist. He was the founding vice-president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an early editor of The Freeman magazine, an influential libertarian publication.  Hazlitt wrote…


Book cover of Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Brian Balfour Author Of Economics in Action

From my list on books to learn Austrian economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent the last 17 years leveraging my Master’s degree in economics as a public policy analyst focusing on educating legislators and the public about the consequences of economic public policy. I’ve also taught several economic courses as an adjunct at a small university and area community college. Spreading sound economic knowledge is important to me. History–and the present day–is full of tragic tales of suffering in societies that failed to heed the lessons of sound economics. Sadly, however, the majority of Americans are either uneducated or mis-educated in economics. My passion is to advance economic understanding among citizens–especially young people–in order to correct that.

Brian's book list on books to learn Austrian economics

Brian Balfour Why did Brian love this book?

Mises was often referred to as the “godfather of Austrian Economics” for his voluminous contributions to economic science. This book is his most well-known and hefty treatise. 

Mises expertly walks the reader through his explanation of economics being a branch of praxeology, the study of the implications of human action. With a passionate writing style, Mises pulls no punches on his critics while providing the reader with a graduate-level economic education without the often-confusing technical jargon academic courses often impose on students.

Mises uses explanatory language rather than mathematical equations and graphs to make his points. The book is not light reading, however, and should not be attempted without first gaining some understanding of the Austrian School of Economics. And weighing in at nearly 900 pages, expect to set aside some time to get through it. But it will be time well spent.

By Ludwig von Mises,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Human Action as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Human Action, Mises starts from the ideas set forth in his Theory and History that all actions and decisions are based on human needs, wants, and desires and continues deeper and further to explain how studying this human action is not only a legitimate science (praxeology) but how that science is based on the foundation of free-market economics.

Mises presents and discusses all existing economic theories and then proceeds to explain how the only sensible, realistic, and feasible theory of economics is one based on how the needs and desires of human beings dictate trends, affect profits and losses,…


Book cover of How the West Grew Rich: The Economic Transformation of the Industrial World

Richard G. Lipsey Author Of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

From my list on how technologies have transformed our societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In spite of many setbacks, living standards have trended upwards over the last 10,000 years. One of my main interests as an economist has been to understand the sources of this trend and its broad effects. The key driving force is new technologies. We are better off than our Victorian ancestors, not because we have more of what they had but because we have new things, such as airplanes and indoor plumbing. However, these new technologies have also brought some unfortunate side effects. We need to understand that dealing with these successfully depends, not on returning to the use of previous technologies, but on developing newer technologies such as wind and solar power.

Richard's book list on how technologies have transformed our societies

Richard G. Lipsey Why did Richard love this book?

This highly readable, best-selling book explains how the West’s free-market economies grew rich while others stagnated. (1) The West provided the freedom to innovate in products processes and organizations while other societies resisted these activities. (2) The West’s diffusion of economic power from a centralised political sphere to a decentralized economic sphere was essential in establishing and maintaining this freedom. (3) The West’s market-based institutions allowed successful innovators to earn large gains while unsuccessful innovators and non-innovating firms suffered losses. (4) The growth of Western science nurtured economic growth produced by innovators who were typically well-versed in engineering and Newtonian mechanistic science.

By Nathan Rosenberg, L.E. Birdzell, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How the West Grew Rich as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How did the West,Europe, Canada, and the United States,escape from immemorial poverty into sustained economic growth and material well-being when other societies remained trapped in an endless cycle of birth, hunger, hardship, and death? In this elegant synthesis of economic history, two scholars argue that it is the political pluralism and the flexibility of the West's institutions,not corporate organization and mass production technology,that explain its unparalleled wealth.


Book cover of The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism

Peter T. Leeson Author Of WTF?! An Economic Tour of the Weird

From my list on economics and political economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter T. Leeson is the author of the award-winning The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates and Anarchy Unbound: Why Self-Governance Works Better than You Think. He is the Duncan Black Professor of Economics and Law at George Mason University. Big Think counted Peter among “Eight of the World’s Top Young Economists.”

Peter's book list on economics and political economy

Peter T. Leeson Why did Peter love this book?

A key insight of economics is the power of markets to organize human affairs. The Machinery of Freedom takes that insight to the limit. How might society work if even governmental functions were organized using markets? Friedman’s answer will surprise and challenge you. And whether you come away convinced or not, you will come away with a better understanding of markets.

By David Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Machinery of Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book argues for a society organized by voluntary cooperation under institutions of private property and exchange with little, ultimately no, government. It describes how the most fundamental functions of government might be replaced by private institutions, with services such as protecting individual rights and settling disputes provided by private firms in a competitive market. It goes on to use the tools of economic analysis to attempt to show how such institutions could be expected to work, what sort of legal rules they would generate, and under what circumstances they would or would not be stable. The approach is consequentialist.…


Book cover of Economic Sophisms and "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen"

Jeffrey A. Miron Author Of Libertarianism, from A to Z

From my list on Libertarianism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jeffrey Miron has taught a popular course on libertarian principles at Harvard for 17 years, explaining how to apply libertarianism to economic and social affairs. Miron also serves as the Vice President for Research at the libertarian Cato Institute. Miron has a consistent track record of defending libertarian policies, such as the legalization of all drugs, vastly expanded legal immigration (perhaps to the point of open borders), drastically reduced government expenditure, and substantial deregulation.

Jeffrey's book list on Libertarianism

Jeffrey A. Miron Why did Jeffrey love this book?

Bastiat was a 19th-century French economist, writer, and politician. Economic Sophisms is a collection of short and enjoyable essays illustrating the case for free trade and attacking some economic misconceptions. Many of the essays’ themes and arguments are relevant today, and Bastiat’s critiques of big government are often witty.

In one essay, Bastiat presents a “candlemakers petition” to the parliament for protection against the unfair competition of sunlight, which was flooding the market with a superior product at virtually zero price. Modern critiques of zero price “monopolists” (e.g., Facebook or Google) should take note!

In What is Seen and Not Seen Bastiat introduces the “parable of the broken window” to show that economic resources are fundamentally scarce: resources expended on one activity are not available for others. Centuries later, many policymakers are yet to grasp this insight.

By Frédéric Bastiat,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Economic Sophisms and "What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen" as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This volume, the third in our Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat, includes two of Bastiat’s best-known works, the collected Economic Sophisms and the pamphlet What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen. We are publishing here for the first time in English the Third Series of Economic Sophisms, which Bastiat had planned but died before he could complete the project.

Both Economic Sophisms and What Is Seen and What Is Not Seen share similar stylistic features and were written with much the same purpose in mind, to disabuse people of misperceptions they might have had about the benefits of free…


Book cover of Classical Political Economy and Rise to Dominance of Supply and Demand Theories

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From my list on becoming a critical economist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Alex M. Thomas Why did Alex love this book?

I first purchased and read this book as a senior undergraduate student not knowing anything about the author.

Little did I know that this book would later play an important role in not only understanding the limitations of mainstream economics but also in providing me with an alternative approach to make sense of our economic surroundings. 

Bharadwaj’s book is truly a classic and one that I always recommend to my students. 

Her book continues to inspire and educate me.

Book cover of Studies in the History of Latin American Economic Thought

Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak Author Of The Political Economy of Latin American Independence

From my list on the history of political economy in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Brazilian economist working in Paris and dedicated to historical scholarship. I have always been deeply impressed by the political weight carried by economic arguments across Latin America. Debates on economic policy are typically contentious everywhere, but in Latin America, your alignment with different traditions of political economy can go a long way to determine your intellectual and political identity. At the same time, our condition as peripheral societies – and hence net importers of ideas from abroad – raises perennial questions about the meaning of a truly Latin American political economy. I hope this list will be a useful entry point for people similarly interested in these problems.

Carlos' book list on the history of political economy in Latin America

Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak Why did Carlos love this book?

A living illustration of the nexus between Rumania and Latin America in the field of political economy, this work is the English translation of a monograph written in Spanish by Popescu, a Rumanian economist who emigrated to Argentina after WWII.

Still unparalleled in scope, the book retraces the evolution of political economy in Spanish America since the early days of European domination in the continent, highlighting the dissemination of scholastic, physiocratic, and classical economic doctrines as well as their transformation in the hands of Latin Americans.

Tellingly, Raúl Prebisch does not occupy center stage, appearing instead as a simple epilogue to the long odyssey chronicled by Popescu.

By Oreste Popescu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Studies in the History of Latin American Economic Thought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first study of the development of economic thought in Latin America. It traces the development of economic ideas during five centuries and across the whole continent. It addresses a wide range of approaches to economic issues including:
* the scholastic tradition in Latin American economies
* the quantity theory of money
* cameralism
* human captal theory.


Book cover of If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics

Nancy Folbre Author Of The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems

From my list on feminist political economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family exposed to great contrasts of poverty and wealth, in which women were always the ones expected to ‘make nice.” I’ve long been fascinated by the parallels among unfair inequalities based on gender, sexuality, age, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and class, and the ways in which these inequalities are disguised, justified, or just plain ignored. This fascination has driven my successful and very lucky career as a socialist feminist economist and public intellectual.

Nancy's book list on feminist political economy

Nancy Folbre Why did Nancy love this book?

A great—and very readable--explanation of how unpaid work, including care for dependents, has been rendered economically invisible. You may consider the “national income accounts” a hopelessly boring topic. This book will change your mind, and economists today are actually paying attention to it. Sooner rather than later the very concept of “income” is going to be redefined.

By Marilyn Waring,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked If Women Counted as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a revolutionary and powerfully argued feminist analysis of modern economics, revealing how woman's housework, caring of the young, sick and the old is automatically excluded from value in economic theory. An example of this pervasive and powerful process is the United Nation System of National Accounts which is used for wars and determining balance of payments and loan requirements. The author has also written "Women, Politics and Power" and is a formidable force in the politics of New Zealand, serving three terms in Parliament and helping bring down a Prime Minister. She holds a doctorate in political economy…


Book cover of The Science of Wealth: Adam Smith and the Framing of Political Economy

Alex M. Thomas Author Of Macroeconomics: An Introduction

From my list on becoming a critical economist.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the dissemination of economic ideas both inside and outside university spaces. In addition to classroom lectures at my university, I give a lot of public lectures on economics. Through these talks, I introduce the audience to the tradition of doing economics using a critical perspective. I have an MA and MPhil in Economics from the University of Hyderabad and a PhD in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Alex's book list on becoming a critical economist

Alex M. Thomas Why did Alex love this book?

I first read Aspromourgos’s book on Adam Smith in 2010 or thereabouts.

I was immediately hooked because of the attention to detail visible in his interpretation of Smith’s economics. And the rigour and depth of his writing. 

The book places Smith’s economics within a rich historical context by paying close attention to his economic vocabulary.

Aspromourgos diligently provides us with a persuasive account of Smith’s economic theory in the tradition of classical political economy and rightly argues that it cannot be viewed as an inferior version of marginalist economics. 

In this book, you will find not just Smith’s economics and its history but also insights from philosophy and politics, both essential, I think, to become a critical economist.

By Tony Aspromourgos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Science of Wealth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This study clarifies the character of 'political economy' as a distinct and separable intellectual discipline in the generic sense, in the texts of Adam Smith. It focuses upon the scope and fundamental conceptualizations of the new science. Smith's conceptualization of economic analysis is shown to constitute a unified intellectual piece for understanding economic society and its dynamics. Smith's fundamental economic language is exhaustively examined, in all his texts, with a view to clarifying the meaning of the basic concepts of his system. As well, the 'prehistories' of those concepts, in literature prior to Smith, back to the earliest times, are…


Book cover of Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics

Nancy Folbre Author Of The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems

From my list on feminist political economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a family exposed to great contrasts of poverty and wealth, in which women were always the ones expected to ‘make nice.” I’ve long been fascinated by the parallels among unfair inequalities based on gender, sexuality, age, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and class, and the ways in which these inequalities are disguised, justified, or just plain ignored. This fascination has driven my successful and very lucky career as a socialist feminist economist and public intellectual.

Nancy's book list on feminist political economy

Nancy Folbre Why did Nancy love this book?

This classic anthology reveals “rational economic man” as a naked and misshapen emperor pretending to be grandly dressed. While unpacking the androcentric (and plain old sexist) assumptions of conventional economic theory, it also provides rich examples of new ways of explaining the links between gender, care, and inequality.

By Marianne A. Ferber, Julie A. Nelson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beyond Economic Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first book to examine the central tenets of economics from a feminist point of view. In these original essays, the authors suggest that the discipline of economics could be improved by freeing itself from masculine biases. Beyond Economic Man raises questions about the discipline not because economics is too objective but because it is not objective enough. The contributors--nine economists, a sociologist, and a philosopher--discuss the extent to which gender has influenced both the range of subjects economists have studied and the way in which scholars have conducted their studies. They investigate, for example, how masculine concerns…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the political economy, economics, and rhetoric?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the political economy, economics, and rhetoric.

The Political Economy Explore 40 books about the political economy
Economics Explore 392 books about economics
Rhetoric Explore 54 books about rhetoric