Sunday, December 12, 2004

Classics of Conservatism - Book of the Month - part II - The People's Pottage

Today's book recommendation comes a little early in the month so as to allow time for Christmas.

We all know that the modern conservatives are great. Books by Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity have much to teach us. But as I said in my first "Book of the Month" post:

While I don't want to slight today's bestsellers, we have much to learn from the books that provided the roots and backbone of the modern conservative movement. Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh didn't become conservative by listening to talk radio and surfing the internet. Their conservatism ran and runs deeper. Talk radio and the blogosphere are great, but the programs that appear in those media constitute only "entry level" conservatism.

Today's book influenced many years of conservative thinkers. The People's Pottage was published as three separate essays by Garet Garrett over 15 years. These essays were compiled into one book in 1954.

Garrett's thesis was that the New Deal constituted a revolution in the worst sense of the word. The New Deal forever changed government and a created a European style system where government was no longer bound by its original constraints. The consequences for our liberties and the soundness of our economics would be profound and long-lasting. We live with those consequences today.

Today, we take for granted the government's oppressive role in all of our lives, both economically and otherwise. Time has robbed us of our perspective. Reading Garrett will return that perspective to us so that we may understand where we came from and to where we are headed. Here is a typical passage:
There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom.

This and other books will provide the deep philosophical basis for our conservatism and our opposition to the very government programs that will destroy our freedoms.

Despite being a deep and thoughtful work, The People's Pottage is an easy read, containing beautiful prose, concise history and thoughtful analogies. It will make you think without making you work.

The original edition hardback and later reprint paperbacks can be found here.

The 50 year anniversary edition is linked on the right.

My Garet Garret blog is here.

1954 edition

50 year anniversary edition

  • People's Pottage - permalink
  • Economics in One Lesson - permalink
  • Why Johnny Can't Read- permalink
  • Locations of visitors to this page