History

Archived items are listed in reverse order of publication date.

The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto

Great Islamic Thinkers Versus Islam

Examines the Golden Age of Islam and considers the ideas of some of its leading thinkers, telling “a story of great achievements—and their rejection; of great heroes—and their defeat; of great minds—and their suppression; ultimately, of great danger—and its cancerous growth.”

The Dictator’s Learning Curve: Inside the Global Battle for Democracy by William J. Dobson

Why Marxism? Evil Laid Bare

Examines key ideas that have driven Marxists and socialists?from Asian and European dictators to American college professors?to enact or advocate an ideology that is historically and philosophically pure evil.

Farnsworth's Classical English Rhetoric, by Ward Farnsworth

The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis by Robert R. Reilly

The 7 Principles of Zionism: A Values-Based Approach to Israel Advocacy by Dan Illouz

Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism by Ann Coulter

Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–1962 by Frank Dikötter

Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott

Dare to Stand Alone: The Story of Charles Bradlaugh, Atheist and Republican by Bryan Niblett

Interview with Historian John David Lewis about U.S. Foreign Policy and the Middle East (accessible for free)

The Mastermind behind SEAL Team Six and the End of Osama bin Laden

Surveys the history and principles that have given rise to the breathtaking competence of U.S. special operations forces, and finds that one man is primarily responsible.

Gauntlet: Five Friends, 20,000 Enemy Troops, and the Secret That Could Have Changed the Course of the Cold War by Barbara Masin

Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben Macintyre

James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railroad

Tells the story of how a real-life Nat Taggart created one of the most life-serving industrial concerns ever to grace the face of the Earth.

Walt Disney’s EPCOT: The City of Tomorrow that Might Have Been

Shows how this man of the mind designed and strove to develop a city of technology, industry, and commerce like none other to this day.

A Symphony of History: Will Durant’s The Story of Civilization

Examines this defining work of yet another man of the mind, showing, among other things, the remarkable scope and integration of Durant’s multivolume world history.

The King’s Speech, directed by Tom Hooper

Andrew Carnegie: The Richest Man in the World

Surveys the life of the great tycoon and finds him to be rich in more ways than one.

Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire That Civilized the Wild West, by Stephen Fried

The British Industrial Revolution: A Tribute to Freedom and Human Potential

Surveys the essential history of the British Industrial Revolution, showing that what made this period so remarkably productive was its substantial economic freedom, which unleashed countless industrious minds to solve problems of human survival and prosperity.

The Curious Life of Richard Feynman

Examines the life of Richard Feynman, and finds this great scientist and educator to be heroic in more ways than meet the eye.

Herman Boerhaave: The Nearly Forgotten Father of Modern Medicine

Looks at the accomplishments and legacy of a great hero of science, Herman Boerhaave, the nearly forgotten father of modern medicine, who may well be responsible for the fact that you are still alive.

Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History, by John David Lewis

Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism, by Susan Jacoby

The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450, 2nd ed., by David C. Lindberg

That First Season, by John Eisenberg

Norman Borlaug: The Man Who Taught People To Feed Themselves

Tells the story of a little-known scientist whose independence, innovations, and passion for his work spawned an agricultural revolution that saved hundreds of millions of people from starvation.

Why Are Jews Liberals? by Norman Podhoretz

Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, edited by Robert Mayhew

The Sparrowhawk Series, by Edward Cline

Newton and the Counterfeiter: the Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist, by Thomas Levenson

The Barbary Wars and Their Lesson for Combating Piracy Today

Examines the key events surrounding the Barbary Wars (two wars the United States fought in the early 19th century to end North African piracy), zeros in on the reasons why the First Barbary War failed to end the pirate attacks but the second succeeded, and draws from this remarkable and clarifying history a vital lesson for the United States today.

The Rise of American Big Government:
A Brief History of How We Got Here

Focuses on the historical details of how American government, fueled by altruism, has become the rights-violating, economy-wrecking behemoth it is today.

Justice Holmes and the Empty Constitution (accessible for free)

Examines the meaning and consequences of Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous dissent in Lochner v. New York, showing how and why it has devastated American jurisprudence, and indicating what future jurists must grasp and do in order to begin reversing the damage.

Energy at the Speed of Thought:
The Original Alternative Energy Market (accessible for free)

Surveys the history of the U.S. energy industry, with special emphasis on oil as the lifeblood of the modern world and on freedom as the condition that enabled oilmen to make it flow.

A Brief History of U.S. Farm Policy and the
Need for Free-Market Agriculture

Shows how the USDA has grown from a small, seemingly innocuous bureau promoting agricultural research to today’s freedom-thwarting, rights-violating, market-crushing behemoth.

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and the World Today (accessible for free)

An Interview with Yaron Brook

Explains why, more than fifty years ago, Rand was able to project the kinds of crises we are seeing today.

Lest We Be Doomed to Repeat It

A Survey of Amity Shlaes’s History of the Great Depression

Provides an essentialized chronology of the era, focusing on the (ominously familiar sounding) policies of Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Demystifying Newton: The Force Behind the Genius

Presents key evidence in support of the basic motive that drove Isaac Newton to decode the nature of the physical world, and leaves the widely accepted Freudian view of his motive wanting.

Errors in Inductive Reasoning

Examines several illustrative cases in which scientists failed to employ the principles of inductive logic properly and thereby arrived at faulty conclusions.

New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America, by Burton Folsom Jr.

Better Day Coming: Blacks and Equality, 1890–2000, by Adam Fairclough

Deeper Than Kelo: The Roots of the Property Rights Crisis

Surveys the pivotal historic events that paved the way for today's flagrant violations of property rights in America, documents the United States Supreme Court's indifference to and complicity in the crimes in question, and indicates the solution to the crisis.

How the FDA Violates Rights and Hinders Health

Surveys the history, nature, and consequences of this behemoth government agency; shows that it is impractical and immoral; and indicates how, in the absence of the FDA, the free market could provide the highest possible level of drug safety and efficacy.

Vindicating Capitalism: The Real History of the Standard Oil Company (accessible for free)

Examines the inception and rise of Standard Oil, demonstrates that the company’s immense success was the result not of so-called “anti-competitive” practices or “predatory pricing” but of its superior efficiency and productivity, and does long-overdo justice to one of the greatest producers of life-serving values in history: John D. Rockefeller.

Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society, by Laura J. Snyder (accessible for free)

Darwin and the Discovery of Evolution

Surveys Darwin’s education, work experience, expeditions, and inquiries; examines his observation-based, hands-on approach to gathering data from which to draw conclusions; and highlights the objectivity and truth of his consequent theory of evolution.

Isaac Newton: Discoverer of Universal Laws

Examines key aspects of Newton’s discoveries, shows how he embraced and employed the scientific context established by giants who came before him (such as Galileo and Kepler), and indicates how he rose to even greater heights of explanation through a breathtaking unity of observation, experimentation, conceptual expansion, concept formation, generalization, induction.

Instrumentalism and the Disintegration of American Tort Law

Illustrates the utter insanity of today’s liability law, recounts the roots and original purpose of the law of torts, surveys the missing links and corrupt ideas that led to its destruction, and sheds light on the path to identifying a sound body of principles that will ground this field in the ultimate purpose of objective law: the protection of individual rights.

“Gifts from Heaven”: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945

Identifies the ideology of sacrifice behind the Japanese aggression that culminated in World War II; documents America’s recognition of this ideology as the fundamental cause of the Japanese assault on the West; explains how America targeted, dismantled, and discredited this ideology, replacing it with the ideas, values, and institutions necessary for the establishment of a free society; and defends America’s use of the atomic bomb as a profoundly moral way to end the war.

The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History (accessible for free)

Presents an essentialized history of usury, showing that, just as moneylenders are being damned and blamed for today's "sub-prime mortgage crisis," so they have been condemned and castigated for alleged wrongdoing from the beginning of Western civilization. Brook zeros in on the economic and moral premises that give rise to contempt for this profession; he identifies the moral-practical dichotomy inherent in these ideas; and he discusses a unified set of principles that must be understood and embraced if moneylending is to be seen as the noble business that it actually is.

“The Balm for a Guilty Conscience”: Moral Paralysis, Appeasement, and the Causes of World War II

Shows how altruism and egalitarianism—combined with guilt caused by these same factors in regard to World War I—led to British appeasement and compromise in the late 1930s, which, in turn, enabled the rise of Nazi Germany and necessitated World War II.

The Rise and Fall of Ancient Greek Justice: Homer to the Sermon on the Mount

Surveys the ancient Greek conception of justice and shows how this relatively healthy idea is later twisted into utter malignancy by Christianity.

Induction and Experimental Method

Examines the key experiments involved in Galileo’s kinematics and Newton’s optics, identifies the essential methods by which these scientists achieved their discoveries, and illustrates the principle that induction is inherent in valid conceptualization.

The Tragedy of Theology: How Religion Caused and Extended the Dark Ages (accessible for free)

A Critique of Rodney Stark’s The Victory of Reason

Critiques Rodney Stark’s best-selling book The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success. Bernstein’s analysis proves Stark’s thesis to be historically false and philosophically impossible. The fundamental factor that led to freedom, capitalism, and Western success, Bernstein shows, was not the Christian, scripture-based approach of applying “reason” to the goal of understanding “super-nature,” but rather the Aristotelian, observation-based method of applying reason to the goal of understanding actual nature.

“No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism (accessible for free)

Consults historical precedent to evaluate America’s response to the attacks of 9/11. Considering key historical attacks against America, along with her responses to those attacks, Lewis highlights the moral and practical issues involved, and draws vital lessons that Americans must grasp and apply in the current war—if we want to win it.

The Decline and Fall of American Conservatism (accessible for free)

Examines today's putatively splintered conservative movement, zeros in on the essence of its two dominant factions, and shows the movement to be only superficially split while fundamentally unified—and stultified—by the conservatives' universal acceptance of a morality that is antithetical to liberty.

William Tecumseh Sherman and the Moral Impetus for Victory

Presents the essential history of Sherman's march, showing how Sherman developed and implemented his ideas that lead to the North's victory in the Civil War, and drawing the moral lessons we can learn from this great man about how to properly approach and quickly defeat enemies of freedom.

The 19th-Century Atomic War

Demonstrates the power of philosophy in the field of physics by presenting the 19th-century experimental evidence in support of the atomic theory, and by showing how 19th-century physicists—in the grips of post-Kantian philosophy—belligerently dismissed the evidence and steadfastly denied the existence of atoms.

Enlightenment Science and Its Fall

Examines the profound philosophical history surrounding the rise and fall of reason as the recognized method of scientific inquiry in the 18th and 19th centuries.