Lawrence W. Reed's books

America’s Money: A History

Featuring essays by economists and historians such as Robert P. Murphy, George Selgin, Lawrence H. White, Warren Gibson, Richard Timberlake, Burton Folsom, Clarence Carson, James Bovard, Thomas J. DiLorenzo, Gerald P. O’Driscoll and yours truly.

Topics covered over 24 chapters include private coinage, free banking, the Fed, the forgotten 1921 depression, the gold standard, and much more. A great companion text for any course in U.S. monetary history.

When Money Goes Bad

The collection of essays previously published by the Foundation for Economic Education recounts many historical examples of extreme inflation. But anyone who believes it’s all in the past and can’t happen again (it’s happening right now in 2018 in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe), should think again. Given the same ideas, policies and circumstances that produced it so frequently in the past, it can surely reappear—anywhere.

The XYZ’s of Socialism

Power may well be the most corrosive, character-destroying, society-demolishing weapon in Evil’s arsenal. But in the name of doing good, socialists always want more of it, and they want it nicely concentrated in the hands of those who say they know best. So don’t judge socialism by its velvet glove and ignore the iron fist within it. Look beyond its ABC’s and get to the end of it all—its XYZ’s.

The Silver Trumpet of Freedom: Black Emancipators and Entrepreneurs

This collection of essays emphasizes eternal principles that should be celebrated in all months of the year, not only Black History Month: fairness, equality before the law, personal integrity, courage, and speaking truth to power, wealth creation and entrepreneurship, treating your fellow citizens with love and respect. Those principles are the very foundations of a free society.

Great Myths of the Great Depression

Students today are often given a skewed account of the Great Depression of 1929-1941 that condemns free-market capitalism as the cause of, and promotes government intervention as the solution to, the economic hardships of the era. In this essay based on a popular lecture, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) President Lawrence W. Reed debunks this conventional view and traces the central role that poor government policy played in fostering this legendary catastrophe.

Are We Good Enough for Liberty?

"If you do not govern yourself, you will be governed." -Lawrence W. Reed 

In “Are We Good Enough for Liberty?”, Lawrence W. Reed establishes, through stories and lessons from across the world, the indispensable connection between liberty and character and explains why, throughout history, "no people who lost their character kept their liberty." This new edition includes a new companion essay "Liberty as a Life Philosophy" by Lawrence W. Reed. 

Striking the Root

In this volume, Lawrence W. Reed identifies the root of many of America's evils today: a failure to recognize that government rests on the use of force. This fundamental feature of government may be a boon when used to protect our individual freedoms, but it is a bane when used to diminish these freedoms in pursuit of a political faction's idea of a good cause. This volume draws primarily on his past columns for The Freeman, an unpretentious magazine with a resonant voice that has reached some of America's most prominent people, including a onetime presidential hopeful named Ronald Reagan. In that tradition of plain speaking, Reed demonstrates that the clarion call of liberty will always find an audience, even in a world clamoring for chains.

Are We Rome?

Monumental sums for corporate bailouts. Staggering increases in public debt. Concentration of power in the central government. These are only some of the economic issues the United States is facing. In this illuminating essay, Lawrence W. Reed, president of FEE, discusses 21st century America and how similar it is to the ill-fated Roman welfare state of two millennia ago. 

A Republic—If We Can Keep It

A collection of essays by Lawrence W. Reed and historian Burton W. Folsom, Jr. that surveys the economic history of the United States and the modern world. Along the way, they dismiss commonly-held fallacies and present the stories of the individuals who changed history and expanded liberty for everyone.

Excuse Me, Professor

There’s little truly “progressive” about progressivism. True progress happens when people are free, yet the progressive agenda substantially diminishes freedom while promising the unachievable. Excuse Me, Professor provides a handy reference for anyone actively engaged in advancing liberty, with essential essays debunking more than 50 progressive clichés.

Does the free market truly ignore the poor? Are humans really destroying the Earth? Is the government truly the first best source to relieve distress?

Compiled and edited by Lawrence W. Reed in collaboration with the Foundation for Economic Education and Young America's Foundation, this anthology is an indispensable addition to every freedom lover's collection.

Real Heroes


The concise and compelling Real Heroes gives us forty flesh-and-blood models of character in action, showing us how to put principles to work in everyday life. 

“We learn by stories, and this powerful, well-written book gives us forty superb ones. They couldn’t be more timely in an age that is experiencing too much bluster, blather, exhibitionism, and ignorance. Real Heroes will inspire us all to nurture the better angels of our nature.” Steve Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Media

The Great Hope

The Great Hope: Essays on Character and Liberty offers 32 brief essays that originated as columns in the local newspaper in Newnan, Georgia, where Lawrence W. Reed lives. These essays “inspire, educate, and connect,” to use a phrase from FEE’s mission statement. The subjects are wide-ranging (from Calvin Coolidge to corporate welfare), but are held together by two central themes—liberty and character, and how one depends upon the other.
Liberty and character are the stuff of great nations. They are our “great hope,” as the anthology’s title suggests. Without them, we wither and die as individuals and then as a people. That’s why easy-to-understand, quick-to-read, handy-to-pass-along books that champion those values are vital.
Do you know someone who thinks that acts of destruction stimulate the economy? That the drug war is working? That politicians can plan an economy without screwing it up? Pass along this book to them. Have you ever wanted to give someone that one slim volume that, in an hour or two, could turn them on to freedom and free markets? The Great Hope just might do it.

Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist?

Rendering Unto Caesar: Was Jesus a Socialist? tackles head-on a persistent myth that has stymied individual freedom in many parts of the world. That myth takes many forms, but reduces to this: “You can’t be for capitalism or free markets and be a follower of Jesus at the same time.” 

For the first time in a short and readable form, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) president Lawrence W. Reed debunks these misconceptions in powerful, convincing ways. Though he frequently references Scripture, Reed makes it plain at the start that one doesn’t have to be a Christian to understand the importance of proper interpretation of Scripture, as well as history and economics. People who simply want sound analysis or good history will appreciate it even if they have no faith. 

Heroes of Liberty From Around The Globe

In my last book, Real Heroes: Inspiring True Stories of Courage, Character and Conviction, I wrote about 40 individuals whose views, decisions, and actions served this cause in various ways. That book planted the seed for a weekly series published on from December 2017 to May 2018. I was the editor and not the author for the essays in that series, and I was content to keep the edits to a minimum to preserve the author’s voice. Each author wrote about heroes for liberty who are (or were) citizens of his or her own country. Those essays now comprise the chapters in this eBook.

The lives of the men and women profiled here are testimonies to the best qualities of humanity. You’ll read stories of courage, of creativity, of great intellect, and of the immense power that emanates from principled character.