Some years before the start of the Trump era, Five Books approached a number of conservative commentators and politicians and asked them to recommend the books that, for them, defined conservatism. The outcome of those ten interviews, conducted by the author and journalist Jonathan Rauch, who is also a senior fellow at Brookings, are listed below.
After the interviews were complete, we asked the panel to vote on which of the 50 or so books that had been chosen were the most important in the conservative canon. Here’s the outcome of the voting, with all the books that got 5 or more votes:
Witness by Whittaker Chambers (9 votes)
The Road to Serfdom by Frederich Hayek (9 votes)
Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (6 votes)
The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay (6 votes)
Free to Choose by Milton Friedman (5 votes)
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill (5 votes)
Thinking about Crime by James Q Wilson (5 votes)
Not interested in conservatism? We also interviewed ten progressive commentators and politicians. That series can be found here.