Friday, November 25, 2011

Ron Mann's "Freedom" Reading List

Below are a list of great books, recommended by my father (Ron Mann), and me that will help you discover your American heritage and how to protect it. They are organized by category.

Some of these books can be downloaded or viewed online. I've added links to connect you to the appropriate sites. For most books I've linked the title to its entry in which has links to where the book can be purchased and often has a description and reviews.  While working for President Reagan Ron helped formulate the legislation to create a The Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution and was later named Deputy Director of the Commission. In his Challenge to the readers of The 5,000 Year Leap he says:

It was Patrick Henry that said: ‘I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging the future but by the past.’ Recent experience should be a serious warning that we have lost our way and need to drink from the well of knowledge provided by our Founders. Unless the people of this nation take seriously the storm flags waving, we are doomed to repeat the past mistakes of those who refused to pay attention to history and end up in the graveyard of fallen nations. We have the knowledge and time to make a course correction if we will.

We need to start by becoming familiar with the Constitution and the principles contained therein. We need to understand its words as the founders intended them to be understood. The list of books below can point you in the right direction. Those with bold titles are highly recommended and easy to read and understand..

Foundations for Liberty

The French & Indian Wars

The Revolutionary War

  • 1776, David McCullough, Simon Schuster, 2006
  • Saratoga, Richard M. Ketchum, Henry Holt & Company, LLC, 1997
  • The Day is Ours, William M. Dwyer, The Viking Press, 1983.
  • The Winter Soldiers, Richard M. Ketchum, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1973.

The Constitution & Declaration of Independence

The Founding Fathers

Other Great Books


  • Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang & Jon Halliday, 2007 – This is the story of an individual with unbridled self-interest and will show the absolute horror that such an individual can wreak on a society and the world. Makes you wonder about anyone who looks up to Mao in any way. Perhaps Hilter had he lived would have ruined or destroyed more lives. However, Mao is in my view the reigning poster boy of evil. No sacrifice was too great for anyone to make for Mao’s sake.
  • The Candy Bombers, Andrei Cherny, G.P. Putnam’s Son, 2008 – This is an interesting read in general but pay special attention to the sacrifices the Berliners were willing to make to keep their freedom as the cold war began. Would we be willing to do the same today? I wonder.
  • When Nations Die, Jim Nelson Black, Tyndale House Publishers, 1995

Understanding Liberty


George Washington said the following:

Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion, and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.

Daniel Webster made this remark in a speech at an event celebrating the life of Washington:

But, gentlemen, let us hope for better things. Let us trust in that gracious Being who has hitherto held our country as in the hollow of his hand. Let us trust to the virtue and the intelligence of the people, and to the efficacy of religious obligation. Let us trust to the influence of Washington's example. Let us hope that that fear of Heaven which expels all other fear, and that regard to duty which transcends all other regard, may influence public men and private citizens, and lead our country still onward in her happy career.

Dr. Benjamin Rush made the following statement:

Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families. The Amor Patriae [love of one's country] is both a moral and a religious duty. It comprehends not only the love of our neighbors but of millions of our fellow creatures, not only of the present but of future generations. This virtue we find constitutes a part of the first characters of history.

Many of the founders expressed similar sentiments regarding morality and religion and their indispensible role in maintaining a free society. As William George Jordan said in 1907,

We need in our country today less politics and more statesmanship, less party and more patriotism. We need an awakening to higher ideals. We need a higher conception of America's place and destiny in the evolution of the world. We need something nobler as a purpose than our self-satisfied complacency at the material prosperity of the nation, for there is a moral and ethical success that is never rung up on a cash-register. We need the scourging of the money changers out of the temple of legislation ― State and national. We need purifying and ennobling of the body politic. We need the clear clarion voice of a great inspiration to rouse the States to their duty ― not the gilded phrases of mere rhetoric, but the honest eloquence of a high and exalted purpose

With this in mind below are several of what I think are the best books on morality, human nature  and  overcoming the “natural man”. Coupling a strong moral base with an understanding of the principles of liberty we may become a people who can re-establish and maintain the freedom our Constitution intended to provide.

LDS Specific

Organizations Dedicated to Promoting Liberty

Please let me know if you have additional suggestions.


  1. Hi Rod,
    Good to see you on line. It has been a few years since Sherpa.

    FYI... THe link to the Real George Washington on your page appears to be out of date -- This work --
    Best Wishes
    Lynn Rogers

    1. Thanks Lynn. I've corrected all the link. Good to hear from you. Hope all is well.


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