Books have been the medium of knowledge for thousands of years. In today’s globalized world, connected through technology, information is at everyone’s fingertips. But to make sense of it, all one must have a firm understanding of the beliefs and traditions at the core of their ideology.

As conservatives, it is important to understand the history and evolution of conservative thought to properly navigate the complex world we live in today. The Pax Americana Institute has compiled a list of essential reads for today’s conservatives in a hope to help better the reader’s understanding of what makes a person conservative.


In addition to our reading lists, Pax Americana is selecting one book every month to recommend to the Midwest’s finest conservative minds. We hope our monthly book recommendations excite you to knowledge and greater understanding of the principles that support classical conservative thought.

See our recommendations here


This is our summer 2018 list. We will have other books in the future. Attached to most books on the list is a link to websites to listen or read the books for free.

Thucydides: 460 BC

Plato: 427-347 BC

Aristotle: 384–322 BC

Augustine of Hippo: 354–430

Dante: 1265-1321

Thomas Malory: 1430-1471

Russell Kirk: 1918 – 1994

C.S. Lewis: 1898 – 1963

George Nash: 1945 – Present

  • The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945

William F. Buckley: 1925 – 2008

  • Athwart History: Half a Century of Polemics, Animadversions, and Illuminations
  • Getting it Right

Edmund Burke: 1729 – 1797

William Shakespeare: 1564-1616

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: 1749–1832

Charles Dickens: 1812-1870

Alfred Tennyson: 1809-1892

Fyodor Dostoyevsky: 1821-1881

Allan Bloom: 1930 – 1992

Whittaker Chambers: 1901 – 1961

  • Witness

Marcus Aurelius: 121 – 180

Milton Friedman: 1912 – 2006

Friedrich Hayek: 1899 – 1992

Paul Hollander: 1932 – Present

  • Political Pilgrims

Michael Oakeshott: 1901 – 1990

  • Rationalism in Politics
  • Other Essays

George Orwell: 1903 – 1950

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: 1918 – 2008

Leo Strauss: 1899 – 1973

Alexis De Tocqueville: 1805 – 1855

Hamilton, Madison, Jay