CORDI: The 10 books every conservative college student needs to read

Below are 10 books that can help conservative students prepare for and overcome any discrimination, double standards, or unfair treatment they experience this spring.

Whether online or on campus, students are returning to school for the spring semester, where they will encounter another four months of liberal bias and leftist indoctrination. 

Below are 10 books that can help conservative students prepare for and overcome any discrimination, double standards, or unfair treatment they experience this spring. 

Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans by Ben Shapiro

In this book, Shapiro reviews various harassment and intimidation tactics employed by the left, and in the very first chapter of Bullies, Shapiro addresses the reason Campus Reform exists in the first place- liberal bias and abuse on college campuses. 

“There is no less tolerant place on the planet than the faculty lounges of America’s major universities,” Shapiro writes. “Not only is dissent not tolerated, it’s not even acknowledged to exist.” 

He then explains why colleges have become so overwhelming liberal and people who are influenced by leftist indoctrination employ bullying tactics both on and off campus. 

The Quest for Cosmic Justice by Thomas Sowell

This is a book about unintended consequences, specifically why efforts to achieve “social justice” backfire and ultimately hurt the communities they were supposed to help.

Citing an array of failed socialist experiments, Sowell argues that sacrificing freedom for equality leaves a nation with neither. 

“Those young black students who do wish to get an education, to speak correct English, and to behave in ways compatible with getting along with others, are accused of ‘acting white’—betraying the race—and are subject to both social pressures and outright intimidation and violence,” Sowell writes. 

Furthermore, Sowell counters leftist intellectuals’ narratives with data-driven insight. 

Cynical Theories by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

The book’s subtitle explains the authors’ purpose: “How activist scholarship made everything about race, gender, and identity—and why this harms everybody.” 

Pluckrose and Lindsay argue that the concept of truth itself has been skewed and abused in the name of social justice. One way this manifests itself is in Standpoint Theory, which according to the authors, “gives the oppressed a richer, more accurate view of reality—hence we should listen to and believe their accounts of it.” 

They write, “Standpoint theory is at the root of identity politics,” and this can be observed at the university level all the time, with the “believe the victim” mentality being ubiquitous on campus. 

Cynical Theories offers a deep deconstruction of the doctrines pushed onto students in higher education, their origins, and their negative impact on society.

Excuse Me, Professor by Lawrence W. Reed

This book is a collection of 52 essays written by Reed and other scholars. Each essay addresses a common myth that leftist professors impose on their students. 

Excuse Me, Professor tackles minimum wage laws, labor unions, collectivist philosophy, criticisms of capitalism, and taxing the rich.

One popular progressive idea addressed in this book is the notion that, “Government must have the power to make people take better care of themselves.” 

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of the ‘quick fix’ that suggests the use of force to address a perceived problem,” Reed writes. “A thinking person will step back and consider the consequences, all of them, including the impact on individual rights.” 

Gun Control Myths by John R. Lott Jr

In this book, Lott takes a closer look at myths about gun control and mass shootings, identifying how tragic shootings have been exploited to facilitate false narratives, both in the media and at the university level. 

He also sheds light on heroes who used their second amendment right to protect themselves and others, and much more. 

A shorter follow-up to his more robust publication More Guns, Less Crime, this book shows the dangers of lazy and deceptive use of data, and given more context, how each leftist myth about gun control falls by the wayside. 

Socialism Sucks by Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell

This book presents the arguments for and against socialism in a highly accessible manner. 

Lawson and Powell examine failed socialist experiments in Latin America, democratic socialist governments in the Nordic countries, and how the ideology has manifested in China, North Korea, Russia, and Ukraine. 

The authors mockingly explain socialism as, “We have rich people over there, and things we’d like to do with their money over here, so what’s the problem? If there’s an outcome we want, why, we simply legislate it into existence! Want higher wages? Just pass a law!”

This book blends humor with history and data, offering students enough knowledge to see through their professors’ socialist rhetoric.

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

While this may not be as lighthearted and entertaining as the other books on this list, it is important for every conservative student to understand the very principles they seek to conserve. Plus, it’s only 60 pages long. 

Bastiat argues that through the “perverted” law, governments can force citizens into compliance or conformity, which creates a dictatorship without the need for a figurehead dictator.

This book drives home the point that just because something is legal (ex. slavery) that doesn’t make it right, and on the contrary, the law can be used for great evil if perverted, which is why conserving individual liberty is so important.

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics by William Lane Craig

In Reasonable Faith, Craig makes a number of compelling arguments for the existence of God, making the case that not only is religion compatible with science and philosophy, but data and logic vindicate religious claims. 

“According to Jesus, our love is a sign to all people that we are his disciples; but even more than that, our love and unity are living proof to the world that God the Father has sent his Son Jesus Christ and that the Father loves people even as he loves Jesus,” Craig writes. 

The book incorporates passages on quantum physics, cosmology, and ontology. 

Tactics by Gregory Koukl

Many books offer political and religious arguments, facts and data, and try to make a case for some idea. This is not one of those books. 

In Tactics, Koukl tells readers how to have productive conversations about heated subjects. He maintains that if a person genuinely tries to change someone’s mind, the moment he or she gets angry, all possibility for rational discussion is over. 

“Even though there is real warfare going on, I think our engagements should look more like diplomacy than D-Day,” Koukl writes. 

Additionally, the book advises what to do when conversations turn nasty. This publication can help readers get their points across without letting the exchange turn into a fight. 

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life, and its sequel Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life, have helped millions of young adults get their lives together. 

Peterson offers simple advice. 

“Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not who someone else is today,” he writes, adding, “[a]ssume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” 

Drawing on Peterson’s expertise in clinical psychology, the book demonstrates how to find that order and use it to find fulfillment in yourself.

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