An Electronic Edition of Leonard E. Read’s Library

Leonard E. Read in I, Pencil: The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed. I, Pencil, seemingly simple though I am, offer the miracle of my creation as testimony that this is a practical faith, as practical as the sun, the rain, a cedar tree, the good earth.


Leonard E. Read: Accent On The Right: To Frederic Bastiat (1801–1850), who sought for truth rather than outcome and never witnessed the fruits his labor bore. Obedience to conscience was his first rule; we witness the results.

Leonard E. Read: Anything That’s Peaceful: Many favor peace but not many favor the things that make for peace. — Thomas à Kempis

Leonard E. Read: Awake for Freedom’s Sake: Finally, share with others. Forget about “reforming” them! The more we share, the more we learn. This is in the interest of self and freedom!

Leonard E. Read: Castles in the Air: If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; there is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. — Henry David Thoreau

Leonard E. Read: Comes the Dawn: To those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being no hearers that forget, but doers that act. Have Faith!

Leonard E. Read: The Coming Aristocracy: It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason for the faith that is within him. — Sydney Smith


Leonard E. Read: Conscience On The Battlefield: War “as a means to peace among nations” was then, and remains, a world-wide fallacy.

Leonard E. Read: Endowed By Their Creator: Almost everyone says he favors freedom; just try to find a single individual who says he does not. The search would almost certainly prove fruitless.

Leonard E. Read: Instead Of Violence: I want less talk and more action.

Leonard E. Read: Meditations on Freedom: “The road,” wrote Cervantes, “is always better than the inn.” Those who settle on fame or fortune as the inn, and having arrived, call it quits, miss the whole point of life. Realistically, there is no inn, no ultimate point of arrival. It is the road now and forever—finite man probing infinity, finding his way, endlessly. All that matters are the lessons learned along the way.

Leonard E. Read: Outlook for Freedom: Let a private citizen try to carry the mails! And let him try to evade payment of his share of the government deficits incurred! If he tried it, his home would be taken for “non-payment of taxes.” Here, with only casual examination, he could see monopoly and communalization by force.

Leonard E. Read: Pattern for Revolt: “Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect and that would be one step toward attaining it.” — Thoreau

Leonard E. Read: Students of Liberty: Personally, I am opposed to the initiation of violence in any form, by anybody, or by any agency, government or otherwise. I cannot make inspired violence square with ethical concepts. Aggressive coercion, whether socialized medicine or initiating war with Russia, is at odds with principles which seem right. How this brute force can be used and be considered moral, except to restrain violence otherwise initiated, is beyond my capacities to reason.

Leonard E. Read: Where Lies This Fault?: It’s a lopsided contest these days between freedom and authoritarianism, libertarianism and socialism, individualism and collectivism, willing and unwilling exchange, the free market and the planned economy, capitalism and statism, voluntarism and coercion—call these opposites what you will.

For the original edition of Leonard E. Read’s books published by the Foundation for Economic Education and their content, “Permission to reprint granted without special request.”

Everything else is a subject to the CC0 license. Happy reading, sharing, editing and selling!

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