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As my children (currently first and third graders) get older, I’m increasingly concerned about how to inoculate them against the incessant liberalism they will be exposed to on a daily basis through school and media. I already have to deal with cartoon dogs lecturing them about global warming and teachers not letting them eat snacks because — heaven forfend! — the yogurt contains Oreo crumbles.
Dealing with that stuff is pretty easy now; I just tell them the problems with what they’re hearing on TV or in the classroom, or I ignore the issue because the attempts at liberal indoctrination have failed. But at some point, sooner than I would like, they are going to need more. So I started thinking about a reading list for when that time comes to help my kids realize that a lot of liberal pablum is misguided at best and overtly destructive at worst. I want them to think critically about these issues.
The reading material needs to be accessible to a seventh grader (or thereabouts), so the Road to Serfdom, Capitalism and Freedom, and Liberal Fascism are probably out. I also don’t want the material to seem hectoring or overly preachy about the virtues of conservatism.
Here’s what I have come up with so far:
- “The Gods of the Copybook Headings,” Rudyard Kipling
- Animal Farm, George Orwell
- 1984, George Orwell
- Politics and the English Language, George Orwell
- Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
- Harrison Bergeron, Kurt Vonnegut
- The Use of Knowledge in Society, Friedrich Hayek
- The Pretense of Knowledge, Friedrich Hayek (These last two might be a little too advanced for a seventh grader, but it can’t hurt to try. Plus, you can never have enough Hayek.)
What am I missing? What other short and/or accessible works should be included in The Essential Conservative Reader for Adolescents/Young Adults?Published in