These Seven Reads Might Just Change Your Life…

Written by Greg Hopkins on August 9, 2017

Reading has always been a major part of my life, as I’m sure it’s been for many of you. Today I want to share some books with you that have had a profound effect on my beliefs and how I’ve lived.

1. The Bible. Unlike 100 years ago, most Americans have never read the Bible from front to back, as they would any other book. Most of us know bits of it, but we haven’t given it a real shot as we would Plato’s Republic or The Lord of the Rings, evaluating it for what it claims to be. Did you know if you read it just 15 minutes a day, you’ll finish it in a year? Since the Bible is the basis of Western Civilization, could you check your preconceptions at Genesis 1:1 and read it like any other book? (I thought I was an expert on the Book of “Revelation”, until I met someone who’d actually read it.) The middle verse of the middle chapter of its middle book says: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put trust in man.” Ps. 118:8. Try it. It might change your life.
2. A Time for Truth, by William E. Simon, Ford’s Treasury Secretary. This 1978 book helped start the Reagan Revolution with its hard-hitting, fact-packed analysis of how we got into the mess of the Carter era. Those of us who lived through the Carter debacle know how similar the Obama failure was to it. Because the 70s were so similar to today, this work of history, economics, and politics will help you understand America’s situation today. Fifteen cents in hardcover on Amazon. It will wake you up to the mess we’re in now. It did me.
3. The Spike, by DeBourchgrave and Moss. Written as a novel, it’s a true tale with the names changed to protect the guilty. (As testified to Congress by the Commerce Dept. Chief of Security.) All but its last section (“The Near Future”) depicts events and people that actually happened. DeBourchgrave spent 25 years interviewing heads-of-state for Newsweek back when it was respected for real news. Moss was an intelligence advisor for MI5&6 and the CIA. The Spike shows how the KGB’s Directorate of Disinformation paid, threatened, blackmailed, and recruited the willing and the stupid up to the highest levels of the Western Press to help spread their propaganda during the Cold War. Read this, and you’ll never take the Media at face value again. It’s a page-turner with characters, suspense, and action that match the best of Tom Clancy’s work.
4. A Patriot’s History of the United States, by Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen. Written to counter inaccurate, leftist, omissions and falsehoods in textbooks from the last 50 years, A Patriot’s History tells, as Paul Harvey used to, “The REST of the Story!” It doesn’t say that America has always been right, but it shows we haven’t always been wrong, either, whether it’s the myths of “The Robber Barons”, so-called US “Imperialism”, or the sanctification of FDR as the savior of America. It depicts our Founders accurately as men of principle, who cared more for character than the temporary power of political office. Early Americans tied character to liberty, then liberty to property, but character was the prerequisite for it all. This is a book that your high school and college kids need to read. It’s a great graduation present. As a history major and lifelong reader, I learned many things I never knew. I guarantee you will too.
5. Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Change, by Jonah Goldberg. This is the story of American Progressivism, beginning in the 1870’s. Its socialism captured Teddy Roosevelt and was championed by Woodrow Wilson. Its totalitarian methods and crippling of the economy during WWI made it so unpopular that Leftists changed the name to “Liberalism”, only changing back to Progressives when “liberal” became a dirty word in politics in the 1990’s. The Left has always taught that the political spectrum is linear, running from Communism on the left to Nazism on the right. Goldberg shows that it in fact is circular, with freedom at 12 o’clock and the socialist totalitarianism meeting at 6 o’clock in the guises of Communism and Nazism. The Commie motto in the 1930’s was, “They wear brown or black shirts now, but soon we will all wear red!” Whether it’s FDR’s “Brain Trusters”, Nazis, Fascists, or Reds, ALL were socialists! Liberal Fascism reveals the Communist roots of the 60’s radicals and Obama’s “politics of change.” This is another book the whole family should read.
6. New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR’s Legacy has Damaged America, by Burton Folsom, Jr. A detailed expose of FDR’s economic illiteracy and socialism and how it prolonged and worsened The Great Depression. Using FDR’s own words and those of his minions, it not only exposes the Leftist myth of FDR, but acts as a warning to socialists who would follow his example. Obama’s policy, after all, was simply doubling down on FDR’s example. This book shows how massive debt, unemployment, zero economic growth, use of the IRS against political foes, and over-regulation began.
7. The final book that changed my life is In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection, by Massad Ayoob. This book will get you thinking seriously about self-defense from the practical and legal side. Written in 1979, it’s based on the principles of common law. As a result, following his advice should help you stay on the legal side of self-defense regardless of your state statutes. Of course, as I always say, you’ll still need good, state-specific legal training, but this book will help you think about it in a serious, logical manner. Ayoob, a retired reserve police captain, has probably testified in more criminal and civil trials than any other firearms/self-defense expert. A prolific author, master teacher of cops and civilians, and competition shooter, he has over 45 years’ experience in these fields. You’d be wise to listen to him.

So these are the books that have changed my thinking and my life for the better. See if they don’t help you, too. “Where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory.” Prov. 11:14.

photo credit: ShellyS Lost in a Good Book via photopin (license)

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Greg Hopkins
Greg Hopkins is a recovering lawyer, city prosecutor, police Use-of-Force law instructor, former city judge in two towns and criminal defense lawyer. He’s been teaching the Bible to teens and adults for 40 years. He now trains CCP holders and armed church security teams in self defense law. He also does expert witnessing in firearms and self defense cases. His book is A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism, on the Bible and Self Defense.