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Need some books

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I want to learn more about rights. I've read Rand, but want to go further back. Who influenced her? Which philosophers?

I also want to know more about the American system of government. Right now, it's a tangled mess of titles, laws, processes and terms that have no meaning to me. What should I read to start untangling the mess?

Thanks.

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I also want to know more about the American system of government. Right now, it's a tangled mess of titles, laws, processes and terms that have no meaning to me. What should I read to start untangling the mess?
You could start with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. If you want starter constitutional commentary, there are two books I'd recommend:

A Familiar Exposition of The Constitution of the United States - Joseph Story [This takes the constitution, section by section, explaining it very simply and providing a bit of background]

To Secure these Rights - Scott Douglas Gerber [This is more opinion. The thesis of this book is that the central purpose of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were to secure individual rights]

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You could start with the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. If you want starter constitutional commentary, there are two books I'd recommend:

A Familiar Exposition of The Constitution of the United States - Joseph Story [This takes the constitution, section by section, explaining it very simply and providing a bit of background]

The book is online at http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/books/familiar-exposition-constitution-united-states?library_node=71291

Very good read.

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Yes, she said that Aristotle was her only philosophical influence, but that doesn't prove that he was. John Locke's theory of rights seems to have been a big influence, as it was on the American founders. His Second Treatise, available in various editions, is his most important political work. George Smith, famous libertarian scholar, has an audiobook about it.

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Addendum: Eric Mack, Objectivist academic, has co-written a book about Locke.

(To anticipate the inevitable objections that Mack is not an Objectivist, I say: OK, have it your way.)

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I know this is an old topic, but I'll revive it instead of making a new one.

 

To my original question about understanding the American government:

I've read the constitution, Joseph Story's Exposition on it, my State's constitution, bought The Federalist Papers (haven't read them yet), but what comes next? Is there a hierarchy of knowledge when it comes to studying law? Not just constitution law, but perhaps law/laws in general.

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