The Mainspring of Human progress was my grandfathers favorite book. He claimed it was the most important book written about the founding of the United States of America and should be required reading in all high schools across the country. And after reading it I understand why. It really opened my eyes to moral superiority of individualism and the evils of collectivism. Things I did grow up accepting but I had never really thought about why. The book seeks to answer a very basic question. For more than 6,000 years men were constantly dying of starvation. And now we have such an abundance of food that we throw some out. What changed?
That leads this book to take a look at how human energy was used for generations until the rise of the idea of individualism. Which culminated in the founding of the only country to be founded on this idea. I can’t help but agree with my grandfather. I believe everyone should read this book. It was extremely well written and a pretty quick read. There isn’t really a lot of references but what I really appreciated was the bibliography at the end of the book. Which includes books that are opposed to the philosophy he presents so you can see what the arguments the other side are. Doubt most other books have the fortitude to do that.