CSS book discussions are designed to provide a forum where classic books of major intellectual impact can be discussed. Reading group attendance averages 15, which facilitates interactive discussion, led by either a qualified CSS member or a scholar connected to the topic of the book.

Past Reading Groups

George Orwell’s 1984 (April 25, 2013)
CSS hosted a lively  discussion of George Orwell’s book, 1984 moderated by Dr. Tibor Mándi (ELTE).

Machiavelli’s The Prince (January 30, 2012)
Machiavelli’s 16th century advice to the young ruler is a classic work about the relationship between power and politics, both personal and popular, as well as about the shifting understandings of virtue, vices, and fortune. CSS president Marion Smith moderated the discussion.

Book Launch – The Constitution of Liberty (May 9, 2011)
Márton Baranyi (mandiner.hu) moderated a discussion with our featured speakers András Lánczi (president,Századvég Foundation) and Marion Smith (president, Common Sense Society). They addressed the arguments of our first publication, the Hungarian translation of a book by Matthew Spalding, Az Amerikai Függetlenségi Nyilatkozat és Alkotmány Alapelvei.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by Matthew Spalding (April 6, 2011)
With the help of Márton Baranyi, who moderated our discussion, CSS members had a unique insight through Spalding’s guiding words into the American experiment in self-government at its earliest stages and of the principles that inspired the longest remaining constitution in history, the United States Constitution.

Empowering workers in Chile by Jose Pinera (March 16, 2011)
András Simonovits (research advisor, Hungarian Academy of Sciences), our guest expert on pension systems around the world and in Hungary moerated a discussion on Jose Piñera’s study on the lessons of  Chile’s successful private pension system. With the help of the pension reform, Chile managed to defeat poverty in a free society and could grow beyond expectations and become South America’s most stable and prosperous nation.

The Federalist Papers (November 10, 2010)
Randy Grinnan moderated a discussion of CSS members on Federalist Papers No. 47 and No. 85. The subject of separation of powers is of great importance as Hungary considers the future constitutional structure of the government. Please read prior to the event and bring the copy of the text in some form.

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (June 21, 2010)
A discussion of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy In America, Vol. II, Book 3: “Influence of Democracy on Manners, Properly So Called” led by Randy Grinnan. Reading Group discussions are held monthly in English and last approximately 1.5 hours.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt (May 10, 2010)
A book discussion about the relationship between the government and the economy. Moderated by Dániel Nagy. Reading Group discussions are held monthly in English and last approximately 1.5 hours.

Democracy and Populism by John Lukacs (April 12, 2010)
A discussion of Democracy and Populism by John Lukacs (born János Lukács). Moderated by Gábor Megadja. Discussions are held monthly in English and last approximately 1.5 hours.

The Law by Frédéric Bastiat (March 1, 2010)
Lead by Tibor Mándi, CSS membes discussed the relevance of natural law and the regulatory role of the state in a democratic society.

The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek (February 1, 2010)
Lead by Márton Baranyi, CSS members discussed how the idea of the free market economy influences society and how classical liberalism is relevant in times of economic crisis.

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis (January 7, 2010)
CSS held the first monthly Reading Group discussion. The discussion led by Marion Smith focused on the conflict between logical positivism and natural law as well as the consequences of debunking traditional morality.

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