I don’t read as much as I used to; I feel this is something people say very often. However, when I do get a chance to read, I tend to re-read things over and over and over. I also prefer non-fiction to fiction. Here are books that hold my political interests.
The very first books about politics that I can remember reading were Al Franken’s comedy non-fiction ones. I picked them up in a university book store all at once: Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and The Truth (with Jokes). Some of the jokes are cruel just for the sake of being cruel, but honestly, exposing some of these people for the standard bearers of hate is worth the cruelty sometimes. If I lived in Minnesota, I would always vote for Franken.
I like my politics with a little bit of satire, so Jon Stewart’s book America (The Book) and Stephen Colbert’s I am America (and So Can You!) are two books that manage to sneak in quite a bit of thought whilst they’re busy lampooning society.
Douglas Adams is one of my favourite authors, and I have read everything he has ever written. His death was way too pre-mature. Whilst the book Last Chance to See isn’t necessarily about politics, it is about environmentalism, a tent pole in my personal political beliefs. Two species featured in this book are sadly extinct, but we should not give up just yet!
I spend a lot of time reading about gender and race as a woman of colour. One of my favourite books that looks at a more complete picture of racism, but very much at the epidemic of mass incarceration, is Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. It took me a long time to read this book, as I kept having to stop in anger. It is a book worth reading.
Books about economics are usually dry and really hard to get through. However, Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine and Thomas Picketty’s Le Capital au XXIe siècle (Capital in the 21st Century) are both interesting and engaging, and full of good knowledge.
Finally, George McGovern’s What it Means to Be a Democrat (the only book without a wikipedia link) is a rallying cry to American Democrats: what it means to be progressive and liberal in the 21st century, and to build reform slowly but surely. It’s filled with personal anecdotes and what I feel is prescient advice.
Read on, and until next time. – SDM
If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.
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