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  1. A People's History of the United States

    by Howard Zinn
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In the book, Zinn presented a different side of history from the more traditional "fundamental nationalist glorification of country". Zinn portrays a side of American history that can largely be seen as the exploitation and manipulation of the majority by rigged systems that hugely favor a small aggregate of elite rulers from across the orthodox political parties. A People's History has been assigned as reading in many high schools and colleges across the United States. It has also resulted in a change in the focus of historical work, which now includes stories that previously were ignored Library Journal calls Howard … (Goodreads)

  2. Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance

    by Barack Obama
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    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father—a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man—has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey—first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother’s family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the … (Goodreads)

  3. Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life

    by Jon Lee Anderson
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    Readership: Very niche

    "Acclaimed around the world and a national best-seller, this is the definitive work on Che Guevara, the dashing rebel whose epic dream was to end poverty and injustice in Latin America and the developing world through armed revelation. Jon Lee Anderson's biography traces Che's extraordinary life, from his comfortable Argentine upbringing to the battlefields of the Cuban revolution, from the halls of power in Castro's government to his failed campaign in the Congo and assassination in the Bolivian Jungle. Anderson has had unprecedented access to the personal archives maintained by Guevara's window and carefully guarded Cuban government documents. He has … (Goodreads)

  4. Tao Te Ching

    by Lao Tzu
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    Readership: Somewhat known

    A lucid translation of the well-known Taoist classic by a leading scholar-now in a Shambhala Pocket Library edition. Written more than two thousand years ago, the Tao Teh Ching , or -The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue, - is one of the true classics of the world of spiritual literature. Traditionally attributed to the legendary -Old Master, - Lao Tzu, the Tao Teh Ching teaches that the qualities of the enlightened sage or ideal ruler are identical with those of the perfected individual. Today, Lao Tzu's words are as useful in mastering the arts of leadership in business … (Goodreads)

  5. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

    by Anthony Bourdain
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    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    A deliciously funny, delectably shocking banquet of wild-but-true tales of life in the culinary trade from Chef Anthony Bourdain, laying out his more than a quarter-century of drugs, sex, and haute cuisine—now with all-new, never-before-published material. New York Chef Tony Bourdain gives away secrets of the trade in his wickedly funny, inspiring memoir/expose. Kitchen Confidential reveals what Bourdain calls "twenty-five years of sex, drugs, bad behavior and haute cuisine." … (Goodreads)

  6. Between the World and Me

    by Ta-Nehisi Coates
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    “This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.” In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and … (Goodreads)

  7. The Elements of Style

    by William Strunk Jr.
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    Readership: Eclectic

    This style manual offers practical advice on improving writing skills. Throughout, the emphasis is on promoting a plain English style. This little book can help you communicate more effectively by showing you how to enliven your sentences. … (Goodreads)

  8. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong

    by James W. Loewen
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    ,“Every teacher, every student of history, every citizen should read this book. It is both a refreshing antidote to what has passed for history in our educational system and a one-volume education in itself.”,,—Howard Zinn, ,A new edition of the national bestseller and American Book Award winner, with a new preface by the author, Since its first publication in 1995, ,Lies My Teacher Told Me, has become one of the most important—and successful—history books of our time. Having sold nearly two million copies, the book also won an American Book Award and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist … (Barnes & Noble)

  9. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

    by Michelle Alexander
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    Readership: Eclectic

    "Jarvious Cotton's great-great-grandfather could not vote as a slave. His great-grandfather was beaten to death by the Klu Klux Klan for attempting to vote. His grandfather was prevented from voting by Klan intimidation; his father was barred by poll taxes and literacy tests. Today, Cotton cannot vote because he, like many black men in the United States, has been labeled a felon and is currently on parole." As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been … (Goodreads)

  10. So You Want to Talk About Race

    by Ijeoma Oluo
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    In this breakout book, Ijeoma Oluo explores the complex reality of today's racial landscape--from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement--offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white … (Goodreads)

  11. Walden & Civil Disobedience

    by Henry David Thoreau
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    Readership: Very niche

    Henry David Thoreau's masterwork, Walden , is a collection of his reflections on life and society. His simple but profound musings—as well as Civil Disobedience , his protest against the government's interference with civil liberty—have inspired many to embrace his philosophy of individualism and love of nature. … (Goodreads)

  12. Black Boy

    by Richard Wright
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    Readership: Eclectic

    A special 75th anniversary edition of Richard Wright's powerful and unforgettable memoir, with a new foreword by John Edgar Wideman and an afterword by Malcolm Wright, the author’s grandson. When it exploded onto the literary scene in 1945, ,Black Boy, was both praised and condemned. Orville Prescott of the ,New York Times, wrote that “if enough such books are written, if enough millions of people read them maybe, someday, in the fullness of time, there will be a greater understanding and a more true democracy.” Yet from 1975 to 1978, ,Black Boy, was banned in schools throughout the United States … (Barnes & Noble)

  13. The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Martin Luther King Jr.
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    Readership: Very niche

    This definitive box set includes all the landmark speeches of the great orator and American leader Martin Luther King, Jr., from his inspirational "I Have a Dream" to his firey "Give Us the Ballot." Comprised of recordings previously included in A Call to Conscience and A Knock at Midnight, THE ESSENTIAL BOX SET is a must-have for any home, library, or school collection. … (Goodreads)

  14. Slouching Towards Bethlehem

    by Joan Didion
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    Readership: Eclectic

    The first nonfiction work by one of the most distinctive prose stylists of our era, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem remains, decades after its first publication, the essential portrait of America—particularly California—in the sixties. It focuses on such subjects as John Wayne and Howard Hughes, growing up a girl in California, ruminating on the nature of good and evil in a Death Valley motel room, and, especially, the essence of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury, the heart of the counterculture. … (Goodreads)

  15. Meditations

    by Marcus Aurelius
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    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Written in Greek by the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher, without any intention of publication, the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius offer a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe. While the Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers throughout the centuries. … (Goodreads)

  16. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

    by Stephen King
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Affinity: 🟢⚪️⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    "Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, … (Goodreads)

  17. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

    by Harriet Ann Jacobs
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    The true story of an individual's struggle for self-identity, self-preservation, and freedom, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains among the few extant slave narratives written by a woman. This autobiographical account chronicles the remarkable odyssey of Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) whose dauntless spirit and faith carried her from a life of servitude and degradation in North Carolina to liberty and reunion with her children in the North. Written and published in 1861 after Jacobs' harrowing escape from a vile and predatory master, the memoir delivers a powerful and unflinching portrayal of the abuses and hypocrisy of the master-slave … (Goodreads)

  18. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

    by Timothy Snyder
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Eclectic

    #1 ,New York Times, Bestseller • ,A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America's turn towards authoritarianism.,,, The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we … (Barnes & Noble)

  19. We Should All Be Feminists

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Fairly popular

    What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists , a personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name—by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun . With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century—one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of … (Goodreads)

  20. The Souls of Black Folk

    by W.E.B. Du Bois
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
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    Readership: Eclectic

    This landmark book is a founding work in the literature of black protest. W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) played a key role in developing the strategy and program that dominated early 20th-century black protest in America. In this collection of essays, first published together in 1903, he eloquently affirms that it is beneath the dignity of a human being to beg for those rights that belong inherently to all mankind. He also charges that the strategy of accommodation to white supremacy advanced by Booker T. Washington, then the most influential black leader in America, would only serve to perpetuate … (Goodreads)