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QuantumPhyzx

Must-read books for people new to the political landscape?

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Hey folks, just wondering what the MUST read books are in order to get an accurate portrait of the modern political landscape?

 

I'm interested in getting books from both sides of the aisle and from independents. I consider myself a liberal and I want to have a firm grasp on other people's political points of view.

 

 

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bludog   

There are soo many. A good place to start for a Liberal would be the classic, What's The Matter With Kansas by Thomas Frank. In short, he describes how the political Right took over a formerly Liberal state. Frank uses Kansas as a microcosm of a more widespread, nationwide trend..

 

You can easily find long lists of Liberal and Conservative books on Amazon.com. Many of the books have dozens, if not hundreds of reviews; Many of them very detailed. You can often get a good understanding, just by reading the first few top-rated reviews.

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Some good required reading for those new to the political landscape include "Teaching for Social Justice" by William Ayers, Jean Ann Hunt and Therese Quinn. You can not forget the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx either, which is essentially required reading at the university level anymore.

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Thanks for the replies folks! I already bought some books before seeing these responses, but I'll definitely pick all of your suggestions up next (I really love to read).

So far since November, I've read:

Breaking Through Power by Ralph Nader (got this as a recommendation off Thom Hartmann's radio show, very good read about the David vs. Goliath landscape of middleclass interests vs. corporate interests and how we've veered away from the Thomas Pain/Jeffersonian ideal of liberty and strength through education)

Brainwashed by Ben Shapiro (I really like Ben Shapiro and enjoy his commentary since he's an ultra-right winger and has a very admirable acumen. Definitely a smart guy, however I couldn't get into this book. It's an entire anti-liberal rant. He talks about how liberals have invaded higher education and they are forcing students to be liberal with the education they push forward. However, I found his entire argument completely underminded by the simple fact that he graduated from 'extremely liberal' schools and yet somehow still came out a Conservative. His main argument centered around the fact that there's a 10% point difference in the amount of graduates/teachers who are liberal and graduates/teachers who are conservative. he claims this is definitive proof that liberals are taking over everything. he wants to ignore the fact that maybe they're liberal because education has enlightened them to the point of being so. I still have yet to find a good argument for being conservative, except in the realm of economics.)

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg (Mr. Goldberg is a columnist for the LA Times or NY Times, can't remember ATM. I haven't cracked this book open yet as I just received it last week and haven't made time to sit down with it yet. According to the backpage, it shows how liberalism is actually deeply rooted in fascism and that the namegame libs/cons play is inherently wrong. He tries to prove that liberals are more like Hitler and Stalin then they care to admit)

The Thomm Hartmann Reader by Thom Hartmann and Tai Moses (Excellent, EXCELLENT collection of essays and excerpts from Mr. Hartmann's other literature. I'm a bit of a Hartmann fanboy and I'll always recommend him as a punditry source for anyone who wants good liberal commentary. My favorite essays in this book are the very first and second ones about the Jeffersonian ideal for free education as well as how America essentially created the middle class and Reagan destroyed it with his economic policies, the consequences of which we started actually experiencing during the Bush administration when the crash began. Turns out America was one of the most heavily taxed nations in the world (IIRC) before the Reagan admin, and during this period of taxation it also boosted some of the highest growth of any 1st world country in terms of jobs, gdp, education, health, etc. and how that's been on a downward spiral ever since the deregulations of corporations and economic policies geared towards helping the rich hold on to all their money)

Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto by Bill (william) Ayers (I've read a few chapters in this and it's alot like the Hartmann reader. Ayers talks alot more about SJW (social justice warrior) causes though and advocates for movements like Black Lives Matter (which I strongly disagree with because that grassroot movement has genuinely developed into a domestic terror enclave[small example:

, here we see BLM charter members advocating for killing cops]). I'll probably finish this book up before I move on to 'Liberal Fascism'

Props for the suggestions people, thanks :D

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Doug1943   

People on the Left should read quality books by people on the Right.

People on the Right should read quality books by people on the Left.

 

Both sides should read this fellow -- he's very good at explaining how each side thinks. The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt.

 

Americans tend, for obvious reasons, to be somewhat limited in their knowledge of the world outside America. It's a natural human trait to think that other people are basically like us.

 

So ... both sides should read the following:

 

Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations

Tim Marshall's Prisoners of Geography

 

You can get these for just a few dollars on Amazon. They put things in context.

 

For free, you can download and read the first real explanation of globalization.

 

Liberals may not like its full-throated praise of capitalism, nor its contempt for traditional society and rural life, but they should read it anyway.

And so should conservatives. It's had an enormous influence on the world in the hundred and seventy years since it was written.

 

There are lots of others -- why not contribute your own favorites here. Don't let this thread die.

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ScottMon   

I read "Israel: War Never Ending." It blew my mind. It was unfiltered history of the origin of the creation of the modern Israeli state. Most Israeli supporters were unaware of how socialist Israel was and still is. It was formed from Russian Jews who colonized It alongside the indigenous Palestinians.

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