political/social book recommendations

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jelloshotsrule, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    Location:
    serendipity
    #1
    i'm surprised we haven't come up with a thread for book recommendations... let's keep this to simple book suggestions, and leave discussion of particular books (if that happens) to their own threads?

    here's some political/social books i've read in the last 2 years that i'd recommend, and a brief blurb

    Toxic Deception: How the Chemical Industry Manipulates Science, Bends the Law, and Endangers Your Health - Dan Fagin

    pretty self explanatory. focuses mainly on 4 chemicals found throughout products used here in the usa. really makes you realize how useless the epa has been...


    Stupid White Men - Michael Moore

    most people (who care) probably know about this book already, but what i found the most striking is the trashing of the democrats. how spinless they've been. and how they talk the talk, and then screw you over, whereas the republicans just tell you they're going to screw you...


    Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic - John de Graaf

    an awesome book about the consumer mindset of our country. references a ton of other books that i now want to read. a must read for anyone who is leaning towards trying to simplify their lives...


    Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser

    i was a vegetarian before i read this book, but if i hadn't been, i would be now anyways. if nothing else, it should open peoples' eyes to the screwy factory farming system that exists in our country, as well as the ridiculous power that fast food companies wield over industry.... one thing i learned is that it's better to work to make mcd's demand improvements from the meat/potato industry, rather than merely boycotting them.... though, i still try not to go there. :)


    currently reading a book by howard zinn (possibly Writings on Disobedience and Democracy- i forget the title exactly)... it's an essay in response to a justice of the supreme court's thoughts on civil disobedience, non violent activism, etc... it's from the time of the vietnam war, and it's striking how much applies directly to the current situation in our country. a short book, though not as easy to read for me as a fast food nation or affluenza... a little more heady..


    some books i have waiting...

    reefer madness - schlosser
    dude, where's my country? - moore
    silent spring - rachel carson
    living downstream - sandra steingraber

    and a variety of nader books (both by and about)..
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Chris Hedges (still reading)
    The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Paul Roberts & Lawrence Stratton (about to start)
     
  3. jayb2000 macrumors 6502a

    jayb2000

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Location:
    RI -> CA -> ME
    #3
  4. evil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    chicago ex-toronto
    #4
    i would strongly recommend THE HIGH PRICE OF MATERIALISM..i cant remember the author, but its a good book.
     
  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #5
    Recommend:

    FOUR ARGUMENTS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF TELEVISION - Jerry Mander
    ...old, but a classic...still immensely relevant and often prescient considering it was written in the 70's
    ABSENCE OF THE SACRED - Jerry Mander
    ...a sequel of sorts to the above book, deals with the wisdom of Indigenous Cultures vs our "progressive, modern" one...very insightful.
    PROMETHEUS WIRED - Darin Barney
    ...An interesting look at whether the spread of networks, computers and the internet is actually a "democratic" form of information delivery, as many say it is. The short answer is NO. Surprising analysis.
    AGE OF ACCESS - Jeremy Rifkin
    Related to the above books topic, this discusses the transfer of Power in Society from one of ownership, to one of access...interesting read, as are all of Rifkin's books.
    THE ARROGANCE OF HUMANISM - David Ehrenfield
    ...An interesting discussion of the "other" major religion (or set of assumptions)...humanism. Discusses humanism and the flaws and drawbacks of a society commited to it...Good.
    BALKAN GHOSTS
    TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
    EASTWARD TO TARTARY
    SOLDIERS OF GOD
    THE EMPIRE WILDERNESS
    THE COMING ANARCHY - (all by Robert Kaplan)
    ...half political, half travel books...very illuminating and unpretentious. Allows the reader to come to their own conclusions...very informative and interesting, if not necessarily definitive in conclusions. In order from top to bottom, they are about:
    1. The Balkans (written late 80's)
    2. Concerning Iran, Turkey, alot of countries ending in -istan, Africa
    3. Concerning Turkey, Armenia...basically where "tatars" once were.
    4. Concerning Afghanistan in war with Soviets...he traveled illegally into Afghanistan to write book w/ mujaddin
    5. About America and the possibility of it turning into a loose federation of city-states/regions.
    6. Collection of Atlantic Monthly stories he wrote at turn of Century. Discusses disturbing trends in Africa, ME and elsewhere...lawlessness, terrorism etc.
    DOES AMERICA NEED A FOREIGN POLICY? - Henry Kissenger
    ...Perhaps a War Criminal, but still a smart man. Don't agree with everything, but well-argued points and reasonable assertions.
    MISC...- Anything be Samuel Huntington. A Harvard Professor, contemporary of Kissenger and Brez..(can't spell, but he was in the Carter administration). Has written books on various Foreign Policy issues since 50's...many are classics, well-respected man in his field who was originally ostracized for "thinking out of the box"...when he turned out to be right, he was finally given due respect. Highly recommended.
    THE RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE - Edward Gibbon
    The definitive work on the subject. Multiple volumes...detailed and concise to the point of obsessive. Brilliant, if difficult to read. Many interesting paralells/lessons/warnings to "modern" Empires.

    Also Dostevesky (sp?) and Conrad are good fiction writers who incorporate political/philosophical realities/truths in their prose...good reads regardless.

    Yes, most of the books are not overtly Political in Nature, but nontheless very relevant to the topic. FWIW

    *EDIT* Forgot about...
    SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL - EF Schumacher
    ...about simple, small-scale economics and such...classic
     

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