The best books to teach you how to change society for better

The Books I Picked & Why

The Lord of the Rings

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Book cover of The Lord of the Rings

Why this book?

I was 12 when I have first read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, which ultimately changed my life toward the person I am now. Understanding that “even the smallest creature can change the destiny of the world”, and following how “common” small and modest creatures like Hobbits are best poised to take the burden of fighting for good was an eye-opener. That idea, of “hobbits changing the world” together with a spirit of unity, diversity, and “we need creatures for all walks of life” that is embedded in Tolkien’s masterpiece(s) has changed my life and shaped my view of activism and change agency forever.


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This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

By Mark Stengler, Paul Engler

Book cover of This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

Why this book?

Building from the scope of world revolutionaries and revolutions, authors build a compelling idea that nonviolent revolution is something everybody may – and should try at home. Balancing the fine line between solid, historically founded cases and an “academic world” and something which is both accessible and inspiring for the common reader. See numerous cases of common people pushing for massive change, and getting inspired.


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Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution

By Andrew Boyd, Dave Oswald Mitchell

Book cover of Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution

Why this book?

Have you heard of “Yes Men”, possibly the most inspiring and creative contemporary group of American activists? People who made powerful corporations like VW look ridiculous and excuse for their emission scandal cheating, and very same people who have shut down the WTO? If “yes”, learn about the coolest tools they and other pranksters have used to empower themselves to change the world. If “no” take this book, buckle up for a wild ride and find an activist toolbox for making your community a better place.


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Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

By Saul D. Alinsky

Book cover of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

Why this book?

Rocking the activist world for more than 30 years, Saul Alinsky's inspiring book takes you through the main concept of understanding what drives social change. Why anger is important to move people, but destructive force per se? Why do we also need hope to drive positive change? And how the pathway to revolution is paved by small tangible victories, Alinsky has it all!


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Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World

By Tina Rosenberg

Book cover of Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World

Why this book?

Though we often think that positive change is inspired by charismatic leaders, NYT top gun journalist Tina Rosenberg takes us to a very different world, where real positive change is not driven by role models, but the peers. From iconic student-led revolution which has spread like wildfire from campuses to cities and villages in 90s Serbia, through removing the stigma from HIV positive people all the way to amazing process in which smoking has become “non cool” instead of “socially acceptable” this book explores the phenomena of “healing the community through peer pressure” especially among youngsters, and may serve as an amazing lighthouse to those seeking to mobilize-and get inspired by their own environment.


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