The best books to understand the Western’s social unrest and decay

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a privileged individual of our Western society, with access to a good education, living away from hunger and despair. Am I wealthy? Far from it. I am amid that middle class where working hours are well understood and spare time is fully enjoyed. I have been a consultant to businesses of all sizes and I have learned closely how the wheels turn, how in order to produce anything, always someone and something is crushed and squeezed. Profit on one side and destruction and poverty on the other one. Throughout time, I have met people from various countries and understood the value of a multicultural world, which I defend.


I wrote...

The Brittle Foundations of our Civilization

By Paul James Gabol,

Book cover of The Brittle Foundations of our Civilization

What is my book about?

The fundamental concepts of our social life go back as far as 2,800 years. In that time, humanity has made astounding discoveries, created an extraordinary comfortable and modern world and invented the unthinkable. We have tamed the natural forces and shaped the planet’s surface. We have evolved…no, sorry, we have not. It is true that we live longer and healthier, but our society remains untouched. Our social foundations, debated in the world at its beginning are still being put to the test. We have failed. Our understanding of the ideal society is as good as 3000 years ago. We are no better. Our civilization is bound to crumble as former empires did, our foundations are fragile, what we believe in is contradictory. We are lost.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Germinal

Paul James Gabol Why did I love this book?

I was very young when I first read this book. Many years later I took it back from the shelf and went through its pages with older eyes.

The reality portrayed by Émile Zola in the 19th Century is quite brutal. The coal miners back then – with their struggle for life, excess work, permanent fatigue, lack of knowledge and understanding, contrasted by the careful calculations and comfort of their masters – mirror miners and other workers today.

Greed on one side, poverty on the other regarded as normal. The very few with enough wit to overthrow the injustice were silenced, as it happens today at the productive facilities of the capital.

Social unrest? No wonder.

By Emile Zola, Havelock Ellis (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Germinal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


Book cover of Brave New World

Paul James Gabol Why did I love this book?

When our English teacher explained the opposing worlds in this book, we were supposed to take a side.

I do not know about Mr. Huxley’s intentions upon writing this marvelous and entertaining work, but the title itself is sarcasm on the world to come. A society where people are genetically designed to belong to a class and perform according tasks in full enjoyment.

The upper classes waste time, having fun and sex driven by a drug, while who knows who or where, technology, goods, and food are produced and supplied.

In our world today, metaverse and virtual reality are that drug, with people thinking that home office is actual work, while who knows who... A sad prediction right on target about a vacuous society.

A book to read between the lines.

By Aldous Huxley,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked Brave New World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**One of the BBC's 100 Novels That Shaped Our World**

EVERYONE BELONGS TO EVERYONE ELSE. Read the dystopian classic that inspired the hit Sky TV series.

'A masterpiece of speculation... As vibrant, fresh, and somehow shocking as it was when I first read it' Margaret Atwood, bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale.

Welcome to New London. Everybody is happy here. Our perfect society achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family and history itself. Now everyone belongs.

You can be happy too. All you need to do is take your Soma pills.

Discover the brave new…


Book cover of The Gods Are Athirst

Paul James Gabol Why did I love this book?

You and I are recently witnessing the popular upheaval in France as a result of the chronic reduction of the purchasing power.

A new story? Ha, no! The French Revolution was about the same thing at the same place: making ends meet. Anatole France takes us through a particular subject within the Revolutionary Tribunal, where the trials of the bourgeoisie should end in bloody executions.

It is very interesting to get under the skin of those jurors to understand why uprisings happen. I can easily see why people seek revenge without any conscience. The ambiance is captivating, the plot is pulling.

By Anatole France, Alfred Allinson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Gods Are Athirst as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world's literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.


Book cover of Fahrenheit 451

Paul James Gabol Why did I love this book?

Indoctrination is the key in this very interesting book.

Western society permanently blames other cultures about brain-washing of the people, but refrains to talk or admit its own. I can see the religious indoctrination of our Christian Society; the money-minded, capital compelled, behavior of our masses. I can see the entertainment curtain pushing people away from books.

In this story about the future of humanity, the smoke enlightens and corrects the path to follow, using a simple tool: fire, to torch books and withdraw imagination to obtain a perfectly aligned and ignorant civilization.

But you, reader, as myself, will preserve books, ideas, and true progress. Perhaps we will all be condemned for nurturing thoughts.

By Ray Bradbury,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Fahrenheit 451 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The hauntingly prophetic classic novel set in a not-too-distant future where books are burned by a special task force of firemen.

Over 1 million copies sold in the UK.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic…


Book cover of For Us, the Living: A Comedy of Customs

Paul James Gabol Why did I love this book?

This book is an unfinished work, hard to follow, because it is a draft never reviewed by the author and published posthumously.

However, it is a must-read, so please do not be discouraged as I was, for the ideas that it encloses picture a more equalized society practically based on the changing of our economic road, nothing else than ending capitalism as we know it.

Two subjects are of particular interest: first, how to correctly retribute people for the wealth they generate through their work; and second, a demonstration of how excess production and money amassing do not amount to wealth. An interesting lesson in economics.

By Robert A. Heinlein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For Us, the Living as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After crashing his car in 1939, Naval Airman Perry Nelson awakens to find the radically different world of 2086, one marked by a United Europe, the destruction of Manhattan island by two helicopters in 2003, and other changes in the economy, legal system, and the relationships between men and women, in a remarkable, long-lost first novel by the late master of speculative fiction. 75,000 first printing. Science Fiction Bk Club.


You might also like...

The Circus Infinite

By Khan Wong,

Book cover of The Circus Infinite

Khan Wong Author Of The Circus Infinite

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Creative expression has been one of my most cherished values since childhood. I've always had a creative hobby of some kind since I was a kid. Not sure how that happened – my parents were tolerant of my interests at best. I made my day job career in the arts, fostering the creativity of community members and supporting the work of artists. Art (in the general sense of all forms of creative expression) is, to me, a defining characteristic of humanity, it makes life worth living, and the way it’s devalued under Capitalism both saddens and inspires me as a creator myself. I’m a writer of speculative fiction and I write about creative people.

Khan's book list on how art is more than art

What is my book about?

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

The Circus Infinite

By Khan Wong,

What is this book about?

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon where everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn't take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and when the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes' head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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