100 books like Anatomies of Revolution

By George Lawson,

Here are 100 books that Anatomies of Revolution fans have personally recommended if you like Anatomies of Revolution. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Wretched of the Earth

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

This book is a classic of the anti-colonial struggles of the middle of the twentieth century and was important for many of the revolutionaries of that time. It is written with passion and verve and carried me along on the revolutionary adventure.

It reflects a burning commitment to socialist revolutionary change, which stands in stark contrast to much contemporary politics and roots this in an argument about the psychological implications of imperialism. A stimulating discussion, and one which still generates much argument and dispute.

By Frantz Fanon, Richard Philcox (translator),

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Wretched of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

First published in 1961, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a masterful and timeless interrogation of race, colonialism, psychological trauma, and revolutionary struggle. In 2020, it found a new readership in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the centering of narratives interrogating race by Black writers. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in spurring historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on…


Book cover of The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

I love this book because it is a passionate statement about revolution in the middle of the twentieth century by one of the foremost philosophers of our time.

The book is stimulating because of the depth of reasoning and clarity of argument, but also because it continually stimulates me to argue with it. Without doubt, a classic of its genre and one that, while not always easy to read, I found hard to put down.

By Albert Camus,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

This is a terrific book that transformed our thinking about revolution. A comparative study of France, Russia, and China, it adopts a structural approach to revolution rather than seeing it as a result of the actions of particular revolutionaries.

What I found stimulating about this book was the way it brought together the role of the state and the impact of international factors in bringing about revolution. Its argument, while not without shortcomings, moved our understanding of revolution onto a richer and more complex theoretical basis than it had been before. A major work bringing the study of the state and the study of revolution together in an intellectually exciting way.

By Theda Skocpol,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

State structures, international forces, and class relations: Theda Skocpol shows how all three combine to explain the origins and accomplishments of social-revolutionary transformations. Social revolutions have been rare but undeniably of enormous importance in modern world history. States and Social Revolutions provides a new frame of reference for analyzing the causes, the conflicts, and the outcomes of such revolutions. It develops a rigorous, comparative historical analysis of three major cases: the French Revolution of 1787 through the early 1800s, the Russian Revolution of 1917 through the 1930s, and the Chinese Revolution of 1911 through the 1960s. Believing that existing theories…


Book cover of The Anatomy of Revolution Revisited: A Comparative Analysis of England, France, and Russia

Graeme Gill Author Of Revolution and Terror

From my list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became passionate about this subject when I was at university and I realised that so many revolutions that were conducted in the name of high ideals ended up involving considerable suffering and death on the part of the ordinary people. And not just the ordinary people, but the revolutionaries as well. Why, I wondered, was this the case, and did it mean, as many in the 1960s and 1970s argued, that revolution was ultimately self-defeating? The quest to answer these questions remains on-going, but the books I have suggested have helped me to make some headway towards a resolution.

Graeme's book list on understand why, as Mao said, “revolution is not a dinner party”

Graeme Gill Why did Graeme love this book?

I found this comparative study of England, France and Russia an elegant and theoretically sophisticated analysis of three of what are considered to be the “great revolutions”.

It is a 2014 reworking of the 1938 classic by Crane Brinton and, like its predecessor, its great strength is in its comparative historical analysis. I loved the depth of historical analysis of each of the case studies, with sufficient detail to enable me at times to reach different conclusions from the author.

It was also able to go beyond Brinton’s original, in terms both of its historical detail and theoretical sweep. Its ambition, grounded in the case studies, was exhilarating.

Book cover of Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620–1914

Carol R. Byerly Author Of Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army During World War I

From my list on how diseases shape society.

Why am I passionate about this?

Carol R. Byerly is a historian specializing in the history of military medicine. She has taught American history and the history of medicine history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, was a contract historian for the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General, Office of History, and has also worked for the U.S. Congress and the American Red Cross. Byerly’s publications include Fever of War: The Influenza Epidemic in the U.S. Army during World War I and Good Tuberculosis Men: The Army Medical Department’s Struggle with Tuberculosis. She is currently working on a biography of Army medical officer William C. Gorgas, (1854-1920), whose public health measures, including clearing yellow fever from Panama, enabled the United States to construct the canal across the Isthmus.

Carol's book list on how diseases shape society

Carol R. Byerly Why did Carol love this book?

McNeill, William McNeill’s son, examines the intersection of disease, ecology, race, and international politics to show how infectious disease shaped the fortunes of colonial empires in the Caribbean. In the wake of the encounter between Europeans and the New World which destroyed up to 90 percent of the Amerindian population, European empires restructured the region into a colonial economy of sugar and slavery. Mosquitos bearing malaria and yellow fever flourished in this environment and McNeill shows how anyone seeking power in the region had to reckon with both them and disease.

By J.R. McNeill,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This book explores the links among ecology, disease, and international politics in the context of the Greater Caribbean - the landscapes lying between Surinam and the Chesapeake - in the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. Ecological changes made these landscapes especially suitable for the vector mosquitoes of yellow fever and malaria, and these diseases wrought systematic havoc among armies and would-be settlers. Because yellow fever confers immunity on survivors of the disease, and because malaria confers resistance, these diseases played partisan roles in the struggles for empire and revolution, attacking some populations more severely than others. In particular, yellow fever…


Book cover of Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics; Civil Disobedience; On Violence; Thoughts on Politics and Revolution

Hannah Gurman and Kaeten Mistry Author Of Whistleblowing Nation: The History of National Security Disclosures and the Cult of State Secrecy

From my list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are historians of U.S. foreign relations who have written extensively on the Cold War and national security. Both of us were interested in whistleblowing yet knew relatively little about its history. Turns out, we were not alone. Despite lots of popular interest in the topic, we soon discovered that, beyond individual biographies, barely anything is known about the broader history of the phenomenon. With funding from the UK’s Arts and Humanities Council, we led a collaborative research project, which involved historians, literary scholars, and political theorists, as well as whistleblowers, journalists, and lawyers. One of the fruits of the project, Whistleblowing Nation, is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary history of U.S. national security whistleblowing.


Hannah's book list on U.S. national security culture and the exposure of secrets

Hannah Gurman and Kaeten Mistry Why did Hannah love this book?

At its core, whistleblowing is an act of truth-telling, often in response to official misrepresentation and lies. While not explicitly about whistleblowing, Hannah Arendt’s 1971 essay, “Lying in Politics” is an indispensable read for anyone interested in the subject. Written in the wake of the Pentagon Papers disclosure, it situates the official lies of the Vietnam War within a broader phenomenon of political propaganda. Exploring how propaganda aimed at the public ultimately took hold within senior policymaking circles, it reveals the blurry line between official lies and self-deception. Challenging simple precepts about whistleblowing and public transparency, Arendt explores whether or not and why knowledge of the facts actually makes a difference. Along with the broader collection of essays in Crises of the Republic, this piece offers uncanny insight into post-truth politics and the breakdown of democracy in our day.

By Hannah Arendt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A collection of studies in which Arendt, from the standpoint of a political philosopher, views the crises of the 1960s and early 1970s as challenges to the american form of government. Index.


Book cover of I Must Betray You

Kerry Chaput Author Of Chasing Eleanor

From my list on taking you on an adventure with a found family.

Why am I passionate about this?

Found family changed my life, allowing me to find acceptance for the real, messy, complicated me. I believe everyone should have that experience. I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic disorder for my entire life, something that was never understood by my family growing up. As I worked to understand my own mental health struggles, it was the people who came into my life with love and compassion who helped me accept that I was never broken. I want every reader to feel that when they read one of my books. Chasing Eleanor was inspired by all five of these book recommendations, with adventure and found family at its heart.

Kerry's book list on taking you on an adventure with a found family

Kerry Chaput Why did Kerry love this book?

Sepetys never disappoints, but I Must Betray You grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go. I read this book in twenty-four hours.

Sepetys has a way of character development that never underestimates her readers. This story is raw and haunting, with a hard punch of constant action. I Must Betray You takes us behind the Iron Curtain to 1989 Communist Romania, where high schooler Cristian must become an informer to save his family. What unfolds is a story of bravery, sacrifice, and love.

By Ruta Sepetys,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked I Must Betray You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

A #1 New York Times and National Bestseller!
 
A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.

Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.
 
Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s…


Book cover of Black Mass

Firmin Debrabander Author Of Life After Privacy: Reclaiming Democracy in a Surveillance Society

From my list on stoic themes, influence and inspiration.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved the Stoics, from the first time I read Seneca. I appreciate that they seek to speak to a wider audience than most philosophers, on issues that concern many: happiness, anxiety, pain, loss. The Stoics were wonderful writers, whose influence has been manifest throughout western philosophy. And they extended their expertise beyond the academy, and were very involved in politics. Seneca was the advisor to the emperor Nero; Cicero, who dabbled in Stoicism, was perhaps the most famous senator of Rome. Marcus Aurelius was emperor. 

Firmin's book list on stoic themes, influence and inspiration

Firmin Debrabander Why did Firmin love this book?

John Gray is an exceptional writer. In that respect alone, he is already reminiscent of the Stoics, who are some of the best writers among philosophers. Black Mass deals with the pitfalls of anger and ideology, when it comes to politics. The Stoics were famously skeptical of both, and urge practitioners to resist becoming too impassioned in political affairs—which reliably roil the soul.

By John Gray,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A prophetic warning against the foolishness of crusades, John Gray's Black Mass challenges our belief in human progress.

Our conventional view of history is wrong. It is founded on a pernicious myth of an achievable utopia that in the last century alone caused the murder of tens of millions.

In Black Mass John Gray tears down the religious, political and secular beliefs that we insist are fundamental to the human project, examines the interaction of terrorism, declining world resources, environmental change, human myths of redemption and a flawed belief in Western democracy, and shows us how a misplaced faith in…


Book cover of The Shining Path: Love, Madness, and Revolution in the Andes

Kim MacQuarrie Author Of The Last Days of the Incas

From my list on the amazing country of Peru.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in Peru for five years, working as a writer, filmmaker, and anthropologist. For part of that time, I lived with a recently-contacted tribe in the Upper Amazon, visited Maoist Shining Path “liberated zones” and later made a number of documentaries on the Amazon as well as have written a number of books, most of which are on some aspect of Peru. Peru remains one of the most fascinating countries on Earth--a kind of dense amalgamation of ancient civilizations, archaeology, immense biodiversity, incredible beauty, and lots and lots of adventure. Although there’s no substitute for visiting Peru yourself--reading about it is a great way to begin your adventure!

Kim's book list on the amazing country of Peru

Kim MacQuarrie Why did Kim love this book?

Peru is often described as a country that is a combination of the coast, the Andes, and the Amazon, and this book on the origin of the Maoist Shining Path group in the Andes not only illuminates some of Peru’s recent political history, but also shines a light on many of the disparities that still exist between rural and urban Peru and between la costa, la sierra, and la Amazonia.

By Orin Starn, Miguel La Serna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

On 17 May 1980, on the eve of Peru's presidential election, five masked men stormed a small town in the Andean heartland. They set election ballots ablaze and vanished into the night but not before planting a red hammer-and-sickle banner in the town square. The lone man arrested the next morning later swore allegiance to a group called Shining Path. The tale of how this ferocious group of guerrilla insurgents launched a decade-long reign of terror, and how brave police investigators and journalists brought it to justice, may be the most compelling chapter in modern Latin American history but the…


Book cover of Nonviolent Revolutions: Civil Resistance in the Late 20th Century

Ches Thurber Author Of Between Mao and Gandhi: The Social Roots of Civil Resistance

From my list on nonviolent protest in global politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a researcher and teacher who studies global security. I first thought this meant the study of various forms of violence: wars, terrorism, genocides. And, I still study all of that. But the events of the Arab Spring in particular led me to see the importance of nonviolent protest movements as an important form of global conflict. These movements, often called “civil resistance,”  have proved surprisingly capable of toppling dictators and bringing about democratization. But the news is not all good: they also frequently spark mass repression, civil wars, and even wars between countries. Understanding contemporary global conflict requires understanding how nonviolent movements work.

Ches' book list on nonviolent protest in global politics

Ches Thurber Why did Ches love this book?

Sharon Nepstad analyzes the success and failure of nonviolent resistance movements across a set of global case studies. Her findings highlight two dimensions that probably don’t get as much attention as they deserve.

First, she reveals the importance of civil-military relations in protest movements: the behavior of the military and other state security forces is often decisive to the fate of unarmed uprisings. And this behavior, in turn, is shaped by the recruitment patterns, training, and organizational structure of those forces. The Tianamen Square massacre, for example, only happened after the Chinese government replaced the local patrolling units with military forces from the country's periphery.

Second, Nepstad shows how international support to nonviolent movements can often be counterproductive, as it allows dictators to wave the flag of nationalism against foreign interference. This is an important caution for policymakers and activists thinking about how they can help nonviolent movements around the…

By Sharon Erickson Nepstad,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Nonviolent Revolutions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the spring of 1989, Chinese workers and students captured global attention as they occupied Tiananmen Square, demanded political change, and then experienced a tragic crackdown at the hands of the Chinese army. Months later, East German civilians rose up nonviolently, bringing down the Berlin Wall and dismantling their regime. Although both movements used the tactics of civil resistance, their outcomes were different.

In Nonviolent Revolutions, Sharon Erickson Nepstad examines these two movements, along with citizen uprisings in Panama, Chile, Kenya, and the Philippines. Through a comparative approach that includes both successful and failed cases, she analyzes the effects of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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