63 books like ...and forgive them their debts

By Michael Hudson,

Here are 63 books that ...and forgive them their debts fans have personally recommended if you like ...and forgive them their debts. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity

Craig Nelson Author Of V Is for Victory: Franklin Roosevelt's American Revolution and the Triumph of World War II

From my list on history that will wake you up.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent twenty years as a book publishing executive learning how the trade works before launching myself as a full-time author wanting to make the world a better place. My books use state-of-the-art scholarship for history you can read on the beach, and focus on ‘hinge’ moments, great turnings of the world, as well as on forgotten and unsung heroes.

Craig's book list on history that will wake you up

Craig Nelson Why did Craig love this book?

What ideas do you have about what the first peoples were like, and how human society developed?

Maybe you’ve even read the popular authors on this topic such as Diamond, Harari, Pinker, Hobbes, and Rousseau. Prepare to have all of your notions and received opinions upended and turned to dust by David Graeber (a man universally acknowledged as a genius) and the book he worked on for the last ten years of his life, which brings revolutionary ideas to 30,000 years of civilization.

By David Graeber, David Wengrow,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Dawn of Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.

For generations, our remote ancestors have been cast as primitive and childlike—either free and equal innocents, or thuggish and warlike. Civilization, we are told, could be achieved only by sacrificing those original freedoms or, alternatively, by taming our baser instincts. David Graeber and David Wengrow show how such theories first emerged in the eighteenth century as a conservative reaction…


Book cover of Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Richard Kyte Author Of Finding Your Third Place: Building Happier Communities (and Making Great Friends Along the Way)

From my list on building strong, healthy, friendly communities.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in a very small town in northern Minnesota (which also happens to be home to the world’s largest turkey). The town had a vibrant community spirit, which I took for granted then. For the last 15 years, I have been passionately learning how to create flourishing communities that can make our lives better and be great places for raising the next generation of children. This list reflects the best of what I have learned and incorporated into teaching classes on the topic of “building community.” 

Richard's book list on building strong, healthy, friendly communities

Richard Kyte Why did Richard love this book?

This book has changed my personal and professional life. It has made me aware of how essential social interaction and civic engagement are to the health of communities and nations. It made me want to become more involved in organizations, get to know my neighbors and integrate social capital into just about everything I write and every course I teach.

It is loaded with information, charts, and graphs and can be a slog to read cover to cover. However, it is also essential to understand what is happening today.

By Robert D. Putnam,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bowling Alone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work -- but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, Bowling Alone, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement."

Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures -- whether they be PTA, church, or political parties -- have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our…


Book cover of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger

Sam Pizzigati Author Of The Case for a Maximum Wage

From my list on why we need a world without billionaires.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in the 1950s next door to Long Island’s iconic Levittown. All my aunts and uncles lived in similar modest suburbs, and I assumed everyone else did, too. Maybe that explains why America’s sharp economic U-turn in the 1970s so rubbed me the wrong way. We had become, in the mid-20th century, the first major nation where most people—after paying their monthly bills—had money left over. Today we rate as the world’s most unequal major nation. Our richest 0.1 percent hold as much wealth as our bottom 90 percent. I’ve been working with the Institute for Public Studies, as co-editor of Inequality.org, to change all that.

Sam's book list on why we need a world without billionaires

Sam Pizzigati Why did Sam love this book?

The British epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett have an American doctor friend who has a fascinating exercise for his first-year medical school students.

This doctor asks his students to write a speech detailing why the USA has the world’s best health. The students eagerly set about collecting all the relevant data and quickly find themselves absolutely shocked. Among major developed nations, the USA turns out to have the worst health.

Americans also turn out to be up to ten times more likely than people in other developed nations to get murdered or become drug addicts. What’s going on here? Inequality!

The more wealth concentrates at a society’s summit, Wilkinson and Pickett vividly show in this 2009 classic, the worse that society performs on the yardsticks that define basic health and decency. 

By Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Spirit Level as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Groundbreaking analysis showing that greater economic equality-not greater wealth-is the mark of the most successful societies, and offering new ways to achieve it.

"Get your hands on this book."-Bill Moyers

This groundbreaking book, based on thirty years' research, demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for almost everyone within them-the well-off and the poor. The remarkable data the book lays out and the measures it uses are like a spirit level which we can hold up to compare different societies. The differences revealed, even between rich market democracies, are striking. Almost every modern social and environmental problem-ill health, lack of…


Book cover of Our Common Wealth: The Return of Public Ownership in the United States

Keith Harrison-Broninski Author Of Supercommunities: A handbook for the 21st century

From my list on how community can save society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I studied Mathematics – the art of solving a problem by making it as general as possible, then attacking it with a combination of different techniques. By profession, I am a technologist, but the problem that interested me wasn’t technical – I wanted to know why, when most people are basically well-meaning, the world was in such a mess! Early on in my career, I came to believe that better collaboration was part of the answer. Later, I saw how you also needed the right kind of communities. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about psychology, biology, systems theory, learning theory, anthropology, history, management, economics, finance, and more. I’m still learning.

Keith's book list on how community can save society

Keith Harrison-Broninski Why did Keith love this book?

It always seemed to me that public ownership could be a way to unlock better use of resources, and didn’t believe it was the same as Soviet-style economic planning. But I didn’t really know what it did mean!  So, I bought Hanna’s book as soon as it came out in 2018, and wasn’t disappointed. He is Research Director at the Democracy Collaborative, and shows by example how public ownership comes in many varieties. He debunks the myths about it being worse than corporate or private ownership, showing how it can be more efficient and effective. Read this to see how public ownership in one form or another is a sensible and pragmatic option that can help address the really big social challenges such as inequality, sustainability, and fragility.

By Thomas M. Hanna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Public ownership is more widespread and popular in the United States than is commonly understood. This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the scope and scale of U.S. public ownership, debunking frequent misconceptions about the alleged inefficiency and underperformance of public ownership and arguing that it offers powerful, flexible solutions to current problems of inequality, instability, and unsustainability- explaining why after decades of privatization it is making a comeback, including in the agenda of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party in Britain. Hanna offers a vision of deploying new forms of democratized public ownership broadly, across multiple sectors, as…


Book cover of 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age. What caused this epochal shift? Eric Cline outlines just how cataclysmic the 12th and 13th centuries BC really were. Be prepared for fire, earthquakes, and a tide of war!

By Eric Cline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the…


Book cover of The Year-god's Daughter

Greta van der Rol Author Of To Die a Dry Death: The True Story of the Batavia Shipwreck

From my list on historical fiction that carry you to another time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been interested in history, which is probably why I ended up with a BA(Hons) in history. One of the things that historical fiction can do better than a historical text is to take you there, let you live the events as they happened. It's important that the facts are correct, but so is the setting. The narrative has to be believable and convincing. I've done that with my own book, To Die a Dry Death, and I expect nothing less from the books I read.

Greta's book list on historical fiction that carry you to another time

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

This book will transport you straight back to the Crete of the Bronze Age. I felt I was taking every step with the characters. Each setting, whether it be the marketplace in the village, the palace, and the underground prison cells, is meticulously described. The society, bound by ritual and ruled by a queen and her priestesses who are constantly searching for signs of approval from the goddess, is utterly believable. It's a fascinating mix of actual history and myth, where the Gods and Goddesses are as real as they were to the people living in those times.

By Rebecca Lochlann,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Year-god's Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Year-God’s Daughter succeeds in bringing to life a very distant world and capturing a heady blend of archaeology, legend, myth and fantasy." Judith Starkston, author of Hand of Fire.

Award Honoree of the BRAG Medallion for outstanding fiction.

Book One, The Child of the Erinyes series. A Saga of Ancient Greece. Epic historical fantasy inspired by Ariadne, Theseus, and the Minotaur.

Step into the Bronze Age. . . .

Crete: A place of magic, of mystery, where violence and sacrifice meet courage and hope.

Aridela: Wrapped in legend, beloved of the people. An extraordinary woman who dances with bulls.…


Book cover of The Corridors of Time

Susan Price Author Of The Sterkarm Handshake

From my list on that shake fantasy and history up together.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was seven when our headmaster told us about Stone-Age people using stone tools and living in caves. This seemed so unlikely that I checked with my Dad before believing it, but after that, I loved history. I adored the idea of time machines: a day trip to Ancient Rome! A selfie with a saber-tooth! Writing allowed me to time-travel to whenever I liked and to use what I learned about how people lit and warmed their homes, cooked their food, and worshipped their gods. It was inevitable that I would write a time travel book, and it’s a real pleasure to revisit some books that inspired me.

Susan's book list on that shake fantasy and history up together

Susan Price Why did Susan love this book?

I read this classic sci-fi way back when I was a teenager and I think, over the years, it has been a quiet, persistent influence on my own writing.

Two groups of time-travellers go back and forth along ‘the corridors of Time,’ fighting to influence history their way. The protagonist is taken from a prison cell to join one group and has to catch up with what’s going on as he’s taken to the future, the seventeenth century, and the Bronze Age.

What stayed with me most vividly was Anderson’s recreation of the Danish Bronze Age and the fact that the main character chooses to give up his own time in order to remain in the Bronze Age with the people he has come to love.

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A young man from the twentieth century is recruited to fight in a war that rages throughout time in this classic science fiction adventure from a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning master.

College student, ex-marine, and martial artist Malcolm Lockridge is in prison awaiting his trial for murder when he receives an unexpected visit from an extraordinarily beautiful woman named Storm. Claiming to be a representative of the Wardens, a political faction from two thousand years in the future, Storm offers the astonished young man a proposition: freedom in return for his assistance in recovering an unspecified lost treasure. But…


Book cover of The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

Kenneth W. Harl Author Of Empires of the Steppes: A History of the Nomadic Tribes Who Shaped Civilization

From my list on how the nomadic peoples enriched and shaped civilizations across Eurasia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor Emeritus of Classical and Byzantine History, and I was fascinated by Attila and the Hun and Genghis Khan from early childhood when I decided that I would become a historian. I set out to write the history of the Eurasian nomads from their perspective, and so convey their neglected history to a wider readership.

Kenneth's book list on how the nomadic peoples enriched and shaped civilizations across Eurasia

Kenneth W. Harl Why did Kenneth love this book?

Anthony has synthesized a vast literature on historical linguistics and archaeology to explain the origins of the first steppe nomads on the South Russian steppes in the fourth millennium B.C.

In my opinion, Anthony does an outstanding job of explaining the origins and distribution of the speakers of Indo-European languages whose migrations have defined the linguistic map from Ireland to India. Subsequent DNA analysis of the populations of Yamnaya steppe culture has confirmed his thesis based on linguistic evidence and archaeology.

I recommend this book as the fundamental work for any study of the early Indo-European-speaking nomads.

By David W. Anthony,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization. Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the…


Book cover of Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

David Stansfield Author Of The Making of a Suicide Bomber

From my list on understanding the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I have been obsessed with the Arabic language and culture. In 1959, I studied this language at Durham University, graduating Summa Cum Laude – including living with a Palestinian family in Jerusalem for a number of months. Then moving on to further studies in Arabic at Cambridge University, graduating with a First Class Honors degree. Over the next decades, I have made many trips to the Middle East, working on a number of projects, including stints in North Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jerusalem, Kuwait, and the Persian Gulf. Most recently, I served as the Arabic consultant on the Netflix TV series House of Cards.

David's book list on understanding the Middle East

David Stansfield Why did David love this book?

The Palestinian writer, Nur Masalha, traces Palestine's thousands of years old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of extraordinary depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine’s multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel–Palestinian conflict. 

By Nur Masalha,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.

Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of…


Book cover of Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History

Gordon Doherty Author Of Son of Ishtar

From my list on the Hittite Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. My love of history was first kindled by visits to the misty Roman ruins of Britain and the sun-baked antiquities of Turkey and Greece. My expeditions since have taken me all over the world and back and forth through time (metaphorically, at least), allowing me to write tales of the later Roman Empire, Byzantium, Classical Greece and even the distant Bronze Age.

Gordon's book list on the Hittite Empire

Gordon Doherty Why did Gordon love this book?

This is the vicarious traveler’s delight. ‘Sensory’ doesn’t quite cover the delightful descriptives in Lloyd’s ‘Ancient Turkey’. He takes you on a journey across the varied and beautiful landscape of Anatolia and though time as well - from prehistory through the Bronze Age when the Hittite Empire dominated and the legend of Troy was born, on to the time of King Midas and right up to the Greek and Roman periods.

By Seton Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"An elegantly written account of Turkey's history by one of the greatest living authorities on the subject. . . . The historically minded visitor would be well advised to pack this beguiling book."―British Archaeological News

Seton Lloyd's lively account of Turkey's early history is for the increasing number of people visiting the ancient sites of this fabled land. Written by an archaeologist who spent much of his life in the Near East, the book is not a conventional "guide" to the antiquities of Anatolia. It is instead Lloyd's attempt to share his profound interest in an antique land, its inhabitants,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Bronze Age, the financial crisis of 2007–2008, and Mesopotamia?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Bronze Age, the financial crisis of 2007–2008, and Mesopotamia.

The Bronze Age 23 books
Mesopotamia 25 books