73 books like Democracy Awakening

By Heather Cox Richardson,

Here are 73 books that Democracy Awakening fans have personally recommended if you like Democracy Awakening. 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 Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory: American Evangelicals in an Age of Extremism

William Watson Author Of Twelve Steps for White America: For a United States of America

From my list on explaining a divided United States of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own collusion with white supremacy and anti-Blackness is a lifelong journey I mitigate for my soul’s redemption. I am a Mississippi-born redneck, alcoholic, psychotherapist, San Francisco Bay Area queer, higher education administrator with a Critical Race Theory doctorate. I first learned democracy by watching my Mississippi parents risk their lives and mine in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Three-Fifths Magazine recently published “My First English: The Vernacular of the KKK.” My book, “Twelve Steps for White America” won the BookFest 1st Place Gold Medal for “Society and Social Sciences: Race Culture Class and Religion.” I work to live in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes. 

William's book list on explaining a divided United States of America

William Watson Why did William love this book?

If you think it is crazy how evangelicals can support a politician who seemingly counters the very teachings of Jesus, you’ve got to read this book. I love the writing in this book! That should not be surprising since the author is an outstanding political reporter who also has an insider advantage as the son of a preacher.

LBJ lost the South for a generation, and Tim Alberta explains what happened next! 

By Tim Alberta,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller

One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of the Year

An Air Mail Best Book of the Year

The award-winning journalist and staff writer for The Atlantic follows up his New York Times bestseller American Carnage with this timely, rigorously reported, and deeply personal examination of the divisions that threaten to destroy the American evangelical movement.

Evangelical Christians are perhaps the most polarizing—and least understood—people living in America today. In his seminal new book, The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, journalist Tim Alberta, himself a practicing Christian and the son of an evangelical pastor, paints an…


Book cover of Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point

William Watson Author Of Twelve Steps for White America: For a United States of America

From my list on explaining a divided United States of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own collusion with white supremacy and anti-Blackness is a lifelong journey I mitigate for my soul’s redemption. I am a Mississippi-born redneck, alcoholic, psychotherapist, San Francisco Bay Area queer, higher education administrator with a Critical Race Theory doctorate. I first learned democracy by watching my Mississippi parents risk their lives and mine in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Three-Fifths Magazine recently published “My First English: The Vernacular of the KKK.” My book, “Twelve Steps for White America” won the BookFest 1st Place Gold Medal for “Society and Social Sciences: Race Culture Class and Religion.” I work to live in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes. 

William's book list on explaining a divided United States of America

William Watson Why did William love this book?

I love it when a book comes along that is both accessible and rich with content!

This book continues enriching the “how did we get here” conversation from their previous book, How Democracies Die. I argue that minority rule is an extension of the plantation economy that persists into the present.

This book took me deeply into minority rule, how it is structured, and how it threatens us today. It provided me with a more finely honed framework to not only understand the past but equip my survival in the present.

By Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of The 400-Year Holocaust: White America's Legal, Psychopathic, and Sociopathic Black Genocide - and the Revolt Against Critical Race Theory

William Watson Author Of Twelve Steps for White America: For a United States of America

From my list on explaining a divided United States of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own collusion with white supremacy and anti-Blackness is a lifelong journey I mitigate for my soul’s redemption. I am a Mississippi-born redneck, alcoholic, psychotherapist, San Francisco Bay Area queer, higher education administrator with a Critical Race Theory doctorate. I first learned democracy by watching my Mississippi parents risk their lives and mine in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Three-Fifths Magazine recently published “My First English: The Vernacular of the KKK.” My book, “Twelve Steps for White America” won the BookFest 1st Place Gold Medal for “Society and Social Sciences: Race Culture Class and Religion.” I work to live in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes. 

William's book list on explaining a divided United States of America

William Watson Why did William love this book?

I could read only this book and be more educated about the history of race in America than 99% of the population.

This was a thrill ride of gripping prosecution that tied me up and couldn’t let me go until I was finished. Listening to King read the book was overwhelming since King’s considerable erudition is unapologetically attached to his lived experience of Black genocide.

Every white American (and all of White America) must read this book. Reconciliation and renewal starts with truth. If I was exhausted reading it, what must it be like for Black America to live it?

By Dante D King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 400-Year Holocaust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 400-Year Holocaust: White America’s Legal, Psychopathic, and Sociopathic Black Genocide - and the Revolt Against Critical Race Theory examines and discusses factions of the legal history of anti-blackness and Whiteness through colonialism and the United States, and its impacts on present-day America. It centers anti-blackness as the core tenet of "racism" in White America and amplifies its relationship to the inherent "value" of Whiteness (i.e., White identity, White culture, White institutions, etc.). The text repositions and critically examines four core White American economic, moral, socio-cultural, and ideological institutions: human sex trafficking, rape, pedophilia, and violence (murder). Furthermore, it positions…


Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

By John Kenneth White,

Book cover of Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

John Kenneth White Author Of Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Reading was a childhood passion of mine. My mother was a librarian and got me interested in reading early in life. When John F. Kennedy was running for president and after his assassination, I became intensely interested in politics. In addition to reading history and political biographies, I consumed newspapers and television news. It is this background that I have drawn upon over the decades that has added value to my research.

John's book list on who we are, how we’ve changed, and what gives us hope

What is my book about?

It didn’t begin with Donald Trump. When the Republican Party lost five straight presidential elections during the 1930s and 1940s, three things happened: (1) Republicans came to believe that presidential elections are rigged; (2) Conspiracy theories arose and were believed; and (3) The presidency was elevated to cult-like status.

Long before Trump, each of these phenomena grew in importance. The John Birch Society and McCarthyism became powerful forces; Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first “personal president” to rise above the party; and the development of what Harry Truman called “the big lie,” where outrageous falsehoods came to be believed. Trump…

Grand Old Unraveling: The Republican Party, Donald Trump, and the Rise of Authoritarianism

By John Kenneth White,

What is this book about?

It didn't begin with Donald Trump. The unraveling of the Grand Old Party has been decades in the making. Since the time of FDR, the Republican Party has been home to conspiracy thinking, including a belief that lost elections were rigged. And when Republicans later won the White House, the party elevated their presidents to heroic status-a predisposition that eventually posed a threat to democracy. Building on his esteemed 2016 book, What Happened to the Republican Party?, John Kenneth White proposes to explain why this happened-not just the election of Trump but the authoritarian shift in the party as a…


Book cover of Birth of a White Nation: The Invention of White People and Its Relevance Today

William Watson Author Of Twelve Steps for White America: For a United States of America

From my list on explaining a divided United States of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

My own collusion with white supremacy and anti-Blackness is a lifelong journey I mitigate for my soul’s redemption. I am a Mississippi-born redneck, alcoholic, psychotherapist, San Francisco Bay Area queer, higher education administrator with a Critical Race Theory doctorate. I first learned democracy by watching my Mississippi parents risk their lives and mine in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Three-Fifths Magazine recently published “My First English: The Vernacular of the KKK.” My book, “Twelve Steps for White America” won the BookFest 1st Place Gold Medal for “Society and Social Sciences: Race Culture Class and Religion.” I work to live in a USA where race no longer predicts outcomes. 

William's book list on explaining a divided United States of America

William Watson Why did William love this book?

Battalora’s teaching that whiteness was created in colonial America to divide the masses and ensure that white elites dominate is central to my Rigged Advantage Theory.

I love how rich this short book is for informing where “white” came from. Imagine if white people understood that King James (of Bible fame) was NOT white but that “white” was made up to prevent my 1st ancestor in the new world (an indentured servant) from ever aligning his potential for political power with enslaved people to VOTE in a multi-racial democracy. This drama persists!

By Jacqueline Battalora,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Birth of a White Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Birth of a White Nation is a fascinating book on race in America that begins with an exploration of the moment in time when "white people," as a separate and distinct group of humanity, were invented through legislation and the enactment of laws. The book provides a thorough examination of the underlying reasons as well as the ways in which "white people" were created. It also explains how the creation of this distinction divided laborers and ultimately served the interests of the elite. The book goes on to examine how foundational law and policy in the U.S. were used to…


Book cover of Envious Casca

Martin Davies Author Of Mrs Hudson and The Christmas Canary

From my list on Christmas certain not to frighten the reindeer.

Why am I passionate about this?

Christmas, it’s often said, is a time for family, so I asked my son to answer this one for me: "He’s an all-right dad, but sometimes he’s really annoying. His most annoying habit is foraging for things in hedges. His books are actually quite good. He’s good about driving me to places. The dog loves him. He really likes Christmas. His best Christmas habit is that he loves Christmas trees, but he never wants to put them up as early as everyone else, then he always makes us keep them up till Twelfth Night."

Martin's book list on Christmas certain not to frighten the reindeer

Martin Davies Why did Martin love this book?

Can I make this list and not include a golden-age detective story set in a country house at Christmas? This one has all the ingredients required for an afternoon by the fire, looking out at the wintry weather—a locked room, an appealing detective, and a cast of people compelled, rather unwisely, to spend Christmas in each other’s company. "If you ask me, there very likely wouldn’t have been a murder at all if it hadn’t been for him getting ideas about peace and goodwill, and assembling all these highly uncongenial people under the same roof at the same time. 

By Georgette Heyer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Tis the season—to be dead...

A holiday party takes on a sinister aspect when the colorful assortment of guests discovers there is a killer in their midst. The owner of the substantial estate, that old Scrooge Nathaniel Herriard, is found stabbed in the back. While the delicate matter of inheritance could be the key to this crime, the real conundrum is how any of the suspects could have entered a locked room to commit the foul deed.

For Inspector Hemingway of Scotland Yard, the investigation is complicated by the fact that every guest is hiding something—throwing all of their testimony…


Book cover of The Remains of the Day

Victor Lodato Author Of Honey

From my list on packing an emotional punch.

Why am I passionate about this?

In addition to writing novels, I’m also a playwright. Whatever form I work in, I’m drawn to character, drama, and emotion. I aspire to write literary page-turners that feel as rich and complicated as real life.  Also, I want the endings of my books to slay readers and break their hearts. Of course, when I say that, I’m not necessarily speaking of sorrow; sometimes your heart breaks from expanding, from a surfeit of feeling. Your heart breaks only to grow larger.

Victor's book list on packing an emotional punch

Victor Lodato Why did Victor love this book?

This novel about an English butler’s lifetime of service and his friendship with the housekeeper, Miss Kenton, is an absolute stunner.

Near the end of the book, when the butler and the housekeeper run into each other again, years after their service to Lord Darlington, the scene is expertly understated. 

This book doesn’t give in to trite sentimentality, but rather, it moves you by its keen understanding of human nature.

By Kazuo Ishiguro,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked The Remains of the Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*Kazuo Ishiguro's new novel Klara and the Sun is now available to preorder*

The Remains of the Day won the 1989 Booker Prize and cemented Kazuo Ishiguro's place as one of the world's greatest writers. David Lodge, chairman of the judges in 1989, said, it's "a cunningly structured and beautifully paced performance". This is a haunting evocation of lost causes and lost love, and an elegy for England at a time of acute change. Ishiguro's work has been translated into more than forty languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Stevens, the long-serving butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on…


Book cover of Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas

Denise Kiernan Author Of We Gather Together: A Nation Divided, a President in Turmoil, and a Historic Campaign to Embrace Gratitude and Grace

From my list on on or by maverick women.

Why am I passionate about this?

Denise Kiernan is a multiple New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction books including The Girls Of Atomic City, The Last Castle, and We Gather Together. Throughout her career as a journalist and an author, she has explored underrepresented stories and characters and the impact they have had on history. These stories of the unsung offer fresh perspectives on historical tales we think we already know. At the heart of many of Kiernan’s nonfiction explorations are women from a variety of different backgrounds and time periods.

Denise's book list on on or by maverick women

Denise Kiernan Why did Denise love this book?

There are many ways to approach history. Donna Lucey brilliantly chose to usher readers into the world of the Gilded Age via the captivating canvases of that era’s most sought-after portraitist, John Singer Sargent. There are always more stories lurking behind Sargent’s luxurious depictions of his subjects, and Lucey gets beneath the paint and the posing to give us her own picture of four very real women whose lives are far more nuanced than any portrait sitting can convey.

By Donna M. Lucey, Donna M. Lucey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sargent's Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With unprecedented access to newly discovered sources, Donna M. Lucey illuminates the lives of four women painted by the society portraitist John Singer Sargent. With uncanny clairvoyance, Sargent's portraits hint at the mysteries, passions and tragedies that unfolded in his subjects' lives. Elsie Palmer carried on a labyrinthine love life in a Rocky Mountain castle; Elizabeth Chanler stepped into a maze of infidelity with her best friend's husband; as the veiled image of Sally Fairchild emerged on the canvas, her sister was lured into an ill-fated life in art; and shrewd Isabella Stewart Gardner collected both art and young men.…


Book cover of Hidden Pictures

S.W. Hubbard Author Of Another Man's Treasure

From my list on mysteries with creepy houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring old homes. Whether I’m on a historic house tour, an estate sale, or a real estate open house, I love seeing the glimpses of the people who once occupied the home. When my mom passed away, I hired an estate sale organizer to help me clear out her house and became fascinated with the estate sale business. What a great way to peek into other people’s houses and lives and perhaps discover their darkest secrets! That’s how I started writing my Palmyrton Estate Sale Mystery Series. 

S.W.'s book list on mysteries with creepy houses

S.W. Hubbard Why did S.W. love this book?

A young woman desperate for a second chance accepts a position as a nanny which comes with lodging in the pool house behind the family’s main house. The pool house is nicer than any place she’s lived recently, but she soon starts hearing strange noises and the little boy she’s watching starts drawing pictures that become creepier and more detailed as time goes on. I loved the flawed but kind heroine and cheered for her to figure out what happened in that pool house and what’s going on with the seemingly normal family who hired her. A real page-turner!

By Jason Rekulak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER · OPTIONED FOR NETFLIX BY A PRODUCER OF THE BATMAN

“I loved it." —Stephen King

From Edgar Award-finalist Jason Rekulak comes a wildly inventive spin on the supernatural thriller, for fans of Stranger Things and Riley Sager, about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets.

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and…


Book cover of The Code of the Woosters

Scott Stein Author Of The Great American Deception

From my list on funny with writing that will make you laugh out loud.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been teaching “Writing Humor and Comedy” at Drexel University (where I’m an English professor) twice a year forever, and I’m proud (and still a little awed) that at least one of my students has gone on to have a successful humor-writing career. My very first publication was a satirical story back in 1996, and in more recent years, my humor has been published in The Oxford University Press Humor Reader, McSweeney’s, and Points in Case. Writing funny fiction is my main focus as a novelist, and my sequel, The Great American Betrayal, was named one of "The Best Comedy Books of 2022" by New York magazine's Vulture.com.

Scott's book list on funny with writing that will make you laugh out loud

Scott Stein Why did Scott love this book?

The Code of the Woosters might be the best funny novel of them all. The all-knowing valet Jeeves and the hilarious narrator Bertram Wooster helped inspire the relationship in my novels between the coffeebot narrator Arjay and private investigator Frank Harken. Wodehouse’s plotting is superb and beyond clever, but it’s the prose—the playful and inventive sentences and paragraphs—that makes me come back to read this book again and again. A sample sentence: “He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled, so I tactfully changed the subject.”

By P. G. Wodehouse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Follow the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves, in this stunning new edition of one of the greatest comic novels in the English language. When Aunt Dahlia demands that Bertie Wooster help her dupe an antique dealer into selling her an 18th-century cow-creamer. Dahlia trumps Bertie's objections by threatening to sever his standing invitation to her house for lunch, an unthinkable prospect given Bertie's devotion to the cooking of her chef, Anatole. A web of complications grows as Bertie's pal Gussie Fink-Nottle asks for counseling in the matter of his impending marriage to Madeline Bassett. It seems…


Book cover of Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence

Meir Statman Author Of A Wealth of Well-Being: A Holistic Approach to Behavioral Finance

From my list on combining financial well-being and life well-being.

Why am I passionate about this?

Life well-being has many domains beyond finances, including family, friends, health, work, education, religion, and more. I know that financial well-being is necessary for life well being but it is not sufficient. Our older daughter lives with bipolar illness. Our life well-being was decimated years ago when my daughter’s illness was diagnosed. But we’ve learned to alleviate well-being injuries in one domain from well-being medicine from the same domain and from other domains. Our younger daughter loves her sister and cares for her, and our ample finances domain lets us support our older daughter without constraining our own budget. 

Meir's book list on combining financial well-being and life well-being

Meir Statman Why did Meir love this book?

Rachel Sherman’s book let me peek into the lives of people much richer than me, people whose annual income is in the millions and whose wealth is many multiples of their income.

They enjoy high financial well-being, yet many suffer diminished life well-being because they compare themselves to those even richer. One wealthy woman said that she does not feel wealthy because she knows many wealthier people with drivers and private planes. 

By Rachel Sherman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A surprising and revealing look at how today's elite view their wealth and place in society

From TV's "real housewives" to The Wolf of Wall Street, our popular culture portrays the wealthy as materialistic and entitled. But what do we really know about those who live on "easy street"? In this penetrating book, Rachel Sherman draws on rare in-depth interviews that she conducted with fifty affluent New Yorkers-from hedge fund financiers and artists to stay-at-home mothers-to examine their lifestyle choices and understanding of privilege. Sherman upends images of wealthy people as invested only in accruing social advantages for themselves and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the upper class, authoritarianism, and presidential biography?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the upper class, authoritarianism, and presidential biography.

The Upper Class Explore 90 books about the upper class
Authoritarianism Explore 46 books about authoritarianism
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography