100 books like Domination and the Arts of Resistance

By James C. Scott,

Here are 100 books that Domination and the Arts of Resistance fans have personally recommended if you like Domination and the Arts of Resistance. 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 Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

William Clare Roberts Author Of Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital

From my list on understanding how power works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher, a student, and a reader by trade (that is, a university professor), and I spend most of my time trying to understand social and political power: why some people have it, and others don’t, how it circulates and changes (gradually or suddenly), why it sometimes oppresses us and sometimes liberates, how it can be created and destroyed. I mostly do this by reading and teaching the history of political theory, which I am lucky enough to do at McGill University, in conversation and cooperation with some wonderful colleagues.

William's book list on understanding how power works

William Clare Roberts Why did William love this book?

I think everyone should read at least one slave narrative, and Jacobs’s is a gem of both exquisite storytelling and powerful testimony.

Jacobs tells her own story but also the story of a whole town and a whole society, and she paints a devastating portrait of the rot at the heart of the Old South, the sham that slave power made of all human relations that came into contact with it.

By Harriet Jacobs,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true story of an individual's struggle for self-identity, self-preservation, and freedom, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl remains among the few extant slave narratives written by a woman. This autobiographical account chronicles the remarkable odyssey of Harriet Jacobs (1813–1897) whose dauntless spirit and faith carried her from a life of servitude and degradation in North Carolina to liberty and reunion with her children in the North.
Written and published in 1861 after Jacobs' harrowing escape from a vile and predatory master, the memoir delivers a powerful and unflinching portrayal of the abuses and hypocrisy of the master-slave…


Book cover of The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America

June Carolyn Erlick Author Of A Gringa in Bogotá: Living Colombia's Invisible War

From my list on classics for understanding Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I accidentally fell in love with Latin America, a love that has lasted my lifetime. When I was young, I lived in a Dominican neighborhood in New York, learning Spanish from my neighbors. After I graduated from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism I got a job covering the Cuban community in New Jersey because I spoke Spanish. Eventually I ended up living in Colombia and then Managua as a foreign correspondent. Now I edit a magazine at Harvard about Latin America. It's not just the news that interests me; I love the cadence of the language, the smell and taste of its varied cuisine, the warmth of the people, the culture, and, yes, soccer.

June's book list on classics for understanding Latin America

June Carolyn Erlick Why did June love this book?

Greg Grandin is a historian's historian, a brilliant researcher, a captivating writer. It's honestly hard to pick which of his books to feature here. But since The End of the Myth won the Pultizer Prize, I'll choose it as my favorite. What I loved about this book is that it gives me a new perspective about the history of my own country—about which, frankly, I do not know that much—and the region I have reported on for most of my life, Latin America. He makes connections and does so in a compelling fashion.

The book focuses on the United States and the border, but it sheds much light on how the myth of manifest destiny has shaped the way we think of ourselves and our relationship with our southern neighbors.

By Greg Grandin,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The End of the Myth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

A new and eye-opening interpretation of the meaning of the frontier, from early westward expansion to Trump’s border wall.

Ever since this nation’s inception, the idea of an open and ever-expanding frontier has been central to American identity. Symbolizing a future of endless promise, it was the foundation of the United States’ belief in itself as an exceptional nation – democratic, individualistic, forward-looking. Today, though, America hasa new symbol: the border wall.

In The End of the Myth, acclaimed historian Greg Grandin explores the meaning of the frontier throughout the full sweep of U.S. history…


Book cover of The Jewish Century

Jannis Panagiotidis Author Of The Unchosen Ones: Diaspora, Nation, and Migration in Israel and Germany

From my list on the history of German, Jewish, and Eastern European migration.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for the topic of migration was kind of overdetermined, given that my grandparents were refugees, my father is an immigrant, and I have been on the move quite a bit myself. It might not have been a conscious choice to study something so close to home, but the more I think about it, the less likely it seems that this was all a coincidence. This personal dimension might also explain my choice of books, which all combine scholarly-analytics with deeply human perspectives on the topic of migration.

Jannis' book list on the history of German, Jewish, and Eastern European migration

Jannis Panagiotidis Why did Jannis love this book?

Yuri Slezkine’s classic book on the history of Russian Jewry is not a work of migration history strictly speaking. But there is no Jewish history without migration, and Slezkine shows us, among many other things, how Russian Jews ended up in the US, Israel, and the Soviet Union, representing three ideological choices—liberalism, nationalism, and communism.

I read this book back in university, and few works, if any, have had such a profound impact on my historical thinking.

By Yuri Slezkine,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Jewish Century as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This masterwork of interpretative history begins with a bold declaration: "The Modern Age is the Jewish Age, and the twentieth century, in particular, is the Jewish Century." The assertion is, of course, metaphorical. But it drives home Yuri Slezkine's provocative thesis: Jews have adapted to the modern world so well that they have become models of what it means to be modern. While focusing on the drama of the Russian Jews, including emigres and their offspring, The Jewish Century is also an incredibly original account of the many faces of modernity-nationalism, socialism, capitalism, and liberalism. Rich in its insight, sweeping…


Book cover of Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

Gerard A. Hauser Author Of Vernacular Voices: The Rhetoric of Publics and Public Spheres

From my list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the grandson of a political refugee. My grandfather was a gunrunner in the Greek resistance to Turkish occupation of Chios prior to the 1st Balkan War. His guerilla activity placed his life in danger. He fled pursuit by the Turks, which led to his eventual emigration to the United States. From childhood my family experience was of lively discussions that were inflected by my grandfather’s experience of resistance and US citizenship. They sparked my fascination with the role of citizen voices in a democracy. That was a main focus of my academic career, teaching rhetoric for more than 40 years at Penn State University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Gerard's book list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy

Gerard A. Hauser Why did Gerard love this book?

The idea of citizenship is vague and can be complicated. Sometimes it refers to a person recognized as a natural-born or naturalized denizen of a nation, sometimes the right to cast a ballot, sometimes law-abiding behavior, sometimes civic engagement, and, too seldom, engaging in public work. Bellah and his associates conducted a series of interviews with ordinary citizens across the US to ascertain their understanding and values with respect to private and public (citizenly) life.

Overwhelmingly, those interviewed (mostly white, middle-class Americans) attached great value to their private lives, while acknowledging the importance of civic participation. They commonly expressed a belief that they should be publicly involved. However, when they discussed public life, they had a limited range of ideas about what that participation might look like, especially compared to the rich descriptions they offered for private life and why they valued it so. 

Among others, Habits raises the question…

By Robert N. Bellah,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in 1985, "Habits of the Heart" continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions. In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country's future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.


Book cover of Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy

Gerard A. Hauser Author Of Vernacular Voices: The Rhetoric of Publics and Public Spheres

From my list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the grandson of a political refugee. My grandfather was a gunrunner in the Greek resistance to Turkish occupation of Chios prior to the 1st Balkan War. His guerilla activity placed his life in danger. He fled pursuit by the Turks, which led to his eventual emigration to the United States. From childhood my family experience was of lively discussions that were inflected by my grandfather’s experience of resistance and US citizenship. They sparked my fascination with the role of citizen voices in a democracy. That was a main focus of my academic career, teaching rhetoric for more than 40 years at Penn State University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Gerard's book list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy

Gerard A. Hauser Why did Gerard love this book?

Putnam and his Italian colleagues studied the performance of Italy’s regional governments over a 20-year period. They asked why some democratic governments succeeded while others failed. They thought differences in success would correlate with a region’s economic vitality. Instead, they found that a strong civic community was a better indicator of success. When citizens sought information from reliable news sources, they tended to interact with one another on political matters.  Informed interaction encouraged trust in political dialogue and encouraged engagement in public affairs. 

Equally, when citizens had access to networks of secondary associations, where they interacted with strangers, they were more likely to have a greater sense of solidarity with, and trust and tolerance for their fellow citizens. When these conditions were absent and social relations were more vertical (relying on a leader) than horizontal (relying on community members), democracy didn’t work. Making Democracy Work shows how vernacular rhetoric that…

By Robert D. Putnam, Robert Leonardi, Raffaella Y. Nanetti

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why do some democratic governments succeed and others fail? In a book that has received attention from policymakers and civic activists in America and around the world, Robert Putnam and his collaborators offer empirical evidence for the importance of "civic community" in developing successful institutions. Their focus is on a unique experiment begun in 1970 when Italy created new governments for each of its regions. After spending two decades analyzing the efficacy of these governments in such fields as agriculture, housing, and health services, they reveal patterns of associationism, trust, and cooperation that facilitate good governance and economic prosperity.


Book cover of Challenges of Ordinary Democracy: A Case Study in Deliberation and Dissent

Gerard A. Hauser Author Of Vernacular Voices: The Rhetoric of Publics and Public Spheres

From my list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the grandson of a political refugee. My grandfather was a gunrunner in the Greek resistance to Turkish occupation of Chios prior to the 1st Balkan War. His guerilla activity placed his life in danger. He fled pursuit by the Turks, which led to his eventual emigration to the United States. From childhood my family experience was of lively discussions that were inflected by my grandfather’s experience of resistance and US citizenship. They sparked my fascination with the role of citizen voices in a democracy. That was a main focus of my academic career, teaching rhetoric for more than 40 years at Penn State University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Gerard's book list on why ordinary citizen voices matter to a democracy

Gerard A. Hauser Why did Gerard love this book?

Perhaps the most widespread engagement by ordinary citizens in political relations is with the education of their children. School boards are increasingly regarded as a site of passionate political contest over what our children will learn, especially when it comes to learning history and its consequences for their understanding of their community and nation. Challenges of Ordinary Democracy reports on three years in the life of a local school board. The voices of administrators, teachers, parents, and the press are examined when dissent takes center stage in the school board’s deliberations. Given that ordinary citizens will disagree, often vehemently, Tracy asks us to consider the parameters of reasonable hostility and why reasonable hostility is important for the voices of ordinary citizens to matter in deciding issues that affect their lives.  

By Karen Tracy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Is there any place in America where passionate debate plays a more vital role in democratic discourse than local school board meetings? Karen Tracy conducted a thirty-five-month study of the board meetings of the Boulder Valley School District between 1996 and 1999 to analyze just how democracy operates in practice. In Challenges of Ordinary Democracy, she reveals the major role that emotion plays in real-life debate and discerns value in what might easily be seen as negative forms of discourse-voicing platitudes, making contradictory assertions, arguing over a document's wording, speaking angrily, attacking a person's character. By illuminating this one arena…


Book cover of Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History

Ari Joskowicz Author Of Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust

From my list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scholar of European history who spent the last twenty years studying how minorities relate to each other and how their efforts to communicate their silenced histories are entwined. I remain fascinated by the many ways we think we know—and so frequently fail—to grasp the suffering and ambitions of others. All of this makes me ultimately a historian of the hidden stories of marginalized people and of the struggle to document and understand them.

Ari's book list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories

Ari Joskowicz Why did Ari love this book?

Trouillot explains like no other why we need to care about how history is made.

Whatever your area of expertise or level of knowledge about Haiti, Trouillot will make you care about the country’s forgotten history. Each essay in this volume demonstrates why we remember certain aspects of the past and ignore others and how those ignored parts are so often not just forgotten but actively silenced.

I teach this book to history undergraduates and graduate students alike. They always tell me that it was one of their favorites. It’s also a book that I wished I had known when I started studying history.

By Michel-Rolph Trouillot,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Silencing the Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now part of the HBO docuseries Exterminate All the Brutes, written and directed by Raoul Peck

The 20th anniversary edition of a pioneering classic that explores the contexts in which history is produced—now with a new foreword by renowned scholar Hazel Carby
 
Placing the West’s failure to acknowledge the Haitian Revolution—the most successful slave revolt in history—alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history.

This modern classic resides at the intersection of history, anthropology, Caribbean, African-American, and post-colonial studies, and…


Book cover of Capital: Volume I

William Clare Roberts Author Of Marx's Inferno: The Political Theory of Capital

From my list on understanding how power works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a teacher, a student, and a reader by trade (that is, a university professor), and I spend most of my time trying to understand social and political power: why some people have it, and others don’t, how it circulates and changes (gradually or suddenly), why it sometimes oppresses us and sometimes liberates, how it can be created and destroyed. I mostly do this by reading and teaching the history of political theory, which I am lucky enough to do at McGill University, in conversation and cooperation with some wonderful colleagues.

William's book list on understanding how power works

William Clare Roberts Why did William love this book?

I have spent more time with this book than with probably any other, and I still learn new things from it all the time.

Parts of it are very hard, but that’s because Marx is trying to show how the whole world is put into motion by economic power, money, and competition. But he also knows how to liven up even very technical parts of the argument with dark humor, arresting images, and biting sarcasm. 

By Karl Marx, Ben Fowkes (translator),

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Capital as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A groundbreaking work of economic analysis. It is also a literary masterpice' Francis Wheen, Guardian

One of the most notorious and influential works of modern times, Capital is an incisive critique of private property and the social relations it generates. Living in exile in England, where this work was largely written, Marx drew on a wide-ranging knowledge of its society to support his analysis. Arguing that capitalism would cause an ever-increasing division in wealth and welfare, he predicted its abolition and replacement by a system with common ownership of the means of production. Capital rapidly acquired readership throughout the world,…


Book cover of A History of the Grandparents I Never Had

Ari Joskowicz Author Of Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust

From my list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scholar of European history who spent the last twenty years studying how minorities relate to each other and how their efforts to communicate their silenced histories are entwined. I remain fascinated by the many ways we think we know—and so frequently fail—to grasp the suffering and ambitions of others. All of this makes me ultimately a historian of the hidden stories of marginalized people and of the struggle to document and understand them.

Ari's book list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories

Ari Joskowicz Why did Ari love this book?

Jablonka, a French historian, tells a story that is both personal and profound.

He traces the history of his grandparents, who fled to France in 1938 as communists and Jews. Jablonka reconstructs their attempts to evade arrest and deportation up to their eventual death at the hands of the Nazis in the most meticulous detail.

In his capable hands, the challenge of writing histories with limited documentation becomes a source of ingenuity. I learned from A History of the Grandparents I Never Had that there are ways to think about your family’s past in ways that are not merely sentimental but also surprising and illuminating. (It even made me briefly consider calling my own recent book The Stories My Grandparents Never Told). 

By Ivan Jablonka, Jane Kuntz (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of the Grandparents I Never Had as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ivan Jablonka's grandparents' lives ended long before his began: although Mates and Idesa Jablonka were his family, they were perfect strangers. When he set out to uncover their story, Jablonka had little to work with. Neither of them was the least bit famous, and they left little behind except their two orphaned children, a handful of letters, and a passport. Persecuted as communists in Poland, as refugees in France, and then as Jews under the Vichy regime, Mates and Idesa lived their short lives underground. They were overcome by the tragedies of the twentieth century: Stalinism, the mounting dangers in…


Book cover of The Archive Thief: The Man Who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust

Ari Joskowicz Author Of Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust

From my list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a scholar of European history who spent the last twenty years studying how minorities relate to each other and how their efforts to communicate their silenced histories are entwined. I remain fascinated by the many ways we think we know—and so frequently fail—to grasp the suffering and ambitions of others. All of this makes me ultimately a historian of the hidden stories of marginalized people and of the struggle to document and understand them.

Ari's book list on uncovering hidden and marginalized histories

Ari Joskowicz Why did Ari love this book?

Leff’s book is the story of a Polish-born historian of French Jewish history who first salvaged lost documents after the Holocaust before eventually coming to steal and resell them to US and Israeli libraries and archives.

A great read, the book is the best kind of biography: it offers a vivid image of a largely forgotten group of post-Holocaust scholars and raises big questions about who has the right to own historical documents and the way their assembly determines what we know about the past.

I found this book inspiring because it shows how exciting a story about archives and the making of history can be.

By Lisa Moses Leff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Born into poverty in Russian Poland in 1911, Zosa Szajkowski (Shy-KOV-ski) was a self-made man who managed to make a life for himself as an intellectual, first as a journalist in 1930s Paris, and then, after a harrowing escape to New York in 1941, as a scholar. Although he never taught at a university or even earned a PhD, Szajkowski became one of the world's foremost experts on the history of the Jews in modern France, publishing in Yiddish, English, and Hebrew.
His work opened up new ways of thinking about Jewish emancipation, economic and social modernization, and the rise…


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