100 books like Event, Metaphor, Memory

By Shahid Amin,

Here are 100 books that Event, Metaphor, Memory fans have personally recommended if you like Event, Metaphor, Memory. 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 Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

The United States may have lost the war against North Vietnam; but it has since defeated the Vietnamese in the war for memory. Nothing Ever Dies is an examination of what Nguyen calls, “The Industry of Memory,” the production and distribution of collective memory in the service of powerful interests. He explains how the United States utilizes memorials, film, and print journalism to promote its own stories of the war while marginalizing Vietnamese narratives. Meanwhile, the post-1975 Vietnamese regime works to erase the memory of South Vietnam. Our goal, he suggests, should be the realization of an ‘ethical memory,’ one that creates space for the remembrance of both ‘us’ and ‘them’. This is a beautifully written, deeply personal, thoughtful discussion of the legacy of a conflict that continues to define both countries.  

By Viet Thanh Nguyen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nothing Ever Dies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist, National Book Award in Nonfiction
A New York Times Book Review "The Year in Reading" Selection

All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War-a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both nations.

"[A] gorgeous, multifaceted examination of the war Americans call the Vietnam War-and which Vietnamese call the American War...As a writer, [Nguyen] brings…


Book cover of The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

June 4, 1989 changed everything in China. When People’s Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians, they killed hundreds of people and destroyed the political legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party. A quarter-century later, this event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In The People's Republic of Amnesia, Louisa Lim investigates how the Chinese state re-wrote its own history to absolve itself of those killings. By explaining state efforts to erase Tiananmen, and how non-state actors attempt to revive its memory, this book invites us to consider the consequences of suppressing the past.  

By Louisa Lim,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The People's Republic of Amnesia as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of the best analyses of the impact of Tiananmen throughout China in the years since 1989." -The New York Times Book Review

On June 4, 1989, People's Liberation Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed civilians in Beijing, killing untold hundreds of people. A quarter-century later, this defining event remains buried in China's modern history, successfully expunged from collective memory. In The People's Republic of Amnesia, NPR correspondent Louisa Lim offers a much-needed response to the silence surrounding the events of June 4th, charting how deeply they affected China at the time and in the 25 years
since.


Book cover of Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

In the 1980s, Chinese students seeking democratic reforms pushed the Communist Party to the breaking point. Why then, is this current generation of Chinese youth so fiercely nationalistic? This question motivated Zheng Wang to examine how Beijing re-structured the country’s education system beginning in the 1990s. Chinese educators began cultivating suspicion of The West by teaching a history of ‘National Humiliation,’ creating a collective memory of how China was bullied or victimized by Europe and Japan. This narrative of National Humiliation, Zheng suggests, also explains China’s disproportionate responses to perceive slights on the international stage. There is an entire industry of books claiming expertise on the Chinese worldview, but this is one of the best. 

By Zheng Wang,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Never Forget National Humiliation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How could the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) not only survive but even thrive, regaining the support of many Chinese citizens after the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989?Why has popular sentiment turned toward anti-Western nationalism despite the anti-dictatorship democratic movements of the 1980s? And why has China been more assertive toward the United States and Japan in foreign policy but relatively conciliatory toward smaller countries in conflict?

Offering an explanation for these unexpected trends, Zheng Wang follows the Communist government's ideological reeducation of the public, which relentlessly portrays China as the victim of foreign imperialist bullying during "one hundred years of…


Book cover of Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

What happens when a society is unwilling to acknowledge acts of barbarism in its past? In 1976, while leading a student protest at Thammasat University, Thongchai Winichakul watched in horror as government forces and rightist elements stormed the campus, killing over eighty of his fellow students and committing unspeakable acts on the living and the dead. He wrote this book to help process memories of an atrocity that took the lives of his friends and haunted his career as a Thai historian. To this day, the Thammasat massacre is marked only by silence from official sources. As a result, Thongchai observes that Thai society is trapped in a state of ‘unforgetting,’ unable to either remember or forget the trauma.

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The massacre on October 6, 1976, in Bangkok was brutal and violent, its savagery unprecedented in modern Thai history. Four decades later there has been no investigation into the atrocity; information remains limited, the truth unknown. There has been no collective coming to terms with what happened or who is responsible. Thai society still refuses to confront this dark page in its history.

Moments of Silence focuses on the silence that surrounds the October 6 massacre. Silence, the book argues, is not forgetting. Rather it signals an inability to forget or remember-or to articulate a socially meaningful memory. It is…


Book cover of Innovative State

Jaideep Prabhu Author Of How Should a Government Be?: The New Levers of State Power

From my list on what modern governments can do for their citizens.

Why am I passionate about this?

A professor of business at the University of Cambridge, I've spent over two decades studying innovation. I've been particularly interested in “frugal innovation”: how small teams now use ubiquitous tools and technologies to achieve what only large corporations or governments could a decade ago. I've written two books about this phenomenon: Jugaad Innovation and Frugal Innovation about the private sector. Whenever I gave talks about them, there was always the question: What does this mean for governments? I began to study how the state could use new technologies and ways of organizing to deliver services to its citizens better, faster and cheaper, and how governments should regulate and cultivate such tools used by the private sector.

Jaideep's book list on what modern governments can do for their citizens

Jaideep Prabhu Why did Jaideep love this book?

The author of this book, Aneesh Chopra, became the first chief technology officer of the United States government in 2009. Prior to that, he was the Secretary of Technology for Virginia and managing director for a health care think tank. As CTO for the US government, Chopra led the administration’s attempts to create a more open, tech-savvy government. In this book, he draws on his experience and interviews with policy experts and tech insiders to show how government can establish a new paradigm for the internet era, one that allows us to tackle the most challenging problems, from economic development to veteran affairs. Once again, it was a source of inspiration for me. My own book extends his discussion of the US federal government to the state and city level, as well as looks at many other countries around the world, both developed and developing.

By Aneesh Chopra,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Over the last twenty years, our economy and our society have been completely revolutionized by technology. As Aneesh Chopra shows in Innovative State, once it became clear how much this would change America, a movement arose around the idea that these same technologies could reshape and improve government. But the idea languished, and while the private sector innovated, our government stalled. The election of Barack Obama offered a new opportunity. In 2009, Aneesh Chopra was named the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States. Previously the Secretary of Technology for Virginia and managing director for a health care think…


Book cover of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Michael Barone Author Of Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders

From my list on the struggles of the early America republic.

Why am I passionate about this?

My friend Lou Cannon, the great reporter and Reagan biographer, once told me, “if you want to really learn about a subject, write a book about it.” As a political journalist and author of several books about current and past politics,  wanted to learn more about the Founding Fathers, and as a map buff I tried to understand how they understood a continent most of which was not accurately mapped and how they envisioned the geographic limits and reach of a new republic more extensive in size than most nations in Europe. The book is my attempt to share what I learned with readers, and to invite them to read more about these extraordinary leaders.

Michael's book list on the struggles of the early America republic

Michael Barone Why did Michael love this book?

Gordon Wood is one of the giants of a generation of historians of the Revolution and the early Republic.

This book covers the 1790s and the years of the nineteenth century up through the War of 1812. Both Federalists and Jeffersonians faced the task of navigating the young republic through the turbulent waters of a world war between revolutionary France, America’s Revolutionary War ally, and mercantile Britain, its chief trading partner, that lasted with only short intervals between 1793 and 1815.

Wood leans somewhat to the Jeffersonians, who were more in line (in his view and, as I was reading him, mine) with most Americans who became less deferential and hierarchical during and immediately after the Revolution.

By Gordon S. Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of the USA. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the
end of the War of 1812.
As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life-in politics, society,…


Book cover of Libya's Fragmentation: Structure and Process in Violent Conflict

Ronald Bruce St John Author Of Historical Dictionary of Libya

From my list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first visited and worked in Libya in 1977. At the time, only a handful of books on Libya were available in English, and all of them were technical studies related to the petroleum industry. In an effort to better understand the political economy of this beautiful and intriguing state, I began to conduct my own field research. This research led to the publication in 1981 of two articles on Libya under the pseudonym of our two sons because it was dangerous for anyone to publish critical analysis of the Qaddafi regime. I remain fascinated with Libya, and over time, I have published five books and well over 100 articles and reviews on Libya.

Ronald's book list on explaining the Libyan Quagmire

Ronald Bruce St John Why did Ronald love this book?

Wolfram Lacher’s research focuses on conflict dynamics in Libya and the Sahel and relies on frequent fieldwork.

In Libya’s Fragmentation, he argues that recent developments in Libya can only be understood through an analysis of the cohesion and fragmentation of social groups. In so doing, he notes that contemporary Libya generally lacks national military and political forces.

Instead, post-Qaddafi Libya is marked by a high level of localism both militarily and politically. In part for this reason, the United Nations has failed in its repeated efforts to create a unity government because it was unsuccessful in identifying key military and political forces.

This is a groundbreaking book that will force students of Libya to reexamine the history of post-Qaddafi Libya as well as earlier periods of Libyan history.

By Wolfram Lacher,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the Conflict Research Society's 2021 Book of the Year Prize Shortlisted for the British-Kuwait Friendship Society 2021 Book Prize After the overthrow of the Qadhafi regime in 2011, Libya witnessed a dramatic breakdown of centralized power. Countless local factions carved up the country into a patchwork of spheres of influence. Almost no nationwide or even regional organizations emerged, and no national institutions survived the turbulent descent into renewed civil war. Only the leader of one armed coalition, Khalifa Haftar, managed to overcome competitors and centralize authority over eastern Libya. But tenacious resistance from armed groups in western Libya…


Book cover of The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House

Michael Dobbs Author Of King Richard: Nixon and Watergate--An American Tragedy

From my list on Watergate.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a reporter for The Washington Post, I was responsible for recording what has been called "the first rough draft of history." But I was always aware that there was more to the story--whether it was the collapse of communism or a big political controversy in the United States--than I or other reporters were able to uncover at the time. It can sometimes take decades for the real story to emerge as historians gain access to secret documents, diaries, and other unpublished materials. The secret Nixon tapes provide a unique insight into events that were off-limits to reporters and other outsiders. Writing King Richard, I felt like a fly on the wall of the Oval Office with the reader by my side, as we eavesdrop on conversations we were never meant to hear. For anyone who is curious about how politics really operates, it is a thrilling, sometimes shocking experience that can leave you laughing at the craziness of it all when you are not shaking your head in disbelief.

Michael's book list on Watergate

Michael Dobbs Why did Michael love this book?

There was no one closer to Richard Nixon as Watergate unfolded than his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman. Every evening, Haldeman dictated an audio diary that is an essential source for understanding the Nixon presidency and the chain of events that led to its unraveling. While Haldeman admired Nixon, he was also well aware of his faults. He records the triumphs, failures, and personal quirks of his boss on an almost minute-to-minute basis. I think that Haldeman has it right when he concludes that Nixon did not know about Watergate in advance, in the sense that he did not order the break-in, but certainly caused it, in the sense that he created the culture that spawned all the abuses. Ultimately, these abuses led to Haldeman's own resignation and eighteen months in prison for Watergate-related offenses.

By H.R. Haldeman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Never-before-published diaries from Richard Nixon's late Chief of Staff offer a meticulously detailed behind-the-scenes account of his years at the White House that included Agnew's resignation, Cambodian bombings, and Watergate.


Book cover of Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama

Ethan Chorin Author Of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

From my list on how partisan politics is destroying American foreign policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent the majority of my 25-year career working across the Middle East and Africa. From 2004-2006, I was one of a small group of American diplomats posted to Libya following the 2003 US deal with Gaddafi. During Libya's 2011 revolution, I returned to Libya as a private citizen to help build and became a witness to the 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi. I am particularly interested in the impact of domestic political warfare on US foreign policy and national security. My work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Salon, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, the Financial Times, and Forbes, among others.

Ethan's book list on how partisan politics is destroying American foreign policy

Ethan Chorin Why did Ethan love this book?

To interpret the Obama administration’s reactions to the outside world, and the Middle East in particular, one must understand the media environment that helped elect him, and ultimately undermine his legacy.

I found this book, by a leading American political commentator, to be a powerful indictment of the mainstream US media (Right and Left), and advance warning of the polarization that accompanied the Benghazi attack and subsequent scandal. 

By Eric Alterman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this agenda-setting essay, journalist and historian Eric Alterman explains what is really happening with the Obama presidency. While Obama's many compromises have disappointed liberals, Alterman argues that these concessions are largely due to a political system that is rigged against progressive change. These structural impediments to democracy have made the keeping of Obama's campaign promises all but impossible. Brilliantly blending incisive political analysis with a clear agenda for change, Kabuki Democracy cuts through the cliches of conservative propaganda and lazy mainstream media analysis to demonstrate that genuine "change" will come to America only when people care enough to challenge…


Book cover of Democracy in America

Peter Laufer Author Of Up Against the Wall: The Case for Opening the Mexican-American Border

From my list on the middle of america from New Jersey to Oakland.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child, I moved with my family. I've moved for school. And I am not sure I could resurrect how many times my family moved for my journalism work. These books help me try to understand my wanderlust. Peter Laufer is an independent journalist, broadcaster, and documentary filmmaker working in traditional and new media. He is the James Wallace Chair in Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.

Peter's book list on the middle of america from New Jersey to Oakland

Peter Laufer Why did Peter love this book?

And no such list is complete without Alexis de Tocqueville's classic from the 19th century, Democracy in America. Weighing in just two pages short of Don Quixote's 937 (paperback both, the ECCO Grossman Quixote translation and the Penguin Gerald Bevan de Tocqueville edition), Tocqueville ponders a question most of us contemplate and plenty of us act on: "Why Americans are so restless in the midst of their prosperity..."

By Alexis de Tocqueville,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

French nobleman Alexis de Tocqueville's classic treatise on the American way of life.

Over 175 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville, an astute political scientist, came to the United States to evaluate the meaning and actual functioning of democracy. Here, Tocqueville discusses the advantages and dangers of majority rule—which he thought could be as tyrannical as the rule of a monarchy. He analyzes the influence of political parties and the press on the government and the effect of equality on the social, political, and economic life of the American people. He also offers some startling predictions about world politics, which history…


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