10 books like Floating Coast

By Bathsheba Demuth,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Floating Coast. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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A Public Empire

By Ekaterina Pravilova,

Book cover of A Public Empire: Property and the Quest for the Common Good in Imperial Russia

This is a remarkable book that defies categorization. Establishing a concept of property that existed between private property and the property of the state, Pravilova imaginatively unites a seemingly unrelated collection of topics: forests, rivers, icons, copyright, archaeological treasures, and much more besides. She offers a profoundly new way of thinking about property and about Russians’ attitudes towards ownership. Deeply rooted in the particularities of Russia, the book also raises issues of universal significance.

A Public Empire

By Ekaterina Pravilova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Property rights" and "Russia" do not usually belong in the same sentence. Rather, our general image of the nation is of insecurity of private ownership and defenselessness in the face of the state. Many scholars have attributed Russia's long-term development problems to a failure to advance property rights for the modern age and blamed Russian intellectuals for their indifference to the issues of ownership. A Public Empire refutes this widely shared conventional wisdom and analyzes the emergence of Russian property regimes from the time of Catherine the Great through World War I and the revolutions of 1917. Most importantly, A…


The Baron's Cloak

By Willard Sunderland,

Book cover of The Baron's Cloak: A History of the Russian Empire in War and Revolution

This is a book of uncommon imagination and historical reconstruction. It focuses on the life of the eccentric Baron von Ungern-Shternberg and uses the Baltic German aristocrat’s adventures to reveal key characteristics of the late Russian Empire and the early Soviet years. Especially striking is the book’s geographical scope, which ranges from Austria to Mongolia and stops at many places in between. Written in engaging and fluid prose, the book is a truly original work of historical imagination that allows one to understand Russia and its place in the wider world—and in Asia, in particular.

The Baron's Cloak

By Willard Sunderland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg (1885-1921) was a Baltic German aristocrat and tsarist military officer who fought against the Bolsheviks in Eastern Siberia during the Russian Civil War. From there he established himself as the de facto warlord of Outer Mongolia, the base for a fantastical plan to restore the Russian and Chinese empires, which then ended with his capture and execution by the Red Army as the war drew to a close.

In The Baron's Cloak, Willard Sunderland tells the epic story of the Russian Empire's final decades through the arc of the Baron's life, which spanned the vast…


A Sacred Space Is Never Empty

By Victoria Smolkin,

Book cover of A Sacred Space Is Never Empty: A History of Soviet Atheism

This very compelling book explores a critical topic in the history of the USSR. In clear and expressive prose, it tells a crucial story that reveals a great deal about the Soviet project, about the relationship between ideology and politics, and about the scope and limits of authoritarian state power. It ultimately shows the striking irony that the USSR’s atheistic establishment found itself trying to replicate the spiritual and emotional offerings of the religion(s) that it simultaneously sought to destroy.

A Sacred Space Is Never Empty

By Victoria Smolkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Sacred Space Is Never Empty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When the Bolsheviks set out to build a new world in the wake of the Russian Revolution, they expected religion to die off. Soviet power used a variety of tools--from education to propaganda to terror-to turn its vision of a Communist world without religion into reality. Yet even with its monopoly on ideology and power, the Soviet Communist Party never succeeded in overcoming religion and creating an atheist society.

A Sacred Space Is Never Empty presents the first history of Soviet atheism from the 1917 revolution to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Drawing on a wealth of…


The Jewish Century

By Yuri Slezkine,

Book cover of The Jewish Century

The history of modern Russia is almost inconceivable without the millions of Jews who, restricted to the Pale of Settlement in the years of the tsarist empire, went on to become major producers and interpreters of Russian culture in the Soviet Union. This remarkable book tells their story but is about so much more besides. In witty and idiosyncratic prose, it ultimately describes the modern condition and what it means to inhabit it.

The Jewish Century

By Yuri Slezkine,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


Walking with the Comrades

By Arundhati Roy,

Book cover of Walking with the Comrades

This book, part polemic, part reportage, is an account of Arundhati Roy’s journey into the forests of Chattisgarh, where groups of ‘Naxalites’ or Maoists have taken up arms against the Indian state, in defence of Adivasis, the indigenous inhabitants of India, for whom the forests, rivers, and hills are sacred. Unhappily these are cover vast deposits of minerals and precious resources required as ‘raw materials’ by a rapidly industrializing India. As a result, the State, which throughout the colonial period and in the early years of Independence, had, in turn, neglected and cheated the forest-dwellers, has now turned upon them with militaristic intensity to wrest resources from them. I found this narrative so powerful because Arundhati Roy makes us understand the violence of the despairing, without overtly supporting it.

Walking with the Comrades

By Arundhati Roy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the award-winning author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and The God of Small Things comes a searing frontline exposé of brutal repression in India

In this fiercely reported work of nonfiction, internationally renowned author Arundhati Roy draws on her unprecedented access to a little-known rebel movement in India to pen a work full of earth-shattering revelations. Deep in the forests, under the pretense of battling Maoist guerillas, the Indian government is waging a vicious total war against its own citizens-a war undocumented by a weak domestic press and fostered by corporations eager to exploit the rare minerals buried…


Climate Change as Class War

By Matthew T. Huber,

Book cover of Climate Change as Class War: Building Socialism on a Warming Planet

This title sounds as if it was written by Karl Marx in the 1850s (“Workers of the world, unite. You have nothing to but your oil-scarred planet.”) Huber advocates organizing and educating the working class as to who is doing what to whom; that is, who profits from continued use of fossil fuels, and who would benefit from a society that runs on clean energy. Huber argues that the carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted with the worldwide dangers of failing to react so that the atmosphere will be restored to normal. As in classical socialist movements, Huber asserts winning the climate struggle by forming an internationalist based on a planetary working class in solidarity. This is well and good, perhaps, but a scientific basis is required along with class struggle.

Climate Change as Class War

By Matthew T. Huber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Climate Change as Class War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The climate crisis is not primarily a problem of 'believing science' or individual 'carbon footprints' - it is a class problem rooted in who owns, controls and profits from material production. As such, it will take a class struggle to solve. In this ground breaking class analysis, Matthew T. Huber argues that the carbon-intensive capitalist class must be confronted for producing climate change. Yet, the narrow and unpopular roots of climate politics in the professional class is not capable of building a movement up to this challenge. For an alternative strategy, he proposes climate politics that appeals to the vast…


Natives and Exotics

By Judith A. Bennett,

Book cover of Natives and Exotics: World War II and Environment in the Southern Pacific

Bennett has produced an outstanding tour-de-force integrating the military history of the Central and Southwest Pacific with the new field of war and environment studies. Bennett goes beyond the immediate impact of combat to consider the military use of natural resources, the effect of bases on islands that never saw fighting, the movement of people, plants and diseases, and the politics of how Islander people and places were used in the war. From how foreign imaginations about the tropical environment affected military planning, to the conflict’s real long-term effects on lands and seas, this book adds essential depth to our view of the war years in this region.

Natives and Exotics

By Judith A. Bennett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ambitious in its scope and scale, this environmental history of World War II ranges over rear bases and operational fronts from Bora Bora to New Guinea, providing a lucid analysis of resource exploitation, entangled wartime politics, and human perceptions of the vast Oceanic environment. Although the war's physical impact proved significant and oftentimes enduring, this study shows that the tropical environment offered its own challenges. At the heart of ""Natives and Exotics"" is the author's analysis of the changing visions and perceptions of the environment, not only among the millions of combatants, but also among the Islands' peoples and their…


Expulsions

By Saskia Sassen,

Book cover of Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy

The important argument lying at the heart of this beautifully written book is that the trajectory of the current global economy, driven by neoliberal logics, is fundamentally one of expulsions: that is, expelling the poor, the biosphere, democracy, and anything else that gets in the way of maximizing profit. This book takes massive case studiesfrom palm oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia to water bottling by large corporations in the USand demonstrates how they are ultimately about pushing people out instead of inviting people in. It raises important questions about who the economy is for, and what ends we are ultimately building toward as a global society. I don’t have a pithy personal story about this book; I just think you should read it.

Expulsions

By Saskia Sassen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Soaring income inequality and unemployment, expanding populations of the displaced and imprisoned, accelerating destruction of land and water bodies: today's socioeconomic and environmental dislocations cannot be fully understood in the usual terms of poverty and injustice, according to Saskia Sassen. They are more accurately understood as a type of expulsion-from professional livelihood, from living space, even from the very biosphere that makes life possible.

This hard-headed critique updates our understanding of economics for the twenty-first century, exposing a system with devastating consequences even for those who think they are not vulnerable. From finance to mining, the complex types of knowledge…


Free to Choose

By Milton Friedman, Rose Friedman,

Book cover of Free to Choose: A Personal Statement

To build wealth, we need an environment that allows for unequal outcomes. The Friedmans argue that using societal or governmental force in the name of equality will destroy the environment where we are free to choose how wealth is grown. In their words: Freedom “preserves the opportunity for today's disadvantaged to become tomorrow's privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.” Let the market determine the outcome. Bad ideas will wither away, and good ideas will thrive.

Free to Choose

By Milton Friedman, Rose Friedman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Argues that free-market forces work better than government controls for achieving real equality and security, protecting consumers and workers, providing education, and avoiding inflation and unemployment.


The Value of Everything

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Book cover of The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy

I like this book because it takes a giant step back and asks what “the economy” means. What we measure, and what we choose to classify as “economic activity”, is a choice, not a given. By opting to classify some things as true economic activity (e.g. finance) but others as not (e.g. raising kids) we implicitly make choices about economic policy, as it can only deal with what it can count. It opens up the idea that we could stop and think about what should matter to the economy, and what may not.

The Value of Everything

By Mariana Mazzucato,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Modern economies reward activities that extract value rather than create it. This must change to ensure a capitalism that works for us all.

Shortlisted for the FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award

A scathing indictment of our current global financial system, The Value of Everything rigorously scrutinizes the way in which economic value has been accounted and reveals how economic theory has failed to clearly delineate the difference between value creation and value extraction. Mariana Mazzucato argues that the increasingly blurry distinction between the two categories has allowed certain actors in the economy to portray themselves as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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