100 books like Missing Class

By Betsy Leondar-Wright,

Here are 100 books that Missing Class fans have personally recommended if you like Missing Class. 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 Among the Thugs

Zachary M. Schrag Author Of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation

From my list on mob violence.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am fortunate not to have witnessed any major riots myself; the worst I’ve endured was a 1993 street fight in Moscow between parading Communists and the police, with bricks on one side and clubs and water cannon on the other. But even a relatively gentle protest march that draws a police response can be an astonishing spectacle, transforming a familiar, modern city into a medieval battlefield of massed crowds confronting armored men on horseback. And I am fascinated by the place of crowd actions in democratic societies. The right to assemble is embedded in our constitution, but there’s a fine line between public expression and mob rule.

Zachary's book list on mob violence

Zachary M. Schrag Why did Zachary love this book?

Whatever rhetoric leaders deploy, they depend on others—usually teenagers and young men—who will fight for the joy of it. “Violence is one of the most intensely lived experiences,” writes Buford. “For those capable of giving themselves over to it, is one of the most intense pleasures.” He reaches this conclusion after years of observing the largely apolitical English football hooligans who follow their favorite teams around Europe, plundering and brawling as they go. The crime is brutal and pointless, but, Buford explains, the thugs thrill to the mayhem, the naughtiness, and the sound of broken glass. 

By Bill Buford,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The author of this book has spent most of his spare time "among the thugs", the hooligans whose violence scars the face of English football. He has written a work of investigative journalism and a meditation on the violence that lies just beneath the surface of English life.


Book cover of Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy

James M. Jasper Author Of The Emotions of Protest

From my list on what drives protestors.

Why am I passionate about this?

James M. Jasper has written a number of books and articles on politics and social movements since the 1980s, trying to get inside them to see what participants feel and think. In recent years he has examined the many emotions, good and bad, involved in political engagement. He summarizes what he has learned in this short book, The Emotions of Protest, taking the reader step by step through the emotions that generate actions, to those that link us to groups, down to the emotional and moral impacts of social movements. The book is hopeful and inspiring but at the same time also clear-eyed about the limitations of protest politics.

James' book list on what drives protestors

James M. Jasper Why did James love this book?

Since ancient times people have gathered outdoors to celebrate all sorts of things, generating joy through dancing, marching, singing, and feasting. In the past most had some religious aura, but in the present, many are political gatherings, deeply satisfying ways of expressing moral visions. In this romp through history Ehrenreich shows us the sheer fun of political (and other) gatherings, which modern elites have tried hard to suppress.

By Barbara Ehrenreich,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the bestselling social commentator and cultural historian comes Barbara Ehrenreich's fascinating exploration of one of humanity's oldest traditions: the celebration of communal joy

In the acclaimed Blood Rites, Barbara Ehrenreich delved into the origins of our species' attraction to war. Here, she explores the opposite impulse, one that has been so effectively suppressed that we lack even a term for it: the desire for collective joy, historically expressed in ecstatic revels of feasting, costuming, and dancing.

Ehrenreich uncovers the origins of communal celebration in human biology and culture. Although sixteenth-century Europeans viewed mass festivities as foreign and "savage," Ehrenreich…


Book cover of Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements

James M. Jasper Author Of The Emotions of Protest

From my list on what drives protestors.

Why am I passionate about this?

James M. Jasper has written a number of books and articles on politics and social movements since the 1980s, trying to get inside them to see what participants feel and think. In recent years he has examined the many emotions, good and bad, involved in political engagement. He summarizes what he has learned in this short book, The Emotions of Protest, taking the reader step by step through the emotions that generate actions, to those that link us to groups, down to the emotional and moral impacts of social movements. The book is hopeful and inspiring but at the same time also clear-eyed about the limitations of protest politics.

James' book list on what drives protestors

James M. Jasper Why did James love this book?

Internal dynamics, especially decisionmaking, often become more important to protest groups than the impact they are having on the outside world. Through vivid cases in twentieth-century America, Polletta relates the internal and the external, showing that groups decide what to do and who they are -- strategy and identity -- at the same time. She is especially good on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the early 1960s.

By Francesca Polletta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freedom Is an Endless Meeting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Freedom Is an Endless Meeting offers vivid portraits of American experiments in participatory democracy throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on meticulous research and more than one hundred interviews with activists, Francesca Polletta challenges the conventional wisdom that participatory democracy is worthy in purpose but unworkable in practice. Instead, she shows that social movements have often used bottom-up decision making as a powerful tool for political change.

Polletta traces the history of democracy in early labor struggles and pre-World War II pacifism, in the civil rights, new left, and women's liberation movements of the sixties and seventies, and in today's faith-based…


Book cover of Origins of the Civil Rights Movements

James M. Jasper Author Of The Emotions of Protest

From my list on what drives protestors.

Why am I passionate about this?

James M. Jasper has written a number of books and articles on politics and social movements since the 1980s, trying to get inside them to see what participants feel and think. In recent years he has examined the many emotions, good and bad, involved in political engagement. He summarizes what he has learned in this short book, The Emotions of Protest, taking the reader step by step through the emotions that generate actions, to those that link us to groups, down to the emotional and moral impacts of social movements. The book is hopeful and inspiring but at the same time also clear-eyed about the limitations of protest politics.

James' book list on what drives protestors

James M. Jasper Why did James love this book?

Although a little older, this remains in my view the best book on the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and early 1960s, the heroic period of Dr. King and the student sit-ins. Born and raised in rural Mississippi during that time, Morris tells a rich story of the influence of religion: the songs, prayers, and scriptural references, but also the material resources such as churches to meet in, networks of preachers to spread information, and the conduit for funds to flow from more affluent Black communities to those battling on the frontline during the bloody fight for civil rights.

By Aldon D. Morris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Origins of the Civil Rights Movements as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A “valuable, eye-opening work” (The Boston Globe) about the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.

On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama, Mrs. Rosa Parks, weary after a long day at work, refused to give up her bus seat to a white man…and ignited the explosion that was the civil rights movement in America. In this powerful saga, Morris tells the complete story behind the ten years that transformed America, tracing the essential role of the black community organizations that was the real power behind the civil rights movement. Drawing on interviews with more than fifty key leaders,…


Book cover of Culture from the Inside out: Travel and Meet Yourself

Diane Lemieux Author Of Culture Smart! Canada

From my list on understanding the locals.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in Quebec, have lived in eleven countries, and speak four languages. In my 20+ years as an author and journalist, my goal has always been to create bridges between cultures and to tell stories that enable individuals to better understand each other. For me, a trip to a new country, no matter how short or long, is incomplete unless I’ve had the chance to meet locals.

Diane's book list on understanding the locals

Diane Lemieux Why did Diane love this book?

"The first person you meet when you travel abroad is yourself.”

I was very happy to discover this self-help book (way back in 2004) on how to deal with ‘the other’ when traveling or living in a foreign culture. It’s a classic in its approach to understanding the people you meet abroad.

Our impressions of other people always start with our own expectations and beliefs of what is right and proper. This book helps us understand our own biases in the process of trying to understand the locals.

By Alan Cornes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Culture from the Inside out as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the first book to take a unique psychological approach to intercultural interactions. The author helps the sojourner to examine his or her own personality traits, both strengths and weaknesses, and how these characteristics may improve one's ability to communicate effectively in a different culture. Most expatriate placements are made on the basis of technical ability to do the job and the candidates circumstances and willingness to relocate. Apart from overseas development organisations, candidate selection that has any specific focus on intercultural aptitude is the exception rather than the rule. In either case, both the development worker and the…


Book cover of Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality

Daromir Rudnyckyj Author Of Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance

From my list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an economic anthropologist and teach classes and conduct research in this area. Economic anthropology is different from economics in that it questions many of the things that economics takes for granted. For example, most economists assume that allocating goods through the market by buying and selling is the best way to organize human communities. Economic anthropologists have shown, in contrast, that many societies have been organized according to other exchange principles. In fact, some of the oldest communities in the world, such as Sumer and Babylon, based their economies around elaborate systems of redistribution, in which every citizen was guaranteed food shares.

Daromir's book list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy

Daromir Rudnyckyj Why did Daromir love this book?

We often think of national identity as fixed: one is either Canadian or American, British or Chinese, Australian or Indian. 

The Olympic games come along and people pick up a flag to which they apparently belong. In contrast, Ong shows how economic globalization—the integration of production systems, financial activities, and labour markets across national borders—has created a situation in which national belonging is far from fixed and is instead flexible.

She documents, on the one hand, how individuals strategically obtain citizenship from more than one country and use citizenship for goals both personal and economic. On the other hand, she also documents how nation-states are using flexible definitions of citizenship to foster their own ambitions for economic growth.  

By Aihwa Ong,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Few recent phenomena have proved as emblematic of our era, and as little understood, as globalization. Are nation-states being transformed by globalization into a single globalized economy? Do global cultural forces herald a postnational millennium? Tying ethnography to structural analysis, Flexible Citizenship explores such questions with a focus on the links between the cultural logics of human action and on economic and political processes within the Asia-Pacific, including the impact of these forces on women and family life.
Explaining how intensified travel, communications, and mass media have created a transnational Chinese public, Aihwa Ong argues that previous studies have mistakenly…


Book cover of On Austrian Soil: Teaching Those I Was Taught to Hate

Stephen Fredman Author Of A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry

From my list on blending Jewish history with a personal quest.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an enthusiastic and eclectic reader, one of my great joys is recommending books to others. I was able to indulge this joy consistently while teaching at a university, introducing students to authors and books and topics they otherwise might never have encountered. I find this same excitement in my own writing, searching for ways to reveal to others the magnificent wealth I find in modern poetry and in the brilliant concepts of poetic thinking.

Stephen's book list on blending Jewish history with a personal quest

Stephen Fredman Why did Stephen love this book?

A renowned teacher of expository writing, Perl is invited to Austria to offer a course on how to teach the Holocaust. Although her mother warned her that as a Jew she should never enter a German-speaking country, Perl decides to accept.

She writes with brutal honesty about the troubled and often profound relationships she establishes with her Austrian students. Her explorations of difficult and sometimes excruciating issues are conducted with a spirit of love and openness toward her students and herself. This is the most ethically engaged book I have read about the profession of teaching.

By Sondra Perl,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An award-winning teacher takes a journey into alien territory: Austria, Hitler's birthplace, and the territory of her own hatred. A teaching memoir that offers a pedagogy of hope.


Book cover of The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization

Scott Waalkes Author Of The Fullness of Time in a Flat World

From my list on the religious ethics of globalization.

Why am I passionate about this?

My plan to write my book clicked after I bought an apple grown in New Zealand, 10,000 miles away from my home in Ohio. How did it make sense that we could buy apples so cheaply from so far away? What was the carbon footprint of that one transaction? Growing up in Michigan in the 1970s and 1980s, I had seen our industrial cities decay as trade globalized. Later I watched with horror as global financial markets crashed in 2008. With these experiences in mind, I wanted to write about both the benefits and the costs of globalization—and about its ethicsfor religious communities like mine. So I did.  

Scott's book list on the religious ethics of globalization

Scott Waalkes Why did Scott love this book?

Friedman, a longtime New York Times foreign affairs columnist, was one of the first to show me what I should love and hate about globalization, circa 1999, at the peak of Western support for neoliberal globalization.

Although his gee-whiz, gung-ho enthusiasm for the world of the Lexus (high-tech globalization with global supply chains and integrated financial markets) sometimes wears thin, he also covers the problems caused by globalization. He even appeals to the need for the “olive trees” of community, family, and religion to make globalization ethical.

Even when the breezy tone annoys me, this book is still my go-to guide for mapping the effects of globalization on business, economics, politics, culture, and the environment.

By Thomas L. Friedman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Lexus and the Olive Tree as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A brilliant investigation of globalization, the most significant socioeconomic trend in the world today, and how it is affecting everything we do-economically, politically, and culturally-abroad and at home.

As foreign affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman crisscrosses the globe talking with the world's economic and political leaders, and reporting, as only he can, on what he sees. Now he has used his years of experience as a reporter and columnist to produce a pithy, trenchant, riveting look at the worldwide market forces that are driving today's economies and how they are playing out both internationally and…


Book cover of Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection

Michael A. Lange Author Of Meanings of Maple: An Ethnography of Sugaring

From my list on explore how people make meaning and knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study culture. Ever since I was little, I’ve been fascinated by what people think, feel, believe, have, and do. I’ve always wondered why people need things to be meaningful. Why do people need an explanation for why things happen that puts the meaning outside their own minds? I wanted to get beyond the need for things to be meaningful by themselves, so I began looking into meaning-making as a thing we do. Once I realized the process was infinitely more interesting and valuable, I read books like those on my list. I hope they spark you as much as they have me. 

Michael's book list on explore how people make meaning and knowledge

Michael A. Lange Why did Michael love this book?

I love this book because Tsing walks me through an increasingly complex, increasingly comprehensive understanding of how people think, feel, and make meaning and how that process is fundamental to understanding who we are as a species.

Each chapter gives me a basic yet profound bit of insight into people as meaning makers, and each chapter flows from the one(s) previous, all building toward the sort of “holy crap, I get it!” culmination that leaves me wanting to go back and read it again and again.

Tsing makes the complicated understandable and the obscure accessible. 

By Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. In both cases, it is friction that produces movement, action, effect. Challenging the widespread view that globalization invariably signifies a "clash" of cultures, anthropologist Anna Tsing here develops friction in its place as a metaphor for the diverse and conflicting social interactions that make up our contemporary world. She focuses on one particular "zone of awkward engagement"--the rainforests of Indonesia--where in the 1980s and the…


Book cover of Figuring Foreigners Out: A Practical Guide

Barbara B. Adams PsyD Author Of Women, Minorities, and Other Extraordinary People: The New Path for Workforce Diversity

From my list on workforce diversity that won’t piss you off.

Why am I passionate about this?

I don’t have a passion for the diversity, equity, and inclusion topic. I have an obligation. When I didn’t see or understand the horrific injustice of systemic oppression, I couldn’t do anything about it. Now that I see it, I cannot ignore it. I’ve become an expert through my work in organizational development. I work with technology, healthcare, financial services and educational services clients around the globe, and in 2016 I founded GAR (Gender, Age, Race) Diversity Consulting. Prior to GAR, I was a director in the National Diversity and Inclusion office at Kaiser Permanente, and I worked for many years as a global management and technology consultant with American Management Systems, Inc (now CGI). 

Barbara's book list on workforce diversity that won’t piss you off

Barbara B. Adams PsyD Why did Barbara love this book?

Workplaces are increasing in diversity, making it essential for workers to understand the nuances of cross-cultural relationships. This book delves into those nuances in a way that is practical, insightful, and fun. The author begins by introducing the four stages of cultural awareness, then builds by providing workbook opportunities for the reader to develop often profound insight. The author remarkably shows no bias toward one culture over another, which heightens the book's value. It’s also a terrific read for global travelers to gain an understanding and appreciation of places and people visited.

By Craig Storti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Here is the ultimate, self-instructional cross-cultural training manual. Craig Storti, author of The Art of Crossing Cultures, The Art of Coming Home, Incident at Bitter Creek and Cross-Cultural Dialogues, brings his wealth of knowledge and his creative mind to this exceptional new resource.

Figuring Foreigners Out is designed for anyone who wants to help in "figuring out" the behavior of someone from another culture. Educators, trainers and individuals will profit from this user-friendly workbook. readers can work through exercises which are vintage Storti - on their own, or in a training group.

Concepts at the heart of intercultural communication are…


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