100 books like Moments of Silence

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Here are 100 books that Moments of Silence fans have personally recommended if you like Moments of Silence. 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 Event, Metaphor, Memory: Chauri Chaura, 1922-1992

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 1922, protestors in the northern Indian town of Chauri Chaura set fire to a local police station, killing the twenty-two policemen trapped inside. The event prompted Ghandi to question whether Indians were ready for independence and led to a suspension of the non-cooperation campaign. In his book, Amin explores how memory of this local affair, marked by violence, became entangled in a larger national narrative that emphasized non-violence. The result is a work that deconstructs how historical narrative is produced, and how the story of Chauri Chaura differs based on whether it's told by regional or state and national parties. This book is highly original in its presentation, use of source material, and methods of analysis. 

By Shahid Amin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Taking Gandhi's statements about civil disobedience to heart, in February 1922 residents from the villages around the north Indian market town of Chauri Chaura attacked the local police station, burned it to the ground and murdered twenty-three constables. Appalled that his teachings were turned to violent ends, Gandhi called off his Noncooperation Movement and fasted to bring the people back to nonviolence. In the meantime, the British government denied that the riot reflected Indian resistance to its rule and tried the rioters as common criminals. These events have taken on great symbolic importance among Indians, both in the immediate region…


Book cover of Reclaiming 42: Public Memory and the Reframing of Jackie Robinson's Radical Legacy

Jonathan Shandell Author Of The American Negro Theatre and the Long Civil Rights Era

From my list on Black culture and history in the Civil Rights era.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a theater historian whose research focuses on African American theater of 1940s-50s. While other periods and movements—the Harlem Renaissance (1920s), the Federal Theatre Project (1930s), the Black Arts Movement (1960s), and contemporary theater—have been well studied and documented, I saw a gap of scholarship around the 1940s-50s; I wondered why those years had been largely overlooked. As I dived deeper, I saw how African American performance culture (ie. theater, film, television, music) of the later-20th Century had its roots in the history of those somewhat overlooked decades. I’m still investigating that story, and these books have helped me do it.

Jonathan's book list on Black culture and history in the Civil Rights era

Jonathan Shandell Why did Jonathan love this book?

Perhaps no one is more readily identified with racial integration than Jackie Robinson. Our culture now lionizes Robinson for his accomplishments, but also for having “guts enough not to fight back” (as his general manager Branch Rickey reportedly said to him) against the bigotry and insults that surrounded him. In many ways, the story of Jackie Robinson as a quiet, passive figure who just let his playing do the talking is incomplete. This book reveals more of the story of Robinson’s historic and sometimes surprisingly “radical” work in breaking baseball’s color barrier.

By David Naze,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reclaiming 42 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Reclaiming 42 centers on one of America's most respected cultural icons, Jackie Robinson, and the forgotten aspects of his cultural legacy. Since his retirement in 1956, and more strongly in the last twenty years, America has primarily remembered Robinson's legacy in an oversimplified way, as the pioneering first black baseball player to integrate the Major Leagues. The mainstream commemorative discourse regarding Robinson's career has been created and directed largely by Major League Baseball (MLB), which sanitized and oversimplified his legacy into narratives of racial reconciliation that celebrate his integrity, character, and courage while excluding other aspects of his life, such…


Book cover of Making History/Making Blintzes: How Two Red Diaper Babies Found Each Other and Discovered America

Paul Lauter Author Of Our Sixties: An Activist's History

From my list on how we made change in the 1960's.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over the past 50 years, I've been one of those “tenured radicals” the right-wing loved to bash. But before that, during the 1960s, I worked, often full-time, in the social movements that did change America: civil rights, anti-war, feminism. I was older, so I became a “professor-activist.” As a teacher, I applied what I had learned in the movements to reconstruct ideas about which writers mattered—women as well as men, minorities as well as whites: Zora Neale Hurston, Frederick Douglass, Adrienne Rich as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway. Using that principle, I led a team that created a very successful collection, The Heath Anthology of American Literature.     

Paul's book list on how we made change in the 1960's

Paul Lauter Why did Paul love this book?

Mickey and Dick Flacks enjoyed a 60-year marital and political partnership that featured blintzes along with activism. Their joint memoir traces a century of American left history as they and their families created and lived it. Raised in the rich but insulated culture of the communist “old left” in the Bronx and Brooklyn, these founding figures of the "new left,” helped construct a post-sixties progressive movement in a once-conservative region of California. They have been trailblazers in the struggles for affordable housing, and leaders and mentors—including mein the on-going efforts to democratize higher education. Their activist left perspective on American possibilityunimaginable for too many Americansbelongs on our bookshelves. 

By Mickey Flacks, Dick Flacks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Making History/Making Blintzes is a chronicle of the political and personal lives of progressive activists Richard (Dick) and Miriam (Mickey) Flacks, two of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As active members of the Civil Rights movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement in the 1960s, and leaders in today's social movements, their stories are a first-hand account of progressive American activism from the 1960s to the present.

Throughout this memoir, the couple demonstrates that their lifelong commitment to making history through social activism cannot be understood without returning to the deeply personal context of their family history-of…


Book cover of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Author Of Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation

From my list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of communication and political science who’s been researching and publishing on the effects of political media on democratic health for 25 years. More recently, I’ve been trying to understand the roots of inter-party hostility, the drop in trust in institutions, and the rise in Americans’ belief in breathtakingly false information. My hope is that through this selection of books, you’ll start to understand the synergistic dynamics between America’s complicated history with race, changes in America’s parties, media, and culture, and various social psychological processes, and maybe even start to see a way out of this mess.

Dannagal's book list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Why did Dannagal love this book?

I literally could not have written my book without Mason’s incredible empirical work documented in this book. 

Yes, this is an academic book, but Mason is engaging, clear, and masterful in her use of charts and graphs to illustrate what “social sorting” is and what it does. Whenever I explain to people how America’s political parties have come to represent not just different sets of policy positions but two very different types of people, I picture Mason’s charts and graphs in my head!

There are a few books that I cannot put back on my bookshelf because I cite them too often and have decided they just need to stay right on my desk, Lily Mason’s is at the top of this pile.

By Lilliana Mason,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of "us versus them" tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment. With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious,…


Book cover of Give Me Liberty: The True Story of Oswaldo Payá and his Daring Quest for a Free Cuba

Ilan Ehrlich Author Of Eduardo Chibás: The Incorrigible Man of Cuban Politics

From my list on biographies peeking into the lives of Cuban people.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was weaned on Cuban stories by my Havana-born mother and first visited the island in 1998. Since then, I earned a PhD in history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York–where I studied twentieth-century Cuban politics. While conducting research in Havana and Miami, I confirmed that legends were imbibed with the same fervor as café cubano. All histories are marked by tall tales, but Cubans are governed by theirs, inside and out, more than most. 

Ilan's book list on biographies peeking into the lives of Cuban people

Ilan Ehrlich Why did Ilan love this book?

To some, Cuba is a plucky, embargo-defying success story, with top educational and medical systems – the latter of which ensures Cubans live longer on average than Americans. Hoffman’s biography of Oswaldo Payá lays bare the regime’s darkest depths. As a young man, Payá was harassed and persecuted for his Catholic faith. He later devised the Varela Project, which sought to legally change Cuba’s 1976 constitution and allow democratic freedoms. Payá remained an outspoken critic of Cuba’s one-party state and refused to leave despite constant threats from state security agents. In 2012, they ran his car off the road and he was killed in the ensuing crash.  

By David E. Hoffman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post reporter David E. Hoffman comes the riveting biography of Oswaldo Payá, a dissident who dared to defy Fidel Castro, inspiring thousands of Cubans to fight for democracy.

Oswaldo Payá was seven years old when Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba, promising to create a “free, democratic, and just Cuba.” But Castro instead created an authoritarian regime with little tolerance of free speech or thought. His secret police were trained to crush dissent by East Germany’s ruthless Stasi.

Throughout Cuba’s 20th century history, the dream of democracy was often just within reach, only to be…


Book cover of Now Peru Is Mine: The Life and Times of a Campesino Activist

Miguel La Serna Author Of With Masses and Arms: Peru's Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement

From my list on reads before your trip to Peru.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of Latin American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My teaching and research focus on Andean history, and I have written several books on the period of political violence that pitted guerrillas of the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) against Peruvian security forces and peasant militias during the 1980s and 1990s. I have been researching in Peru for twenty years, from Lima’s shantytowns, to the Andes mountains, to the Amazon jungle. A Peruvian-American, I maintain strong family ties to the region and am a proud, yet frequently heartbroken, supporter of the national soccer team.

Miguel's book list on reads before your trip to Peru

Miguel La Serna Why did Miguel love this book?

I love anything by Jaymie Patricia Heilman. Her writing is always smart, compelling, and beautiful—and this book, co-authored with its main character, is no exception. Part political history, part memoir, this book recounts the incredible life of Manuel Llamojha Mitma, a little-known Indigenous activist whose struggle for land, citizenship, and anti-racism brought him face-to-face with some of the most oppressive forces of 20th-century Latin America. More than an autobiography, this sobering and powerful collaborative history contextualizes the struggles and achievements of Indigenous people at the height of the Cold War.

By Manuel Llamojha Mitma, Jaymie Patricia Heilman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Now Peru Is Mine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Born in 1921, Manuel Llamojha Mitma became one of Peru's most creative and inspiring indigenous political activists. Now Peru Is Mine combines extensive oral history interviews with archival research to chronicle his struggles for indigenous land rights and political inclusion as well as his fight against anti-Indian racism. His compelling story-framed by Jaymie Patricia Heilman's historical contextualization-covers nearly eight decades, from the poverty of his youth and teaching himself to read, to becoming an internationally known activist. Llamojha also recounts his life's tragedies, such as being forced to flee his home and the disappearance of his son during the war…


Book cover of Voice Lessons

Paul Lauter Author Of Our Sixties: An Activist's History

From my list on how we made change in the 1960's.

Why am I passionate about this?

Over the past 50 years, I've been one of those “tenured radicals” the right-wing loved to bash. But before that, during the 1960s, I worked, often full-time, in the social movements that did change America: civil rights, anti-war, feminism. I was older, so I became a “professor-activist.” As a teacher, I applied what I had learned in the movements to reconstruct ideas about which writers mattered—women as well as men, minorities as well as whites: Zora Neale Hurston, Frederick Douglass, Adrienne Rich as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway. Using that principle, I led a team that created a very successful collection, The Heath Anthology of American Literature.     

Paul's book list on how we made change in the 1960's

Paul Lauter Why did Paul love this book?

Alice Embree’s story features growth and change. From a home-town girl in a once-sleepy college town, Austin, she becomes an early Students for a Democratic Society activist, a participant in the best—and worst—of SDS campaigns, a central worker—first typist, then writer and printer—in influential underground papers like Rat and especially The Rag. Embree also supported Latin-American progressives, especially in Chile. Most powerfully, she becomes a fierce and energetic trailblazer in the women’s liberation movement and the many activities that movement continues to open for all of us, even in deep red states like her native Texas.  Important for Americans to read, especially those who cannot imagine that girl and mother next door is a Democrat, much less—gasp!—a still-active Socialist.  

By Alice Embree,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Voice Lessons explores the rich personal and political terrain of Alice Embree, a 1960s activist and convert to the women's liberation movement of the 1970s, bringing a woman's perspective to a transformational time in US history. This riveting memoir traces the author's roots in segregated Austin and her participation in efforts to integrate the University of Texas. It follows her antiwar activism from a vigil in front of President Lyndon Johnson's ranch in 1965 to a massive protest after the shootings at Kent State in 1970. Embree's activism brought her and the Students for a Democratic Society into conflict with…


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