100 books like Natives and Exotics

By Judith A. Bennett,

Here are 100 books that Natives and Exotics fans have personally recommended if you like Natives and Exotics. 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 Memories of War: Micronesians in the Pacific War

Lin Poyer Author Of The Typhoon of War: Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

From my list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are three anthropologists who have focused decades of research on the cultures and histories of the beautiful part of the world known as Micronesia. We wrote this book when we realized that the many volumes of history on War in the Pacific focused on the combatants, and told us little of the experiences of the Islanders across whose lands, seas, and airspace the war was fought. Kwajalein, Enewetak, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian—these were not just battlegrounds, but also precious homelands. Our goal was to combine documentary history with interviews of more than 300 elders to tell the story of the war in Micronesia as it was experienced by Islanders who lived through it.

Lin's book list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands

Lin Poyer Why did Lin love this book?

In this follow-up to Typhoon Of War, we focus on Micronesians’ memories of World War II—the stories they tell, the songs they sing, and their recollections of those years of trauma and excitement. The book includes many personal stories and describes how Islanders think about the way years, and how they pass on those memories to the next generation. The book reveals much about how Islanders lived through bombing, forced labor, family separation, displacement, invasion, and other stresses of war. The poignant and evocative stories and songs showcase Micronesian cultural themes and verbal artistry.

By Lin Poyer, Laurence Marshall Carucci, Suzanne Falgout

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Micronesians often liken the Pacific War to a typhoon, one that swept away their former lives and brought dramatic changes to their understandings of the world and their places in it. Yet Pacific War histories scarcely mention the Islanders across whose lands and seas the fighting waged.""Memories of War"" sets out to fill that historical gap by presenting the missing voices of Micronesians and by viewing those years from their perspectives. The focus is on Micronesian remembrances - the ritual commemorations, features of the landscape, stories, dances, and songs that keep their memories of the conflict alive. The inclusion of…


Book cover of Nuclear Nativity: Rituals of Renewal and Empowerment in the Marshall Islands

Lin Poyer Author Of The Typhoon of War: Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

From my list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are three anthropologists who have focused decades of research on the cultures and histories of the beautiful part of the world known as Micronesia. We wrote this book when we realized that the many volumes of history on War in the Pacific focused on the combatants, and told us little of the experiences of the Islanders across whose lands, seas, and airspace the war was fought. Kwajalein, Enewetak, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian—these were not just battlegrounds, but also precious homelands. Our goal was to combine documentary history with interviews of more than 300 elders to tell the story of the war in Micronesia as it was experienced by Islanders who lived through it.

Lin's book list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands

Lin Poyer Why did Lin love this book?

Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands experienced Japanese colonial rule, militarization in the build-up to the Pacific War, and invasion and conquest by American forces---followed by exile and relocation so their homeland could be used for nuclear testing. This book describes how they interpret and deal with this history through a three-month-long Christmas ritual that reflects traditional Marshallese culture as well as modern war. Carucci’s sensitive analysis helps us see how cultural rituals enable communities to deal with traumatic pasts, through symbolism, drama, artistic creativity, and humor—including the role of an exploding Christmas tree!

By Laurence Marshall Carucci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The leading authority on the lifeways of the Enewetak people explores the rituals, customs, and meanings of the Kurijmoj festival. Illuminating the empowering aspects of rituals involved in feasts, competitive games, speeches, dances, songs of apocalypse, and gift giving, Carucci offers a wealth of insights into a celebration the Enewetak people have made uniquely their own.


Book cover of Solomon Islanders in World War II: An Indigenous Perspective

Lin Poyer Author Of The Typhoon of War: Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

From my list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are three anthropologists who have focused decades of research on the cultures and histories of the beautiful part of the world known as Micronesia. We wrote this book when we realized that the many volumes of history on War in the Pacific focused on the combatants, and told us little of the experiences of the Islanders across whose lands, seas, and airspace the war was fought. Kwajalein, Enewetak, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian—these were not just battlegrounds, but also precious homelands. Our goal was to combine documentary history with interviews of more than 300 elders to tell the story of the war in Micronesia as it was experienced by Islanders who lived through it.

Lin's book list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands

Lin Poyer Why did Lin love this book?

Anna Annie Kwai is a Solomon Islander historian who brings together documentary historical sources with oral history and personal recollections to tell the story of the war in the Southwest Pacific from the point of view of Solomon Islanders themselves—including the work of the famous “coastwatchers,” the Battle of Guadalcanal, and the rescue of the crew of Lt. John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. An essential addition to the study of the Southwest Pacific war.

By Anna Annie Kwai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Solomon Islanders in World War II as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Solomon Islands Campaign of World War II has been the subject of many published historical accounts. Most of these accounts present an ‘outsider’ perspective with limited reference to the contribution of indigenous Solomon Islanders as coastwatchers, scouts, carriers and labourers under the Royal Australian Navy and other Allied military units. Where islanders are mentioned, they are represented as ‘loyal’ helpers. The nature of local contributions in the war and their impact on islander perceptions are more complex than has been represented in these outsiders’ perspectives. Islander encounters with white American troops enabled self-awareness of racial relationships and inequality under…


Book cover of Island Encounters: Black and White Memories of the Pacific War

Lin Poyer Author Of The Typhoon of War: Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

From my list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are three anthropologists who have focused decades of research on the cultures and histories of the beautiful part of the world known as Micronesia. We wrote this book when we realized that the many volumes of history on War in the Pacific focused on the combatants, and told us little of the experiences of the Islanders across whose lands, seas, and airspace the war was fought. Kwajalein, Enewetak, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian—these were not just battlegrounds, but also precious homelands. Our goal was to combine documentary history with interviews of more than 300 elders to tell the story of the war in Micronesia as it was experienced by Islanders who lived through it.

Lin's book list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands

Lin Poyer Why did Lin love this book?

Anyone interested in the War in the Pacific will find this collection of 175 photographs showing the variety of interactions of Islanders and foreign servicemen interesting. It goes beyond official military photos (though there are plenty of those) to include photos from Japanese sources and veterans’ personal photographs. The text gives insight into the conditions of war and how Islanders and foreign fighters perceived and dealt with each other. A beautifully produced book.

By Geoffrey M. White, Lamont Lindstrom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Explores the massive and sudden contact between powerful military forces and Pacific islanders, blending oral histories recorded in the islands after WWII with some 175 photographs gleaned from Japanese newspaper morgues, the private albums of US veterans, and Allied military archives. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.


Book cover of Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait

Shira Shmuely Author Of The Bureaucracy of Empathy: Law, Vivisection, and Animal Pain in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain

From my list on getting familiar with multispecies history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination and emotional connection with animals have been lifelong. However, it wasn't until my second year as an undergrad student that I realized that human-animal relationship could be examined from philosophical, historical, and anthropological perspectives. Over the past couple of decades, the conversations around the roles of non-human animals in diverse cultural, social, and material contexts have coalesced under the interdisciplinary field known as Animal Studies. I draw upon this literature and use my training in law and PhD in the history of science to explore the ties between knowledge and ethics in the context of animal law.  

Shira's book list on getting familiar with multispecies history

Shira Shmuely Why did Shira love this book?

This is an extraordinary study about life in and around the strait between the Pacific and Arctic oceans, home for Iñupiaq, Yupik, and Chukchi people and many other lively things, before and after the arrival of Russian and American colonial powers.

I admire the nuanced way in which Demuth exemplifies how capitalist and communist resource management transformed not only human but also animal cultures (whales, for example, strategize against whaling ships).

By Bathsheba Demuth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Along the Bering Strait, through the territories of the Inupiat and Yupik in Alaska, and the Yupik and Chukchi in Russia, Bathsheba Demuth explores an ecosystem that has long sustained human beings. Yet when Americans and Europeans arrived, the area became the site of an experiment and the modern ideologies of production and consumption, capitalism and communism were subject to the pressures of arctic scarcity.

Demuth draws a vivid portrait of the sweeping effects of turning ecological wealth into economic growth and state power over the past century and a half. More urgent in a warming climate and as we…


Book cover of Environmental Infrastructure in African History: Examining the Myth of Natural Resource Management in Namibia

Gufu Oba Author Of African Environmental Crisis: A History of Science for Development

From my list on environmental history, science, and development.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gufu Oba (Professor) has taught Ecology, Pastoralism, and Environmental History at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences for 21 years. He previously worked for UNESCO-MAB on issues of environmental conservation. He has published four books on social and environmental history. His books include Nomads in the shadows of Empires (BRILL, 2013), Climate change adaptations in Africa (Routledge, 2014), Herder Warfare in East Africa: A social and Spatial History (White Horse Press, 2017), and African Environmental Crisis: A History of Science for development (Routledge, 2020).

Gufu's book list on environmental history, science, and development

Gufu Oba Why did Gufu love this book?

Environmental Infrastructure in African History offers a new approach for analyzing and narrating environmental change. Environmental change conventionally is understood as, moving from a state of more nature to a state of less nature and more culture. In this model, non-Western and pre-modern societies live off natural resources, whereas more modern societies rely on artifacts, or nature that is transformed and domesticated through science and technology into culture. Emmanuel Kreike argues that both non-Western and pre-modern societies inhabit a dynamic middle ground between nature and culture. He asserts that humans - in collaboration with plants, animals, and other animate and inanimate forces - create environmental infrastructure that constantly is remade and re-imagined in the face of ongoing processes of change.

By Emmanuel Kreike,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Environmental Infrastructure in African History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Environmental Infrastructure in African History offers a new approach for analyzing and narrating environmental change. Environmental change conventionally is understood as occurring in a linear fashion, moving from a state of more nature to a state of less nature and more culture. In this model, non-Western and pre-modern societies live off natural resources, whereas more modern societies rely on artifact, or nature that is transformed and domesticated through science and technology into culture. In contrast, Emmanuel Kreike argues that both non-Western and pre-modern societies inhabit a dynamic middle ground between nature and culture. He asserts that humans - in collaboration…


Book cover of Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador

Drew Pendergrass Author Of Half-Earth Socialism: A Plan to Save the Future from Extinction, Climate Change and Pandemics

From my list on environmental crisis and how to solve it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a climate scientist at Harvard and an environmental activist. In my day job, I use satellite, aircraft, and surface observations of the environment to correct supercomputer models of the atmosphere. What I’ve learned has made me feel that I can’t just stay in the lab—I need to get out in the world and fight for a future that’s just and ecologically stable for everyone. My writing and activism imagines how humanity can democratically govern itself in an age of environmental crisis.

Drew's book list on environmental crisis and how to solve it

Drew Pendergrass Why did Drew love this book?

As an environmental activist, I often run into the problem of popular politics. Consumption of certain goods, like oil or meat, drives the environmental crisis, but they also are popular—or, at least, people would feel it as a loss if they were limited. Worse, people’s livelihoods often depend on industries that are hurting the planet.

To understand possible ways forward, I turned to Thea Riofrancos. This book guided me through Ecuador's complicated environmental politics. A left-wing president won power, promising prosperity for all, funded by mining and exporting the country’s rich natural resources. Indigenous people and environmentalists proposed alternative politics, which were not funded by extraction but by an alternative green economy. The book is full of hard lessons about the challenges of building a winning environmental movement.

By Thea Riofrancos,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 2007, the left came to power in Ecuador. In the years that followed, the "twenty-first-century socialist" government and a coalition of grassroots activists came to blows over the extraction of natural resources. Each side declared the other a perversion of leftism and the principles of socioeconomic equality, popular empowerment, and anti-imperialism. In Resource Radicals, Thea Riofrancos unpacks the conflict between these two leftisms: on the one hand, the administration's resource nationalism and focus on economic development; and on the other, the anti-extractivism of grassroots activists who condemned the government's disregard for nature and indigenous communities. In this archival and…


Book cover of Oil, Water, and Climate: An Introduction

Simon Pirani Author Of Burning Up: A Global History of Fossil Fuel Consumption

From my list on the oil industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by how power and money work, and hopeful that we can change the world for the better by subverting both. In the 1990s, when I started travelling to, and writing about, Russia, I became aware of how completely oil and gas completely dominated Russia’s economy, its power structures, and its people’s lives. I learned about how oil, gas, power, and money relate to each other, and for 14 years (2007-2021) wrote about those interconnections as a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. 

Simon's book list on the oil industry

Simon Pirani Why did Simon love this book?

As a non-scientist, I love reading books written by scientists in language that the rest of us can understand. This is one of the best – and it addresses many of the most urgent questions scientists will keep worrying about through the 21st century, about the interaction between oil production and use, the atmosphere, the oceans, and freshwater systems. Catherine Gautier writes in a clear, accessible style. She is well aware that we can not fence off the study of physical phenomena such as climate change and contamination of water sources from the study of society, economics, and politics.  

By Catherine Gautier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today's oil and gas are at record prices, whilst global energy demand is increasing from population and economic development pressures. Climate change, resulting in large part from the burning of fossil fuels, is exacerbating the impacts of the excelerated exploitation of our natural resources. Therefore, anxieties over energy, water, and climate security are at an all-time high. Global action is needed now in order to address this set of urgent challenges and to avoid putting the future of our civilization at risk. This book examines the powerful interconnections that link energy, water, climate and population, exploring viable options in addressing…


Book cover of More from Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources--And What Happens Next

Alessio Terzi Author Of Growth for Good: Reshaping Capitalism to Save Humanity from Climate Catastrophe

From my list on the relationship between the economy and nature.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an economist at the European Commission, Adjunct Professor in Paris, former fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and now a first-time author, I thrive at the intersection of academia, think-tanks, and policy-making. My academic soul leads me to seek answers to the big questions: what is economic growth and how does it relate to the success of civilization, to science and technology, to people’s wellbeing, and to nature. My practical focus leads me to draw the policy implications of all this for how we ought to fight climate change. My critics accuse me of being an optimist. I take it as a compliment: the future of humanity is in our hands.

Alessio's book list on the relationship between the economy and nature

Alessio Terzi Why did Alessio love this book?

All of McAfee’s work is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and technology in changing the world.

This important book marks no exception, addressing the key problem of managing scarce natural resources in spite of a growing human population and economy. In the process, McAfee challenges some widely-held views, such as the idea that ‘you cannot have an ever-growing economy on a finite planet.’

As a matter of fact, you can and the book shows that since the mid-1990s the US economy has continued to expand while extraction of the 72 raw materials tracked by the US Geological Survey, from aluminum to timber, has diminished (even when considering imports).

To me, More from Less is a testament to the power of technical progress.

By Andrew McAfee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Everyone knows we're doomed by runaway overpopulation, pollution, or resource depletion, whichever comes first. Not only is this view paralysing and fatalistic, but, as Andrew McAfee shows in this exhilarating book, it's wrong... More from Less is fascinating, enjoyable to read, and tremendously empowering' Steven Pinker
Bestselling author and co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Andrew McAfee says there's a new reason for optimism: we're past the point of 'peak stuff' - from here on out, it'll take fewer resources to make things, and cost less to lead a comfortable life.

This turn of events invalidates the…


Book cover of The Ultimate Resource 2

Paul Morland Author Of Tomorrow's People: The Future of Humanity in Ten Numbers

From my list on the impact of population on everything.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in demography began when I saw rapid demographic change taking place before my eyes in London, and when I noted the different fertility choices of friends and relations and started to put the pieces together and to understand how demography shapes our changing reality. I have published three books on the subject—the first, a version of my PhD thesis, the second and third captured belowand have broadcast and written articles for the press extensively on these topics.

Paul's book list on the impact of population on everything

Paul Morland Why did Paul love this book?

Simon was something of a prophet who felt that he had a contrarian worldview that the world needed to know about. His basic idea is that the human brain is the ultimate resource and that with the right application and opportunity, humans can solve so many of the serious problems that environmentalism and the limits on resources throw at us. I cannot say that I agree with Simon on everything, nor that his optimism is apt in every situation, but his is an exciting and bracing can-do-ism that sees the best in humanity once it is freed to fulfill its potential.

By Julian Lincoln Simon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Ultimate Resource 2 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the "perils of overpopulation." The comprehensive data, careful quantitative research, and economic logic contained in the first edition of The Ultimate Resource questioned widely held professional judgments about the threat of overpopulation, and Simon's celebrated bet with Paul Ehrlich about resource prices in the 1980s enhanced the public attention--both pro and con--that greeted this controversial book. Now Princeton University Press presents…


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