100 books like Omar Khadr, Oh Canada

By Janice Williamson,

Here are 100 books that Omar Khadr, Oh Canada fans have personally recommended if you like Omar Khadr, Oh Canada. 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 Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada

Valentina Capurri Author Of Not Good Enough for Canada: Canadian Public Discourse Around Issues of Inadmissibility for Potential Immigrants with Diseases And/Or Disabilities

From my list on belonging and exclusion in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and a social geographer whose main interest is in examining why some of us are embraced (legally, politically, economically, culturally) by the society we live in while some others are excluded. Probably due to my status as someone who is an immigrant to Canada and also a person with a disability, the topic of belonging and exclusion fascinates me. 

Valentina's book list on belonging and exclusion in Canada

Valentina Capurri Why did Valentina love this book?

This is an exceptionally well-written and meaningful study that has greatly helped me understand how the national subject is conceptualized in Canada. As an immigrant to this country who became a citizen through a challenging and demoralizing process, this book has enabled me to see how some of us are framed as belonging while others are excluded from the Canadian nation. I have also learned how (above and beyond the national mythology surrounding it) multiculturalism has been deployed to boost Canada’s profile as a liberalizing nation while, at the same time, operating as a tool to control ethnic and religious minorities.  

By Sunera Thobani,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Questions of national identity, indigenous rights, citizenship, and migration have acquired unprecedented relevance in this age of globalization. In Exalted Subjects, noted feminist scholar Sunera Thobani examines the meanings and complexities of these questions in a Canadian context. Based in the theoretical traditions of political economy and cultural / post-colonial studies, this book examines how the national subject has been conceptualized in Canada at particular historical junctures, and how state policies and popular practices have exalted certain subjects over others. Foregrounding the concept of 'race' as a critical relation of power, Thobani examines how processes of racialization contribute to sustaining…


Book cover of Rethinking Normalcy: A Disability Studies Reader

Valentina Capurri Author Of Not Good Enough for Canada: Canadian Public Discourse Around Issues of Inadmissibility for Potential Immigrants with Diseases And/Or Disabilities

From my list on belonging and exclusion in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and a social geographer whose main interest is in examining why some of us are embraced (legally, politically, economically, culturally) by the society we live in while some others are excluded. Probably due to my status as someone who is an immigrant to Canada and also a person with a disability, the topic of belonging and exclusion fascinates me. 

Valentina's book list on belonging and exclusion in Canada

Valentina Capurri Why did Valentina love this book?

As a person with a disability, this collection spoke to my direct experience of exclusion in Canadian society. Because every chapter is written by a different scholar in the field of disability studies, this edited collection is able to present a diverse range of perspectives that really resonate with the reader, and provocatively question the concept of ‘normalcy’ that is at the root of the discrimination against those of us who do not fit in.

By Tanya Titchkosky (editor), Rod Michalko (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Rethinking Normalcy introduces the growing field of disability studies to an undergraduate audience in a variety of disciplines and programs based in the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences. The authors articulate the depth and breadth of this newly emerging field of study and provide a vibrant foretaste of the kind of work disability studies scholars and activists do to provocatively question the power of normalcy.

Strongly interdisciplinary, this volume draws upon many different social and cultural approaches to the study of disability, and essentially addresses disability as a social and political issue.

The chapters in this book exemplify ways…


Book cover of Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries Into Indigenous Deaths in Custody

Valentina Capurri Author Of Not Good Enough for Canada: Canadian Public Discourse Around Issues of Inadmissibility for Potential Immigrants with Diseases And/Or Disabilities

From my list on belonging and exclusion in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and a social geographer whose main interest is in examining why some of us are embraced (legally, politically, economically, culturally) by the society we live in while some others are excluded. Probably due to my status as someone who is an immigrant to Canada and also a person with a disability, the topic of belonging and exclusion fascinates me. 

Valentina's book list on belonging and exclusion in Canada

Valentina Capurri Why did Valentina love this book?

I was not born in Canada and I only arrived here in my early twenties without being aware of the colonial past or present of my new home. This study has helped me understand that portion of Canadian history and its present repercussions. Equally important, it has highlighted how Indigenous persons have and continue to be dehumanized, excluded and ‘othered’ across the country. 

By Sherene Razack,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

No matter where in Canada they occur, inquiries and inquests into untimely Indigenous deaths in state custody often tell the same story. Repeating details of fatty livers, mental illness, alcoholic belligerence, and a mysterious incapacity to cope with modern life, the legal proceedings declare that there are no villains here, only inevitable casualties of Indigenous life. But what about a sixty-seven-year-old man who dies in a hospital in police custody with a large, visible, purple boot print on his chest? Or a barely conscious, alcoholic older man, dropped off by police in a dark alley on a cold Vancouver night?…


Book cover of Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources, and the Histories We Remember

Valentina Capurri Author Of Not Good Enough for Canada: Canadian Public Discourse Around Issues of Inadmissibility for Potential Immigrants with Diseases And/Or Disabilities

From my list on belonging and exclusion in Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historian and a social geographer whose main interest is in examining why some of us are embraced (legally, politically, economically, culturally) by the society we live in while some others are excluded. Probably due to my status as someone who is an immigrant to Canada and also a person with a disability, the topic of belonging and exclusion fascinates me. 

Valentina's book list on belonging and exclusion in Canada

Valentina Capurri Why did Valentina love this book?

I really love this study because it provides a crystal-clear example of how colonialism and dispossession have worked in Canada from the legal, cultural, political, and social angles. It also delves into the topic of the histories we, as a country, choose to remember and those we choose to forget, as well as the issue of who is forgotten in the process. 

By Adele Perry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

1919 is often recalled as the year of the Winnipeg General Strike, but it was also the year that water from Shoal Lake first flowed in Winnipeg taps. For the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, construction of the aqueduct led to a chain of difficult circumstances that culminated in their isolation on a man-made island where, for almost two decades, they have lacked access to clean drinking water.

In Aqueduct: Colonialism, Resources and the History We Remember, Adele Perry analyzes the development of Winnipeg's municipal water supply as an example of the history of settler colonialism. Drawing…


Book cover of Red Roulette: An Insider's Story of Wealth, Power, Corruption, and Vengeance in Today's China

Kimberly Kay Hoang Author Of Spiderweb Capitalism: How Global Elites Exploit Frontier Markets

From my list on global financial elites.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago, and I am interested in global capitalism, financial elites, and all aspects of how people broker capital deals. I am a scholar of anti-heroes who studies all of the ways that people play in the gray. My first book, Dealing in Desire, is an ethnography where I embedded myself in several different hostess bars to study the relationship between sex work and financial deal-making. I grew up in California but have lived most of my adult life in Ho Chi Minh City, Houston, Boston, and Chicago. 

Kimberly's book list on global financial elites

Kimberly Kay Hoang Why did Kimberly love this book?

I found this book to be a raw act of bravery. Desmond Shum describes his and his ex-wife Whitney Duan’s economic ascendancy in China as they climbed to become part of a billionaire class. Shum describes all of the ways they had to play in the gray in order to successfully execute massive real estate and airport projects. On a personal level, he takes you inside his life as an elite, purchasing expensive homes, vehicles, and art. But just as quickly as they rose, his wife vanished as part of the party’s use of extralegal kidnappings to facilitate investigations into corruption.

This book is one man’s act of bravery in risking everything to tell his story while also implicating himself in corrupt activity. He shows us that charges of corruption must be understood through a political lens with the objective of consolidating power and preserving the legitimacy of the Communist…

By Desmond Shum,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of To Catch a Dictator: The Pursuit and Trial of Hissène Habré

Naomi Roht-Arriaza Author Of The Pinochet Effect: Transnational Justice in the Age of Human Rights

From my list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in part in Chile, and when the Pinochet dictatorship started killing and torturing people, I wanted to do something about it. Years later, as a professor of international law, I helped countries figure out what to do after mass atrocities. Seeing how trials in other countries – or in international criminal courts – could break through barriers and make it possible to bring those who killed, tortured, or disappeared thousands of people to justice gave me hope. I wanted to tell the stories of the brave people who overcame the odds to do justice, in a readable and exciting way that also explained the legal and political issues involved. 

Naomi's book list on bringing dictators and evil men to justice

Naomi Roht-Arriaza Why did Naomi love this book?

Reed Brody, a lawyer for Human Rights Watch, was one of the key actors in bringing former Chadian dictator Hissene Habré to justice for torture, rape, and mass murder he committed during the 1980s. The book chronicles the twists and turns, over almost two decades, of efforts to bring Habré to trial. That finally happened in 2018, in a specially-created African Union-backed court based in Senegal. The book celebrates the central role of victims in bringing Habré to justice, and tells an engaging and readable story from an insider’s perspective. It shows the creativity of the victims and lawyers in combining different legal forums and political and media pressure, but also the limits, and personal sacrifices, that victory required. 

By Reed Brody,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked To Catch a Dictator as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What does it take to make a dictator answer for his crimes? Hissene Habre, the former despot of Chad, had terrorized, tortured, and killed on a horrific scale over eight bloody years in power-all while enjoying full American and Western support. After Habre's overthrow, his victims and their supporters were determined to see him held responsible for his atrocities. Their quest for justice would be long, tense, and unnerving, but they would not back down.

To Catch a Dictator is a dramatic insider's account of the hunt for Habre and his momentous trial. The human rights lawyer Reed Brody recounts…


Book cover of Britain's Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya

Sylvia Vetta Author Of Not so Black and White

From my list on insights into Kenya.

Why am I passionate about this?

EM Forster said, "Only Connect." That has inspired my life and work. The Oxford Times published my Oxtopian castaway series, and those life stories were turned into three books. The castaways, with links to Oxford, were from five continents. One of those castaways was Kenyan-born Nancy Mudenyo Hunt. Nancy founded the Nasio Trust, which has transformed the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged young people in West Kenya and Oxfordshire. With friends, I’m currently fundraising to build the first community library in West Kenya. Nancy asked if we could write a book together, and we did. We wrote a novel inspired by her life.

Sylvia's book list on insights into Kenya

Sylvia Vetta Why did Sylvia love this book?

I appreciate books that help me understand the world and how we got here. Professor of History at Harvard, Caroline Elkins, spent seven years researching Britain’s Gulag. The UK is justly proud of standing up to Hitler’s fascism, but we need to look dispassionately at the history of the British Empire. Kenyan soldiers fought alongside British armed forces in WW2, but their reward was not medals.

The Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in the fifties was a massive armed rebellion by the Kikuyu people, demanding the return of their land and freedom. The response of Britain's colonial government was to detain nearly the entire Kikuyu population of one-and-a-half-million - to hold them in camps or confine them in villages ringed with barbed wire - to treat and portray them, including ex-British soldiers, as sub-human savages.  

By Caroline Elkins,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Only a few years after Britain defeated fascism came the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya - a mass armed rebellion by the Kikuyu people, demanding the return of their land and freedom. The draconian response of Britain's colonial government was to detain nearly the entire Kikuyu population of 1.5 million and to portray them as sub-human savages. Detainees in their thousands - possibly a hundred thousand or more - died from exhaustion, disease, starvation and systemic physical brutality. For decades these events remained untold.

Caroline Elkins conducted years of research to piece together this story, unearthing reams of documents and…


Book cover of The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State

Alesa Lightbourne Author Of The Kurdish Bike

From my list on the Kurds and their world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Like the main character in my book, I went to Kurdish Iraq as a well-meaning (but admittedly naive) teacher, and fell in love with the Kurdish people and their culture. To be more specific, it was village women I really bonded with. Listening to their stories, and watching them try to cope with so many practical restrictions, tore at my heart. Part of me wanted to “liberate” them from the seemingly outdated traditions that held them back. Simultaneously, I couldn’t help but envy them for the solaces their tight community offered them -- and which Western society denied me. Rather than claiming to be an expert on Kurds, I am now someone who studies them with the greatest respect. The humble Kurdish villagers gave me moral examples that I wish every Westerner could be fortunate enough to have.

Alesa's book list on the Kurds and their world

Alesa Lightbourne Why did Alesa love this book?

I read newspaper reports about ISIS capturing and enslaving Yazidi women in Iraq, but had a hard time imagining day-to-day life within the Caliphate. Murad gives us an insider’s view. She was just 21 when ISIS overran her village. She survived repeated beatings, rapes, and other forms of degradation until risking a dare-devil escape. Although Yazidis are ethnically distinct from Kurds, they have lived surrounded and protected by Kurds for centuries. Murad’s story helps us understand why Kurds fought so valiantly against ISIS, and illustrates the tolerance for diversity in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan.

By Nadia Murad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

`Telling my story of first, surviving genocide and then, as a captive of ISIS is not easy, but people must know.' The remarkable and courageous story of Nadia Murad, a twenty-three-year-old Yazidi woman who is working with Amal Clooney to challenge the world to fight ISIS on behalf on her people.

With a foreword by Amal Clooney

A Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the first Goodwill Ambassador the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking of the United Nations and winner of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, Nadia Murad is a courageous young woman who has endured unimaginable tragedy (losing…


Book cover of Boats, Borders, and Bases: Race, the Cold War, and the Rise of Migration Detention in the United States

Nancy Hiemstra Author Of Detain and Deport: The Chaotic U.S. Immigration Enforcement Regime

From my list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became aware of harms of immigration enforcement policies while volunteering to tutor kids of undocumented migrant farmworkers in the 1990s. Through a variety of jobs in the U.S. and Latin America, my eyes were opened to reasons driving people to migrate and challenges immigrants face. I eventually went to graduate school in Geography to study local to transnational reverberations of immigration policies. A project in Ecuador where I helped families of people detained in the U.S. led me to realize how huge, cruel, and ineffective U.S. immigration detention is. I hope these books help you break through myths about detention and make sense of the chaos.

Nancy's book list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system

Nancy Hiemstra Why did Nancy love this book?

While most academic work on detention focuses on immigration enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border or in the U.S. interior, this book traces the origin of detention to U.S. efforts to deter the Cuban and Haitian migration that occurred as part of U.S. Cold War dealings.

With fascinating, painstaking historical research, Loyd and Mountz argue that the legal and infrastructural foundations of the contemporary detention system were established through the U.S. response to Caribbean migration in the 1990s and the goal of preventing migrants from claiming the international right to asylum.

The book also shows how racism—especially anti-Black racism—has been at the core of immigration detention since the beginning, as have abhorrent, shocking conditions of detention facilities.

By Jenna M. Loyd, Alison Mountz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Discussions on U.S. border enforcement have traditionally focused on the highly charged U.S.-Mexico boundary, inadvertently obscuring U.S.-Caribbean relations and the concerning asylum and detention policies unfolding there. Boats, Borders, and Bases offers the missing, racialized histories of the U.S. detention system and its relationship to the interception and detention of Haitian and Cuban migrants. It argues that the U.S. response to Cold War Caribbean migrations actually established the legal and institutional basis for contemporary migration and detention and border deterrent practices in the U.S. This book promises to make a significant contribution to a truer understanding of the history and…


Book cover of Migrating to Prison: America's Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants

Nancy Hiemstra Author Of Detain and Deport: The Chaotic U.S. Immigration Enforcement Regime

From my list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first became aware of harms of immigration enforcement policies while volunteering to tutor kids of undocumented migrant farmworkers in the 1990s. Through a variety of jobs in the U.S. and Latin America, my eyes were opened to reasons driving people to migrate and challenges immigrants face. I eventually went to graduate school in Geography to study local to transnational reverberations of immigration policies. A project in Ecuador where I helped families of people detained in the U.S. led me to realize how huge, cruel, and ineffective U.S. immigration detention is. I hope these books help you break through myths about detention and make sense of the chaos.

Nancy's book list on why the U.S. has the biggest immigration detention system

Nancy Hiemstra Why did Nancy love this book?

This book explicitly ties the explosion in immigration detention to goals of political gain and corporate profit, pairing careful historical and legal analysis with piercing personal stories of detention.

After laying out how U.S. foreign policy has triggered the migration patterns that now send lawmakers and the public into a nativist frenzy, legal scholar García Hernández breaks down how laws have been warped to make more people detainable.

He zeroes in on the role of private prison companies, and he explains how Latino immigrants have been turned into fodder for the detention system through lobbying and manipulation of the public narrative. The book finishes by laying out a framework for curbing this corrupt and abusive system.

By César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A powerful, in-depth look at the imprisonment of immigrants, addressing the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system, with a new epilogue by the author

"Argues compellingly that immigrant advocates shouldn't content themselves with debates about how many thousands of immigrants to lock up, or other minor tweaks." -Gus Bova, Texas Observer

For most of America's history, we simply did not lock people up for migrating here. Yet over the last thirty years, the federal and state governments have increasingly tapped their powers to incarcerate people accused of violating immigration laws.

Migrating to Prison takes a hard…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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