10 books like One-Dimensional Man

By Herbert Marcuse,

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

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The Autobiography of Malcolm X

By Malcolm X,

Book cover of The Autobiography of Malcolm X

The first time I read this book, I think I devoured it in almost one sitting. Riveting and fast-moving, the story of Malcolm Little from Omaha, Nebraska to his rise as one of the most influential advocates for racial justice is not to be missed. I promise you won’t be disappointed by this read!  

The Autobiography of Malcolm X

By Malcolm X,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Autobiography of Malcolm X as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement…


The Bolivian Diary

By Ernesto Che Guevara,

Book cover of The Bolivian Diary

I have given this the top spot, not because of the political ideals of the author, but the intimate portrayal of his passion for justice that this classic book portrays with such vivid humanity. Che Guevara was a gifted writer and in this book all the revolutionary idealism that fed into his life-long battle merge into a powerful narrative that is so symptomatic for the romanticism of a bygone era. The Cuban revolution firmly rooted the idea of independence in the political lexicon of resistance movements all over the world, as independence from outside interference, is a necessary step towards a progressive democracy. I read Guevara's books as a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University in order to train my mind in the various methods of critique.

The Bolivian Diary

By Ernesto Che Guevara,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Guevara was a figure of epic proportions. These diaries, stark and moving, will be his most enduring monument' Observer

The final diaries of Che Guevara begin in 1966, when he travelled to Bolivia to foment a revolution, and end just two days before his death in October 1967. They form an unvarnished account of his guerrilla campaign against CIA-backed Bolivian troops, fighting in the jungle and keeping his men's spirits up - even as the struggle started to fail. Found in Guevara's backpack and smuggled to Cuba after his execution, The Bolivian Diary is an inspiring record of, and a…


Gharbzadegi

By Jalal Al-E Ahmad,

Book cover of Gharbzadegi: Weststruckness

A book which perfectly encapsulates the pulse that delivered the revolution in Iran, and in particular the romanticism behind it. This virtuoso of the Iranian belles lettres, a celebrity intellectual of the 1960s, indicts western imperialism and its modernity for the brutal subjugation of the Global South in the name of the machine, a metaphor for cultural imperialism. Working with an incredibly potent medical analogy that likens western modernity to a disease, al-e Ahmad would have been seriously disappointed with the outcome of the revolution in 1979, which did not bring about the libertarian project that his generation envisaged. I read this book as a PhD student at Cambridge, and I was immediately struck by its powerful concepts that apply even today and beyond Iran.

Gharbzadegi

By Jalal Al-E Ahmad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Gharbzadegi [Weststruckness] is a tour de force on social conditions in Iran. It was written in 1962 when the Pahlavi regime seemed to have control over Iran's destiny. For the author, Al-e Ahmad (1923-1969), the result was total national submission to the West and its technology. The Iranian monarchy is portrayed in this work as no more than a native brokerage for Western influence, with no aims and identity of its own. Al-e Ahmad sought to defined in large part by a tradition of conflict with the West. This essay is a document of immense significance for students of Iranian…


Pedagogy of the Oppressed

By Paulo Freire,

Book cover of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

With this study, the legendary Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, delivered a manifesto for a critical pedagogy that continues to undergird the mission statement of many university departments all over the world, and in particular in the Global South, from the Humanities to the Social Sciences. The book tells the story of the eternal struggle between the ruling classes and the underprivileged castes in society, and their resistance against the oppressive power of that system. I read this book at SOAS University of London. It has informed my understanding of civil resistance as a form of democratic empowerment which is so crucial to keep any form of authoritarianism at bay.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

By Paulo Freire,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. Paulo Freire's work has helped to empower countless people throughout the world and has taken on special urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is ongoing. This 50th anniversary edition includes an updated introduction by Donaldo Macedo, a new afterword by Ira Shor and interviews with Marina Aparicio Barberan, Noam Chomsky, Ramon Flecha, Gustavo Fischman, Ronald David Glass, Valerie Kinloch, Peter Mayo, Peter McLaren…


Living in the End Times

By Slavoj Zizek,

Book cover of Living in the End Times

I could really choose any book by Slavoj Žižek as the starting for a psychoanalytic critique of capitalism, but this one is very accessible for someone who has never read him. It also gets into the current dilemmas that are rocking capitalist society. In this book, Žižek shows how psychoanalysis (combined with Hegel’s philosophy) can provide a corrective to the traditional Marxist critique of capitalism. We see here how the attempt to construct an ethical capitalism inevitably fails and obscures a new barbarism. 

Living in the End Times

By Slavoj Zizek,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. But if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Zizek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal. For this edition, Zizek has written a long afterword that leaves almost no subject untouched, from WikiLeaks to…


The Order of Forms

By Anna Kornbluh,

Book cover of The Order of Forms: Realism, Formalism, and Social Space

Kornbluh’s book is an incredible revelation. It shows that psychoanalysis provides an insistence on a formal interpretation that allows it to have a privileged critical position relative to capitalism. By showing capitalism’s formal impasses, psychoanalysis provides the perfect supplement to a Marxist critique and opens up possibilities for envisioning a non-capitalist future. The book uses realist fiction as a way to envision the formal critique of capitalism and really makes one want to read the books under discussion. I have taught this book to students, and they love it more than any other I’ve ever used. 

The Order of Forms

By Anna Kornbluh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In literary studies today, debates about the purpose of literary criticism and about the place of formalism within it continue to simmer across periods and approaches. Anna Kornbluh contributes to--and substantially shifts--that conversation in The Order of Forms by offering an exciting new category, political formalism, which she articulates through the co-emergence of aesthetic and mathematical formalisms in the nineteenth century. Within this framework, criticism can be understood as more affirmative and constructive, articulating commitments to aesthetic expression and social collectivity.

Kornbluh offers a powerful argument that political formalism, by valuing forms of sociability like the city and the state…


Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings

By Mari Ruti,

Book cover of Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life

Although Ruti’s book is not directly about capitalism, it includes perhaps the best psychoanalytic proposal of confronting the imperatives of capitalist society that I have ever read. Ruti discusses how sexism operates within capitalism primarily in the book, but her point is always about how concepts from psychoanalysis that seem retrograde—such as penis envy—can actually be the basis for a critique of capitalism and sexism. 

Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings

By Mari Ruti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mari Ruti combines theoretical reflection, cultural critique, feminist politics, and personal experience to analyze the prevalence of bad feelings in contemporary everyday life. Proceeding from a playful engagement with Freud's idea of penis envy, Ruti's autotheoretical commentary fans out to a broader consideration of neoliberal pragmatism. She focuses on the emphasis on good performance, high productivity, constant self-improvement, and relentless cheerfulness that characterizes present-day Western society. Revealing the treacherousness of our fantasies of the good life, particularly the idea that our efforts will eventually be rewarded-that things will eventually get better-Ruti demystifies the false hope that often causes us to…


The Labour of Enjoyment

By Samo Tomsic,

Book cover of The Labour of Enjoyment: Towards a Critique of Libidinal Economy: Lacanian Explorations IV

Tomšič basically identifies why psychoanalysis is an anti-capitalist technique and how it emerged in response to the social structure of capitalist society. Psychoanalysis counters resistance to psychic change and to social change, a resistance that manifests itself in capitalism. Tomšič very nicely sees how the neurotic suffering that psychoanalysis treats is the result of one’s integration into the capitalist system, which is why treating it requires an anticapitalist method.  

The Labour of Enjoyment

By Samo Tomsic,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A new theory of libidinal economy―the intersection between desire and capitalism―from the author of The Capitalist Unconscious

The fourth book in Slavoj Žižek's Lacanian Explorations series, The Labour of Enjoyment sees Slovenian philosopher Samo Tomšic continue his exploration of the connections between capitalism and psychoanalysis that he began in his 2015 book The Capitalist Unconscious.

In this new text, Tomšic critiques the use of psychoanalysis to discuss political economy, focusing specifically on the concept of "libidinal economy," the intersection between desire and capitalism most famously proposed by Jean-François Lyotard.

Contrasting Marxist and Freudian thought with the philosophies of Aristotle and…


Overcome by Modernity

By Harry D. Harootunian,

Book cover of Overcome by Modernity: History, Culture, and Community in Interwar Japan

This book has helped me think through the relationship between capitalism, modernity, and romantic anti-capitalist movements both in East Asia and beyond. The book deals with intellectual currents in interwar Japan, (the 1920s to 1945) and shows how conservative philosophers developed a theory to “overcome modernity.” These authors, many from the so-called Kyoto School, targeted the rampant consumer culture, the overturning of ethical relations, and other structural changes. However, Harootunian contends that such critiques did not grasp the fundamental dynamic of capitalism and its relation to such cultural shifts and consequently, such philosophers were “overcome by modernity.”  This means that such critics of modernity were incorporated into the Japanese fascist military complex, which itself claimed to confront capitalist modernity. At a time, when we see right-wing attempts to confront modernity around the world (Trump, Le Pen, Modi) this book remains extremely relevant.  

Overcome by Modernity

By Harry D. Harootunian,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the decades between the two World Wars, Japan made a dramatic entry into the modern age, expanding its capital industries and urbanizing so quickly as to rival many long-standing Western industrial societies. How the Japanese made sense of the sudden transformation and the subsequent rise of mass culture is the focus of Harry Harootunian's fascinating inquiry into the problems of modernity. Here he examines the work of a generation of Japanese intellectuals who, like their European counterparts, saw modernity as a spectacle of ceaseless change that uprooted the dominant historical culture from its fixed values and substituted a culture…


The Long Shadow

By David Reynolds,

Book cover of The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century

David Reynolds is simply one of the smartest and most original historians operating today. Do we imagine that no one thought much about the poems of Wilfred Owen until the 1960s? Do we think about how important the fiftieth anniversary of the Somme was for the politics of Ireland? This book is packed full of perceptive and original insights about the Great War’s very long legacy.

The Long Shadow

By David Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In The Long Shadow critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth century. He shows how events in that turbulent century-particularly World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of Communism-shaped and reshaped attitudes to 1914-18.

By exploring big themes such as…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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