100 books like One-Dimensional Man

By Herbert Marcuse,

Here are 100 books that One-Dimensional Man fans have personally recommended if you like One-Dimensional Man. 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 The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Sam Mitrani Author Of The Rise of the Chicago Police Department: Class and Conflict, 1850-1894

From my list on why takes on the police miss the real problem.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of history at College of DuPage, a community college outside of Chicago. Growing up in New York City and rural Vermont in the 1980s and 1990s around people who questioned everything made me think a lot about how and why the social world is organized in such an obviously unjust and irrational way. I have tried to understand the development of this organization ever since.

Sam's book list on why takes on the police miss the real problem

Sam Mitrani Why did Sam love this book?

This might seem like a strange choice since this book is not directly about policing. But it shows in a powerful and direct way how inextricably bound policing is with the basic organization of this society.

Despite the controversies currently surrounding Hayley’s depiction of Malcolm X’s life, the book retains its power to express Malcolm X’s cutting critique of every one of this country’s justifications for its brutal criminal justice system. No one who engages with it can believe that police exist simply to deal with some criminal element in society.

But the book also shows how impossible it would be for this society to somehow “defund” the force used to keep under control the millions of people who, even with all their talents, this society can find no place for.

By Malcolm X, Alex Haley,

Why should I read it?

6 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…


Book cover of The Bolivian Diary

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Author Of What is Iran?

From my list on power and resistance.

Why am I passionate about this?

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is a world-renowned scholar and author. A double graduate of Cambridge University, he received his Professorship in Global Thought at SOAS as one of the youngest academics in his field. Since then he has been elected to several honorary positions all over the world, some of them with the royal seal and including at Harvard University and Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences in Kunming, China.

Arshin's book list on power and resistance

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Why did Arshin love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Gharbzadegi: Weststruckness

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Author Of What is Iran?

From my list on power and resistance.

Why am I passionate about this?

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is a world-renowned scholar and author. A double graduate of Cambridge University, he received his Professorship in Global Thought at SOAS as one of the youngest academics in his field. Since then he has been elected to several honorary positions all over the world, some of them with the royal seal and including at Harvard University and Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences in Kunming, China.

Arshin's book list on power and resistance

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam Why did Arshin love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Pedagogy of the Oppressed

David Delmar Sentíes Author Of What We Build with Power: The Fight for Economic Justice in Tech

From my list on advocates of economic justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an artist, activist, and social entrepreneur. Latino bilingüe and history nerd. I’m the Founder of Resilient Coders, a free and stipended nonprofit coding bootcamp that trains people of color for careers as software engineers. I built that organization for the same reason I write: I care about the economic wellness of Black and Latinx people. I want my neighbors to have the purchasing power to keep my local bodega open. They carry my coffee. Whole Foods doesn’t.

David's book list on advocates of economic justice

David Delmar Sentíes Why did David love this book?

In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Freire makes claims so bold, and so revolutionary, that the book was banned in much of the Global South during the era of dictatorships in the 70s.

One of the central ideas was this: The oppressed are as capable and as intelligent as their oppressors. They need not be treated as requiring “help” or “guidance,” which are dynamics that can lend themselves to inequitable power constructs.

This worldview, in which one group of people is needed in order to “save” another group of people, is the intellectual foundation from which we’ve built systems of oppression throughout history. If one person’s liberation is dependent on another person’s choice, they can never be equals.

This is the book upon which we built Resilient Coders. 

By Paulo Freire,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of Living in the End Times

Todd McGowan Author Of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets

From my list on psychoanalysis and capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent a great deal of time exploring how psychoanalytic theory might be the basis for a critique of capitalism. I had always heard the Marxist analysis of capitalist society, but what interested me was how psychoanalytic theory might offer a different line of thought about how capitalism works. The impulse that drives people to accumulate beyond what is enough for them always confused me since I was a small child. It seems to me that psychoanalytic theory gives us the tools to understand this strange phenomenon that somehow appears completely normal to us. 

Todd's book list on psychoanalysis and capitalism

Todd McGowan Why did Todd love this book?

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. 

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…


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

Todd McGowan Author Of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets

From my list on psychoanalysis and capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent a great deal of time exploring how psychoanalytic theory might be the basis for a critique of capitalism. I had always heard the Marxist analysis of capitalist society, but what interested me was how psychoanalytic theory might offer a different line of thought about how capitalism works. The impulse that drives people to accumulate beyond what is enough for them always confused me since I was a small child. It seems to me that psychoanalytic theory gives us the tools to understand this strange phenomenon that somehow appears completely normal to us. 

Todd's book list on psychoanalysis and capitalism

Todd McGowan Why did Todd love this book?

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. 

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…


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

Todd McGowan Author Of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets

From my list on psychoanalysis and capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent a great deal of time exploring how psychoanalytic theory might be the basis for a critique of capitalism. I had always heard the Marxist analysis of capitalist society, but what interested me was how psychoanalytic theory might offer a different line of thought about how capitalism works. The impulse that drives people to accumulate beyond what is enough for them always confused me since I was a small child. It seems to me that psychoanalytic theory gives us the tools to understand this strange phenomenon that somehow appears completely normal to us. 

Todd's book list on psychoanalysis and capitalism

Todd McGowan Why did Todd love this book?

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. 

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…


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

Todd McGowan Author Of Capitalism and Desire: The Psychic Cost of Free Markets

From my list on psychoanalysis and capitalism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have spent a great deal of time exploring how psychoanalytic theory might be the basis for a critique of capitalism. I had always heard the Marxist analysis of capitalist society, but what interested me was how psychoanalytic theory might offer a different line of thought about how capitalism works. The impulse that drives people to accumulate beyond what is enough for them always confused me since I was a small child. It seems to me that psychoanalytic theory gives us the tools to understand this strange phenomenon that somehow appears completely normal to us. 

Todd's book list on psychoanalysis and capitalism

Todd McGowan Why did Todd love this book?

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.  

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…


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

Viren Murthy Author Of The Politics of Time in China and Japan: Back to the Future

From my list on profoundly understanding modern East Asian thought.

Why am I passionate about this?

I became interested in East Asia through studying Kung Fu when I was in high school. Through this I began reading translation of Chinese and Japanese philosophical texts. I initially majored in philosophy but eventually also became interested in situating ideas in broader historical contexts. For this reason, I shifted to intellectual history. However, my passion for philosophy and arguments for the validity of ideas remains. For this reason, my work combines both intellectual history and the history of philosophy. 

Viren's book list on profoundly understanding modern East Asian thought

Viren Murthy Why did Viren love this book?

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.  

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…


Book cover of The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture

Roy Mapleton Author Of Acing Your Job Search: Strategies to Succeed Where Other Job Seekers Fail

From my list on skyrocketing your career and your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a coach and mentor, I am passionate about empowering people to be the best version of themselves. My recommendations are carefully thought out to achieve this. Success in your job search and interviewing involves perfecting multiple skills – marketing, soft skills, body language, networking, and many more. I have a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit. I teach body language to job seekers and hiring managers to improve their work culture and hire the right talent. I am a recurring guest speaker at the University of Guelph and several career colleges, and I mentor at-risk youth to stay in school. 

Roy's book list on skyrocketing your career and your life

Roy Mapleton Why did Roy love this book?

This book inspires me because it discusses the significance of taking responsibility for reflecting on the more difficult and often hidden aspects of ourselves.

It helped to open up my mind to my blind spots and increase self-awareness. Based in medicine and psychology this book promotes the kind of honest and important self-reflection that is an asset in improving leadership culture and how you relate to others, even in conflict. 

Gabor Mate’s book is reflective and deep; it offers information on how adverse experience shapes people.

The author provides rigorously researched information on how all of the intersections of our daily stressors, adverse childhood experiences, toxic work environments, world events, and internal conflicts take their tolls on our minds and bodies, while providing the tools to look within oneself to find the cure.

By Gabor Maté, Daniel Maté,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Myth of Normal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'It all starts with waking up... to what our bodies are expressing and our minds are suppressing'

Western countries invest billions in healthcare, yet mental illness and chronic diseases are on a seemingly unstoppable rise. Nearly 70% of Americans are now on prescription drugs. So what is 'normal' when it comes to health?

Over four decades of clinical experience, renowned physician and addiction expert Dr Gabor Mate has seen how health systems neglect the role that trauma exerts on our bodies and our minds. Medicine often fails to treat the whole person, ignoring how today's culture stresses our bodies, burdens…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in modernity, psychoanalysis, and capitalism?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about modernity, psychoanalysis, and capitalism.

Modernity Explore 49 books about modernity
Psychoanalysis Explore 85 books about psychoanalysis
Capitalism Explore 176 books about capitalism