100 books like Rage

By Gilbert Moore,

Here are 100 books that Rage fans have personally recommended if you like Rage. 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 New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Robert L. Tsai Author Of Demand the Impossible: One Lawyer's Pursuit of Equal Justice for All

From my list on the role of race and poverty in the criminal justice system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a law professor at Boston University who has studied and written about constitutional law, democracy, and inequality for over 20 years. I’m troubled by America’s rise to become the world’s leader in imprisoning its own citizens and the continued use of inhumane policing and punishment practices. These trends must be better understood before we can come up with a form of politics that can overcome our slide into a darker version of ourselves. 

Robert's book list on the role of race and poverty in the criminal justice system

Robert L. Tsai Why did Robert love this book?

I found Michelle Alexander’s book a potent reminder that the past is never really past, and that older practices of racial subjugation and use of the criminal law against minorities can be repurposed in later eras to serve the same or related ends.

The book raises the question of whether Jim Crow has really ended in all institutions in American society.

By Michelle Alexander,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The New Jim Crow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that 'we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.'


Book cover of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Reginald (Reggie) L. Reed Jr. Author Of The Day My Mother Never Came Home

From my list on promoting the power of human healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I experienced severe trauma at an early age in life, which involved numerous challenges that tested my resilience and inner strength. However, through perseverance, self-reflection, and seeking support, I was able to overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger than ever. My experiences have taught me the importance of resilience, the power of healing, and the transformative impact of sharing stories, including the messy ones. I believe that by recommending books that explore these themes, I can inspire and empower others who may be facing similar challenges to find hope, resilience, and a path toward healing.

Reginald's book list on promoting the power of human healing

Reginald (Reggie) L. Reed Jr. Why did Reginald love this book?

This book powerfully explores justice, redemption, and the human capacity for compassion. Stevenson’s experiences advocating for marginalized individuals within the criminal justice system resonate with the themes of forgiveness and empathy I wanted to showcase in my memoir.

His narrative illuminates the complexities of navigating legal challenges and societal injustices, offering valuable insights into the pursuit of truth and fairness within the justice system.

By Bryan Stevenson,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Just Mercy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN, JAMIE FOXX, AND BRIE LARSON.

A NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, BOSTON GLOBE, ESQUIRE, AND TIME BOOK OF THE YEAR.

A #1 New York Times bestseller, this is a powerful, true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix America's broken justice system, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice.

The US has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. One in every 15 people born there today is expected to go to prison. For black men this figure rises to one…


Book cover of The Relevant Lawyers: Conversations Out of Court on Their Clients, Practice, Politics and Life Style

Lise Pearlman Author Of Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender

From my list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired lawyer and judge with a long-held concern about access to justice, especially as we face the need for stepped-up activism to protect minority rights today. I first became fascinated by Fay Stender’s pioneering career as a board member of California Women Lawyers, which she helped found in 1974. I related to her passion for justice, which led me to research and write her biography and two books on “the trial of the century” of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton. That trial took place in my home city of Oakland over half a century ago, yet its focus on systemic racism remains just as important now.

Lise's book list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice

Lise Pearlman Why did Lise love this book?

I recommend Ginger’s book because it inspired so many college students to go into law as well as young lawyers interested in effecting societal change. In one chapter, Ginger interviews Fay Stender, a source I consulted in writing Stender’s biography. Ginger also interviewed Fay’s law partner Charles Garry about his representation with Stender of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton in the case I consider the trial of the century. Fay’s husband Marvin Stender was also interviewed about his progressive law practice. Ginger’s book, and my interviews of Ann Ginger herself, proved essential to my understanding of the circle of Movement lawyers in the Bay Area to which they all heavily contributed during an extraordinary period of activism from the ‘50s through the ‘70s.     

By Ann Fagen Ginger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

See what lawyers have to say about their business and the people involved.


Book cover of Streetfighter in the Courtroom: The People's Advocate

Lise Pearlman Author Of Call Me Phaedra: The Life and Times of Movement Lawyer Fay Stender

From my list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired lawyer and judge with a long-held concern about access to justice, especially as we face the need for stepped-up activism to protect minority rights today. I first became fascinated by Fay Stender’s pioneering career as a board member of California Women Lawyers, which she helped found in 1974. I related to her passion for justice, which led me to research and write her biography and two books on “the trial of the century” of Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton. That trial took place in my home city of Oakland over half a century ago, yet its focus on systemic racism remains just as important now.

Lise's book list on trail-blazing lawyers passionately fighting for social justice

Lise Pearlman Why did Lise love this book?

Charles Garry was a legendary Bay Area criminal defense lawyer from the 1940s through the 1980s, most famous for his aggressive courtroom tactics and for never losing a client to the death penalty. I was fascinated by Garry’s early cases that resulted in establishing a “diminished capacity” defense to murder in California. Garry’s reputation prompted the leadership of the Black Panther Party to reject calls for a black lawyer and instead turn to this white Lefty to represent their co-founder Huey Newton faced with execution for killing a white policeman. Streetfighter in the Courtroom proved a great source for me as I wrote two books on the Newton trial and the biography of Garry’s pioneering female co-counsel in the Newton trial, Fay Stender. 

By Charles R. Garry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

By legendary radical lawyer, Charles R. Garry and Art Goldberg. ISBN 978-0525211105. "Art Goldberg, who assisted Charles Garry on this book, was a reported and editor of Ramparts (magazine) during the politically active sixties. He is the coauthor, with Bobby Seale, of Seize the Time."


Book cover of The Gandhian Iceberg: A Nonviolence Manifesto for the Age of the Great Turning

John Bell Author Of Unbroken Wholeness: Six Pathways to the Beloved Community: Integrating Social Justice, Emotional Healing, and Spiritual Practice

From my list on healing broken hearts and our broken world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I was a boy growing up in a small working-class shipyard town in the great Pacific Northwest near Seattle, I have experienced the jaw-dropping beauty of the natural world and human kindness overflowing, right alongside the numbing horror of human cruelty, war, racism, and environmental damage. It didn’t make sense, this joy and woe, so I’ve had a life’s mission to find ways of healing and integrating a broken world. These books have been a balm and refuge, offering me a deeper perspective, spiritual grounding, and pathways toward “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.” I hope they might benefit you too. 

John's book list on healing broken hearts and our broken world

John Bell Why did John love this book?

This great book re-inspired me about Gandhi’s nonviolent and spiritually grounded approach to social justice and liberation.

I first read Gandhi when I was 16. The author digs into Gandhi’s three-level “iceberg” approach: first is “self-purification”—healing, self-care, transforming unwise views and attitudes, cultivating love and compassion; second is “the constructive program”—engaging in community improvement, new ways of doing things, restorative social practices; and only then could a person take part in “satyagraha”—the great marches and protests aimed at liberation from British colonial rule.

The author then applies the approach to current problems in our world. I loved Gandhi’s integration of social justice, healing, service, and spiritual practice and his faith in nonviolence as a way of life, not just a technique—it's a profound teaching.  

By Chris Moore-Backman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Gandhian Iceberg presents a bold, new interpretation of Gandhian nonviolence from the rare perspective of an author who is equal parts writer, scholar, and frontlines practitioner. The book faces the current crisis of climate change and the intensification of social unrest around the world, and calls for a new convergence of serious, spiritually-rooted US nonviolence activists prepared to offer themselves in service to a social change movement unlike any seen before. The book approaches radical social transformation and its realistic requirements, with a blend of solid research, moving personal testimony, and compelling vision. The Gandhian Iceberg is written from…


Book cover of Flight and Rebellion: Slave Resistance in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

Marc Dollinger Author Of Black Power, Jewish Politics: Reinventing the Alliance in the 1960s

From my list on social justice.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve devoted my academic career and personal life to the limits and possibilities of white liberal approaches to civil rights reform. Trained in U.S. history and published in American Jewish history, I look closely at how ethnic groups and religious minorities interact with their racial and gender status to create a sometimes-surprising perspective on both history and our current day. At times powerful and at other times powerless, Jews (and other white ethnics) navigate a complex course in civil rights advocacy.

Marc's book list on social justice

Marc Dollinger Why did Marc love this book?

A classic, this book was one of the first to challenge prevailing white attitudes about the assimilation and acculturation of Africans and African Americans to life under slavery. Mullin describes how greater levels of assimilation translated into more effective means of protest.

Book cover of Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism

Dillon S. Tatum Author Of Liberalism and Transformation: The Global Politics of Violence and Intervention

From my list on liberalism and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dillon Stone Tatum is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Francis Marion University. His research interests are on the history, development, and politics of liberal internationalism, international political theory, and critical security studies.

Dillon's book list on liberalism and politics

Dillon S. Tatum Why did Dillon love this book?

Charles Mills was a giant in contemporary political theory and is perhaps best known for his book The Racial Contract. In his most recent book, Black Rights/White Wrongs, Mills interrogates what he calls “racial liberalism” and the racist underpinnings of modern liberal theory. What I think is most remarkable about this book, though, is its further attempt to reconstruct a “radical liberalism” meant to address issues of racial justice. This book has been a major influence on me in the way I think about and imagine the limits and possibilities of liberalism as a tradition.

By Charles W. Mills,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Black Rights/White Wrongs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Liberalism is the political philosophy of equal persons - yet liberalism has denied equality to those it saw as sub-persons. Liberalism is the creed of fairness - yet liberalism has been complicit with European imperialism and African slavery. Liberalism is the classic ideology of Enlightenment and political transparency - yet liberalism has cast a dark veil over its actual racist past and present. In sum, liberalism's promise of equal rights has historically been
denied to blacks and other people of color.

In Black Rights/White Wrongs: The Critique of Racial Liberalism, political philosopher Charles Mills challenges mainstream accounts that ignore this…


Book cover of Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the Afronet to Black Lives Matter

Joanne McNeil Author Of Lurking: How a Person Became a User

From my list on the origins of the tech industry.

Why am I passionate about this?

Joanne McNeil has written about internet culture for over fifteen years. Her book considers the development of the internet from a user's perspective since the launch of the World Wide Web. Her interest in digital technology spans from the culture that enabled the founding of major companies in Silicon Valley to their reception in broader culture.

Joanne's book list on the origins of the tech industry

Joanne McNeil Why did Joanne love this book?

Black software, McIlwain writes, “refers to the programs we desire and design computers to run. It refers to who designs the program, for what purposes, and what or who becomes its object and data.” The book is a much needed examination of the role that Black entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, and users contributed in building the internet.

By Charlton D. McIlwain,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Activists, pundits, politicians, and the press frequently proclaim today's digitally mediated racial justice activism the new civil rights movement. As Charlton D. McIlwain shows in this book, the story of racial justice movement organizing online is much longer and varied than most people know. In fact, it spans nearly five decades and involves a varied group of engineers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, journalists, and activists. But this is a history that is virtually
unknown even in our current age of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Black Lives Matter.

Beginning with the simultaneous rise of civil rights and computer revolutions in the 1960s, McIlwain,…


Book cover of Dark Ghettos: Injustice, Dissent, and Reform

Luke Hunt Author Of Police Deception and Dishonesty: The Logic of Lying

From my list on the cluster-f*ck we call policing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Associate Professor in the University of Alabama’s Department of Philosophy. I worked as an FBI Special Agent before making the natural transition to academic philosophy. Being a professor was always a close second to Quantico, but that scene in Point Break in which Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze fight Anthony Kiedis on the beach made it seem like the FBI would be more fun than academia. In my current position as a professor at the University of Alabama, I teach in my department’s Jurisprudence Specialization. My primary research interests are at the intersection of philosophy of law, political philosophy, and criminal justice. I’ve written three books on policing.

Luke's book list on the cluster-f*ck we call policing

Luke Hunt Why did Luke love this book?

I love this book because it provides a broad, philosophical backdrop for questions about policing.

We often hear policy recommendations regarding how to improve the plight of the urban poor, but Shelby argues that the central problem is more about the state’s failure to adhere to basic principles of justice. Rampant criminality in impoverished communities can thus be construed as a response to systematic injustice.

This book is a fascinating study of the ways that injustice can limit the range of rational life choices.

By Tommie Shelby,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Spitz Prize, Conference for the Study of Political Thought
Winner of the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award

Why do American ghettos persist? Scholars and commentators often identify some factor-such as single motherhood, joblessness, or violent street crime-as the key to solving the problem and recommend policies accordingly. But, Tommie Shelby argues, these attempts to "fix" ghettos or "help" their poor inhabitants ignore fundamental questions of justice and fail to see the urban poor as moral agents responding to injustice.

"Provocative...[Shelby] doesn't lay out a jobs program or a housing initiative. Indeed, as he freely…


Book cover of The Hate U Give

Mary Jennifer Payne Author Of Enough

From my list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born the same year as Winona Ryder, Tupac Shakur, and Elon Musk, I’m a Toronto-based writer of novels, short fiction, graphic stories, nonfiction, and scripts for film and television. My YA books include the graphic novella The Lion of Africa, the supernatural, climate change-fuelled Daughters of Light trilogy, and the hard-hitting Since You’ve Been Gone. My writing gives voice to strong, diverse protagonists in urban settings who are dealing with seemingly insurmountable challenges. I’ve been a special education teacher for more than 20 years and my characters are often inspired by the amazing young people I’ve worked with. The cities in my work are living, breathing entities that shape the plot and the protagonist’s character.

Mary's book list on unforgettable protagonists in urban settings

Mary Jennifer Payne Why did Mary love this book?

When it comes to unforgettable protagonists fifteen-year-old Starr Carter definitely tops the list. Her father, Maverick, is also someone that I was left wanting to know more about and, luckily, Concrete Rose (Thomas’s follow-up to THUG), gives us the backstory to his life.

The Hate U Give details Starr’s journey as she struggles with deciding whether or not to testify in front of a grand jury after her best friend, Khalil, is killed by a police officer. The settings of the novel are critical to Starr’s inner conflict as she grapples with having to navigate between her home in Garden Heights, a tight-knit but underserved community where the lack of good schools and employment opportunities allows gangs and gun violence to flourish, and the wealthy neighbourhood where she attends private school.

By Angie Thomas,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Hate U Give as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

Now a major motion picture, starring Amandla Stenberg

No. 1 New York Times bestseller

Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize * Goodreads Choice Awards Best of the Best * National Book Award Longlist * British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year * Teen Vogue Best YA Book of the Year

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a…


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