100 books like Reclaiming Our Democracy

By Sam Daley-Harris,

Here are 100 books that Reclaiming Our Democracy fans have personally recommended if you like Reclaiming Our Democracy. 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 Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

This short book hits the nail on the head over and over about what social entrepreneurship is, what it isn’t, why it matters, and how it differs from other approaches to causing social change.  I have given it to countless people over the years, especially those seeking their own place in the “do good” ecosystem.  On virtually every page, I found multiple insights about the realities of leading social change that I found not only true but also extremely helpful to me as I reflected on my own journey and its highs and lows as well as its more mundane elements and its many absurdities.

By David Bornstein, Susan Page Davis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In development circles, there is now widespread consensus that social entrepreneurs represent a far better mechanism to respond to needs than we have ever had before-a decentralized and emergent force that remains our best hope for solutions that can keep pace with our problems and create a more peaceful world.
David Bornstein's previous book on social entrepreneurship, How to Change the World, was hailed by Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times as "a bible in the field" and published in more than twenty countries. Now, Bornstein shifts the focus from the profiles of successful social innovators in that book-and…


Book cover of Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

I love all four of this Nobel Peace Prize laureates' books, including his first (Banker to the Poor) that I helped edit, but this one is the best of them all.  He describes his vision of a new economy that is driven by social businesses – companies that are created to drive social change, through a business strategy.  By the time this book came out, he had multiple successful examples of this new hybrid model to describe to the reader – and he does so in a succinct and highly compelling way.  Importantly, he explains how his model is distinct from not only traditional nonprofits but also from social enterprises funded by impact investors. 

By Muhammad Yunus, Karl Weber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Muhammad Yunus, the practical visionary who pioneered microcredit and, with his Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, has developed a new dimension for capitalism which he calls "social business." The social business model has been adopted by corporations, entrepreneurs, and social activists across the globe. Its goal is to create self-supporting, viable commercial enterprises that generate economic growth as they produce goods and services to fulfill human needs. In Building Social Business , Yunus shows how social business can be put into practice and explains why it holds the potential to redeem the failed promise of free-market enterprise.


Book cover of The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World

Alex Counts Author Of Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind: Leadership Lessons from Three Decades of Social Entrepreneurship

From my list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important.

Who am I?

Alex Counts founded Grameen Foundation and became its President and CEO in 1997. A Cornell University graduate, Counts’s commitment to poverty eradication deepened as a Fulbright scholar in Bangladesh, where he trained under Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder and managing director of Grameen Bank, and co-recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Since its modest beginnings, Grameen Foundation has grown to become a leading international humanitarian organization. Today he is an independent consultant to mission-driven organizations, a prolific writer, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland who loves to teach nonprofit leadership and related subjects. 

Alex's book list on social entrepreneurship and why it is so important

Alex Counts Why did Alex love this book?

This guidebook in the form of a memoir, or memoir in the form of a guidebook, is both highly entertaining and profoundly useful.  Through brutally honest stories from his years leading FINCA, the global microfinance network, Scofield shows how social change happens: one mistake, one insight, and one breakthrough at a time.  By laying them out so clearly and in such a reader-friendly format, he has provided a valuable gift to a new generation of changemakers.

By Rupert Scofield,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The reader gains an insightful view of the author's personal journey and the processes involved when setting up a social enterprise. Its distinctive style makes it useful for readers who are looking for a thorough account of setting up a not-for-profit organisation or social enterprise" Phoenix, Jan 2012


Book cover of The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World

Dale Hanson Bourke Author Of Strong Girls, Strong World: A Practical Guide to Helping Them Soar--and Creating a Better Future for Us All

From my list on helping you make the world a better place.

Who am I?

When I lost a baby late in my pregnancy, I was overwhelmed by grief. And then I learned that tens of thousands of babies died every day from preventable causes. I couldn’t save my own baby, but I wanted to know how to help others. I joined the board of World Vision and then other groups, including Opportunity International, MAP International, and International Justice Mission. I took numerous trips to developing countries and eventually headed a foundation dedicated to maternal health. I listened to the stories of women and tried to tell them to the world through a variety of international publications. I'm forever grateful to those who changed the way I see the world.

Dale's book list on helping you make the world a better place

Dale Hanson Bourke Why did Dale love this book?

Jacqueline Novogratz was a successful young woman with a promising career in banking who wanted to truly understand global poverty and find ways to tackle it.

This book tells not only the remarkable story of a favorite hand-knit blue sweater she donated in Virginia and saw again in Rwanda, but her own sometimes fumbling ways to connect her experiences to women living in poverty.

I love this book for its honesty and how the author shares her own mistakes as well as understandings.

By Jacqueline Novogratz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A book of hope written by a practical idealist who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer when it comes to building a better world.”—Former U.S. senator Bill Bradley
 
Jacqueline Novogratz left a career in international banking to spend her life on a quest to understand global poverty and find powerful new ways of tackling it. From her first stumbling efforts as a young idealist venturing forth in Africa to the creation of the trailblazing organization she runs today, Novogratz tells gripping stories with unforgettable characters. She shows how traditional charity often fails, but how a…


Book cover of Our Time Is Now

Pat Libby Author Of The Empowered Citizens Guide: 10 Steps to Passing a Law that Matters to You

From my list on inspiring you to make a difference.

Who am I?

I’ve dedicated my life to repairing the world. This work has taken on many forms – helping low-income people grow community gardens for food and beauty, providing fuel subsidies that helped people combat frigid New England winters, and working on building affordable housing and economic development programs in rural and urban communities. Ultimately, these experiences brought me to create graduate programs where students could learn how to lead healthy nonprofit organizations. Part of their education involved learning how to pass laws based on my own successful experience. I realized then that I had a passion for providing everyday citizens with simple tools they too could use to make a difference.    

Pat's book list on inspiring you to make a difference

Pat Libby Why did Pat love this book?

Stacey Abrams writes in a style that is so personal and compelling, you feel as if she is nestled in a nearby chair talking directly to you. If you live in a part of the country where voting is easy as pie, this book will give you a front-row seat into some of the incredible hurdles that untold numbers of Americans endure to exercise that right. But Abrams doesn’t just focus on the “woe is me” unfairness of it all. She provides insights on why we should and how we can fix this broken system. The book makes you want to leap off your seat and do something. Don’t let the fact that Abrams lost her most recent election deter you from reaping these valuable lessons.    

By Stacey Abrams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Our Time Is Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author of Lead From The Outside and political leader Stacey Abrams, a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country.

"With each page, she inspires and empowers us to create systems that reflect a world in which all voices are heard and all people believe and feel that they matter." —Kerry Washington

A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the…


Book cover of Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

Srdja Popovic Author Of Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World

From my list on teaching you how to change society for better.

Who am I?

I'm super passionate about educating people on how to empower themselves and change the world. I do a lot of different things for a living. And my organization CANVAS works with the groups who are involved in the pro-democracy struggles and “art of the revolution.” Starting as a student activist in my homeland, ruled by ruthless dictator Slobodan Milosevic, I was blessed to meet and work with some of the most courageous people. Throughout the last 25 years, I've tried to capture, share, and transfer successful tools common people may use in order to address injustice, inequality, or small tangible problems through mobilizing their peers – and thus make their communities or the world a better place.

Srdja's book list on teaching you how to change society for better

Srdja Popovic Why did Srdja love this book?

Rocking the activist world for more than 30 years, Saul Alinsky's inspiring book takes you through the main concept of understanding what drives social change. Why anger is important to move people, but destructive force per se? Why do we also need hope to drive positive change? And how the pathway to revolution is paved by small tangible victories, Alinsky has it all!

By Saul D. Alinsky,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“This country's leading hell-raiser" (The Nation) shares his impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change and know “the difference between being a realistic radical and being a rhetorical one.”

First published in 1971 and written in the midst of radical political developments whose direction Alinsky was one of the first to question, this volume exhibits his style at its best. Like Thomas Paine before him, Alinsky was able to combine, both in his person and his writing, the intensity of political engagement with an absolute insistence on rational political discourse and adherence to the American…


Book cover of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences

Dan Hill Author Of Two Cheers for Democracy: How Emotions Drive Leadership Style

From my list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk.

Who am I?

My family moved to Italy when I was six, and I attended Italian first grade in a fishing village where I had to rely on reading body language as I didn’t grasp the language for a bit. Fortunately for me, Italians have lots of body language to read so I could navigate the inevitable cliques and power dynamics evident even at the elementary school level. From that experience to being taken to view the Dachau concentration camp a year later, I’ve always been sensitive to how “the other” gets treated—often unfairly—and the role leaders can play for good or evil.

Dan's book list on the heart of leaders when democracy is at risk

Dan Hill Why did Dan love this book?

A well-researched and decidedly non-partisan book in analysis. Groucho Marx famously remarked that “all people are born alike—except Republicans and Democrats.” Differing personality traits, values, and emotional displays are all covered in this book. It even finds study results to suggest that political differences aren’t easily resolved in part because they go all the way down to our DNA!

By John R. Hibbing, Kevin B. Smith, John R. Alford

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buried in many people and operating largely outside the realm of conscious thought are forces inclining us toward liberal or conservative political convictions. Our biology predisposes us to see and understand the world in different ways, not always reason and the careful consideration of facts. These predispositions are in turn responsible for a significant portion of the political and ideological conflict that marks human history.

With verve and wit, renowned social scientists John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford-pioneers in the field of biopolitics-present overwhelming evidence that people differ politically not just because they grew up in different cultures or…


Book cover of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Blythe Roberson Author Of America the Beautiful?: One Woman in a Borrowed Prius on the Road Most Traveled

From my list on nature and freedom.

Who am I?

Since I was a kid I’ve loved being outdoors, scrambling up rocks and smelling trees, exploring. But during the years I worked an office job in New York City, I was able to hike and feel truly free only rarely. So I quit my job to go on a Great American Road Trip to national parks and other natural areas in our country. Here are some of the books that, to me, best encapsulate that feeling of loving nature so much it opens up whole worlds inside of you.

Blythe's book list on nature and freedom

Blythe Roberson Why did Blythe love this book?

If you have ever felt alienated by our capitalist society which tells us we do not deserve any sort of freedom or any sort of safety net, and which encourages us to use all of our time laboring and being “productive” – Jenny Odell’s book is for you.

I had already quit my job and started planning my road trip the week before How To Do Nothing came out, but if I hadn’t, I would have! The way Odell writes about paying attention to nature – she calls herself not a bird watcher but a “bird noticer” – has shaped the way I pay attention, too.

And Odell’s writing on “meeting the bioregion” of wherever you are, or learning about its plants, animals, and human history, was a direct influence on my book.

By Jenny Odell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked How to Do Nothing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

** A New York Times Bestseller **

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time • The New Yorker • NPR • GQ • Elle • Vulture • Fortune • Boing Boing • The Irish Times • The New York Public Library • The Brooklyn Public Library

"A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto."—Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review

One of President Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of 2019"
Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year

In a…


Book cover of State and Revolution in Cuba: Mass Mobilization and Political Change, 1920-1940

Ariel Mae Lambe Author Of No Barrier Can Contain It: Cuban Antifascism and the Spanish Civil War

From my list on understanding Cuba’s turbulent 1930s.

Who am I?

I was a history major when I left for a Havana study abroad semester in 2003, but I had not studied Cuba. My introduction was a University of Havana class on the period of the Cuban Republic, in which I sat surrounded by Cuban students. My classroom learning was aided by the public history representations all around me in the city. I was hooked. I wrote my undergraduate thesis at Yale on Cuban activist intellectuals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and a few years later went on the begin my doctorate in Latin American History at Columbia. I have been a historian of Cuba ever since, 20 years.

Ariel's book list on understanding Cuba’s turbulent 1930s

Ariel Mae Lambe Why did Ariel love this book?

Robert Whitney’s classic work on popular politics in Cuba from 1920 to 1940 is a must for the reader interested in the history of Cuba’s 1930s, especially Cuba’s “other revolution,” the Revolution of 1933. The book covers an absolutely crucial time in the island’s political evolution, and yet this time period is too often glossed over between interest in the Cuban Wars of Independence on the one hand and the Cuban Revolution of 1959 on the other. Whitney’s book, however, follows the politics of the island from the high corruption of 1920, through anti-dictatorial and anti-imperialist struggles, to the triumphant (if short-lived) arrival of constitutional democracy in 1940. An important scholar of Fulgencio Batista, Whitney traces the Cuban leader’s political twists and turns during the era, beginning with his critical role as a revolutionary in the 1933 uprising.

By Robert Whitney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked State and Revolution in Cuba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Illuminates a critical period in Cuba's political evolution Between 1920 and 1940, Cuba underwent a remarkable transition, moving from oligarchic rule to a nominal constitutional democracy. The events of this period are crucial to a full understanding of the nation's political evolution, yet they are often glossed over in accounts that focus more heavily on the revolution of 1959. With this book, Robert Whitney accords much-needed attention to a critical stage in Cuban history. Closely examining the upheavals of the period, which included a social revolution in 1933 and a military coup led by Fulgencio Batista one year later, Whitney…


Book cover of Citizens: Why the Key to Fixing Everything is All of Us

Cath Bishop Author Of The Long Win: The Search for a Better Way to Succeed

From my list on reframing success to sustain high performance.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the question of ‘what does success look like’ throughout my life: from growing up, to becoming an Olympic rower, to working as a diplomat in high-pressure situations and conflict-affected environments, to becoming a parent, and now my current work as a leadership and culture coach in organisations across business, sport, and education. History and social conventions have led us to define success in ever narrower ways; I wanted to help us understand that and redefine success more meaningfully, for the long-term. I think it’s a question in all our minds - I hope you enjoy the books on this list as you reflect on what success looks like for you!

Cath's book list on reframing success to sustain high performance

Cath Bishop Why did Cath love this book?

Fascinated as I am with definitions of success across society, from sport to business, education to politics, Jon Alexander’s book really fired my brain up with how we could reinvent our political systems in order to better address the challenges of our time. 

Politics is the area where I have found that definitions of success – dominated by winning elections in the short-term – get in the way of effective performance, in this case, governing countries.

Jon Alexander uses practical examples from around the world to show how we could rethink our role as citizens and proactively create collaborative, caring, creative communities, organisations, and nations.

By Jon Alexander, Ariane Conrad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

MCKINSEY TOP 5 RECOMMENDED READ

'An underground hit' - Best Politics Books, Financial Times

'Jon has one of the few big ideas that's easily applied' - Sam Conniff, Be More Pirate

'A wonderful guide to how to be human in the 21st Century' - Ece Temelkuran, How to Lose a Country: the Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship

Description

Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive as individuals, organisations, and nations.

Over the past decade, Jon Alexander's consultancy, the New Citizenship Project, has helped revitalise some of…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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