10 books like Reclaiming Our Democracy

By Sam Daley-Harris,

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

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Social Entrepreneurship

By David Bornstein, Susan Davis,

Book cover of Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know

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.

Social Entrepreneurship

By David Bornstein, Susan 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…


Building Social Business

By Muhammad Yunus, Karl Weber,

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

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. 

Building Social Business

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.


The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook

By Rupert Scofield,

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

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.

The Social Entrepreneur’s Handbook

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


The Blue Sweater

By Jacqueline Novogratz,

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

This beautifully written memoir also describes the change-making process in a highly personal way, while detailing pitfalls and the larger issue of what our increasingly interconnected world means for the humanitarian movement.  Written by the founder of the Acumen Fund, this book is a pleasure to read and still rings true 12 years after it was originally published. 

The Blue Sweater

By Jacqueline Novogratz,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


Our Time Is Now

By Stacey Abrams,

Book cover of Our Time Is Now

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.    

Our Time Is Now

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…


Rules for Radicals

By Saul D. Alinsky,

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

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!

Rules for Radicals

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…


Predisposed

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

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

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!

Predisposed

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…


All Politics Is Local

By Meaghan Winter,

Book cover of All Politics Is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States

A timely and well-researched look at the right’s successful, decades-long strategy of capturing state legislatures, this book sounds the alarm—and points to a crucial path forward. I love that Winter succeeds where many academic authors have failed: she has written a book that’s both deeply informative and fun to read. I especially appreciate her concrete and practical approach to moving the United States in a more progressive direction; anyone can point out that the right is, by many measures, winning, but it takes real talent to show us what we can do about it.

All Politics Is Local

By Meaghan Winter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked All Politics Is Local as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After the 2016 election, the Republican Party seized control not just of the White House and Congress but of many state governments. To be precise, the GOP seized control of both legislative chambers in 32 states and governor offices in 33 states-a majority the party hadn't held since 1928. What happened?

In In the Red, journalist Meaghan Winter argues that over the last couple decades, the Democratic Party has made a very risky strategic choice to abandon state and local races in order to win federal races, while the GOP poured money into winning state governor seats and state congresses.…


Freedom Is an Endless Meeting

By Francesca Polletta,

Book cover of Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements

Internal dynamics, especially decisionmaking, often become more important to protest groups than the impact they are having on the outside world. Through vivid cases in twentieth-century America, Polletta relates the internal and the external, showing that groups decide what to do and who they are -- strategy and identity -- at the same time. She is especially good on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee of the early 1960s.

Freedom Is an Endless Meeting

By Francesca Polletta,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freedom Is an Endless Meeting as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Freedom Is an Endless Meeting offers vivid portraits of American experiments in participatory democracy throughout the twentieth century. Drawing on meticulous research and more than one hundred interviews with activists, Francesca Polletta challenges the conventional wisdom that participatory democracy is worthy in purpose but unworkable in practice. Instead, she shows that social movements have often used bottom-up decision making as a powerful tool for political change.

Polletta traces the history of democracy in early labor struggles and pre-World War II pacifism, in the civil rights, new left, and women's liberation movements of the sixties and seventies, and in today's faith-based…


How to Do Nothing

By Jenny Odell,

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

Our attention is a precious - and overdrawn - resource. This counterpoint to the appeal of attention economics helped me think about how to allocate my attention with intention. Partly self-help guide, part political manifesto, Jenny rails against the hustle culture of modern capitalism and provides a way of thinking beyond productivity, efficiency, and the supremacy of technology. As advertisers and media companies continue to find new and better ways to harvest attention it behooves us to consider what we want to do ours, and remind corporations that it is a rare and valuable thing. What you pay attention to is ultimately what your life will be.

How to Do Nothing

By Jenny Odell,

Why should I read it?

2 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…


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