100 books like Suburban Warriors

By Lisa McGirr,

Here are 100 books that Suburban Warriors fans have personally recommended if you like Suburban Warriors. 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 Listen America!

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Who am I?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

Falwell was the first in US history to attempt to organize white evangelicals into a voting group, and this is his manifesto. It’s a must-read because he introduces all the themes of the movement ever since.

By Jerry Falwell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Paperback book by Jerry Falwell that is the conservative blueprint for Americ's moral rebirth.


Book cover of The Book of Jerry Falwell: Fundamentalist Language and Politics

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Who am I?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

An analysis of Falwell’s theological rhetoric and the changes he made in it to persuade fundamentalists and other evangelicals to go into politics that most had considered taboo. A fascinating book by a great anthropologist.

By Susan Friend Harding,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

National polls show that approximately 50 million adult Americans are born-again Christians. Yet most Americans see their culture as secular, and the United States is viewed around the world as a secular nation. Further, intellectuals and journalists often portray born-again Christians, despite their numbers, as outsiders who endanger public life. But is American culture really so neatly split between the religious and the secular? Is America as "modern" and is born-again Christian religious belief as "pre-modern" as many think? In the 1980s, born-again Christians burst into the political arena with stunning force. Gone was the image of "old-fashioned" fundamentalism and…


Book cover of The South and the North in American Religion

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Who am I?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

Strangely, very few books about the Christian right explain the differences between southern and northern evangelicals. Hill’s book is an eye-opener. It links theology directly to politics. A historian, Hill is a wonderful writer.

By Samuel S. Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The South and the North in American Religion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this comparative history of religious life in the South and the North, Samuel Hill considers the religions of America from a unique angle. Tracing the religious history of both areas, this study dramatically shows how a common religion was altered by hostilities and then continued to develop as separate entities until recently. Coming almost full circle, both North and South now find their religions again to be highly similar. Two factors, Hill believes, were major influences in the diversification of the regional religions: the presence of Afro-Americans as an underclass of people with a distinctive role to play in…


Book cover of God's Last and Only Hope: The Fragmentation of the Southern Baptist Convention

Frances FitzGerald Author Of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America

From my list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right.

Who am I?

I was a correspondent in Vietnam in 1966, 1971, 1973, and 1974. I worked for The New Yorker on the last three dates, and I have been back several times since the end of the war. My book, Fire in Lake won the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize for history, and the National Book Award, among other prizes.

Frances' book list on understanding the ethos of the Christian right

Frances FitzGerald Why did Frances love this book?

A liberal Southern Baptist, Leonard describes the fundamentalist takeover of the largest Protestant denomination. The take over accompanied the South’s transformation into a Republican stronghold and made the Christian right a serious force in American politics. Leonard is one of the best-known historians of the Convention and of contemporary religion in the South.

By Bill J. Leonard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked God's Last and Only Hope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Analyzes the recent controversy between moderate and fundamentalist Baptists from an historical perspective


Book cover of Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal

Donald Cohen Author Of The Privatization of Everything: How the Plunder of Public Goods Transformed America and How We Can Fight Back

From my list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy.

Who am I?

I have been reading, researching, and writing on the limitations of market capitalism and the unique and important role of government in meeting public needs for almost 30 years. I have come to firmly believe that we can’t – as a nation and planet – solve our most pressing problems without rebuilding trust in government and the capacity and authority of governing institutions. We can’t eliminate poverty, eradicate structural racism, protect our environment and the planet without democratic institutions that have the power to do so. We need markets, but transferring too much power to the market has created many of the problems we face today. 

Donald's book list on the battle between democracy and oligarchy

Donald Cohen Why did Donald love this book?

This book had an enormous impact on my understanding about the long road economic conservatives and corporations took to establish the dominance of neoclassical and neoliberal economic approaches in the U.S.

It tells a detailed story about a small group of American businessmen who ultimately succeeded in building a political movement that transformed the country. It describes what they were heading for and the ways they went about it. 

By Kim Phillips-Fein,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Invisible Hands as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the wake of the profound economic crisis known as the Great Depression, a group of high-powered individuals joined forces to campaign against the New Deal-not just its practical policies but the foundations of its economic philosophy. The titans of the National Association of Manufacturers and the chemicals giant DuPont, together with little-known men like W. C. Mullendore, Leonard Read, and Jasper Crane, championed European thinkers Friedrich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises and their fears of the "nanny state." Through fervent activism, fundraising, and institution-building, these men sought to educate and organize their peers as a political force to…


Book cover of White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism

Kyle Burke Author Of Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War

From my list on the history of American conservatism.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of modern US and global history at Hartwick College in upstate New York. I have been reading and researching the history of conservative and right-wing movements in the United States and the wider world for almost two decades. My first book, Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War, was published by University of North Carolina Press in 2018. My articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Jacobin, Diplomatic History, Terrorism and Political Science, H-War, and H-Diplo. I’m currently at work on two projects: a history of the transatlantic white power movement and a film documentary about the short-lived white supremacist nation of Rhodesia and its contemporary legacies.

Kyle's book list on the history of American conservatism

Kyle Burke Why did Kyle love this book?

The rise of the right was in many ways a southern phenomenon as the Old South transformed into the Sun Belt. White Flight explores how white supremacy and fears over desegregation propelled the conservative movement in Atlanta and on the national stage. As federal initiatives spelled the end for segregation in the 1950s and 1960s, southern whites managed to preserve racial discrimination through more subtle avenues. Whites fled Atlanta’s urban core for its suburbs where they reformed the world of white supremacy, giving birth to new causes such as tax revolts, tuition vouchers, and the privatization of public services.

By Kevin M. Kruse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

During the civil rights era, Atlanta thought of itself as "The City Too Busy to Hate," a rare place in the South where the races lived and thrived together. Over the course of the 1960s and 1970s, however, so many whites fled the city for the suburbs that Atlanta earned a new nickname: "The City Too Busy Moving to Hate." In this reappraisal of racial politics in modern America, Kevin Kruse explains the causes and consequences of "white flight" in Atlanta and elsewhere. Seeking to understand segregationists on their own terms, White Flight moves past simple stereotypes to explore the…


Book cover of Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo's Philadelphia and Populist Politics

Kyle Burke Author Of Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War

From my list on the history of American conservatism.

Who am I?

I’m a professor of modern US and global history at Hartwick College in upstate New York. I have been reading and researching the history of conservative and right-wing movements in the United States and the wider world for almost two decades. My first book, Revolutionaries for the Right: Anticommunist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War, was published by University of North Carolina Press in 2018. My articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in Jacobin, Diplomatic History, Terrorism and Political Science, H-War, and H-Diplo. I’m currently at work on two projects: a history of the transatlantic white power movement and a film documentary about the short-lived white supremacist nation of Rhodesia and its contemporary legacies.

Kyle's book list on the history of American conservatism

Kyle Burke Why did Kyle love this book?

As the modern conservative movement gained ground, many working-class white, ethnic voters, especially in struggling Northern and Midwestern cities joined its ranks, even as they continued to vote for Democrats in local elections. Blue-Collar Conservatism explores how that happened by focusing on the divisive tenure of Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo.

Elected as a Democrat in 1971, Rizzo was the first former police commissioner to serve as Philly's mayor, and he gained election by harping on “law and order” issues and opposing civil rights reforms in schools, housing, and workplaces, harnessing white claims that such policies were unearned and unfair. In this cauldron of resentment and resistance, historian Tim Lombardo shows, blue-collar whites began to reject the promises of liberalism.

By Timothy J. Lombardo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blue-Collar Conservatism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The postwar United States has experienced many forms of populist politics, none more consequential than that of the blue-collar white ethnics who brought figures like Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump to the White House. Blue-Collar Conservatism traces the rise of this little-understood, easily caricatured variant of populism by presenting a nuanced portrait of the supporters of Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo.
In 1971, Frank Rizzo became the first former police commissioner elected mayor of a major American city. Despite serving as a Democrat, Rizzo cultivated his base of support by calling for "law and order" and opposing programs like public housing,…


Book cover of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America

Matthew Dallek Author Of Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right

From my list on the far-right and its influence in US politics.

Who am I?

I am a historian and a professor of political management at George Washington University, and I became interested in the John Birch Society when I encountered the group while writing my first book, on Ronald Reagan's 1966 California governor's campaign. I'm also fascinated by debates about political extremism in modern America including such questions as: how does the culture define extremism in a given moment? How does the meaning of extremism shift over time? And how do extremists sometimes become mainstream within the context of American politics? These were some of the puzzles that motivated me to write Birchers

Matthew's book list on the far-right and its influence in US politics

Matthew Dallek Why did Matthew love this book?

A classic in the genre, Belew’s book traces the rise of the white power movement to “the aftermath of the Vietnam War.”

Bring the War Home examines how a blend of apocalyptic ideas, obsession with guns rights, hardline antigovernment views, and white power beliefs became a current in modern America. I admire its groundbreaking research, bold argument, and impact.

By Kathleen Belew,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Bring the War Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Guardian Best Book of the Year

"A gripping study of white power...Explosive."
-New York Times

"Helps explain how we got to today's alt-right."
-Terry Gross, Fresh Air

The white power movement in America wants a revolution.

Returning to a country ripped apart by a war they felt they were not allowed to win, a small group of Vietnam veterans and disgruntled civilians who shared their virulent anti-communism and potent sense of betrayal concluded that waging war on their own country was justified. The command structure of their covert movement gave women a prominent place. They operated with discipline, made…


Book cover of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

Amy Rowland Author Of Inside the Wolf

From my list on understanding the American South.

Who am I?

I’m from North Carolina, and Inside the Wolf is the first book I’ve written about the American South. For a long time, I resisted writing about my home state. I moved to New York and tried to write elegant New York stories. But writing is thinking for me, and I had to think through some of the stories and memories and hauntings of my youth. The books on this list have made me want to keep doing it

Amy's book list on understanding the American South

Amy Rowland Why did Amy love this book?

The sociologist Arlie Hochschild visited Louisiana many times in the years she spent researching this book, about Tea Party Christians in the small town south.

Hochschild is determined to cross what she calls the “empathy wall,” and she listens closely to residents’ resentments, which she records in ways that allow her subjects to reveal themselves and their thinking. I’ve heard arguments against this book, and most of them are less nuanced than the ones Hochschild leaves me with.

What better than a book that takes disagreements seriously and leaves you with some of your own? A book of scope and scholarship and humanity of the sort I wish there were more of.


By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Strangers in Their Own Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets, people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.


Book cover of Wrapped in the Flag: A Personal History of America's Radical Right

Matthew Dallek Author Of Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right

From my list on the far-right and its influence in US politics.

Who am I?

I am a historian and a professor of political management at George Washington University, and I became interested in the John Birch Society when I encountered the group while writing my first book, on Ronald Reagan's 1966 California governor's campaign. I'm also fascinated by debates about political extremism in modern America including such questions as: how does the culture define extremism in a given moment? How does the meaning of extremism shift over time? And how do extremists sometimes become mainstream within the context of American politics? These were some of the puzzles that motivated me to write Birchers

Matthew's book list on the far-right and its influence in US politics

Matthew Dallek Why did Matthew love this book?

I like Conner’s memoir because it gives an insider’s feel for what it was like to grow up as the child of leaders of the John Birch Society, the nation’s leading far-right anticommunist group of the 1960s.

The Birchers (also the subject of my recent book Birchers) embodied the so-called “paranoid style in American politics,” and Conner’s intimate tale explains how Birchite conspiracy theories appealed to a subset of wealthy, powerful Americans. Conner’s approach – forthright and unflinching – makes for memorable reading.

By Claire Conner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wrapped in the Flag as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A narrative history of the John Birch Society by a daughter of one of the infamous ultraconservative organization’s founding fathers.

Named a best nonfiction book of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews and the Tampa Bay Times
 
Long before the rise of the Tea Party movement and the prominence of today’s religious Right, the John Birch Society, first established in 1958, championed many of the same radical causes touted by ultraconservatives today, including campaigns against abortion rights, gay rights, gun control, labor unions, environmental protections, immigrant rights, social and welfare programs, the United Nations, and even water fluoridation.

Worshipping its anti-Communist hero…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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