10 books like Suburban Warriors

By Lisa McGirr,

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

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Listen America!

By Jerry Falwell,

Book cover of Listen America!

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.

Listen America!

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.


The Book of Jerry Falwell

By Susan Friend Harding,

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

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.

The Book of Jerry Falwell

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…


The South and the North in American Religion

By Samuel S. Hill,

Book cover of The South and the North in American Religion

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.

The South and the North in American Religion

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…


God's Last and Only Hope

By Bill J. Leonard,

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

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.

God's Last and Only Hope

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


Invisible Hands

By Kim Phillips-Fein,

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

Shifting away from the grassroots origins of modern conservatism, Invisible Hands examines how wealthy, conservative businessmen mobilized to counter the power of organized labor, dismantle the New Deal, and propel the right into political power. Phillips-Fein begins her story in the Depression, as a small set of disgruntled industrialists organized against what they saw as creeping socialism, embodied in FDR’s New Deal. Although marginal at first, these titans of capitalism spent great effort and tremendous sums of money to change the tone and tenor of American politics, convincing many Americans to abandon the promises of economic security for the supposed beneficence of the free market.

Invisible Hands

By Kim Phillips-Fein,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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…


White Flight

By Kevin M. Kruse,

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

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.

White Flight

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…


Blue-Collar Conservatism

By Timothy J. Lombardo,

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

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.

Blue-Collar Conservatism

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,…


Bring the War Home

By Kathleen Belew,

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

The white supremacist movement today has echoes in the past, but it is also dramatically transformed. Historian Kathleen Belew offers a gripping account of this shift, tracing how embittered Vietnam veterans and others disillusioned with a changing America merged with a burgeoning militia movement to take on the U.S. government. Her book is filled with fascinating anecdotes but never loses sight of how the movement after Vietnam came to embrace terrorist attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168 people. Many of the themes we see in the white supremacist movement today– hostility toward the U.S. government, an embrace of paramilitarism, and a sense that a wide range of foes are conspiring to supplant whites–emerge in this time period.

Bring the War Home

By Kathleen Belew,

Why should I read it?

3 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…


Strangers in Their Own Land

By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

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

Hochschild provides a textured and personalized account of Tea Party-supporting men and women whom she got to know in the bayou area of Louisiana in the 2010s. Her concept of the “deep story”—defined as a story that feels true even when it is factually incorrect—helped me to understand why people may believe the lies they absorb from the internet and other media. Her insights into how economic disruption drove these Americans toward a more abrasive form of politics also gels with my own historical understanding of fascist sympathies. In an era when many experts adopt a strident tone, I love Hochschild’s work for its genuine effort to understand. 

Strangers in Their Own Land

By Arlie Russell Hochschild,

Why should I read it?

1 author 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.


The Republican Reversal

By James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg,

Book cover of The Republican Reversal: Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump

Of all the changes in environmental politics since the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969, perhaps the most perplexing – and disappointing – is the Republican turn away from environmental protection. From the Reagan Administration through the Trump regime, the Republican Party has staked the claim not just to passivity toward environmental regulation but has engaged in an all-out assault on government protection of the human and nonhuman environment. Turner and Isenberg make sense of this policy turn, emphasizing the roles of libertarian ideologues, multinational corporations with a stake in the status quo, and rural Americans who tired of federal intrusions in their lives and livelihoods. As aspects of the urban crisis have eased, and specific places like the Cuyahoga River have improved, environmental activists would do well to figure out how to make environmental protection bipartisan once again.

The Republican Reversal

By James Morton Turner, Andrew C. Isenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Not long ago, Republicans could take pride in their party's tradition of environmental leadership. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the GOP helped to create the Environmental Protection Agency, extend the Clean Air Act, and protect endangered species. Today, as Republicans denounce climate change as a "hoax" and seek to dismantle the environmental regulatory state they worked to build, we are left to wonder: What happened?

In The Republican Reversal, James Morton Turner and Andrew C. Isenberg show that the party's transformation began in the late 1970s, with the emergence of a new alliance of pro-business, libertarian, and anti-federalist…


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