100 books like The College Dropout Scandal

By David Kirp,

Here are 100 books that The College Dropout Scandal fans have personally recommended if you like The College Dropout Scandal. 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 The Strange Career of Jim Crow

Eric Nellis Author Of Shaping the New World: African Slavery in the Americas, 1500-1888

From my list on African slavery in the Americas.

Why am I passionate about this?

I taught American, European, and World History at the University of British Columbia for over 30 years. I was constantly reminded of the dynamics and consequences of slavery and how a history of black America should be more prevalent in understanding the development of American culture, institutions, and identity over time. In writing two books on colonial America and the American Revolution, the roots of America’s racial divide became clearer and the logic of permanence seemed irresistible. My Shaping the New World was inspired by a course I taught for years on slavery in the Americas. Compiling the bibliography and writing the chapters on slave women and families helped to refine my understanding of the “peculiar institution” in all its both common and varied characteristics throughout the Americas.

Eric's book list on African slavery in the Americas

Eric Nellis Why did Eric love this book?

This succinct and persuasive study of the profound failure to integrate the freed slave population in the U.S. after 1865 is a rare example of a scholarly work’s direct influence on governments and the process of reform.  The author’s premise and analysis is that popular and local official antipathy to emancipation led to enforced, violent segregation (Jim Crow) that was constitutionally affirmed in the 1896 Plessy case.  The book’s three editions follow the history of civil rights reform from the 1950s to the 1970s and the Supreme Court’s gradual dismantling of the Plessy rule. While Jim Crow law has been overturned, versions of real-life Jim Crow conditions remain.

By C. Vann Woodward,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Strange Career offers a clear and illuminating analysis of the history of Jim Crow laws and American race relations. This book presented evidence that segregation in the South dated only to the 1880s. It's publication in 1955, a year after the Supreme Court ordered schools be desegregated, helped counter arguments that the ruling would destoy a centuries-old way of life. The commemorative edition includes a special afterword by William S. McFeely, former
Woodward student and winner of both the 1982 Pulitzer Prize and 1992 Lincoln Prize. As William McFeely describes in the new afterword, 'the slim volume's social consequence far…


Book cover of A Theory of Economic History

Peter Temin Author Of The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy

From my list on racial and economic inequality in the USA.

Why am I passionate about this?

Peter Temin is an economist and economic historian, currently a professor at MIT and the former head of the Economics Department. His research interests include macroeconomic history, the Great Depression, industry studies in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and ancient Rome. 

Peter's book list on racial and economic inequality in the USA

Peter Temin Why did Peter love this book?

I love this book for two reasons. It condenses a massive amount of economic history into a small book, and it shows how our unequal societies are backtracking to older models of the economy.

By Sir John R. Hicks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Theory of Economic History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Theory of Economic History


Book cover of Feudal Society

Mark Koyama Author Of How the World Became Rich: The Historical Origins of Economic Growth

From my list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated with history. The study of economic history allows me to combine my passion for understanding the past with a rigorous and systematic set of analytical tools. In my own work I'm interested in understanding the economic, political, and institutional transformations that have created the modern world. The books I've selected here help us better understand quite how different the past and they have proven to be invaluable to me as inspirations. 

Mark's book list on politics and economics in preindustrial societies

Mark Koyama Why did Mark love this book?

Marc Bloch was one of the greatest historians of the 20th century. He was also hero of the French Resistance, tortured and executed by the notorious Nazi Klaus Barbie. Feudal Society (2 volumes) is perhaps his best book. 

It is often said that the past is a foreign country, and it is true that the world of the Middle Ages is alien to us in many respects. What Bloch does is to provide a systematic examination of all aspects of that world, that is he examines it it from a legal, a sociological, an anthropological, an economic, and a political perspective. 

In so doing, he paints a remarkable portrait of a coherent, self-contained society. The economy was basic, laws and politics were personalized, but it was a social and political order that made sense in its own terms. More recent historians have criticized specific aspects of Bloch's vision of feudalism…

By Marc Bloch,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Feudal Society as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marc Bloch said that his goal in writing Feudal Society was to go beyond the technical study a medievalist would typically write and 'dismantle a social structure.' In this outstanding and monumental work, which has introduced generations of students and historians to the feudal period, Bloch treats feudalism as living, breathing force in Western Europe from the ninth to the thirteenth century. At its heart lies a magisterial account of relations of lord and vassal, and the origins of the nature of the fief, brought to life through compelling accounts of the nobility, knighthood and chivalry, family relations, political and…


Book cover of Knocking on Labor's Door: Union Organizing in the 1970s and the Roots of a New Economic Divide

Greta de Jong Author Of You Can't Eat Freedom: Southerners and Social Justice after the Civil Rights Movement

From my list on race and class in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a historian of the African American freedom struggle with more than two decades of experience researching and teaching on this topic. My work focuses especially on the connections between race and class and the ways Black people have fought for racial and economic justice in the twentieth century. I write books and articles that are accessible for general audiences and that help them to understand the historical origins of racism in the United States, the various forms it has taken, and the reasons why it has persisted into the present.

Greta's book list on race and class in the United States

Greta de Jong Why did Greta love this book?

Labor unions played a key role in lifting millions of Americans—mostly white male industrial workers—into the middle class in the mid-twentieth century. The passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s opened access to unionized manufacturing jobs and led to new waves of labor activism by women and people of color, but these were undermined by political and economic shifts that eliminated millions of jobs in the late twentieth century. Windham shows how anti-union policies and practices made it more difficult for workers to organize and force employers to the negotiating table, which explains the persistence of racial and economic inequality in the twenty-first century. Like Foner’s Nothing But Freedom (mentioned above), the book provides ample evidence that nothing about this was foreordained—once again, those who set the rules of a more globalized economy did so in ways that allowed some people to prosper while others starved.

By Lane Windham,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Knocking on Labor's Door as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The power of unions in workers' lives and in the American political system has declined dramatically since the 1970s. In recent years, many have argued that the crisis took root when unions stopped reaching out to workers and workers turned away from unions. But here Lane Windham tells a different story. Highlighting the integral, often-overlooked contributions of women, people of color, young workers, and southerners, Windham reveals how in the 1970s workers combined old working-class tools--like unions and labor law--with legislative gains from the civil and women's rights movements to help shore up their prospects. Through close-up studies of workers'…


Book cover of The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality

Clifford F. Thies Author Of Global Economics: A Holistic Approach

From my list on the global economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the Eldon R. Lindsey Chair of Free Enterprise and Professor of Economics and Finance at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Most of my writing is academic, including in the Independent Review, Journal of Markets and Morality, and Presidential Studies Quarterly recently. Before pursuing my doctoral degree, I served in the U.S. Army and worked for an insurance company.

Clifford's book list on the global economy

Clifford F. Thies Why did Clifford love this book?

Angus Deaton presents his own work and summarizes the work of others to describe the beginning of sustained economic growth, what is sometimes called the industrial revolution.

Not only does this sustained economic growth result in much greater health and wealth, but also in inequality.

Before, only a very small number of people enjoyed leisure and what were the luxuries of the time. After, increasing percentages of people escaped the so-called iron law of wages.

By Angus Deaton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The world is a better place than it used to be. People are healthier, wealthier, and live longer. Yet the escapes from destitution by so many has left gaping inequalities between people and nations. In The Great Escape, Angus Deaton--one of the foremost experts on economic development and on poverty--tells the remarkable story of how, beginning 250 years ago, some parts of the world experienced sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's disproportionately unequal world. Deaton takes an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and addresses what…


Book cover of Discourse on the Origin of Inequality

Rebecca Kingston Author Of Plutarch's Prism: Classical Reception and Public Humanism in France and England, 1500-1800

From my list on why politics matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a student of the history of ideas, with a particular interest in political thought, for over forty years. I have read countless books, both ancient and modern, and in several languages, that explore themes related to public life. I am a dedicated citizen of a contemporary liberal democracy, but today, I live in fear of a growing backlash against liberal democracy. The risk of democratic backsliding in the contemporary US is real as citizens become more disillusioned with politics. In other liberal democracies, some party leaders are adopting populist rhetoric to enhance their electoral appeal, but in doing so, they are undermining some of the established norms of public life. 

Rebecca's book list on why politics matter

Rebecca Kingston Why did Rebecca love this book?

Rousseau is a delight to read. He offers a strong challenge to the Enlightenment thinkers of his time by suggesting that the modern embrace of commerce and sociability was more corrupt than beneficial for society.

In this Second Discourse, he offers a thought experiment through which we are taken back to the imagined origins of human society so that we can trace what is essential to the human condition.

He offers a statement of the injustice of modern economic inequality and invites us to consider political alternatives.

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Donald A. Cress (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Discourse on the Origin of Inequality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Donald Cress's highly regarded translation, based on the critical Pleiade edition of 1964, is here issued with a lively introduction by James Miller, who brings into sharp focus the cultural and intellectual milieu in which Rousseau operated. This new edition includes a select bibliography, a note on the text, a translator's note, and Rousseau's own Notes on the Discourse.


Book cover of Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science

Kathleen E. Akers Author Of Law and Economics in Jane Austen

From my list on love, law, and money.

Why am I passionate about this?

The fundamental connection between law and economics rules most of the world. This is especially true in romantic relationships, whether the parties realize it or not. Being “Janites” ourselves, in addition to our day jobs of family law professor and economic consultant, we could not help but read Jane Austen and be blown away by her genius understanding of both law and economics. Moreover, the principles she draws out that govern much of her characters’ decision-making are just as applicable today in the world of online dating and Tinder. We hope our book enlightens you on law and economics in new, surprising, and romantic ways.

Kathleen's book list on love, law, and money

Kathleen E. Akers Why did Kathleen love this book?

The world is driven by incentives. Much of economics is not obscure theory but practically understanding how incentives affect decision-making.

Charles Wheelan’s Naked Economics provides a solid foundation for understanding how our lives revolve around economics and why understanding economic principles is critically important for evaluating the social and geopolitical world around us. 

This book was important in our analysis of Jane Austen’s work, as her use of economic principles in romance is what causes her work to be loved for centuries.

By Charles Wheelan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is a new edition of the best-selling economics book that won't put you to sleep. In our challenging economic climate, this perennial favourite of students and general readers includes commentary on hot topics such as automation, trade and income inequality. Ten years after the financial crisis, Naked Economics examines how policymakers managed the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.


Book cover of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality

Dietrich Vollrath Author Of Fully Grown: Why a Stagnant Economy Is a Sign of Success

From my list on the economic challenges of the 2020s.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of economics at the University of Houston, with a focus on long-run growth and development rather than things like quarterly stock returns. I write a blog on growth economics where I try hard to boil down technical topics to their core intuition, and I’m the co-author of a popular textbook on economic growth.

Dietrich's book list on the economic challenges of the 2020s

Dietrich Vollrath Why did Dietrich love this book?

This is a good book to understand the pervasive existence of “rents” in the economy. From the literal rents that homeowners in popular areas can charge, to the rents that accrue to copyright or patent holders, to the rents earned by firms using regulation to block competition, the authors document all the places in our economy where this restricts innovation. It is ultimately a book asking “what is fair?”.

By Steven M. Teles, Brink Lindsey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For years, America has been plagued by slow economic growth and increasing inequality. In The Captured Economy, Brink Lindsey and Steven M. Teles identify a common factor behind these twin ills: breakdowns in democratic governance that allow wealthy special interests to capture the policymaking process for their own benefit. They document the proliferation of regressive regulations that redistribute wealth and income up the economic scale while stifling
entrepreneurship and innovation. They also detail the most important cases of regulatory barriers that have worked to shield the powerful from the rigors of competition, thereby inflating their incomes: subsidies for the financial…


Book cover of Moneyless Society: The Next Economic Evolution

Blaine Stewart Author Of Hourglass Socioeconomics: Vol. 1, Principles & Fundamentals

From my list on reads that are almost economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm addicted to discovering what lies within the unknown. The biggest mystery, I believe, that baffles us today is not necessarily what lies at the edge of the universe but what lives within this one here. I enjoy attempting to solve large problems and if I can’t compute a result at least understand what the problem suggests. In the realm of the unknown, I'm an expert of nothing. In hours of research and reading and writing, one comes to a point in their process of learning with the realization that it does not matter how much one learns, there will always be that much more, logarithmically multiplied exponentially by the rate of acceleration, to learn.

Blaine's book list on reads that are almost economics

Blaine Stewart Why did Blaine love this book?

Moneyless Society, conceptually, is a curious read. Tracking how money affects us all and its presence as a centralized decay against society is another curious concept. I enjoyed reading Moneyless Society for the context of why change needs to be made. Surrounded by the author’s intent in publication is a group of individuals committed to making change. I may quote in my own volumes that money is necessary as a tool but that does not mean you can’t argue otherwise. Moneyless Society is a great feel-good economic story through history into potential change.

By Matthew Holten,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

IT'S TIME FOR AN ECONOMIC EVOLUTION.The evidence is all around us: Humans are squandering natural resources and destroying the environment. There is no real debate about climate change. And with an ever-widening wealth gap, inequality is destabilizing many regions and worsening famine, disease, and civil unrest.

We must change, fast - and yet we hesitate.

Moneyless Society: The Next Economic Evolution explores how capitalism throttles Earth's capacity to sustain life and undermines our deep longing to live in peace and prosperity. Fortunately, it also provides a blueprint to innovative thinking and new structures to replace our outmoded monetary system. In…


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