100 books like The Conquest of Bread

By Peter Kropotkin,

Here are 100 books that The Conquest of Bread fans have personally recommended if you like The Conquest of Bread. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire

Sathnam Sanghera Author Of Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain

From my list on the British Empire's impact on the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was in my 40s before I began exploring the topic of the British Empire. It came after I realised it explained so much about me (my Sikh identity, the emigration of my parents, my education) and so much about my country (its politics, psychology, wealth…) and yet I knew very little. It turned out that millions of people feel the same way… and I hope I provide an accessible introduction and summary of the massive topic. 

Sathnam's book list on the British Empire's impact on the world

Sathnam Sanghera Why did Sathnam love this book?

The East India Company was an unusual organization, to say the least, beginning as a conventional international trading corporation, dealing in silks and spices, and becoming an aggressive colonial power.

Its complicated nature is one of the reasons why the British empire is so poorly understood: people struggle to comprehend how a company could have been imperial. Dalrymple does a great job of explaining it in this incredibly accessible book.

One of my all-time favourite books on Indian history.

By William Dalrymple,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Anarchy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S BEST BOOKS OF 2019 THE TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR FINALIST FOR THE CUNDILL HISTORY PRIZE 2020 LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2019 A FINANCIAL TIMES, OBSERVER, DAILY TELEGRAPH, WALL STREET JOURNAL AND TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Dalrymple is a superb historian with a visceral understanding of India ... A book of beauty' - Gerard DeGroot, The Times In August 1765 the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and forced him to establish a new administration in his richest provinces. Run by English…


Book cover of Sixty Somethings: The Lives Of Women Who Remember The Sixties

Tim Madge Author Of White Mischief: A Cultural History of Cocaine

From my list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tim Madge is a well-established award-winning published author, historian and former journalist of over 45 years standing. He has written on a wide range of subjects, a cultural history of cocaine being one, resulting in White Mischief. It’s a fascinating story involving a murky mix of politics and race, as well as criminals and Sigmund Freud.

Tim's book list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind

Tim Madge Why did Tim love this book?

The swinging sixties are commonly thought of as hedonistic days (if you remember them you weren’t there). It was a period when young people threw off the trappings of their parents and, allegedly fuelled by drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll, set out to put the world to rights: a time without precedent.

But was it really like that? What are the women of that generation up to now; and what do they remember of those times? Is sixty the new forty?

Despite pursuing careers, raising families, with quite a few as grandparents, others caring for their own aging parents, could it be true that the once hipsters – a few now with literally new hips – have an undiluted appetite for life?

This fascinating book looks back over the lives of 67 women in their sixties, all of whom lived through ‘The Sixties’, to explore these questions through their…

By Nicola Madge, Paul Hoggart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 'Swinging Sixties' are commonly depicted as hedonistic days. A point in history remembered for the generation of young people who shed the trappings of their parents and grandparents and, fuelled by sex, drugs, rock 'n roll, set out to put the world to rights. A time when individuality was heralded and convention widely challenged. A time without precedent. But what was it really like and what is this generation up to now? What did they expect from their lives, and were they so different from those of their parents and grandparents and, indeed, even their children? Had their youthful…


Book cover of Raising the Skirt: The Unsung Power of the Vagina

Tim Madge Author Of White Mischief: A Cultural History of Cocaine

From my list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tim Madge is a well-established award-winning published author, historian and former journalist of over 45 years standing. He has written on a wide range of subjects, a cultural history of cocaine being one, resulting in White Mischief. It’s a fascinating story involving a murky mix of politics and race, as well as criminals and Sigmund Freud.

Tim's book list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind

Tim Madge Why did Tim love this book?

This is a simply astonishing book, one to be read by all women but, perhaps more importantly, by all men. To say it was a revelation to read is a bit of an understatement. It is described as a revolutionary book, providing a new understanding of what it is to be female. It’s gynaecological, historical, cultural, anthropological, and evolutionary in its massive scope. 

As the author says, the vagina is actually a muscular marvel of engineering, sensitive and strong, fluid and flexible. Far from being passive vessels, female genitalia control the most important ‘role’ of all: the survival of the species.

Dr. Blackledge is a scientist, sex educator, and fertility campaigner, and her book has sold over 100,000 copies and been translated into ten languages. Jeanette Winterton says of Raising the Skirt, ‘it is completely fascinating’.

Much more than that, it throws into sharp relief the oppression of women…

By Catherine Blackledge,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A meticulous guide not only to the vagina but to changing perceptions of womanhood' OBSERVER
'An empowering and enlightening book' IRISH TIMES

The vagina is the ultimate symbol of female power. Sexual power, creative power and the power to prevent harm. For too long, though, the true extent of vaginal power has been ignored, hidden and misrepresented.

Raising the skirt: the unsung power of the vagina reveals this revolutionary view of female genitalia and points the way to a new understanding of what it means to be female. An inspiration for millennia, the vagina is actually a muscular marvel of…


Book cover of Failures of State: The Inside Story of Britain's Battle with Coronavirus

Tim Madge Author Of White Mischief: A Cultural History of Cocaine

From my list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tim Madge is a well-established award-winning published author, historian and former journalist of over 45 years standing. He has written on a wide range of subjects, a cultural history of cocaine being one, resulting in White Mischief. It’s a fascinating story involving a murky mix of politics and race, as well as criminals and Sigmund Freud.

Tim's book list on wide cultural spectrum for an inquiring mind

Tim Madge Why did Tim love this book?

The authors work for the Sunday Times Insight team and the book they have produced is, you might say, a public inquiry of the kind we won’t be getting from any government, now or in the future. We’ve all been living through this nightmare and the concept of journalism being a first rough history of events is more than adequately demonstrated by this excellently researched text.

Unless you’ve been asleep, or visiting another planet during the past 15 months, you’ll be painfully aware of how badly the pandemic has been handled in the UK. Coming on the back of Brexit, the big event that caused the Government to never have its eye on the Coronavirus ball at the critical moments in January and February, 2020, the pandemic was at first ridiculed, then fatally downplayed by Boris Johnson.

Worse, as we all know to our personal and collective cost, was to…

By Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*

A GUARDIAN AND SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

'An astonishing book' James O'Brien

'A gripping, devastating read' Sunday Times

The inside story of the UK's response to the pandemic from the Insight investigations unit at The Sunday Times

Failures of State recounts the extraordinary political decisions taken at the heart of Boris Johnson's government during the global pandemic.

Fully updated and corroborated by hundreds of sources, this is the insider's account of how the government sleepwalked into disaster and tried to cover up its role in the tragedy. Thrillingly told, it exposes one of the…


Book cover of The Communist Manifesto: A Graphic Novel

Nic Watts Author Of Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History

From my list on political graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have worked as an illustrator and visual storyteller throughout my adult life, illustrating children’s fiction books and comics for educational publications. My educational work focused on publications for kids with special needs, this gave me training in how to communicate visually, very clearly and concisely. I now collaborate with my partner Sakina Karimjee making beautiful graphic novels full-time. Toussaint Louverture is our first; we are now working on our second.

Nic's book list on political graphic novels

Nic Watts Why did Nic love this book?

I grew up in a politically active family but had never read The Communist ManifestoMartin Rowson's adaption blew me away. 

The book opens with an amazing series of spreads; in bold black and white and blood-splatted red, he charts the development of human history from the serfdom of early civilisations through the Middle Ages, up to the slave trade, the age of revolutions and the Industrial Revolution that ripped workers away from life in the fields and into factory labour and then on. 

From this, Marx and Engels begin their walk through the rest of the book, announcing, "A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Communism."

Rowson’s dense and beautiful artwork makes demands on the reader; in its multi-layered depths of meaning, it’s a phenomenal achievement.  

By Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Martin Rowson

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Published in 1848, at a time of political upheaval in Europe, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels's Manifesto for the Communist Party was at once a powerful critique of capitalism and a radical call to arms.

It remains the most incisive introduction to the ideas of Communism and the most lucid explanation of its aims. Much of what it proposed continues to be at the heart of political debate into the 21st century. It is no surprise, perhaps, that The Communist Manifesto (as it was later renamed) is the second bestselling book of all time, surpassed only by the Bible.

The…


Book cover of The Experiment: Georgia's Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921

Samantha Lomb Author Of Stalin's Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the 1936 Draft Constitution

From my list on Soviet social history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Language Teaching Methodologies at Vyatka State University in Kirov, Russia. My book Stalin’s Constitution: Soviet Participatory Politics and the Discussion of the 1936 Draft Constitution was published in November 2017.  Most recently I have published an article-length study entitled Peasant Communal Traditions in the Expulsion of Collective Farm Members in the Vyatka–Kirov Region 1932–1939 in Europe Asia Studies in July 2012. I am currently conducting research for a future book manuscript on daily life on the collective farms and the day-to-day relationships between collective farmers and local officials.

Samantha's book list on Soviet social history

Samantha Lomb Why did Samantha love this book?

Lee explores the 1918 Revolution in Georgia, where the Social Democrats (Mensheviks), led by Noe Zhordania remained committed to a democratic and inclusive revolution, which stands as a counterpoint to the Bolshevik notions of a strict, disciplined party and a limited, undemocratic but participatory system of government. When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1918, the Georgian Social Democrats reluctantly broke away from Russia and sought to navigate the charged political waters, trying to stave off invasion from Turkey and Denikin's White forces with alliances with first Germany and then Britain. They also tried to apply classic Marxist principles, creating not socialism but a bourgeois industrial revolution and a corresponding democratic regime.

This new democratically elected Menshevik government tried to solve issues of pressing concern, carrying out land reform and encouraging judicial reform, and encouraging industrial development, while trying to maintain the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their new nation. Eventually,…

By Eric Lee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For many the Russian Revolution of 1917 was a symbol of hope. In the eyes of its critics, however, Soviet authoritarianism and the horrors of the gulags have led to the revolution becoming synonymous with oppression, threatening to forever taint the very idea of socialism.

The experience of Georgia, which declared its independence from Russia in 1918, tells a different story. In this riveting history, Eric Lee explores the little-known saga of the country's experiment in democratic socialism, detailing the epic, turbulent events of this forgotten chapter in revolutionary history. Along the way, we are introduced to a remarkable cast…


Book cover of Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal

Brian Neve Author Of Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition

From my list on Hollywood blacklist.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years ago, as part of my research, I interviewed Elia Kazan and Abraham Polonsky, two key figures in the blacklist story, and two men who were on different sides in terms of how they responded to the postwar Congressional investigations. These personal encounters – in New York and Los Angeles – fed a fascination with the anti-Communist purge in Hollywood, its dramaturgy, and the way filmmakers of that generation were caught up in it in different ways. There are more specialized works but the books recommended provide a substantive introduction to this still globally resonant topic, calling attention to the problematic and still difficult relationships between citizenship and cultural identity.

Brian's book list on Hollywood blacklist

Brian Neve Why did Brian love this book?

While several books have offered accounts of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the blacklist in the entertainment industry, Alan Casty questions liberal perspectives on the subject, and develops a distinctive perspective. In particular he challenges what he sees as an overly simple moral take on the actions of those who cooperated with HUAC and those who did not. He discusses the role of the Communist Party in Hollywood and the impact of Cold War politicsand the politics of Stalin and the Soviet Union—on the decisions that politicians and witnesses took. There is particularly interesting material here on Robert Rossen’s experience, as someone who ‘resisted’ the Committee but later cooperated with it. This Is the best account of those that challenge the dominant perspectives in the literature. 

By Alan Casty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Much has been written about the history of Communism in America, including the Party's appeal to many in the Hollywood community of the 1930s and 40s. While several books have offered standard accounts of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings and the blacklist in the entertainment industry, Alan Casty provides a fresh and provocative perspective. In Communism in Hollywood: The Moral Paradoxes of Testimony, Silence, and Betrayal, Casty challenges the absolute dualisms of the period: cowardly informers and heroic martyrs. Drawing on newly available material, Casty illustrates the control by the international Communist movement and the role of the…


Book cover of In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939

Oleksa Drachewych Author Of Left Transnationalism

From my list on international communist movement between World Wars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in the topic of international relations and when I started graduate studies, I focused on Russian and Soviet foreign policy between the World Wars. When I began my research, I learned of the existence of the Comintern and was fascinated both by this attempt to develop a worldwide movement and its connection to Soviet foreign policy. Since then, I have focused on trying to understand the individuals who populated the parties and the organization and unearthing a legacy that still resonates today. One cannot fully understand the history of decolonization or of human and civil rights movements without considering the influence of the Comintern. 

Oleksa's book list on international communist movement between World Wars

Oleksa Drachewych Why did Oleksa love this book?

Why did some Black Americans turn to the communist movement during the interwar period? This is one of the key questions Makalani seeks to answer in his book. He understands the limits of the movement, particularly its doctrinaire approach and the left’s limited engagement with race heading into the 1920s. He focuses on how Black Americans played a role in turning communism’s attention to racial issues while reconsidering certain theories of communism within their own radical networks. Makalani also emphasizes how many Black sojourners accepted communist tactics while maintaining their hesitancy towards the broader movement. Makalani provides a critical look at the Comintern and its efforts, while stressing the development of a unique Black radical movement. 

By Minkah Makalani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In the Cause of Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this intellectual history, Minkah Makalani reveals how early-twentieth-century black radicals organized an international movement centered on ending racial oppression, colonialism, class exploitation, and global white supremacy. Focused primarily on two organizations, the Harlem-based African Blood Brotherhood, whose members became the first black Communists in the United States, and the International African Service Bureau, the major black anticolonial group in 1930s London, In the Cause of Freedom examines the ideas, initiatives, and networks of interwar black radicals, as well as how they communicated across continents.

Through a detailed analysis of black radical periodicals and extensive research in U.S., English, Dutch,…


Book cover of Comrades and Enemies: Arab and Jewish Workers in Palestine, 1906-1948

Arash Azizi Author Of What Iranians Want: Women, Life, Freedom

From my list on changing the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up under a repressive dictatorship in Iran, I always wondered about how humans could come together to bring about change. Years of living in different countries have only prolonged that quest. I had identified as a socialist since my teen years in the 2000s (when this political identity wasn’t so popular) and have continuously studied the history of the Left and the pathways it offers to make a better world. I don’t believe in exhaustive favorite lists, so these are just five books that, I think, will help us better appreciate this long history of a quest for progress. 

Arash's book list on changing the world

Arash Azizi Why did Arash love this book?

The seemingly eternal conflict in Israel/Palestine means that many readers know some basic facts about the place. But much of its history remains unknown.

What I love about this book is its patient and lucid exploration of one of such little-known histories: that of Jewish and Arab workers and how they once collaborated against all odds in the waning years of the British Mandate of Palestine, all the way up to the foundation of Israel in 1948. 

I first read this book years ago as part of my graduate studies, but its stories and characters have remained with me throughout the years

By Zachary Lockman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In "Comrades and Enemies" Zachary Lockman explores the mutually formative interactions between the Arab and Jewish working classes, labor movements, and worker-oriented political parties in Palestine just before and during the period of British colonial rule. Unlike most of the historical and sociological literature on Palestine in this period, "Comrades and Enemies" avoids treating the Arab and Jewish communities as if they developed independently of each other. Instead of focusing on politics, diplomacy, or military history, Lockman draws on detailed archival research in both Arabic and Hebrew, and on interviews with activists, to delve into the country's social, economic, and…


Book cover of Stalked by Socialism: An Escapee from Communism Shows How We'Re Sliding into Socialism

Andrei Znamenski Author Of Socialism as a Secular Creed: A Modern Global History

From my list on the history of socialism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Andrei Znamenski spent 35 years exploring religions, ideologies, and utopias. Formerly Associate Professor at Alabama State University, a resident scholar at the US Library of Congress, and then a visiting professor at Hokkaido University in Japan, he is currently Professor of History at the University of Memphis. Znamenski studied indigenous religions of Siberia and North America, including Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism. At some point, he became intrigued with Western idealization and romanticization of non-Western cultures and spiritualities, the topic that he covered in his The Beauty of the Primitive: Shamanism and Western Imagination. His Socialism as a Secular Creed, which is a logical follow-up to that project, is an attempt to examine the socialist phenomenon as a political religion of the modern age.

Andrei's book list on the history of socialism

Andrei Znamenski Why did Andrei love this book?

This is a captivating, personalized memoir that simultaneously explores the current ascent of socialism in the United States. The author escaped Eastern European communism in 1988, during its decaying stage, and moved to the United States in hope that she would enjoy freedom of speech and individual liberty in this country. Yet, to her surprise, she had to deal with the escalating rise of the left in the United States that has been recently seeking to curtail the freedom of speech and impose a greater regulation, trying to replace equality of opportunity with the equality of outcomes. Designed as a warning for Western audiences, Kandlove’s book samples the miseries of her daily life under socialism in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and the 1980s. She also provides revealing anecdotes of her encounters with various Western “useful idiots” who peddle socialism and do not want to learn from history.

By Jana Kandlova,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1988, 19 year-old Jana Kandlova (aka Jane Benson) escaped from communist Czechoslovakia and came to the United States to live and thrive in a free country. Upon her arrival, her euphoria was so intense she could actually "smell the freedom." But, thirty years later, she has become alarmed and anxious as she witnesses the United States heading towards many of the same socialistic/communist ideals she fought so hard to get away from. In this fascinating story, she sounds a serious warning to all who believe in "free lunch."


5 book lists we think you will like!

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