10 books like The Ground Breaking

By Scott Ellsworth,

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

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Unspeakable

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Floyd Cooper (illustrator),

Book cover of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

Unspeakable is a beautifully illustrated look at the economic and entrepreneurial community that was the African American sector in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the "Greenwood District" or, as it was heralded, "Black Wall Street," and its calamitous destruction in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The book aims to familiarize children with the full breadth of history—warts and all—such that they might one day leverage their learning to fashion a society in which shared humanity is a core value.

Unspeakable

By Carole Boston Weatherford, Floyd Cooper (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Author and Illustrator

A Caldecott Honor Book

A Sibert Honor Book

Longlisted for the National Book Award

A Kirkus Prize Finalist

A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

"A must-have"―Booklist (starred review)

Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation's history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa's Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

News of…


Murder In The Streets

By William C. Phillips,

Book cover of Murder In The Streets: A White Choctaw Witness To The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Murder in the Streets is a unique, first-person, contemporaneous account of the massacre through the eyes of a Native American (Choctaw) man who was not identifiably Native and lived the life of a white man. The man, Choc Phillips, became a Tulsa police officer and wrote the book as a memoir later in his life. This is a rare, contemporaneous account of one of the low points in American race relations. 

Murder In The Streets

By William C. Phillips,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre occurred over two days, May 30 and June 1, 1921, when a white mob destroyed the African American section of Tulsa, Okla., known as the Greenwood District. As a result, more than 1,250 homes and businesses were destroyed, thirty-five square blocks of Tulsa leveled, and hundreds of innocent people were injured or dead.

There have been numerous book and news articles written about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, but most of the first-person accounts were given by African Americans. However, William C. "Choc" Phillips was part white and part Native American and an eyewitness to…


Release Me

By Phetote Mshairi (editor),

Book cover of Release Me: The Spirits of Greenwood Speak

Release Me is an anthology that looks at the legacy of Tulsa's Historic Greenwood District through the eyes of various authors tapping a plethora of literary styles and devices. Through Release Me, the voices of the oft-unheard ring out. The legacy of the Greenwood District lives. 

Release Me

By Phetote Mshairi (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“Apparitions roam the Greenwood District, yearning to be free of the day they died…”
The story of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, OK (aka Black Wall Street) is more than the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. RELEASE ME, the Spirits of Greenwood Speak anthology focuses on the lives of the citizens of Greenwood. The anthology is a symphony of historic facts about the Greenwood District (before and after the massacre) along with timeless and borderless community building principles wrapped in poetry, short stories, art, essays, and photography. RELEASE ME, the Spirits of Greenwood Speak anthology has contributions from Poet Laureate of…


The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

By Karlos K. Hill,

Book cover of The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre: A Photographic History

This photographic history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre recounts a compelling event with an equally compelling pictorial narrative. Dr. Hill, who leads the African and African American studies program at the University of Oklahoma, shares this curated look at a catastrophic moment in time with a view toward acknowledging our full history and shaping our collective vision for an inclusive future.

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

By Karlos K. Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the evening of May 31, 1921, and in the early morning hours of June 1, several thousand white citizens and authorities violently attacked the African American Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In the course of some twelve hours of mob violence, white Tulsans reduced one of the nation's most prosperous black communities to rubble and killed an estimated 300 people, mostly African Americans. This richly illustrated volume, featuring more than 175 photographs, along with oral testimonies, shines a new spotlight on the race massacre from the vantage point of its victims and survivors.

Historian and Black Studies professor Karlos…


The Nation Must Awake

By Mary E. Jones Parrish,

Book cover of The Nation Must Awake: My Witness to the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

It wasn’t until HBO’s Watchmen that most people learned of the Tulsa Race Massacre, though a few of us who paid attention in tenth-grade history remember a line or two about a “riot” back in Tulsa before the book moved on to talk about something else. This book gives chilling firsthand accounts, both from the author as well as other survivors, who experienced the demolition of an entire community strictly out of prejudice, fear, and hate. It’s a good reminder that it can happen anywhere, any time if we let it.

The Nation Must Awake

By Mary E. Jones Parrish,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mary Parrish was reading in her home when the Tulsa race massacre began on the evening of May 31, 1921. Parrish's daughter, Florence Mary, called the young journalist and teacher to the window. "Mother," she said, "I see men with guns."

The two eventually fled into the night under a hail of bullets and unwittingly became eyewitnesses to one of the greatest race tragedies in American history.

Spurred by word that a young Black man was about to be lynched for stepping on a white woman's foot, a three-day riot erupted that saw the death of hundreds of Black Oklahomans…


Violence and Social Orders

By Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast

Book cover of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History

As the subtitle suggests the authors of this book do not have modest ambitions. And for the most part, they deliver. Modern economics focuses mainly on market interactions. But those markets are embedded in institutional and personal networks that are undergirded by the use or threat of use of force. This book provides a framework for understanding how the ability to use force undergirds modern political systems and why that matters.

Violence and Social Orders

By Douglass C. North, John Joseph Wallis, Barry R. Weingast

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Violence and Social Orders as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All societies must deal with the possibility of violence, and they do so in different ways. This book integrates the problem of violence into a larger social science and historical framework, showing how economic and political behavior are closely linked. Most societies, which we call natural states, limit violence by political manipulation of the economy to create privileged interests. These privileges limit the use of violence by powerful individuals, but doing so hinders both economic and political development. In contrast, modern societies create open access to economic and political organizations, fostering political and economic competition. The book provides a framework…


1919, The Year of Racial Violence

By David F. Krugler,

Book cover of 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back

We must remember that 1919 also saw unprecedented widespread bloodshed in attacks on Black communities. This wave of violence is remembered as the Red Summer not because it coincided with the Red Scare, but because the worst of it occurred in and around that summer. Krugler gives us the national saga but helpfully zooms in to some of the major clashes to help us understand why and how they occurred – and most of all – how Blacks fought back through self-defense, the Black press, and the courts.

1919, The Year of Racial Violence

By David F. Krugler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1919, The Year of Racial Violence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1919, The Year of Racial Violence recounts African Americans' brave stand against a cascade of mob attacks in the United States after World War I. The emerging New Negro identity, which prized unflinching resistance to second-class citizenship, further inspired veterans and their fellow black citizens. In city after city - Washington, DC; Chicago; Charleston; and elsewhere - black men and women took up arms to repel mobs that used lynching, assaults, and other forms of violence to protect white supremacy; yet, authorities blamed blacks for the violence, leading to mass arrests and misleading news coverage. Refusing to yield, African Americans…


Lynching and Spectacle

By Amy Louise Wood,

Book cover of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940

Most people’s idea of lynching is the sanitized version that they have picked up from movies and TV. However, the practice of lynching, as it was carried out in the United States from the late 19th to well into the 20th century, was far more hideous than a few people hanging a man from a tree. This classic contribution concentrates on spectacle lynchings. These were public lynchings attended by hundreds or even thousands of spectators. They involved hours of torture and bodily mutilation, often culminating in the victim being burned alive. Lynching and Spectacle is a vital read for anyone wishing to understand the full horror of American Racism.

Lynching and Spectacle

By Amy Louise Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This title presents public reinforcement of white supremacy. Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America often exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. In ""Lynching and Spectacle"", Amy Wood explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles and what they derived from them. Lynching, Wood argues, overlapped with a wide range of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema. The connections between lynching and these practices encouraged the horrific violence committed and gave it social acceptability.Wood expounds on the critical role…


On Killing

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman,

Book cover of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society

Grossman is a former Army Ranger who digs deep into the psychological impact of taking human life through countless interviews with fellow soldiers of all kinds. Combining these accounts with thorough psychological research, Grossman comments on society's collective aversion to killing while helping us understand its complicated acceptance—and even encouragement—of wartime killing. What was most surprising to me was that historically, only about 4% of soldiers even fire their weapon during war, and how obviously that skews from the “norm” of combat portrayed in popular media. It’s an honest, eye-opening, and important piece of work that should be required reading for every service member, police officer, or anyone tasked with carrying society’s heaviest burden.

On Killing

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked On Killing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The good news is that the vast majority of soldiers are loath to kill in battle. Unfortunately, modern armies, using Pavlovian and operant conditioning have developed sophisticated ways of overcoming this instinctive aversion. The psychological cost for soldiers, as witnessed by the increase in post-traumatic stress, is devastating. The psychological cost for the rest of us is even more so: contemporary civilian society, particularly the media, replicates the army's conditioning techniques and, according to Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's thesis, is responsible for our rising rate of murder among the young. Upon its first publication, ON KILLING was hailed as a…


Not in God's Name

By Jonathan Sacks,

Book cover of Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence

The late Rabbi Sacks served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth. This was one of the last books he wrote before his death. He makes the case that religion is not only the cause of violence but also part of the solution to violence. In each chapter, he deeply analyzes a different religious text and evinces eye-opening interpretations. Perhaps most prescient are his notions of “altruistic evil” and “pathological dualism.” Pathological dualism operates in three ways: first, it dehumanizes and demonizes your enemies; second, it portrays the perpetrator as the victim; and third, it leads the perpetrator to commit altruistic evil—killing others as a perceived favor to humanity. As Sacks so movingly asserts, “When religion turns men into murderers, God weeps.”

Not in God's Name

By Jonathan Sacks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not in God's Name as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Despite predictions of continuing secularisation, the twenty-first century has witnessed a surge of religious extremism and violence in the name of God.

In this powerful and timely book, Jonathan Sacks explores the roots of violence and its relationship to religion, focusing on the historic tensions between the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Drawing on arguments from evolutionary psychology, game theory, history, philosophy, ethics and theology, Sacks shows how a tendency to violence can subvert even the most compassionate of religions. Through a close reading of key biblical texts at the heart of the Abrahamic faiths, Sacks then challenges…


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