100 books like The Half Has Never Been Told

By Edward E. Baptist,

Here are 100 books that The Half Has Never Been Told fans have personally recommended if you like The Half Has Never Been Told. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A History of America in Ten Strikes

Hamilton Nolan Author Of The Hammer: Power, Inequality, and the Struggle for the Soul of Labor

From my list on the power of the American labor movement.

Who am I?

I'm a labor journalist. I've spent the past 20 years writing widely about inequality, class war, unions, and the way that power works in America. My parents were civil rights and antiwar activists in the 1960s and 70s, and they instilled in me an appreciation for the fact that social movements are often the only thing standing between regular people and exploitation. My curiosity about power imbalances in America drew me inexorably towards the absence of worker power and led me to the conclusion that the labor movement is the tool that can solve America's most profound problems. I grew up in Florida, live in Brooklyn, and report all over.

Hamilton's book list on the power of the American labor movement

Hamilton Nolan Why did Hamilton love this book?

The most gaping hole in most people’s knowledge of American history is labor history. Everyone knows the wars and the civil rights movement, but few people know the bloody, grinding struggles that went into giving us all the eight-hour workday and basic protections on the job.

Erik Loomis’s book builds a coherent vision of how major strikes have shaped this nation every bit as much as better-known movements have. This is one book that will open your eyes to the battles that went into many things we all take for granted.

By Erik Loomis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of America in Ten Strikes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Powerful and accessible, A History of America in Ten Strikes challenges all of our contemporary assumptions around labour, unions, and American workers.


Book cover of The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America

Richard D. Kahlenberg Author Of Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See

From my list on government housing rules in America.

Who am I?

After decades writing about how to improve the lives of low-income children through education, I concluded that I had to writing about housing policy too. Government housing laws essentially dictate where kids go to school in America. In addition, since writing in college about Robert Kennedy’s 1968 campaign for president, in which he brought together a multiracial coalition of working people, I’ve been obsessed with finding ways to bring those groups together again.  Reforms of housing policy in a number of states has done just that: united working people across racial lines who were sick of being excluded – by government fiat – from places that provide the best opportunities.

Richard's book list on government housing rules in America

Richard D. Kahlenberg Why did Richard love this book?

The Color of Law does a brilliant job of making clear that racial segregation in America is not merely the result of market forces or individual choices; it was manufactured by government through a series of twentieth-century policies: racial zoning, redlining, and enforcement of racially restrictive covenants.  The effects are still felt today.

I modeled my own book after Rothstein’s and updated his analysis to show that today, economically discriminatory zoning laws have replaced racially discriminatory practices, which helps explain why racial segregation has declined by 30 percent since 1970, but income segregation has doubled.

By Richard Rothstein,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Color of Law as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Widely heralded as a "masterful" (The Washington Post) and "essential" (Slate) history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law offers "the most forceful argument ever published on how federal, state, and local governments gave rise to and reinforced neighborhood segregation" (William Julius Wilson). Exploding the myth of de facto segregation arising from private prejudice or the unintended consequences of economic forces, Rothstein describes how the American government systematically imposed residential segregation: with undisguised racial zoning; public housing that purposefully segregated previously mixed communities; subsidies for builders to create whites-only suburbs; tax exemptions for institutions that enforced…


Book cover of And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes

Jeff Provine Author Of Secret Oklahoma City: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

From my list on showing the hidden struggles of Oklahomans.

Who am I?

I grew up on my family’s land run farm north of Enid before coming to the OKC metro for school, giving me a view of the quiet rural spaces and the hopping city life Oklahoma pushes for today and more! 

Jeff's book list on showing the hidden struggles of Oklahomans

Jeff Provine Why did Jeff love this book?

People were shocked to read about the Osage murders, but those who’ve read Angie Debo just had to sigh and shake their heads since it’s nothing new. Her 1936 work opened my eyes to the systematic devastation of the tribes, bite by bite. Forced off their homelands with removal, they were promised to hold land in Oklahoma “as long as the waters run,” but it wasn’t more than a few decades before allotment narrowed tribal holdings and opened up more land to be taken. With Native peoples not even legal citizens, anyone with money had to have a guardian, a breeding ground for amoral administrators to siphon off as much as they wanted.

By Angie Debo,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked And Still the Waters Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Debo's classic work tells the tragic story of the spoliation of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, and Seminole nations at the turn of the last century in what is now the state of Oklahoma. After their earlier forced removal from traditional lands in the southeastern states--culminating in the devastating 'trail of tears' march of the Cherokees--these five so-called Civilized Tribes held federal land grants in perpetuity, or "as long as the waters run, as long as the grass grows." Yet after passage of the Dawes Act in 1887, the land was purchased back from the tribes, whose members were then…


Book cover of Fallen Prince: William James Edwards, Black Education, and the Quest for Afro-American Nationality

Jillian Hishaw Author Of Systematic Land Theft

From my list on the history of land dispossession.

Who am I?

My family’s farm was lost due to a dishonest lawyer that my great-grandmother entrusted. Because of that, I have devoted the past 20 years of my career to providing low-cost legal services to aging rural farmers around estate planning and civil rights. As an attorney, I have worked for the US Department of Agriculture and the Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC. I also founded the non-profit organization F.A.R.M.S., which provides services to aging rural farmers such as preventing farm foreclosures, executing wills, and securing purchase contracts. After drafting Systematic Land Theft over the span of several years, I am happy to release this historic synopsis documenting the land theft of Indigenous and Black communities. I have written extensively on the topics of agriculture, environmental, and land injustice in a variety of legal, trade, and other publications.

Jillian's book list on the history of land dispossession

Jillian Hishaw Why did Jillian love this book?

William James Edward is the grandfather of the author Donald Stone. The author does a great job of highlighting the importance that William J. Edward placed on lineage at the beginning of the book. The author shows the forgotten legacy of Edwards as one of Tuskegee’s first graduates. Edwards goes on to start a secondary school in Wilcox county Alabama, following the legacy of Booker T. Washington. The school was called the Snow Hill Institute and in its prime employed over 20 teachers and had over a dozen buildings on the campus. The curriculum was like Tuskegee, where the students learned trades and received a formal education. Under the leadership of William James Edwards, the school thrived until it was forced to close in the 1960s. Donald Stone mostly uses primary sources to paint a picture of the opposition that Edwards faced in trying to operate a school outside of…

By Donald P. Stone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Stone, Donald P.


Book cover of Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South

Jillian Hishaw Author Of Systematic Land Theft

From my list on the history of land dispossession.

Who am I?

My family’s farm was lost due to a dishonest lawyer that my great-grandmother entrusted. Because of that, I have devoted the past 20 years of my career to providing low-cost legal services to aging rural farmers around estate planning and civil rights. As an attorney, I have worked for the US Department of Agriculture and the Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC. I also founded the non-profit organization F.A.R.M.S., which provides services to aging rural farmers such as preventing farm foreclosures, executing wills, and securing purchase contracts. After drafting Systematic Land Theft over the span of several years, I am happy to release this historic synopsis documenting the land theft of Indigenous and Black communities. I have written extensively on the topics of agriculture, environmental, and land injustice in a variety of legal, trade, and other publications.

Jillian's book list on the history of land dispossession

Jillian Hishaw Why did Jillian love this book?

This book uses census data and other historical facts to highlight the 250,000 free blacks who were in the south post-Civil War. It shows the struggles black people faced in regards to their community, liberty, education, and economic independence inside an oppressive society. Berlin does a good job at depicting the interaction between Blacks and Whites both free and enslaved. He offers a better understanding of the complex race relations that existed in the south. He gives one of the best accounts on record, of the wealth black people accumulated during slavery and 20 years after despite the pushback they faced.

By Ira Belin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slaves Without Masters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The prize-winning classic volume by acclaimed historian Ira Berlin is now available in a handsome new edition, with a new preface by the author. It is a moving portrait of the quarter of a million free black men and women who lived in the South before the Civil War and describes the social and economic struggles that were part of life within this oppressive society. It is an essential work for both educators and general readers. Berlin's books have won many prizes and he is widely recognized as one of the leading scholars on slavery and African American life.


Book cover of Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom

Jillian Hishaw Author Of Systematic Land Theft

From my list on the history of land dispossession.

Who am I?

My family’s farm was lost due to a dishonest lawyer that my great-grandmother entrusted. Because of that, I have devoted the past 20 years of my career to providing low-cost legal services to aging rural farmers around estate planning and civil rights. As an attorney, I have worked for the US Department of Agriculture and the Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC. I also founded the non-profit organization F.A.R.M.S., which provides services to aging rural farmers such as preventing farm foreclosures, executing wills, and securing purchase contracts. After drafting Systematic Land Theft over the span of several years, I am happy to release this historic synopsis documenting the land theft of Indigenous and Black communities. I have written extensively on the topics of agriculture, environmental, and land injustice in a variety of legal, trade, and other publications.

Jillian's book list on the history of land dispossession

Jillian Hishaw Why did Jillian love this book?

A beautiful manuscript documenting the overall racial tension between Indigenous, enslaved Africans, and Europeans is superbly described by Dr. Miles in all aspects. The undertones of admiration and challenges between all three racial groups is eloquently pictured in the relationship between Shoeboots, a prominent Cherokee Champion and farmer, and Doll, his companion and enslaved African woman. The three-decade depiction of Shoeboot’s and Doll’s lives together and Doll’s petition to the federal government requesting Shoe Boot’s pension as his widow is beyond historic. Ties that Bind is a true testament to the enslaved Africans tribal experience before, during, and after slavery; it is essential to one’s book collection.  

By Tiya Miles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ties That Bind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This beautifully written book, now in its second edition, tells the haunting saga of a quintessentially American family. It is the story of Shoe Boots, a famed Cherokee warrior and successful farmer, and Doll, an African slave he acquired in the late 1790s. Over the next thirty years, Shoe Boots and Doll lived together as master and slave and also as lifelong partners who, with their children and grandchildren, experienced key events in American history including slavery, the Creek War, the founding of the Cherokee Nation and subsequent removal of Native Americans along the Trail of Tears, and the Civil…


Book cover of Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

Zara Stone Author Of Killer Looks: The Forgotten History of Plastic Surgery in Prisons

From my list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America.

Who am I?

I’ve been fascinated by the way people respond to physical beauty since childhood—my teachers heaped praise on the pretty kids, reserving hard words for the less genetically blessed. This experience drove me to explore the pervasive ways in which unconscious beauty bias perpetuates injustice, and how it intersects with racism and privilege. Prison plastic surgery might sound like a punchline but for many, it was a lifeline. UK-born, I now live in San Francisco and have a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York. My work has been published by The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wired, and Fast Company, among others.

Zara's book list on how pretty privilege has infiltrated America

Zara Stone Why did Zara love this book?

For months, Asian women in Oakland, CA, reported a nonstop stream of harassment and muggings by local youth. The problem: their harassers were Black. In a lineup, the women couldn't identify their attackers, and they walked free. To counter this, women in the community received cross-racial training...which failed. The robberies stopped when cameras were installed and the police didn't need a victim to ID anymore. Eberhardt’s book is full of gems like this, smart snippets of life, and the innate biases that run it. This smart examination of cognitive biases goes further than pointing out how racial biases influence criminal justice — it also offers some solutions, especially for unconscious prejudices. These take the form of unconscious bias training, and forcing people to deal with uncomfortable subjects.

By Jennifer L. Eberhardt,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Poignant....important and illuminating."-The New York Times Book Review

"Groundbreaking."-Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy

From one of the world's leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time

How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we…


Book cover of The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together

Kevin H. Wozniak Author Of The Politics of Crime Prevention: Race, Public Opinion, and the Meaning of Community Safety

From my list on racism and the politics of public investment.

Who am I?

Ever since I first visited a prison during college and was shocked by its horrific conditions, I’ve been fascinated with America’s punitiveness—our tolerance for harsh, dehumanizing punishments. I pursued a Ph.D. in criminology in order to better understand the politics of crime and justice. I am constantly searching for “political space” within which to pursue meaningful criminal justice reform without provoking a punitive backlash. I was previously an associate professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and I am now a lecturer in criminology at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.

Kevin's book list on racism and the politics of public investment

Kevin H. Wozniak Why did Kevin love this book?

I loved The Sum of Us because it tells the political and economic history of race relations and investment in public infrastructure, benefits, and services in a readable and accessible manner. 

McGhee recounts shocking stories of the ways that, in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, hundreds of communities across the United States—governed by White people—chose to close or bulldoze public amenities like pools, parks, and campgrounds rather than desegregate them.

This is a sad story of the way that a generation of White Americans cut off their own nose to spite their face. In the decades since, more and more local amenities because privatized and fee-based, making it harder for poor and working-class people of all races to enjoy their communities.

By Heather McGhee,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • One of today’s most insightful and influential thinkers offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color.

WINNER OF THE PORCHLIGHT BUSINESS BOOK AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ms. magazine, BookRiot, Library Journal

“This is the book I’ve been waiting for.”—Ibram X. Kendi, #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist

Look for…


Book cover of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

Beverly Daniel Tatum Author Of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations about Race

From my list on why racism persists.

Who am I?

I am a clinical psychologist with a life-long research interest in racial identity development, particularly among Black adolescents. I began teaching about the psychology of racism in 1980, at the start of my academic career. That teaching experience was transformative for both my students and me. I was convinced that helping people understand how racism operates in our lives, and what we can do about it, was my calling. I have been teaching and writing about racism ever since. In 2014, I was deeply honored to receive the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology in recognition of my work, the highest honor presented by the American Psychological Association.

Beverly's book list on why racism persists

Beverly Daniel Tatum Why did Beverly love this book?

From Here to Equality is a great companion to The Half Has Never Been Told. Through the lens of the contemporary discussion of reparations, it fills in the historical blanks that so many people have about the African American experience, going beyond slavery to Reconstruction and its aftermath, Jim Crow segregation, and modern-day discrimination, detailing the economic impact during each historical period. I was really impressed by the historical detail and the economic analysis, and I learned a lot from reading it. If you want to understand the national conversation about reparations, read this book!

By William A. Darity, A. Kirsten Mullen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Here to Equality as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Racism and discrimination have choked economic opportunity for African Americans at nearly every turn. At several historic moments, the trajectory of racial inequality could have been altered dramatically. But neither Reconstruction nor the New Deal nor the civil rights struggle led to an economically just and fair nation. Today, systematic inequality persists in the form of housing discrimination, unequal education, police brutality, mass incarceration, employment discrimination, and massive wealth and opportunity gaps. Economic data indicates that for every dollar the average white household holds in wealth the average black household possesses a mere ten cents.

This compelling and sharply argued…


Book cover of The Water Dancer

Judith Reifsteck Author Of Memoried and Storied: Healing our Shared History of Racial Violence

From my list on the power of memory to heal racial trauma.

Who am I?

I love writing and teaching about topics that help me understand my life and my community better. And I love to contemplate the question - How do we come to care about the same things? As a psychotherapist I have firsthand experience in the disruption that any type of violence causes until it's repaired. One way to advocate for the vulnerable who do not have protection in their communities is to tell the story of the silent, unknown victims of lynching and other acts of racism and racial violence. Only by memorializing the stories of the victims of racial injustice can we repair the trauma and tell the true story of structural racism in America today.

Judith's book list on the power of memory to heal racial trauma

Judith Reifsteck Why did Judith love this book?

This beautiful story tells the tale of Hiram Walker. Hiram is the fictional biracial slave who escapes his life of slavery on a Virginia plantation and learns to nurture his spiritual gifts to be a Moses to other Freedmen escaping the horrors of slavery.

He is the son of an enslaved woman and the white plantation owner. Such parentage was common during the era of slavery and the slave trade in the U.S. Many plantation owners enslaved, owned, tortured, beat, sold, and traded away their own children.

Through Hiram we see the mystical gifts of the African oral tradition to use memory as a tool to survive. This transmission of African culture occurs through the daily practice of song, prayer, dance, and most importantly, ancestor veneration, through stories, belief, and faith. The oppressive slave owners knew little of the power of these immutable tools.

Hiram describes the mystical power this…

By Ta-Nehisi Coates,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Water Dancer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES #1 BESTSELLER

OPRAH BOOK CLUB PICK

'One of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I haven't felt this way since I first read Beloved . . .' Oprah Winfrey

Lose yourself in the stunning debut novel everyone is talking about - the unmissable historical story of injustice and redemption that resonates powerfully today

Hiram Walker is a man with a secret, and a war to win. A war for the right to life, to family, to freedom.

Born into bondage on a Virginia plantation, he is also born gifted with a…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in African Americans, economics, and Slavery?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about African Americans, economics, and Slavery.

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