100 books like The Human Rights Dictatorship

By Ned Richardson-Little,

Here are 100 books that The Human Rights Dictatorship fans have personally recommended if you like The Human Rights Dictatorship. 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 Migration in the Time of Revolution: China, Indonesia, and the Cold War

Lorenz M. Lüthi Author Of Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

During the later Cold War, I grew up in neutral and peaceful Switzerland. My German mother’s family lived apart in divided Germany. I knew as a child that I would become a historian because I wanted to find out what had happened to my mother’s home and why there was a Cold War in the first place. My father’s service as a Swiss Red Cross delegate in Korea after 1953 raised my interest in East Asia. After learning Russian and Chinese, I wrote my first book on The Sino-Soviet Split. When I was finishing the book, I resolved to reinvent myself as a global historian, which is why I wrote my second book as a reinterpretation of the global Cold War as a series of parallel regional Cold Wars in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Lorenz's book list on Cold War history published recently

Lorenz M. Lüthi Why did Lorenz love this book?

Migration in the Time of Revolution pushes the international history of the 20th century into a new and exciting direction. Using the Chinese diaspora in Indonesia as a lens, Taomo Zhou elevates citizens to agents in international relations. On the basis of Chinese archival research and oral history, she explores how Indonesians of Chinese descent lastingly influenced the diplomatic relations between their home country and divided China during the Cold War.

By Taomo Zhou,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Migration in the Time of Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Migration in the Time of Revolution examines how two of the world's most populous countries interacted between 1945 and 1967, when the concept of citizenship was contested, political loyalty was in question, identity was fluid, and the boundaries of political mobilization were blurred. Taomo Zhou asks probing questions of this important period in the histories of the People's Republic of China and Indonesia. What was it like to be a youth in search of an ancestral homeland that one had never set foot in, or an economic refugee whose expertise in private business became undesirable in one's new home in…


Book cover of Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China

Lorenz M. Lüthi Author Of Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

During the later Cold War, I grew up in neutral and peaceful Switzerland. My German mother’s family lived apart in divided Germany. I knew as a child that I would become a historian because I wanted to find out what had happened to my mother’s home and why there was a Cold War in the first place. My father’s service as a Swiss Red Cross delegate in Korea after 1953 raised my interest in East Asia. After learning Russian and Chinese, I wrote my first book on The Sino-Soviet Split. When I was finishing the book, I resolved to reinvent myself as a global historian, which is why I wrote my second book as a reinterpretation of the global Cold War as a series of parallel regional Cold Wars in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Lorenz's book list on Cold War history published recently

Lorenz M. Lüthi Why did Lorenz love this book?

Mao's Third Front is one of the first books on life and the economy in the PRC of the Cultural Revolution that marries archival research to memoirs and oral history. Largely unknown outside of China, the Third Front was a strategic relocation program of vital industries and whole cities to the country’s hinterland during the 2nd Vietnam War and the Cultural Revolution. It essentially amounted to the largest government investment program in the Mao period. Meyskens’s book manifestly shows how closely the global Cold War and local developments interacted with each other.

By Covell F. Meyskens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mao's Third Front as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1964, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a momentous policy decision. In response to rising tensions with the United States and Soviet Union, a top-secret massive military industrial complex in the mountains of inland China was built, which the CCP hoped to keep hidden from enemy bombers. Mao named this the Third Front. The Third Front received more government investment than any other developmental initiative of the Mao era, and yet this huge industrial war machine, which saw the mobilization of fifteen million people, was not officially acknowledged for over a decade and a half. Drawing on a rich…


Book cover of Latin America and the Global Cold War

Lorenz M. Lüthi Author Of Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

During the later Cold War, I grew up in neutral and peaceful Switzerland. My German mother’s family lived apart in divided Germany. I knew as a child that I would become a historian because I wanted to find out what had happened to my mother’s home and why there was a Cold War in the first place. My father’s service as a Swiss Red Cross delegate in Korea after 1953 raised my interest in East Asia. After learning Russian and Chinese, I wrote my first book on The Sino-Soviet Split. When I was finishing the book, I resolved to reinvent myself as a global historian, which is why I wrote my second book as a reinterpretation of the global Cold War as a series of parallel regional Cold Wars in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Lorenz's book list on Cold War history published recently

Lorenz M. Lüthi Why did Lorenz love this book?

An edited collection, Latin America and the Global Cold War actually does what the field of Cold War studies has talked about for decades—decentering the Cold War. Breaking with the long-standing idea that Latin America was merely the backyard of U.S. imperialism, the 14 contributions show how deeply Latin American countries were connected to other parts of the Global South. Bringing together junior and senior scholars from three continents, the volume is a refreshing and a much-needed eye-opener for all historians of international relations.

By Thomas C. Field (editor), Stella Krepp (editor), Vanni Pettinà (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Latin America and the Global Cold War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Latin America and the Global Cold War analyzes more than a dozen of Latin America's forgotten encounters with Africa, Asia, and the Communist world, and by placing the region in meaningful dialogue with the wider Global South, this volume produces the first truly global history of contemporary Latin America. It uncovers a multitude of overlapping and sometimes conflicting iterations of Third Worldist movements in Latin America, and offers insights for better understanding the region's past, as well as its possible futures, challenging us to consider how the Global Cold War continues to inform Latin America's ongoing political struggles.

Contributors: Miguel…


Book cover of A Full-Value Ruble: The Promise of Prosperity in the Postwar Soviet Union

Lorenz M. Lüthi Author Of Cold Wars: Asia, the Middle East, Europe

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Why am I passionate about this?

During the later Cold War, I grew up in neutral and peaceful Switzerland. My German mother’s family lived apart in divided Germany. I knew as a child that I would become a historian because I wanted to find out what had happened to my mother’s home and why there was a Cold War in the first place. My father’s service as a Swiss Red Cross delegate in Korea after 1953 raised my interest in East Asia. After learning Russian and Chinese, I wrote my first book on The Sino-Soviet Split. When I was finishing the book, I resolved to reinvent myself as a global historian, which is why I wrote my second book as a reinterpretation of the global Cold War as a series of parallel regional Cold Wars in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Lorenz's book list on Cold War history published recently

Lorenz M. Lüthi Why did Lorenz love this book?

A Full-Value Ruble is economic history at its best. Using Soviet archival materials for both the Stalin and Khrushchev periods, Kristy Ironside shows how indispensable money was to an economy that, for ideological reasons, aimed at abolishing it. But a strong ruble (and not just any currency) did not mean that the underlying economy was strong. Using money as a lens, the author provides the reader with a multi-faceted view of Soviet urban and rural daily life in peace, war, and reconstruction.

By Kristy Ironside,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Full-Value Ruble as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new history shows that, despite Marxism's rejection of money, the ruble was critical to the Soviet Union's promise of shared prosperity for its citizens.

In spite of Karl Marx's proclamation that money would become obsolete under Communism, the ruble remained a key feature of Soviet life. In fact, although Western economists typically concluded that money ultimately played a limited role in the Soviet Union, Kristy Ironside argues that money was both more important and more powerful than most histories have recognized. After the Second World War, money was resurrected as an essential tool of Soviet governance. Certainly, its importance…


Book cover of The Social Contract

Lynn Hunt Author Of Inventing Human Rights: A History

From my list on why we care about human rights.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having personally witnessed the great expansion of rights in my lifetime, I wanted to know how this belief in rights took root. Equality is not a natural idea; most societies have been shaped by hierarchies since the beginning of time. I was led to the late eighteenth century as a crucial period for the articulation of universal human rights. And that led to me the abolition of torture, the abolition of slavery, and the idea of “declaring” rights which gave them a surprising force. Once universal rights were declared, those still excluded (women, slaves) wanted to know why and much of modern times has been concerned with just that question.

Lynn's book list on why we care about human rights

Lynn Hunt Why did Lynn love this book?

You always knew you should read Rousseau, but you didn’t. His novel Julie is too long, though eighteenth-century readers did not think so. This book is abstract but if you get beyond that first impression and think like an eighteenth-century person your mind will be blown. At a time when most people listened to the authorities (in church and state), Rousseau started from the simple proposition that anyone could think through the basic issues of social and political life. He takes everything down to first principles and changes everything by making democracy seem thinkable.

By Jean-Jacques Rousseau,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Jean-Jacques Rousseau writes, "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains." This statement exemplifies the main idea behind "The Social Contract", in other words that man is essentially free if it weren't for the oppression of political organizations such as government. Rousseau goes on to lay forth the principles that he deems most important for achieving political right amongst people.


Book cover of A Suffragette  My Own Story

Zoya Phan Author Of Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West

From my list on the Karen and human rights that inspire me.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a human rights activist from Burma. When I was 14, I was forced to flee to Thailand because of an attack by the Burmese military and ended up in a refugee camp. As one of Burma's leading democracy activists in Europe, I campaign for the promotion of human rights, democracy, and development back home in Burma. Together with my family, I set up Phan Foundation which aims to preserve Karen culture, promote human rights, fight poverty and provide education for Karen people. This is in memory of my mother Nant Kyin Shwe and my father Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, who was assassinated by agents of the Burmese military.

Zoya's book list on the Karen and human rights that inspire me

Zoya Phan Why did Zoya love this book?

This book is very important to me. It gave me more understanding of the Suffragette movement in the UK and how women sacrificed their lives for equal rights and fairness. I really appreciate those women activists. Because of them, women now have better treatment and opportunities in society, although we still have a long way to go to have more women in politics and at the decision-making level. 

By Emmeline Pankhurst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Suffragette My Own Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

My Own Story (1914) is a memoir by English political activist and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. Written at the onset of the First World War,

My Own Story brings attention to Pankhurst's cause while defending her decision to cease activism until the end of the war. Notable for its descriptions of the British prison system, My Own Story is an invaluable document of a life dedicated to others, of a historical moment in which an oppressed group rose up to advocate for the simplest of demands: equality.

Born in a politically active household, Emmeline Pankhurst was introduced to the women's suffrage…


Book cover of Counting the Dead: The Culture and Politics of Human Rights Activism in Colombia

Debbie Sharnak Author Of Of Light and Struggle: Social Justice, Human Rights, and Accountability in Uruguay

From my list on human rights in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked at the International Center for Transitional Justice in 2009 when Uruguay held a second referendum to overturn the country’s amnesty law that protected the police and military from prosecution for human rights abuses during the country’s dictatorship. Despite the country’s stable democracy and progressive politics in the 21st century, citizens quite surprisingly rejected the opportunity to overturn the state-sanctioned impunity law. My interest in broader accountability efforts in the world and that seemingly shocking vote in Uruguay drove me to want to study the roots of that failed effort, ultimately compelling a broader investigation into how human rights culture in Uruguay evolved, particularly during and after its period of military rule. 

Debbie's book list on human rights in Latin America

Debbie Sharnak Why did Debbie love this book?

The oldest book on my list, it is still my go-to for understanding and writing about how human rights are understood by activists and organizations working in complex conditions of ongoing conflict and violence.

The stories Tate tells are compelling and a reminder amid the country’s continued grappling with this period of violence of what has been at stake and the uphill battles activists have faced for decades.

By Winifred Tate,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

At a time when a global consensus on human rights standards seems to be emerging, this rich study steps back to explore how the idea of human rights is actually employed by activists and human rights professionals. Winifred Tate, an anthropologist and activist with extensive experience in Colombia, finds that radically different ideas about human rights have shaped three groups of human rights professionals working there - nongovernmental activists, state representatives, and military officers. Drawing from the life stories of high-profile activists, pioneering interviews with military officials, and research at the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, "Counting the…


Book cover of Latin American Politics and Society: A Comparative and Historical Analysis

Joe Foweraker Author Of Polity: Demystifying Democracy in Latin America and Beyond

From my list on democracy in Latin America.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with Latin America as I meandered around Mexico in the summer of 1969. The passion has never died. Within a year I walked into Brazil’s ‘wild west’ to research the violence along its moving frontier, while over fifty years later I am an emeritus professor of Latin American politics at the University of Oxford and an honorary professor at the University of Exeter. An early decision to look at politics from the ‘bottom up’ led to a life-long inquiry into the theory and practice of democracy, and the publication of many essays and books that are available to view on my Amazon author page.

Joe's book list on democracy in Latin America

Joe Foweraker Why did Joe love this book?

This is the most up-to-date and comprehensive account of the politics of Latin America and delivers a scintillating analysis of its democratic systems of government. It is written by two of the most dynamic and original scholars working in Latin America today, who are working here to a set of rigorous analytical standards. Their argument is supported and extended by numerous links to primary and secondary written materials, as well as photo and video archives. The argument is both lucid and accessible.

By Gerardo L. Munck, Juan Pablo Luna,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Taking a fresh thematic approach to politics and society in Latin America, this introductory textbook analyzes the region's past and present in an accessible and engaging style well-suited to undergraduate students. The book provides historical insights into modern states and critical issues they are facing, with insightful analyses that are supported by empirical data, maps and timelines. Drawing upon cutting-edge research, the text considers critical topics relevant to all countries within the region such as the expansion of democracy and citizenship rights and responses to human rights abuses, corruption, and violence. Each richly illustrated chapter contains a compelling and cohesive…


Book cover of Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law

Steve Tsang Author Of A Modern History of Hong Kong: 1841-1997

From my list on Hong Kong’s history and politics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born in colonial Hong Kong, and my teenage rebellion was anti-colonialism. So I went on a journey to rediscover ‘mother China’ by reading and visiting the Mainland. What I saw and learned first-hand contradicted what I had read of China, primarily Communist Party propaganda. The realization that colonial Hong Kong treated its people so much better than in socialist China made me think, and started my interest in researching the history of Hong Kong. A Modern History of Hong Kong: 1841-1997 is the result, and based on years of research into the evolution of Hong Kong’s people, its British colonial rulers, as well as China’s policies towards Hong Kong.

Steve's book list on Hong Kong’s history and politics

Steve Tsang Why did Steve love this book?

Before Hong Kong people embraced the Sino-British agreement to cede Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to China, China promised the people of Hong Kong they would enjoy a high degree of autonomy under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework so that their way of life and its socio-economic and political system would remain unchanged for 50 years, This ended in 2020, before the halfway point of the promised 50 years, when China imposed a National Security Law on Hong Kong that criminalized actions or speeches that people in Hong Kong were free to pursue hitherto. Davis provides a meticulous account of how China reneged its promises and rolled back human rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong.

By Michael C. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making Hong Kong China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can one of the world’s most free-wheeling cities transition from a vibrant global center of culture and finance into a subject of authoritarian control? As Beijing's anxious interference has grown, the “one country, two systems” model China promised Hong Kong has slowly drained away in the years since the 1997 handover. As “one country” seemed set to gobble up “two systems," the people of Hong Kong riveted the world’s attention in 2019 by defiantly demanding the autonomy, rule of law and basic freedoms they were promised. In 2020, the new National Security Law imposed by Beijing aimed to snuff…


Book cover of Fifty Years in the Karen Revolution in Burma: The Soldier and the Teacher

Zoya Phan Author Of Little Daughter: A Memoir of Survival in Burma and the West

From my list on the Karen and human rights that inspire me.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a human rights activist from Burma. When I was 14, I was forced to flee to Thailand because of an attack by the Burmese military and ended up in a refugee camp. As one of Burma's leading democracy activists in Europe, I campaign for the promotion of human rights, democracy, and development back home in Burma. Together with my family, I set up Phan Foundation which aims to preserve Karen culture, promote human rights, fight poverty and provide education for Karen people. This is in memory of my mother Nant Kyin Shwe and my father Padoh Mahn Sha Lah Phan, who was assassinated by agents of the Burmese military.

Zoya's book list on the Karen and human rights that inspire me

Zoya Phan Why did Zoya love this book?

I knew Saw Ralph and Naw Sheera when we were in Manerplaw, which used to be the headquarters of the Karen resistance, in Burma. As a little girl, I often followed my mother Nant Kyin Shwe to her workplace and remembered seeing Naw Sheera in the office of the Karen Women's Organisation. When I read her book, it reminds me of all the places and the people, and my beautiful childhood in, Kawthoolei, Burma. 

By Saw Ralph, Naw Sheera,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fifty Years in the Karen Revolution in Burma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fifty Years in the Karen Revolution in Burma is about commitment to an ideal, individual survival and the universality of the human experience. A memoir of two tenacious souls, it sheds light on why Burma/Myanmar's decades-long pursuit for a peaceful and democratic future has been elusive. Simply put, the aspirations of Burma's ethnic nationalities for self-determination within a genuine federal union runs counter to the idea of a unitary state orchestrated and run by the dominant majority Burmans, or Bamar.

This seemingly intractable dilemma of opposing visions for Burma is personified in the story of Saw Ralph and Naw Sheera,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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