100 books like The Wretched of the Earth

By Frantz Fanon, Richard Philcox (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Wretched of the Earth fans have personally recommended if you like The Wretched of the Earth. 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 The History of Mary Prince

Paddy Docherty Author Of Blood and Bronze: The British Empire and the Sack of Benin

From my list on colonial wrongdoing.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of empire, with a particular interest in the British Empire, colonial violence, and the ways in which imperialism is shown and talked about in popular culture. I studied at Oxford University, and having lived in and travelled around much of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, I am always trying to understand a bit more if I can… but reading is best for that… My first book was The Khyber Pass.

Paddy's book list on colonial wrongdoing

Paddy Docherty Why did Paddy love this book?

A landmark work by virtue of being the first book by a black woman to be published in Britain, this is a powerfully harrowing account of Mary’s own life as a slave in the Caribbean. Though only short, it supplies valuable testimony on the gruesome British exploitation of enslaved people over the centuries, and the many cruelties inflicted upon Mary personally by her brutal ‘owners’. Should be required reading for all those who think of the British Empire with nostalgia.

By Mary Prince,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Mary Prince was born into slavery in Devonshire Parish, Bermuda. While she was later living in London, her autobiography, The History of Mary Prince, was the first account of the life of a black woman to be published in the United Kingdom. This edition of "The History of Mary Prince" is Volume 4 of the Black History Series. It is printed on high quality paper with a durable cover.


Book cover of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

Marc Epprecht Author Of Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa

From my list on social justice in Africa.

Who am I?

I first travelled to Zimbabwe in 1984, eager both to “build scientific socialism” but also to answer two big questions. How can people proclaim rage at certain injustices yet at the same time perpetuate them against certain other people? And, could I learn to be a better (more empathetic) man than my upbringing inclined me towards? Years of teaching in the rural areas, and then becoming a father taught me “yes” to the second question but for the first, I needed to continue to pursue that knowledge with colleagues, students, mentors, friends and family. Today, my big question is, how can we push together to get these monsters of capitalism, patriarchy, homophobia, racism, and ecocide off our backs?

Marc's book list on social justice in Africa

Marc Epprecht Why did Marc love this book?

The canon of anti-colonial, anti-racism writing from and about Africa includes many authors whose passion and insights are sometimes muddied by turgid or masculinist prose. For me, Rodney stands out – and stands the test of time – by the way he so masterfully weaves history into a compelling narrative that utterly demolishes the lies and conceits about supposed Western benevolence toward the continent. Scales fell from my eyes the first time (of many) I read this book. And yes, Rodney is almost as androcentric in his language, sources, and arguments as was the norm in those days. But his acknowledgment of the dignity of African women is implicit, and his discussion of the regressive elements of the colonial economy and education for African women and girls presaged a field of scholarly enquiry and activism that still intrigues me.

By Walter Rodney,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked How Europe Underdeveloped Africa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The classic work of political, economic, and historical analysis, powerfully introduced by Angela Davis In his short life, the Guyanese intellectual Walter Rodney emerged as one of the leading thinkers and activists of the anticolonial revolution, leading movements in North America, South America, the African continent, and the Caribbean. In each locale, Rodney found himself a lightning rod for working class Black Power. His deportation catalyzed 20th century Jamaica's most significant rebellion, the 1968 Rodney riots, and his scholarship trained a generation how to think politics at an international scale. In 1980, shortly after founding of the Working People's Alliance…


Book cover of Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Bettina Aptheker Author Of Communists in Closets: Queering the History 1930s-1990s

From my list on helped me claim identity as a lesbian and feminist.

Who am I?

I'm an activist/scholar and I taught in the Feminist Studies department at the University of California, Santa Cruz for 40 years. My most popular class was Introduction to Feminism. Then I taught another large, undergraduate course Feminism & Social Justice. By the time I retired I had taught over 16,000 students, and worked with scores of graduate students. My online class, Feminism & Social Justice, on the Coursera Platform has been taken by over 107,000 people located on literally every continent. My teaching and writings are always anti-racist, and explicitly queer. They've drawn on my life experiences. They come out of my passion to lessen suffering, and embrace compassion. 

Bettina's book list on helped me claim identity as a lesbian and feminist

Bettina Aptheker Why did Bettina love this book?

Audre Lorde described herself as a Black, lesbian, feminist, mother, warrior.

She was primarily a poet, but she also wrote powerful prose including Zami that she called a “biomythography,” describing Black lesbian life in the 1940s and 1950s primarily in New York. This book, Sister Outsider is comprised of a series of short essays that profoundly changed and influenced my thinking from a Black, feminist, queer perspective.

Titles suggest new ways of thinking. For example: ”Poetry Is Not A Luxury,” “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,” “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power,” “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.” 

So much of her writing was about breaking silence, about writing as a way of helping to sort our ideas, and feelings, about sexuality as a source of empowerment rather than shame.

There was an uncompromising clarity…

By Audre Lorde,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The woman's place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, and it is deep

The revolutionary writings of Audre Lorde gave voice to those 'outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women'. Uncompromising, angry and yet full of hope, this collection of her essential prose - essays, speeches, letters, interviews - explores race, sexuality, poetry, friendship, the erotic and the need for female solidarity, and includes her landmark piece 'The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House'.

'The truth of her writing is as necessary today as…


Book cover of Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire

Paddy Docherty Author Of Blood and Bronze: The British Empire and the Sack of Benin

From my list on colonial wrongdoing.

Who am I?

I’m a historian of empire, with a particular interest in the British Empire, colonial violence, and the ways in which imperialism is shown and talked about in popular culture. I studied at Oxford University, and having lived in and travelled around much of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, I am always trying to understand a bit more if I can… but reading is best for that… My first book was The Khyber Pass.

Paddy's book list on colonial wrongdoing

Paddy Docherty Why did Paddy love this book?

This is the kind of book that all British historians should be trying to write: an honest, factual, detailed account of what British officials actually did in the service of the Empire. There is no scope for imperial nostalgia over this horrifying story of the brutal violence employed by Britain in the 1950s in an effort to hang onto its colony of Kenya in the face of the Mau Mau Rebellion. With concentration camps, collective punishments, and multiple judicial murders, British methods were among the worst. The ideal Christmas present for any Empire supporters among your friends & family.

By David Anderson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A remarkable account of Britain's last stand in Kenya. This is imperial history at its very best."--John Hope Franklin

In "a gripping narrative that is all but impossible to put down" (Joseph C. Miller), Histories of the Hanged exposes the long-hidden colonial crimes of the British in Kenya. This groundbreaking work tells how the brutal war between the colonial government and the insurrectionist Mau Mau between 1952 and 1960 dominated the final bloody decade of imperialism in East Africa. Using extraordinary new evidence, David Anderson puts the colonial government on trial with eyewitness testimony from over 800 court cases and…


Book cover of Reversed Realities: Gender Hierarchies in Development Thought

Benjamin Selwyn Author Of The Struggle for Development

From my list on the world on international development.

Who am I?

I’m a political economist interested in development which I’ve been studying, researching, and writing about since my undergraduate days in the early 1990s.

Benjamin's book list on the world on international development

Benjamin Selwyn Why did Benjamin love this book?

I’m writing this section just a couple of days after International Women’s Day (IWD).

IWD 2023 focussed on the gender gap in digital innovation. Closing this gap would contribute to progress in achieving substantive gender equality, but IWD organisers also argue, it would generate more economic growth.

This narrative is partial and ideological. It uses a fact (the gender gap) and a worthy objective (of eliminating that gap) to promote a particular conception of women – something that Naila Kabeer illuminates with great effect in Reversed Realities.

Part of the reason for socio-economic gender gaps is the amount of (often unpaid) time women spend caring for others. While care is foundational to what makes us human, in contemporary capitalist societies care work is devalued to the extent that much of it goes unpaid. Could it be otherwise?

Kabeer shows how so much ideology about gender equality is based upon the…

By Naila Kabeer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Reversed Realities uncovers the deeply entrenched, hence barely visible, biases which underpin mainstream development theory and account for the marginal status given to women's needs in current development policy. Naila Kabeer traces the emergence of 'women' as a specific category in development thought and examines alternative frameworks for analysing gender hierarchies. She identifies the household as a primary site for the construction of power relations and compares the extent to which gender inequalities are revealed in different approaches to the concept of the family unit. The book assesses the inadequacies of the poverty line as a measuring tool and provides…


Book cover of Capitalism and Slavery

Benjamin Selwyn Author Of The Struggle for Development

From my list on the world on international development.

Who am I?

I’m a political economist interested in development which I’ve been studying, researching, and writing about since my undergraduate days in the early 1990s.

Benjamin's book list on the world on international development

Benjamin Selwyn Why did Benjamin love this book?

The study of world development is often conflated with a particular image of capitalism, where the latter is associated with freedom – the freedom to buy and sell goods, including one's capacity to work.

In this book Eric Williams shows to the contrary, how capitalism was founded upon the vast expansion of unfreedom. He details how slavery provided much of the material resources that facilitated industrialisation in Britain and beyond.

In doing this Williams shows how the original division, between wealthy states in today’s ‘global north’ and impoverished states in the ‘global south’, was established and reproduced over several centuries. 

By Eric Williams,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams's study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established…


Book cover of Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution

Peter Hudis Author Of Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

From my list on envisioning alternatives to capitalism.

Who am I?

Since before I was a teenager, I have been painfully aware of two things: the society I am living in is an extremely racist one, and capitalism fosters egotism, greed, selfishness, and a degradation of what is best in life. Ever since then I have been pursuing the goal of envisioning, and in some way advancing, an alternative to both (which in my view are related). I have suggested these five books because they have given me much inspiration for pursuing this goal, difficult as it surely is. I hope they will prove to be for you as well.

Peter's book list on envisioning alternatives to capitalism

Peter Hudis Why did Peter love this book?

This wide-ranging work, first published in 1981, has three outstanding features:

It consists of one of the most sensitive explorations of Rosa Luxemburg, showing that her work as a fervent advocate of socialism and democracy had a feminist dimension.

It connects Marx’s critique of alienation and dehumanized social relations to the perspectives and demands of modern feminism.

It also contained the first detailed discussion in English of Marx’s last decade (1872-83), when he turned to a study of Indigenous peoples in the Americas as well as communal formations in Russia, Asia, and Africa in searching for pathways to socialism that could by-pass the horrors of capitalist industrialization.

It argues that Marx’s critique of capital went further than economics in being part and parcel of the development of a philosophy of revolution.

By Raya Dunayevskaya,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


In this important and wide-ranging critique of Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) Raya Dunayevskaya examines the life, political thought, and action of one of the most critical revolutionary figures of our time. Dunayevskaya sheds new light on the questions of socialist democracy after the revolution, disclosing both the unprobed feminist dimension of Rosa Luxemburg and the previously unrecognized new moments in Marx's last decade concerning the role of women and the peasantry. As the founder of Marxist-Humanism in the United States, Dunayevskaya (1910-87) was an internationally respected writer, philosopher, and revolutionary. This new and expanded edition includes two previously unpublished articles by…


Book cover of Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism

Kevin B. Anderson Author Of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study

From my list on philosophy and social theory.

Who am I?

All of the books I recommend offer both a very deep reading of our socio-economic situation in all its oppressiveness and alienation, and the possibility of an alternative. Only with such philosophical digging and reappropriation of dialectical thinkers of the past, beginning with Hegel and Marx, can we construct a humanist future. These books speak to my own life as a 1960s activist in the USA who has yearned ever since for a real, humanist social transformation in the face of so many setbacks for our cause, some of them self-inflicted.

Kevin's book list on philosophy and social theory

Kevin B. Anderson Why did Kevin love this book?

This is the first study ever of Marx on communism/socialism, a topic that is often considered something he refrained from writing about. Hudis ingeniously marshals a huge body of writings – on Proudhon, Lassalle, and others – where Marx elaborates his own concept of socialism/communism in the course of critiquing what he sees as vastly inadequate concepts. In so doing, Hudis connects these issues to dialectics and to economics, and above all to the critique of both capital and the state, here not even sparing Lenin’s classic work, State and Revolution.

By Peter Hudis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marx's Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In contrast to the traditional view that Marx's work is restricted to a critique of capitalism - and that he consciously avoided any detailed conception of its alternative - this work shows that Marx was committed to a specific concept of a post-capitalist society which informed the whole of his approach to political economy.


Book cover of Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory

Kevin B. Anderson Author Of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study

From my list on philosophy and social theory.

Who am I?

All of the books I recommend offer both a very deep reading of our socio-economic situation in all its oppressiveness and alienation, and the possibility of an alternative. Only with such philosophical digging and reappropriation of dialectical thinkers of the past, beginning with Hegel and Marx, can we construct a humanist future. These books speak to my own life as a 1960s activist in the USA who has yearned ever since for a real, humanist social transformation in the face of so many setbacks for our cause, some of them self-inflicted.

Kevin's book list on philosophy and social theory

Kevin B. Anderson Why did Kevin love this book?

Reason and Revolution holds the important distinction of being the first Hegelian Marxist book to appear in English. In addition, it was the first systematic published analysis of Hegel’s major works from a Marxist standpoint in any language, preceding those by Georg Lukács’s The Young Hegel and Ernst Bloch’s Subjekt-Objekt by several years. To this day Reason and Revolution stands as one of the major Marxist treatments of Hegel. It views Marx’s work as grounded in Hegel’s concept of dialectic. Theoretically, Marx’s work is presented as a critique not only of capitalism, but also, at least implicitly, as the foundation for a critique of Stalinist Communism.

Not only does Marcuse’s book contain a critical analysis of Hegel’s major works such as the Phenomenology of Mind, the Science of Logic, the Philosophy of History, and the Philosophy of Right, but it also includes the first serious treatment…

By Herbert Marcuse,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Brilliant and penetrating ... the most important work which has opened up an understanding of Marx's humanism." -- Erich Fromm

Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory is the philosopher Herbert Marcuse's first major work in English - a masterful interpretation of Hegel's philosophy and the influence it has had on European political thought from the French Revolution to the present day.

Reason & Revolution, written in 1941, was the first Hegelian Marxist text to appear in English, the first systematic study of Hegel by a Marxist, and the first work in English to discuss the young…


Book cover of Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being

Kevin B. Anderson Author Of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study

From my list on philosophy and social theory.

Who am I?

All of the books I recommend offer both a very deep reading of our socio-economic situation in all its oppressiveness and alienation, and the possibility of an alternative. Only with such philosophical digging and reappropriation of dialectical thinkers of the past, beginning with Hegel and Marx, can we construct a humanist future. These books speak to my own life as a 1960s activist in the USA who has yearned ever since for a real, humanist social transformation in the face of so many setbacks for our cause, some of them self-inflicted.

Kevin's book list on philosophy and social theory

Kevin B. Anderson Why did Kevin love this book?

Paul Mason’s Clear Bright Future (the title is drawn from a declaration by Leon Trotsky), stands out as a manifesto of socialist humanism that takes on neoliberal ideology and the cyberworld of contemporary capitalism. The book also delivers a withering critique not only of their basic anti-humanism but also the anti-humanism of the academic left, still too much in the shadow of postmodernism, which Mason charges with helping to open the road toward the present state of affairs.

By Paul Mason,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clear Bright Future as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Thrilling, brilliant, radical ... an admirable defence of humans against machines' Guardian

A passionate defence of humanity and a work of radical optimism from the international bestselling author of Postcapitalism

How do we preserve what makes us human in an age of uncertainty? Are we now just consumers shaped by market forces? A sequence of DNA? A collection of base instincts? Or will we soon be supplanted by algorithms and A.I. anyway?

In Clear Bright Future, Paul Mason calls for a radical, impassioned defence of the human being, our universal rights and freedoms and our power to change the world…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in colonies, France, and Africa?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about colonies, France, and Africa.

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