100 books like Waiting for Wild Beasts to Vote

By Ahmadou Kourouma,

Here are 100 books that Waiting for Wild Beasts to Vote fans have personally recommended if you like Waiting for Wild Beasts to Vote. 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 Wizard of the Crow

Mara Kardas-Nelson Author Of We Are Not Able to Live in the Sky: The Seductive Promise of Microfinance

From my list on understand our unequal world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write about inequality in international development, American communities, environmental movements, and workplaces. I’ve been doing this reporting for over a decade. I’ve also worked in global health, an experience that has given me a first-hand glimpse into the depths and texture of inequality we have manufactured in our current world, including within the organizations and movements that purportedly challenge such global inequality. As a reader, I’m equally passionate about immersive nonfiction and fiction. I’ll dive into anything that’s driven by a good story.

Mara's book list on understand our unequal world

Mara Kardas-Nelson Why did Mara love this book?

I should start by saying that Thiong'o has recently been accused, by his son, of beating his former wife, claims I take very seriously (and which has put my reading of Thiong'o’s female characters in a new light).

In this book, I found a sharp, cunning satire of despotic post-colonial governments working with and shaped by international funders and Western policymakers. Having worked in NGOs, I found Thiong'o’s characterization of “development” to be darkly funny and cringe-worthily accurate.

By Ngugi Wa Thiong'o,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Informed by traditional African storytelling, discover Ngugi wa Thiong'o's masterpiece.

To honour the Ruler's birthday, the Free Republic of Aburiria set out to build a tower; a modern wonder of the world that will reach the gates of Heaven. But behind this pillar of unity a battle for control of the Aburirian people rages. Among the contenders: the eponymous Wizard, an avatar of folklore and wisdom; the corrupt Christian Ministry; and the nefarious Global Bank.


Book cover of In Idi Amin's Shadow: Women, Gender, and Militarism in Uganda

Anaïs Angelo Author Of Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years

From my list on African presidents and their history.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a university student, I wanted to know how African presidencies function, not only how African presidents acquire and keep power, but also how they imagine it, how they anticipate political battles, who they trust, and who they fear. All too often, the literature focuses on colonial legacy and neo-colonization and describes African presidents with too little agency. As a doctoral researcher, I stumbled on a biography of Jomo Kenyatta and got caught by the intricacies of his political career. Since then, Kenyan political history has become my area of specialization, and while my background in political science keeps inspiring me, I have a passion for historical writing.

Anaïs' book list on African presidents and their history

Anaïs Angelo Why did Anaïs love this book?

Idi Amin Dada is one of the “best known” African dictators. So many books, documentaries, and films have depicted him as a bloody, megalomaniac leader on the verge of craziness. He was even portrayed by Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland. Alicia Decker shows a different story, starting by asking what if we take Idi Amin’s seriously? What if we explore the way he turned his (brutal) “hyper-masculinity” into a political resource? To me, this book was eye-opening, there are so many ways to write about African presidents, their politics, their ideas, and their resources. And of course, there are many ways to “gender” their histories and look for the women who stand in the president’s shadow.

By Alicia C. Decker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In Idi Amin's Shadow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A subtle, important, theoretically innovative, and elegantly written study that centralizes feminist thinking and shows why it matters." -Feminist Africa In Idi Amin's Shadow is a rich social history examining Ugandan women's complex and sometimes paradoxical relationship to Amin's military state. Based on more than one hundred interviews with women who survived the regime, as well as a wide range of primary sources, this book reveals how the violence of Amin's militarism resulted in both opportunities and challenges for women. Some assumed positions of political power or became successful entrepreneurs, while others endured sexual assault or experienced the trauma of…


Book cover of Black, French, and African

Anaïs Angelo Author Of Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years

From my list on African presidents and their history.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a university student, I wanted to know how African presidencies function, not only how African presidents acquire and keep power, but also how they imagine it, how they anticipate political battles, who they trust, and who they fear. All too often, the literature focuses on colonial legacy and neo-colonization and describes African presidents with too little agency. As a doctoral researcher, I stumbled on a biography of Jomo Kenyatta and got caught by the intricacies of his political career. Since then, Kenyan political history has become my area of specialization, and while my background in political science keeps inspiring me, I have a passion for historical writing.

Anaïs' book list on African presidents and their history

Anaïs Angelo Why did Anaïs love this book?

This book stands as a reference when it comes to the early life of Senegal’s first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, and it is one of the first biographies of an African president that I read. Beyond the extreme richness of this book, I have always been struck by how little the author wrote about Senghor’s political career as president (which remains quite controversial). For a long time, biographies of African presidents were grounded in an idea of greatness and exceptionality rather than unraveling political intricacies. 

Book cover of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio Short Histories of Africa)

Anaïs Angelo Author Of Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years

From my list on African presidents and their history.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a university student, I wanted to know how African presidencies function, not only how African presidents acquire and keep power, but also how they imagine it, how they anticipate political battles, who they trust, and who they fear. All too often, the literature focuses on colonial legacy and neo-colonization and describes African presidents with too little agency. As a doctoral researcher, I stumbled on a biography of Jomo Kenyatta and got caught by the intricacies of his political career. Since then, Kenyan political history has become my area of specialization, and while my background in political science keeps inspiring me, I have a passion for historical writing.

Anaïs' book list on African presidents and their history

Anaïs Angelo Why did Anaïs love this book?

When one hears “African president”, one tends to imagine a man in power. What about women in power? This is one of the rare biographies dedicated to an African female president, and one that is easily accessible to a broad readership. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first female president of independent Liberia, is a fascinating figure. She is a shrewd politician who understands the gendered dynamics of African politics, but also of the international economic scene (she worked for the World Bank and the United Nations before becoming president). Still too little is known about African women in or around the Office of the President. 

By Pamela Scully,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Ohio Short Histories of Africa) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this timely addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Pamela Scully takes us from the 1938 birth of Nobel Peace Prize winner and two-time Liberian president Ellen Johnson through the Ebola epidemic of 2014-15. Charting her childhood and adolescence, the book covers Sirleaf's relationship with her indigenous grandmother and urban parents, her early marriage, her years studying in the United States, and her career in international development and finance, where she developed her skill as a technocrat. The later chapters cover her years in and out of formal Liberian politics, her support for women's rights, and the…


Book cover of War, Presidents, and Public Opinion

Matthew A. Baum Author Of Soft News Goes to War: Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy in the New Media Age

From my list on public opinion and foreign policy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my career in Washington D.C., where my first job involved conducting strategy meetings with senior civilian and military policy officials regarding potential military conflicts around the world. At the time I was struck by the extent to which senior policymakers worried about whether they would be able to garner and sustain public support for U.S. overseas military operations. This concern often dominated our meetings. It ultimately set me on my course as a scholar, where much of my work has focused on trying to understand what average people think about the world, why they believe what they do, and whether and how their attitudes affect leaders’ decision-making in crisis situations.

Matthew's book list on public opinion and foreign policy

Matthew A. Baum Why did Matthew love this book?

Under what conditions will Americans support a president when he sends the nation to war? By looking at how the American public responded to the Korean and Vietnam wars in unprecedented breadth and depth, this is the question Mueller seeks to answer in arguably the most important book of the past half-century (or more) on American public opinion regarding war. This was one of the books that first got me interested in understanding why Americans respond the way they do to military conflicts, how presidential leadership, good and bad, can influence public support when American troops are in harm’s way.

By John E. Mueller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War, Presidents, and Public Opinion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Selected in 1995 as one of the "Fifty Books That Significantly Shaped Public Opinion Research, 1946-1995" by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Recipient in 2007 of the first Warren J. Mitofsky Award for Excellence in Public Opinion Research, presented by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research In War, Presidents and Public Opinion, some of the most deeply-held assumptions about what the American people think of their involvement in the Vietnamese war turn out to be unsupportable. For example, it is possible that the anti-war protest during Vietnam increased the popularity of the war (chapter 6), and the…


Book cover of Santa Anna of Mexico

Edward Shawcross Author Of The Last Emperor of Mexico: The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World

From my list on the astonishing history of Mexico.

Why am I passionate about this?

A French emperor, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III who dreamed of an empire in Latin America and invaded Mexico; an Austrian aristocrat, the Habsburg Ferdinand Maximilian, ruling Mexico as a monarchy; Benito Juárez, who was born into an impoverished Mexican village but later became president, defying and defeating these European emperors. These are the extraordinary characters and events that led me to fall in love with Mexico’s history, and write my book, The Last Emperor of Mexico.

Edward's book list on the astonishing history of Mexico

Edward Shawcross Why did Edward love this book?

Mexican history is full of abrupt reversals. The life of Santa Anna, many times president and dictator of Mexico, is a wonderful example. Infamous in the United States for the Battle of the Alamo, where he gave no quarter to the defenders fighting for Texan independence, the general was vilified in Mexico for the far more heinous crime of losing Texas, once Mexican territory.

Two years later, his political career over, he lost his leg repelling French marines who were trying to seize the port of Veracruz. Santa Anna was now the saviour of Mexico, returning to power in 1841 and, for good measure, having his amputated leg buried with full military honours. Soon, however, he was forced to limp from office while an angry mob exhumed the leg, dragging it round Mexico City to humiliate their former leader. Yet this was far from the last time he held power.…

By Will Fowler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Santa Anna of Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (1794-1876) is one of the most famous, and infamous, figures in Mexican history. Six times the country's president, he is consistently depicted as a traitor, a turncoat, and a tyrant-the exclusive cause of all of Mexico's misfortunes following the country's independence from Spain. He is also, as this biography makes clear, grossly misrepresented. Drawing on seventeen years of research into the politics of independent Mexico, Will Fowler provides a revised picture of Santa Anna's life, with new insights into his activities in his bailiwick of Veracruz and in his numerous military engagements. The Santa Anna…


Book cover of A Time to Heal: The Autobiography of Gerald R. Ford

Scott Kaufman Author Of Ambition, Pragmatism, and Party: A Political Biography of Gerald R. Ford

From my list on the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was 16 years old, my father, Burton Kaufman, who is also a historian, took me to the Jimmy Carter Library in Georgia to help him research a book on America's thirty-ninth president. Having had a love of history since the sixth grade, that trip deepened my desire to major in History in college and teach it as a profession. It also made me interested in learning more about the presidency, starting with Carter. Several years ago, I edited a series of essays on both the Ford and Carter presidencies, and realized there was need for an in-depth political biography of our thirty-eighth chief executive. The result was my book on Ford.

Scott's book list on the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford

Scott Kaufman Why did Scott love this book?

While any reader should be cautious with memoirs, what they tell you—or, conversely, omit—can offer great insight into what the writer believed and did. Researched and co-authored by Trevor Ambrister, A Time to Heal is at some points disjointed. However, its value is in Ford’s telling of his upbringing, his relationship with his wife, Betty, his ambitiousness to rise up the political ranks, the challenges he faced as president, and his failure to win the presidency in 1976. 

By Gerald R. Ford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Time to Heal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Brand new copy still shrink wrapped - sealed from Easton Press. Signed copy.


Book cover of The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas

Anya Jabour Author Of Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America

From my list on American women activists.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been drawn to biographies. Individual stories make the past personal. Biographies also transcend the usual boundaries of time and topic, illuminating multiple issues across an individual’s entire life course. I’m especially interested in feminist biography—not just biographies of feminists, but biographies that combine the personal and the political, showing how individuals’ personal experiences and intimate relationships shaped their professional choices and political careers. I also enjoy group biographies, especially when they weave multiple stories together to illuminate many facets of shared themes. Ideally, a great biography will introduce a reader to an interesting individual (or group of people) whose story illuminates important themes in their lifetime.

Anya's book list on American women activists

Anya Jabour Why did Anya love this book?

M. Carey Thomas is an excellent example of the generation of “new women”: a cohort of mostly well-to-do white women who pursued higher education and professional careers at the turn of the century. Thomas, thwarted in her ambitions by gender discrimination in the United States, traveled to Europe to pursue higher education and became one of the first American women to earn a Ph.D., in 1882. She subsequently became the president of a women’s college, Bryn Mawr College. Thomas also was a dedicated feminist, advocating for both women’s suffrage and an equal rights amendment. The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas exemplifies feminist biography by placing her career in the context of her personal life. Helen Horowitz highlights her long-term romantic relationship with philanthropist Mary Elizabeth Garrett, who used her fortune to promote Thomas’s career and to advance educational opportunities for women.

By Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Best known as the second president and primary architect of Bryn Mawr College, M. Carey Thomas was also a founder of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a leader in the women's suffrage movement, and the preeminent spokeswoman for education around the turn of the century. Brilliantly capturing all sides of the life and personality of this strong and influential woman, Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz details Thomas's accomplishments as an educator and feminist and her intimate relationships with women, as well as her manipulative and duplicitous side, her racism, and her anti-Semitism.


Book cover of Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times

Jerome Slater Author Of Mythologies Without End: The US, Israel, and the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1917-2020

From my list on why it took so long for Lincoln to end slavery.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a life-long admirer of Abe Lincoln, and never more so than today when American democracy is again under severe threat. Yet, like so many other admirers of Lincoln, I am puzzled why it took him so long to end slavery: it was not until January 1, 1963, nearly two years after he became president, that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed only those slaves within the Confederacy. Moreover, it wasn’t until the end of the Civil War that Lincoln was able to enforce emancipation in the South, and it wasn’t until the passage of the 13th Amendment at the end of 1865 that all slavery was ended.

Jerome's book list on why it took so long for Lincoln to end slavery

Jerome Slater Why did Jerome love this book?

I loved this book because it analyzed Lincoln’s life, thoughts, and character as they developed in 19th-century America. In this “cultural” biography, as it has been termed, an acclaimed historian focuses in particular on how Lincoln sought to reconcile his two major goals before and during his presidency: to preserve the Union and end slavery.

Though Lincoln hoped this could be done without a civil war, the obduracy of the southern states over the slavery issue made war unavoidable. Yet, the defeat of the Confederacy resulted in the realization of both of Lincoln’s goals.

By David S. Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now an Apple TV+ documentary, Lincoln's Dilemma, airing February 18, 2022.

One of the Wall Street Journal's Ten Best Books of the Year | A Washington Post Notable Book | A Christian Science Monitor and Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020

Winner of the Gilder Lehrman Abraham Lincoln Prize and the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Award

"A marvelous cultural biography that captures Lincoln in all his historical fullness. . . . using popular culture in this way, to fill out the context surrounding Lincoln, is what makes Mr. Reynolds's biography so different and so compelling . . . Where did…


Book cover of A Secret Life: The Lies and Scandals of President Grover Cleveland

Deborah Lincoln Author Of An Irish Wife

From my list on the glittering gilded age and its seamier side.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write historical fiction based on the lives of my ancestors: Agnes Canon’s War is the story of my twice-great grandparents during the Civil War. An Irish Wife is based on their son. I write about the Gilded Age, which is only now drawing the attention of historical novelists and the wider public: the vast wealth of industrialists contrasted to the poverty of the lower classes, scandalous politics, environmental degradation, fear of and prejudices about immigrants. My ancestors lived through those days; I want to imagine how that tumultuous society affected them, how they managed, what they lost and gained, and to memorialize those stories as a way to honor them.

Deborah's book list on the glittering gilded age and its seamier side

Deborah Lincoln Why did Deborah love this book?

Delicious fact that reads like fiction and tells a story of Gilded Age power politics. Presidential scandals? Nothing new here. The tale of the illegitimate son of the 22nd and 24th president and the boy’s defenseless mother perfectly illustrates the sexual upheavals of the era and the workings of a society steaming along in an effort to keep pace with the changes of the new industrial era.

By Charles Lachman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Secret Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The child was born on September 14, 1874, at the only hospital in Buffalo, New York, that offered maternity services for unwed mothers. It was a boy, and though he entered the world in a state of illegitimacy, a distinguished name was given to this newborn: Oscar Folsom Cleveland. The son of the future president of the United States-Grover Cleveland. The story of how the man who held the nation's highest office eventually came to take responsibility for his son is a thrilling one that reads like a sordid romance novel-including allegations of rape, physical violence, and prostitution. The stunning…


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