100 books like Whigs and Hunters

By E.P. Thompson,

Here are 100 books that Whigs and Hunters fans have personally recommended if you like Whigs and Hunters. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of A Tale of Two Cities

Carl J. Griffin Author Of The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, C. 1750-C. 1840

From my list on explaining the politics behind hunger.

Who am I?

I’m driven to understand the lives and mentalities of poor workers at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a subject on which a great has been written but I’ve always been surprised that, in a British context, the subject of hunger has been largely ignored. The great joy of being a historical scholar is that freedom to follow your nose in the archive, to trust your instinct, and to uncover untold stories of the forgotten. Their experiences of hunger might relate to a now seemingly distant world, but such hunger histories are also amazingly prescient in our new age of food banks and famines. 

Carl's book list on explaining the politics behind hunger

Carl J. Griffin Why did Carl love this book?

"Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat." In these few short words Charles Dickens artfully summed up the experience – and landscapes – of abject urban poverty. Set in Paris and London during the period of the first French Revolution, it is perhaps more convoluted and less effective in terms of characterization than his best novels, but it pulls no punches. Although it’s a historical novel, and a romance at that, it’s as close as we can get to feeling what it must have been like to be hungry at that moment in which our modern world – and its social problems – was made.

By Charles Dickens,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Tale of Two Cities as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sydney Carton is a lawyer who has wasted his abilities and his life. Now he has to make a difficult choice about what is really important to him, which could be a matter of life or death. The French Revolution is running its violent course; lives are ruined as a new France is created. How did the gentle Doctor Manette and his daughter Lucie become caught up in France's struggles? What is the real identity of the handsome Charles Darnay, who wins Lucie's hand in marriage? And why does the shadow of La Bastille Prison hang over them all? The…


Book cover of Annals of the Labouring Poor: Social Change and Agrarian England, 1660–1900

Carl J. Griffin Author Of The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, C. 1750-C. 1840

From my list on explaining the politics behind hunger.

Who am I?

I’m driven to understand the lives and mentalities of poor workers at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a subject on which a great has been written but I’ve always been surprised that, in a British context, the subject of hunger has been largely ignored. The great joy of being a historical scholar is that freedom to follow your nose in the archive, to trust your instinct, and to uncover untold stories of the forgotten. Their experiences of hunger might relate to a now seemingly distant world, but such hunger histories are also amazingly prescient in our new age of food banks and famines. 

Carl's book list on explaining the politics behind hunger

Carl J. Griffin Why did Carl love this book?

Masterful. Keith Snell is arguably the finest ever historian of the modern British countryside and this, his first book, has done more than any other to stimulate research. What’s the link to hunger? Annals examines the uneven contours of poverty and its relief, detailing the experience of poverty as well as its causes and conditions. It might be almost 40 years old, but it remains without unparallel in bringing together an understanding of law, social policy, and the cultures of everyday life. Without it my book couldn’t have been written.     

By K. D. M. Snell,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This collection of inter-connected essays is concerned with the impact of social and economic change upon the rural labouring poor and artisans in England, and combines a sensitive understanding of their social priorities with innovative quantitative analysis. It is based on an impressive range of sources, and its particular significance arises from the pioneering use made of a largely neglected archival source - settlement records - to address questions of central importance in English social and economic history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Levels of employment, wage rates, poor relief, the sexual division of labour, the social consequences of…


Book cover of Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation

Carl J. Griffin Author Of The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, C. 1750-C. 1840

From my list on explaining the politics behind hunger.

Who am I?

I’m driven to understand the lives and mentalities of poor workers at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a subject on which a great has been written but I’ve always been surprised that, in a British context, the subject of hunger has been largely ignored. The great joy of being a historical scholar is that freedom to follow your nose in the archive, to trust your instinct, and to uncover untold stories of the forgotten. Their experiences of hunger might relate to a now seemingly distant world, but such hunger histories are also amazingly prescient in our new age of food banks and famines. 

Carl's book list on explaining the politics behind hunger

Carl J. Griffin Why did Carl love this book?

The hard fact of the matter is that in the modern world no one needs be hungry, let alone die from starvation. But the idea that famine is not a result of ‘total food-availability decline’ but instead was a function of ‘entitlements’ is Sen’s – and is one of the most profound and important theories of the past hundred years. The theory is a complex one but can be boiled down to the idea that hunger – and then famine – are the product of political choices in the distribution of goods. It is impossible, meaningless even, to write of hunger without first thinking of Sen’s extraordinary book.  

By Amartya Sen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The main focus of this book is on the causation of starvation in general and of famines in particular. The author develops the alternative method of analysis-the 'entitlement approach'-concentrating on ownership and exchange, not on food supply. The book also provides a general analysis of the characterization and measurement of poverty. Various approaches used in economics, sociology, and political theory are critically examined. The predominance of distributional
issues, including distribution between different occupation groups, links up the problem of conceptualizing poverty with that of analyzing starvation.


Book cover of Women and the Great Hunger

Carl J. Griffin Author Of The Politics of Hunger: Protest, Poverty and Policy in England, C. 1750-C. 1840

From my list on explaining the politics behind hunger.

Who am I?

I’m driven to understand the lives and mentalities of poor workers at the time of the Industrial Revolution. It’s a subject on which a great has been written but I’ve always been surprised that, in a British context, the subject of hunger has been largely ignored. The great joy of being a historical scholar is that freedom to follow your nose in the archive, to trust your instinct, and to uncover untold stories of the forgotten. Their experiences of hunger might relate to a now seemingly distant world, but such hunger histories are also amazingly prescient in our new age of food banks and famines. 

Carl's book list on explaining the politics behind hunger

Carl J. Griffin Why did Carl love this book?

Throughout history – and into the present – hunger is always profoundly gendered, women being disproportionately impacted upon than men. The point has been remarkably little studied so it’s a good thing that the most prolific writer on the Great Famine of Ireland, Christine Kinealy alongside two other fine famine scholars, have finally addressed this. The book is a series of essays exploring the roles that women (and children) played during the famine. Timely and powerful and a useful reminder that when it comes to writing the history of hunger we’ve only just started.

By Christine Kinealy (editor), Jason King (editor), Ciaran Reilly (editor)

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Even considering recent advances in the development of women's studies as a discipline, women remain underrepresented in the history and historiography of the Great Hunger. The various roles played by women, including as landowners, relief-givers, philanthropists, proselytizers and providers for the family, have received little attention.This publication examines the diverse and still largely unexplored role of women during the Great Hunger, shedding light on how women experienced and shaped the tragedy that unfolded in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. In addition to more traditional sources, the contributors also draw on folklore and popular culture.Women and the Great Hunger brings together…


Book cover of In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo

Alex Finley Author Of Victor in the Rubble

From my list on adventures in Africa.

Who am I?

I have traveled throughout Africa and had the great opportunity to live in West Africa for two years, while I was working for the CIA. That experience was wild and challenging, but also transforming. West Africa became the setting for my first novel, Victor in the Rubble, because I loved the absurdity and adventure I experienced there, where nothing is logical but everything makes sense. I have read a number of novels that take place in different parts of Africa, as well as a wide array of nonfiction books about various African countries, their history, and their leaders. There are so many great stories there that pique my interest and inspire me.

Alex's book list on adventures in Africa

Alex Finley Why did Alex love this book?

This is one of the books that sparked my interest in the cult of personality that dictators cultivate in order to secure their own power.

It helped inspire a number of essays I later wrote about dictators and informed some of the characters in my own books. In fact, Mobutu is one of the most interesting dictators to me because he chose as his mistress his wife’s identical twin.

Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up!

By Michela Wrong,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Known as "the Leopard," the president of Zaire for thirty-two years, Mobutu Sese Seko, showed all the cunning of his namesake -- seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country's copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad's crazed station manager.

Michela Wrong, a correspondent who witnessed Mobutu's last days, traces the rise and fall of the idealistic young journalist who became the stereotype of an African despot. Engrossing, highly…


Book cover of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

Julie Salamon Author Of An Innocent Bystander: The Killing of Leon Klinghoffer

From my list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Who am I?

I have spent my working life as a journalist, author and storyteller, aiming to uncover complexity that sheds new light on stories we think we know. I got my training at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times—and from the wonderful editors of my twelve books. An Innocent Bystander, my book that deals with the Middle East, began as the story of a hijacking and a murder of an American citizen. But as my research widened, I came to see this story couldn’t be told without understanding many perspectives, including the Israeli and the Palestinian, nor could the political be disentangled from the personal.

Julie's book list on the Israeli Palestinian Conflict

Julie Salamon Why did Julie love this book?

My Promised Land is beautifully written, a story deeply informed by the author’s family history and the body of knowledge he built as an influential Israeli journalist.

Shavit loves the place of his birth but doesn’t retreat from hard questions. He tells a powerful, poignant story of a state-created out of tragedy and the brutal reality of what Jewish statehood has wrought for yet another disinherited group.

There are no easy answers, and Shavit offers none. But he presents the complexities and frustrations with intellectual rigor and literary grace.

By Ari Shavit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Promised Land as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award

An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today
 
Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal…


Book cover of Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam

Alice K. Boatwright Author Of Collateral Damage

From my list on the Vietnam War and what it all meant.

Who am I?

Alice K. Boatwright has lived in the US, England, France, and India – and her career as a writer about public health, education, and the arts has taken her around the world. She began writing short stories when she was young and holds an MFA in Writing Fiction from Columbia University. Her award-winning book about the Vietnam War era, Collateral Damage, was inspired by her own experiences during the war years in the US and the time she spent working on a project in Vietnam in 1993 and 1997. She is also the author of a short story chapbook, Sea, Sky, Islands; numerous stories published in journals, such as Calyx, Mississippi Review Online, America West, Penumbra, Stone Canoe, and Amarillo Bay; and the popular Ellie Kent mysteries, based on her experiences as an ex-pat living in an English village.

Alice's book list on the Vietnam War and what it all meant

Alice K. Boatwright Why did Alice love this book?

I loved this book because Fitzgerald is a journalist, not a historian, so her writing is vivid, fluent, and readable. This is so much more than a history of the war. She plunges into the complex story of Vietnam’s history and culture, setting the stage for America’s unfortunate involvement and the subsequent tragic events.
Fitzgerald first went to Vietnam in 1966, and, when this book came out in 1972, it was the first history of Vietnam written by an American. The New York Times called it “A compassionate and penetrating account of the collision of two societies that remain untranslatable to one another.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Book Award, it was a bestseller.

By Frances FitzGerald,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Frances FitzGerald's landmark history of Vietnam and the Vietnam War, "a compassionate and penetrating account of the collision of two societies that remain untranslatable to one another." (New York Times Book Review)

This magisterial work, based on Frances FitzGerald's many years of research and travels, takes us inside the history of Vietnam -- the traditional, ancestor-worshiping villages, the conflicts between Communists and anti-Communists, Catholics and Buddhists, generals and monks, the disruption created by French colonialism, and America's ill-fated intervention -- and reveals the country as seen through Vietnamese eyes. 

Originally published in 1972, Fire in the Lake was the first…


Book cover of The Human Rights Dictatorship: Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany

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

From my list on Cold War history published recently.

Who am I?

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?

Ned Richardson-Little explores the mostly forgotten history of the human rights discourse in a Communist dictatorship. Believe it or not, East Germany tried to pose as a promoter of human rights in international and domestic affairs. It spent much effort and many resources on constructing an alternative to Western-dominated human rights debates. Even if Communist Germany disappeared in 1989/90, its warped human rights discourse beforehand had exerted a major influence on dissidents and their increasing opposition to the authoritarian police state in which they were living.

By Ned Richardson-Little,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Richardson-Little exposes the forgotten history of human rights in the German Democratic Republic, placing the history of the Cold War, Eastern European dissidents and the revolutions of 1989 in a new light. By demonstrating how even a communist dictatorship could imagine itself to be a champion of human rights, this book challenges popular narratives on the fall of the Berlin Wall and illustrates how notions of human rights evolved in the Cold War as they were re-imagined in East Germany by both dissidents and state officials. Ultimately, the fight for human rights in East Germany was part of a global…


Book cover of MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed Bin Salman

Simon Henderson Author Of After King Fahd: Succession in Saudi Arabia

From my list on understanding modern Saudi Arabia.

Who am I?

British by birth, American by naturalization, Simon Henderson started in journalism as a trainee at the BBC before becoming its correspondent in Pakistan. Joining the Financial Times a year later, he was promptly sent to Iran to cover the 1979 Islamic revolution and went back again for the U.S. embassy hostage crisis. He now analyzes the Gulf states, energy, and the nuclear programs of Iran and Pakistan as the Baker fellow and director of the Bernstein Program on Gulf and Energy Policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Simon's book list on understanding modern Saudi Arabia

Simon Henderson Why did Simon love this book?

The assiduous New York Times reporter digs deeply into the persona of the Saudi crown prince, and is rewarded with many anecdotes. Unsurprisingly, most are anonymous. A revealing one is: “One foreign official recalled that the prince’s leg never stopped bouncing during their meeting, making him wonder if the prince was nervous or on some sort of stimulant.”

By Ben Hubbard,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Financial Times Book Best Book of the Year 2020

A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year 2020

The gripping, untold story of how Saudi Arabia's secretive and mercurial new ruler rose to power.

Even in his youth as a prince among thousands of princes, Mohammed bin Salman nurtured sweeping ambitions. He wanted power - enough of it to reshape his hyper-conservative, insular Islamic kingdom.

When his elderly father took the throne in 2015, MBS got his chance. As the hands-on-ruler, he made seismic changes, working doggedly to overhaul the kingdom's economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes and…


Book cover of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Michael Barone Author Of Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders

From my list on the struggles of the early America republic.

Who am I?

My friend Lou Cannon, the great reporter and Reagan biographer, once told me, “if you want to really learn about a subject, write a book about it.” As a political journalist and author of several books about current and past politics,  wanted to learn more about the Founding Fathers, and as a map buff I tried to understand how they understood a continent most of which was not accurately mapped and how they envisioned the geographic limits and reach of a new republic more extensive in size than most nations in Europe. The book is my attempt to share what I learned with readers, and to invite them to read more about these extraordinary leaders.

Michael's book list on the struggles of the early America republic

Michael Barone Why did Michael love this book?

Gordon Wood is one of the giants of a generation of historians of the Revolution and the early Republic.

This book covers the 1790s and the years of the nineteenth century up through the War of 1812. Both Federalists and Jeffersonians faced the task of navigating the young republic through the turbulent waters of a world war between revolutionary France, America’s Revolutionary War ally, and mercantile Britain, its chief trading partner, that lasted with only short intervals between 1793 and 1815.

Wood leans somewhat to the Jeffersonians, who were more in line (in his view and, as I was reading him, mine) with most Americans who became less deferential and hierarchical during and immediately after the Revolution.

By Gordon S. Wood,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of the USA. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, two New York Times bestsellers, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. Now, in the newest volume in the series, one of America's most esteemed historians, Gordon S. Wood, offers a brilliant account of the early American Republic, ranging from 1789 and the beginning of the national government to the
end of the War of 1812.
As Wood reveals, the period was marked by tumultuous change in all aspects of American life-in politics, society,…


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