The most recommended grassroots books

Who picked these books? Meet our 4 experts.

4 authors created a book list connected to grassroots, and here are their favorite grassroots books.
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Book cover of They Didn't See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties

Melissa Estes Blair Author Of Revolutionizing Expectations: Women's Organizations, Feminism, and American Politics, 1965-1980

From my list on U.S. grassroots feminism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved history since I was a girl, visiting my grandparents in Virginia and reading American Girl books. I began to focus on women’s history when I learned in college just how much the women’s movement of the generation before mine had made my life possible. So much changed for American women in the ten years before I was born, and I wanted to know how that happened and how it fit into the broader political changes. That connection, between women making change and the bigger political scene, remains the core of my research. I have a B.A. in history and English from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia.

Melissa's book list on U.S. grassroots feminism

Melissa Estes Blair Why did Melissa love this book?

Levenstein’s subtitle says it all: we generally don’t think there was a ‘90s feminism. Her book pairs especially well with the others on this list, because it demonstrates how women of color took the lead in an intersectional feminism that focused on a huge range of issues at the end of the 20th century. It’s also a great read about the role of the early internet in 1990s feminist organizing. If you think social media was the first time computer technology shaped grassroots activism, her chapter on technology alone will blow your mind.

By Lisa Levenstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked They Didn't See Us Coming as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On January 21, 2017, massive demonstrations in Washington DC and sister marches held in over 600 American cities drew crowds of over four million people. Popularly called 'The Women's March,' it became the largest single-day protest in American history. The feminism that shaped the consciousness of millions in 2017 had distinct roots in the 1990s.

In They Didn't See Us Coming, historian Lisa Levenstein argues we have missed much of the past quarter century of the women's movement because the conventional wisdom is that the '90s was the moment when the movement splintered into competing factions. But by showcasing voices…


Book cover of The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life

Shelly Marshall Author Of Escaping Myself: Lee B's Biography, a true story of sobriety and his best tall tales

From my list on turning sobriety into a super power.

Why am I passionate about this?

Most drunks struggle to accept that they have a disease called “alcoholism” and feel shame, intertwined with fear, having to admit it. I, on the other hand, embraced it. Being alcoholic meant I wasn’t “crazy” after all like Grandma. At 21, I embraced the disease along with 12 Step recovery, thanking my lucky stars that there was something I could do about my chaotic hippied lifestyle. “Don’t pick up the first fix, pill, or drink and you can’t get drunk.” Could the solution be so simple? It is. From the moment I set down the drink and drugs, I knew I had to share this amazing revelation with others and my writing career began.

Shelly's book list on turning sobriety into a super power

Shelly Marshall Why did Shelly love this book?

I found this to be a classic grassroots approach to spirituality and a very practical approach to life as well as recovery.

Early AAers used this as one of their texts. In the 12 Step based recovery programs, members recommend that you find a Power greater than yourself to rely on. Emmet’s book is inspired by the wisdom of the ages and led me to a simple, strong concept of a Higher Power that has become my Sobriety Super Power.

It reveals the reasons why living by principle, guided by my Super Power, keeps me from picking up that first fix, pill, or drink. I have never looked back.

By Emmet Fox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Sermon on the Mount as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Book cover of Groundswell: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America

Melissa Estes Blair Author Of Revolutionizing Expectations: Women's Organizations, Feminism, and American Politics, 1965-1980

From my list on U.S. grassroots feminism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved history since I was a girl, visiting my grandparents in Virginia and reading American Girl books. I began to focus on women’s history when I learned in college just how much the women’s movement of the generation before mine had made my life possible. So much changed for American women in the ten years before I was born, and I wanted to know how that happened and how it fit into the broader political changes. That connection, between women making change and the bigger political scene, remains the core of my research. I have a B.A. in history and English from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia.

Melissa's book list on U.S. grassroots feminism

Melissa Estes Blair Why did Melissa love this book?

By looking at three local NOW chapters around the country, Gilmore shows that the leading organization of 1960s feminism wasn’t nearly as centralized as people think. Memphis NOW, for example, was a radical feminist group simply by being a feminist group in the South. San Francisco NOW, by contrast, made coalitions with many more radical groups as they worked together to make change. A great read and an important insight into how NOW actually worked as an organization.

By Stephanie Gilmore,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Groundswell: Grassroots Feminist Activism in Postwar America offers an essential perspective on the post-1960 movement for women's equality and liberation. Tracing the histories of feminist activism, through the National Organization of Women (NOW) chapters in three different locations: Memphis, Tennessee, Columbus, Ohio, and San Francisco, California, Gilmore explores how feminist identity, strategies, and goals were shaped by geographic location.

Departing from the usual conversation about the national icons and events of second wave feminism, this book concentrates on local histories, and asks the questions that must be answered on the micro level: Who joined? Who did not? What did they…


Book cover of Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change

Emily Andrews Author Of Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change

From my list on adaptation to climate change.

Why am I passionate about this?

For the publication of our book, Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change, I have worked closely with activists and academics from around the world, hearing more about the work they do and the unique and individual ways they have made adaptations within their communities. This experience has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of climate adaptation as a topic, both in a scientific and a cultural sense, thus meaning I have been more readily able to recognise the qualities of a great adaptation book!

Emily's book list on adaptation to climate change

Emily Andrews Why did Emily love this book?

This book provides a perfect balance between presenting realism and providing hope for the future. It is a mixture of personal accounts from individuals and communities who have had to face the harsh realities of climate change, as well as accounts from those who have found ways to alter their livelihoods in order to adapt. 

By Emily Andrews, Morgan Phillips, Renuka Thakore , Andrew Suggitt

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Where is the world really heading, and what can we do about it?
This book takes an unflinching look at climate change, drawing upon the latest data to analyse what the next decades hold in store. With atmospheric CO2 at unprecedented levels and insufficient action being taken to prevent a rise in temperatures above 2 degrees centigrade, we are not just looking at significant disruption but the possibility of societal collapse. For the first time ever, the magnitude of this challenge is faced head on, with avenues to truly address it presented.
Case studies and models from 16 authors around…