The best books about society 📚

Browse the best books on society as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make Or Break You

Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make Or Break You

By Colin Christopher, Chris Simon

Why this book?

Our future is determined by us, and our actions are determined by our thought processes. In other words, the future of human society can be influenced by manipulating group thought. Colin applies years of training and experience as a hypnotist to give us a view of how the human brain functions and how it can be manipulated.

He views it as two computing systems. A subconscious mind performing 40 million tasks/second deals only in the present, ignoring abstract things like “yesterday,” “don’t,” etc. The second conscious mind uses 40 tasks/second to control and program the first. It doesn’t exist in…

From the list:

The best books to influence human society

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Book cover of Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

By Malcolm Gladwell

Why this book?

How well do we know someone? Malcom Gladwell asks readers to explore biases in a way that begins to question the personal interactions we have each day. Using examples based on prejudice, assumption, fear, false trust, and preconceived notion, the book exposes the nature of human connection and an internal battle we face when interacting with or judging others. Our unconscious actions are built from survival instinct and previous experiences that become exposed when we meet someone new or cannot reconcile someone’s actions with whom we thought they were. This inability to understand others impacts how we navigate our lives…

From the list:

The best personal development books to master our intentions

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Book cover of The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

The Human Swarm: How Our Societies Arise, Thrive, and Fall

By Mark W. Moffett

Why this book?

Moffett is a leading specialist on social insects, and the core of his penetrating insight is that we ought to clearly distinguish between collective behavior and social behavior. Our ability to see that one stranger belongs to our society, while another stranger does not, is utterly crucial, and Moffett speaks with authority when he claims that humans are the only animals where different societies merge over time. In particular, he correctly notes that time and time again there has been a fusion between human societies under the heel of a conquering force. By carefully considering our bee-like nature, as well…

From the list:

The best books on grand, unifying ideas about how the world works

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Book cover of Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who Really Decides How We Feed Our Babies?

Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who Really Decides How We Feed Our Babies?

By Amy Brown

Why this book?

Amy nails the many aspects of today’s UK society that make breastfeeding so difficult for mothers and their babies. She looks at the myriad subtle – and not-so-subtle – ways in which breastfeeding is discussed and presented, so that it comes across as something laudable in theory but unrealistic and undesirable in practice: great if you can do it, but keep it to yourself and don’t frighten the horses. She also explores the many, seemingly unrelated, notions we have about how babies should be cared for, such as where and for how long they should sleep, which are quite simply…
From the list:

The best books about western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding

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Book cover of Rocco

Rocco

By Sherryl Jordan

Why this book?

I loved this book when it came out in 1990 and I still love it. Rocco has disturbing dreams of being in a primitive, cave-dwelling society then shockingly the dreams become reality. He must learn to live with the people who struggle to survive in a harsh landscape. He learns to hunt with primitive weapons just as he must learn how to live with the people he’s found himself amongst. But why has he ended up here? There’s something amiss with this life and the wise woman seems to hold the key but she won’t tell him. When he finds…

From the list:

The best books with young people trapped by draconian rules

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Book cover of Natural History of Infectious Disease

Natural History of Infectious Disease

By Macfarlane Burnet, David O. White

Why this book?

This provides the reader with the background to understand what happens when a pathogen invades both an individual and a society. It’s an absolutely brilliant book by a Nobel laureate scientist, one of my all-time favorites on any subject.

From the list:

The best books on disease and society

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