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Quick Reads for Quarantine

We know that whether our readers are currently sheltering in place at home or still spending their days at their workplaces—from grocery stores to hospitals to construction sites—to perform essential jobs, this is a time of intense anxiety and, often, few free hours. We've put together this list of our favorite quick reads, all under 200 pages, perfect for those with little free time but plenty of interest in radical ideas.
 

Bestselling author Rebecca Solnit reminds us that activism has changed the world in remarkable ways.

An extremely accessible (and funny!) introduction to socialism.

"If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free." —Combahee River Collective Statement

Activist, teacher, author and icon of the Black Power movement Angela Davis talks Ferguson, Palestine, and prison abolition.

In this rich dialogue on surveillance, empire, and power, Arundhati Roy and John Cusack describe meeting NSA whistleblower Ed Snowden in Moscow.

In the rubble of Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans and ultrarich “Puertopians” are locked in a pitched struggle over how to remake the island. In this vital and startling investigation, bestselling author and activist Naomi Klein uncovers how the forces of shock politics and disaster capitalism seek to undermine the nation's radical, resilient vision for a “just recovery.”

In this collection of essays from 1969 to 2013, many in book form for the first time, Noam Chomsky examines the nature of state power, from the ideologies driving the Cold War to the War on Terror, and reintroduces the moral and legal questions that all too often go unheeded.

A selection of Howard Zinn’s most popular and accessible essays on history and politics.

An engaging collection of riveting stories about working people in United States history fighting back in the darkest times.

At a time when fascism was a new and little-understood phenomenon, German Marxist Clara Zetkin’s work proposed a sweeping plan for the unification of all victims of capitalism in an ideological and political campaign against the fascist danger.

A newly updated and expanded primer for 21st-century democratic socialists from acclaimed scholars Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, with Stephen Maher.

Demand the Impossible is a manifesto for movement-makers and an invitation to join hands and make history together.

In a wide-ranging conversation, filmmaker Oliver Stone and writer Tariq Ali discuss world history from the seventh century to today.

Writer and actor Wallace Shawn's probing, honest, and self-critical take on civilization and its discontents.

The Game is Not a Game is an insightful, unapologetic exposé of the intersection of sports, culture, and politics from veteran journalist Robert Scoop Jackson.

Susan Buck-Morss highlights new forms of international solidarity and revolutionary subjectivity that can break the impasse of neoliberal capitalism and reactionary nationalism.

The Violent American Century addresses the U.S.-led transformations in war conduct and strategizing that followed 1945—beginning with brutal localized hostilities, proxy wars, and the nuclear terror of the Cold War, and ending with the asymmetrical conflicts of the present day.

Part Field Notes from a Catastrophe, part 1984, part World War Z, John Feffer's striking new dystopian novel takes us deep into the battered, shattered world of 2050. 

Capitalism is killing the planet, and the preservation of a natural environment favorable to human life requires a radical alternative. In this new collection of essays, long time revolutionary and environmental activist Michael Löwy offers a vision of ecosocialist transformation.

A beautiful photographic exploration of the revolutionary movements in Africa in the '60s and 70's.

The Changing Face of Empire is a devastating anatomy of the U.S. military’s new six-point program for twenty-first-century war.

A remarkable collection of essays illuminating Rosa Luxemburg's tremendous contributions to revolutionary struggle and enduring relevance.

A political portrait focused on Guevara’s thought and political record aimed at dispelling many of the myths about the revolutionary.

Long after its outbreak, the revolution remains the defining moment in Mexico’s modern history. Yet the debate over its legacy continues to this day. In a comprehensible style, aimed at students and general readers, The Mexican Revolution recounts the revolution’s main events, sorts through its internal conflicts, and asks whether or not its leaders achieved their goals.

Erudite, incisive, and innovative, the essays provide an insightful examination of key themes in Middle East and Marxist scholarship.

Once of central importance to left historians and activists alike, recently the concept of the “bourgeois revolution” has come in for sustained criticism from both marxists and conservatives. In this abridged edition of his magisterial How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? Neil Davidson expertly distills his theoretical and historical insights about the nature of revolutions, making them available for general readers.

Marx’s groundbreaking analysis of capitalism retains its relevance today. This book guides readers as they grapple with Marx’s masterpiece, Capital.

A captivating account of the central role women played in the Russian Revolution.

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