The History Is A Weapon Recommended Reading

Disclaimer: History Is A Weapon makes no claim that these writers endorse us. Nor do we necessarily agree with everyone on this list. However, all of them are worth your time.

The Beginning

The Autobiography
Of Malcolm X

by Assata Shakur

The Twentieth Century
by Howard Zinn

The Angela Y. Davis Reader
edited by Joy James
The Larger Pool

Parecon: Life After Capitalism by Michael Albert
(a proposal for an alternative economic model)

The Trajectory Of Change: Activist Strategies for Social Transformation By Michael Albert

Cultural Hegemony in the United States by Lee Artz and Bren Ortega Murphy
(Breaks down the complex concept of Hegemony)

Living For Change by Grace Lee Boggs
(Thought-provoking and inspiring autobiography)

The No-Nonsense Guide to World History by Chris Brazier
(World history in less than 40,000 words)

Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
(Buy this and put it in your bathroom. Best advice ever.)

Cages Of Steel: The Politics of Imprisonment In The United States by Ward Churchill

The Black Panthers Speak by Philip S. Foner

Detroit, I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin
(Brief history of recent radical black worker organizations in Michigan. Very inspiring.)

Full Spectrum Disorder: The Military in the New American Century by Stan Goff
(Like a guide for understanding the military for the peace movement)

The Movement Toward A New America : The Beginnings Of A Long Revolution by Mitchell Goodman
(Out of print. Great 60s reader)

Policing a Class Society: The Experience of American Cities, 1865-1915
by Sidney Harring

A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey

Blood in My Eye by George L. Jackson

Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968 by George Katsiaficas

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Fiction)

Twice the Work of Free Labor: The Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South
by Alex Lichtenstein

Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
by James W. Loewen

Our Word Is Our Weapon: Selected Writings
by Subcommandante Marcos

God's Bits of Wood
by Sembene Ousmane (fiction about African labor struggle and feminism)

Post-Conservative America
by Kevin Phillips
(Nixon's strategist shares his insightful analysis)

Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis
by Christian Parenti (Required reading.)

The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America from Slavery to the War on Terror
by Christian Parenti

Democracy For the Few by Michael Parenti

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business
by Neil Postman
(Television, technology, and the effect on political discussion)

Groundings with My Brothers
by Walter Rodney

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
by Walter Rodney
(The premiere history of Africa)

Walter Rodney Speaks
by Walter Rodney

The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class by David R. Roediger

SDS by Kirkpatrick Sale

Introduction to Marx and Engels: A Critical Reconstruction by Richard Schmitt
(The best introduction)

Jarhead : A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford

Rivington Street by Meredith Tax

Union Square by Meredith Tax
(fiction. Sequel to Rivington Street)

The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World by Immanuel Wallerstein

Capitalism and Slavery by Eric Williams

Our Enemies in Blue by Kristian Williams
(A great history of the police)

Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams

Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements by Malcolm X
(or any other collection of his talks)

Declarations Of Independence by Howard Zinn
(tackles popular American myths)

The People's History Of The United States By Howard Zinn

And, between the books, check out these documentaries:
Hearts And Minds
Roger And Me
Life And Debt
Harlan County, U.S.A
Before Stonewall
Actually, because we love documentaries so much, we made a whole website for great political documentaries. Here's that list.

Not all great films are documentaries:
The Grapes of Wrath
Salt of the Earth
Sorry to Bother You
The Wind That Shakes the Barley

And, of course, when you need something to listen to while you do the dishes:
Joan Baez
Billy Bragg
Black Star
The Clash
Sam Cooke
The Coup
Dead Prez (especially Let's Get Free!)
Ani Difranco
Bob Dylan (especially his earlier stuff)
Michael Franti & Spearhead
From Monuments To Masses
Woody Guthrie
Immortal Technique
The Isley Brothers
The Kinks (especially Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire))
Fela Kuti
Lauryn Hill
Le Tigre
Lyrics Born
Manu Chao
Bob Marley
Mos Def (especially Black On Both Sides)
Mr. Lif (especially I Phantom)
Phil Ochs
The O'Jays
Gary Og
The Perceptionists
Public Enemy
Reflection Eternal
Gil Scott-Heron
Michelle Shocked
Seanchai & The Unity Squad
Nina Simone
Sweatshop Union
Talib Kweli

And, um, magazines?
Clamor (R.I.P.)
Small Axe

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