Daily Kos Reading List

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This is a recommended reading list of the books that Daily Kos readers believe are important for development of progressive political awareness, regardless of the fame of the author. The chart can be sorted by clicking on the square symbol at the head of any column that contains such a symbol. The page to which each book links should eventually contain a more complete description and discussion about the book (on the discussion tab).

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The diary What are you reading? A liberal reading list, contains an extensive list taken from the comments from an earlier diary, Ideas for a liberal reading list? and organized in alphabetical order. The descriptions were omitted from the alphabetized list.

See the discussion page at Talk:Daily Kos Reading List for further suggestions about contributing to this list. The books in this list are for adults. See also Daily Kos Reading List for Children.


Title Copyright (initial) Author(s) Tag(s) (in alphabetical order; use existing tags where possible) Description
Why We're Liberals [year] Alterman, Eric [tags] [desc]
Canon, The [year] Angier, Natalie [tags] [desc]
Jihad vs McWorld [year] Barber, Benjamin [tags] [desc]
Conservative Nanny State, The [year] Baker, Dean [tags] [desc]
Slavery by Another Name [year] Blackmon, Douglas [tags] [desc]
Trilogy on Martin Luther King [year] Branch, Taylor [tags] [desc]
War is a Racket [year] Butler, Smedley [tags] [desc]
Minnie the Moocher and Me [year] Calloway, Cab [tags] [desc]
Power Broker, The [year] Caro, Robert [tags] [desc]
What We've Lost [year] Carter, Graydon [tags] [desc]
We're Right, They're Wrong [year] Carville, James [tags] [desc]
Punishment of Virtue, The [year] Chayes, Sarah [tags] [desc]
Manufacturing Consent, etc. [year] Chomsky, Noam [tags] [desc]
Against All Enemies [year] Clarke, Richard [tags] [desc]
Occupation, The [year] Cockburn, Patrick [tags] [desc]
Ghost Wars [year] Coll, Steven [tags] [desc]
Beach Music [year] Conroy, Pat [tags] [desc]
River Out of Eden [year] Dawkins, Richard [tags] [desc]
Blind Watchmaker, The [year] Dawkins, Richard [tags] [desc]
Ancestor's Tale, The [year] Dawkins, Richard [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Dennett, Daniel [tags] [desc]
Guns, Germs and Steel [year] Diamond, Jared [tags] [desc]
Collapse [year] Diamond, Jared [tags] [desc]
Travels in Hyperreality [year] Eco, Umberto [tags] [desc]
Chalice and the Blade, The [year] Eisler, Riane [tags] [desc]
Founding Fathers [year] Ellis, Joseph [tags] [desc]
Federalist Papers [year] Madison, James [tags] [desc]
One Market Under God [year] Frank, Thomas [tags] [desc]
What's the Matter with Kansas? [year] Frank, Thomas [tags] [desc]
Great War and Modern Memory, The [year] Fussell, Paul [tags] [desc]
Affluent Society, The [year] Galbraith, Kenneth [tags] [desc]
Pattern Recognition [year] Gibson, William [tags] [desc]
Spook Country [year] Gibson, William [tags] [desc]
Team of Rivals [year] Goodwin, Kearns [tags] [desc]
Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream [year] Goodwin, Kearns [tags] [desc]
No Ordinary Time [year] Goodwin, Kearns [tags] [desc]
Assault on Reason, The 2008 Gore, Jr., Al persuasion, politics Argues that the marketplace of reasoned debate our country was founded on is being endangered by a variety of allied forces
Who Will Tell the People? [year] Greider, William [tags] [desc]
Secrets of the Temple [year] Greider, William [tags] [desc]
One World Ready Or Not [year] Greider, William [tags] [desc]
How Would a Patriot Act? [year] Greenwald, Glenn [tags] [desc]
Black Like Me 1960 Griffin, John Howard race Nonfiction account of a white man from Texas passing as a black man in the racially segregated states of the 1950's. This book can help everyone to understand the concept of privilege, and the invisibility of privilege.
Threshold: The Crisis of Western Culture [year] Hartmann, Thom [tags] [desc]
Dune [year] Herbert, Frank [tags] [desc]
Thomas Paine's Rights of Man: A Biography [year] Hitchens, Christopher [tags] [desc]
Paranoid Style in American Politics, The [year] Hofstadter, Richard [tags] [desc]
Anti-Intellectualism in American Life [year] Hofstadter, Richard [tags] [desc]
Essential Works of Socialism [year] Howe, Irving (ed.) [tags] [desc]
Freethinkers [year] Jacoby, Susan [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Jefferson, Thomas [tags] [desc]
Sorrows of Empire, The [year] Johnson, Chalmers [tags] [desc]
Perfectly Legal [year] Johnston, Cay [tags] [desc]
In Search of Progressive America [year] Kazin, Michael (ed.) [tags] [desc]
How to Pay for the War [year] Keynes, Maynard [tags] [desc]
Mountains Beyond Mountains [year] Kidder, Tracy [tags] [desc]
Letter from a Birmingham Jail [year] Jr., King, [tags] [desc]
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle [year] Kingsolver, Barbara [tags] [desc]
No Logo [year] Klein, Naomi [tags] [desc]
Shock Doctrine, The 1960 Klein, Naomi economics Description of how crises have been used as opportunities to implement right-wing, totalitarian policies around the world.
Great Unravelling, The [year] Krugman, Paul [tags] [desc]
Conscience of a Liberal [year] Krugman, Paul [tags] [desc]
Long Emergency, The [year] Kunstler, Howard [tags] [desc]
Don't Think of an Elephant! 2004 Lakoff, George persuasion, politics Written by a linguist, this book describes how moral thought and metaphor can be understood and used to become more politically persuasive. Lakoff's ideas were enormously influential in Howard Dean's campaign and tenure as DNC chairman. Full title: "Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate--The Essential Guide for Progressives"
Whose Freedom? [year] Lakoff, George [tags] [desc]
Moral Politics [year] Lakoff, George [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Lessig, Larry [tags] [desc]
To Be a Slave [year] Lester, Julius [tags] [desc]
Liar's Poker [year] Lewis, Michael [tags] [desc]
It Can't Happen Here [year] Lewis, Sinclair [tags] [desc]
Maybe You Never Cry Again [year] Mac, Bernie [tags] [desc]
Brotherhood in Rhythm [year] Mac, Bernie [tags] [desc]
Principles of Population, The [year] Malthus, Thomas [tags] [desc]
Truman [year] McCullough, David [tags] [desc]
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack 1989 McIntosh, Peggy race An essay describing white privilege, and introducing the metaphor of the invisible backpack for white privilege. This essay can help everyone to understand the concept of privilege, and the invisibility of privilege. It is available online through a Google search.
They Thought They Were Free [year] Meyer, Milton [tags] [desc]
Power Elite, The [year] Mills, Wright [tags] [desc]
Republican War On Science, The [year] Mooney, Chris [tags] [desc]
Three Cups of Tea [year] Mortenson, Greg [tags] [desc]
Blue Dixie [year] Moser, Bob [tags] [desc]
Crashing the Gate 2006 Moulitsas Zúniga, Markos politics A call to re-democratize politics in America. Full title: "Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics"
Taking on the System 2008 Moulitsas Zúniga, Markos politics Argues that activists can use new digital technologies to bypass the old-world gatekeepers to communicate to the masses in order to bring about political change. Full title: "Taking on the System: Rules for Radical Change in a Digital Era"
Audacity of Hope, The [year] Obama, Barack [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Paine, Thomas [tags] [desc]
Nixonland [year] Perlstein, Rick [tags] [desc]
American Theocracy [year] Phillips, Kevin [tags] [desc]
Real Food [year] Planck, Nina [tags] [desc]
Omnivore's Dilemma [year] Pollan, Michael [tags] [desc]
Being America [year] Purdy, Jedidiah [tags] [desc]
Open Society and Its Enemies, The [year] Popper, Karl [tags] [desc]
Descent into Chaos [year] Rashid, Ahmad [tags] [desc]
Theory of Justice, A [year] Rawls, John [tags] [desc]
Lenin's Tomb [year] Remnick, David [tags] [desc]
How the Other Half Lives [year] Riis, Jacob [tags] [desc]
Conservatism in America [year] Rossiter, Clinton [tags] [desc]
Plot Against America, The [year] Roth, Philip [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Russell, Bertrand [tags] [desc]
Voltaire's Bastards [year] Saul, Rosten [tags] [desc]
Fast Food Nation [year] Schlosser, Eric [tags] [desc]
Beyond Fear [year] Schneier, Bruce [tags] [desc]
Uprising, The 2007 Sirota, David sociology Description of changes implying a forthcoming wide-ranging insurrection. Full title: "The Uprising: An Unauthorized Tour of the Populist Revolt Scaring Wall Street and Washington"
various works [year] Stiglitz, Joseph [tags] [desc]
Way of the World, The [year] Suskind, Ron [tags] [desc]
American Dreams [year] Terkel, Studs [tags] [desc]
Working [year] Terkel, Studs [tags] [desc]
On Civil Disobedience [year] Thoreau, David [tags] [desc]
Bastard Keynesianism [year] Turgeon, Lynn [tags] [desc]
various works [year] Vidal, Gore [tags] [desc]
Man without a Country [year] Vonnegut, Kurt [tags] [desc]
Galápagos [year] Vonnegut, Kurt [tags] [desc]
Peacemaking Among Primates [year] Waal, de [tags] [desc]
Political Brain, The 2007 Westen, Drew persuasion This book describes the emotional basis of political thought. It teaches how to craft political messages that resonate with the listener. Full title: "The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation"
Nixon Agonistes [year] Wills, Gary [tags] [desc]
Lincoln at Gettysburg [year] Wills, Gary [tags] [desc]
White Like Me [year] Wise, Tim [tags] [desc]
Bonfire of the Vanities [year] Wolfe, Tom [tags] [desc]
Radicalism of the American Revolution, The [year] Wood, Gordon [tags] [desc]
Looming Tower, The [year] Wright, Lawrence [tags] [desc]
Native Son [year] Wright, Richard [tags] [desc]
Black Boy [year] Wright, Richard [tags] [desc]
People's History of the United States, A 1980 Zinn, Howard history This is a history book written from the perspective of the people rather than the elites. It is on this list because liberals need to understand our own history from that viewpoint. Full title: "A People's History of the United States:1492-Present"
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