by Eleonor Botoman

In a time when facts are mistreated, hidden, or rejected, we need now, more than ever, to learn more about the world around us, from the socio-political structure of the country we live in to the lives of those who will be (and already have been) affected by the Trump administration's harmful policies. Since the election, many have been asking "how did we get here?" and I believe these answers lie in books. I made this reading list so we can all learn from each other, so we can educate ourselves on political issues and work to find the solutions. I made this reading list to help us, as a collective society, understand the institutional oppressions that saturate this country at every intersection of being through shared stories, poetry, and academic studies. I hope it helps those who feel scared and helpless during these troubling times find the tools they need to resist, organize, and uplift one another. Our differences should not divide us and I hope this reading list can help people see the world from other perspectives, learn new histories, and help move our country in a positive direction.

*This list will continue to be updated, email any suggestions to*

graphic by harleigh shaw

graphic by harleigh shaw

LGBTQIA+/AIDS Epidemic/Gender and Sexuality in America

“Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More” - Janet Mock

“Queering Sexual Violence” - Jennifer Patterson


Climate Change/Environmental Justice

“The Hidden Life of Trees” - Peter Wohlleben

“American Earth: Enviromental Writing Since Thoreau” - Bill McKibben

“Silent Spring” - Rachel Carson

“Doubt is Their Product: How Industry’s Assault On Science Threatens Your Health” - David Michaels

“Merchants of Doubt” - Naomi Oreskes

“The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” - Elizabeth Kolbert

“Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet” - Mark Lynas

“Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know” - Joseph Romm

“The Madhouse Effect:How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet” - Michael E. Mann

“The War On Science: Who’s Waging It Why It Matters” - Shawn Lawrence Otto

“The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One” - Sylvia Earle

“Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change” - Elizabeth Kolbert

“This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate” - Naomi Klein

“Extinction: A Radical History” - Ashley Dawson

“The Great Acceleration” - J.R. McNeill

“After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene” - Jedediah Purdy

“The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy” - Lester R. Brown

“Plan B 4.0” - Lester R. Brown

“The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Straegies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and a More Open World” - Andrew S. Winston

“The Ecopoetry Anthology” - Ann Fisher-Wirth

“The Republic of Nature” - Mark Fiege

Mass Incarceration/The War on Drugs

“Are Prisons Obsolete?” - Angela Davis

“Police, Power, and the Production of Racial Boundaries” - Ana Muniz

“Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex” - Eric A. Stanley


“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” - Michelle Alexander

“Between the World and Me” - Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God” - Kelly Brown Douglas

“America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America” - Jim Wallis

“Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement from the Civil War to World War II” - Douglas Blackmon

“Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and Racial Inequality in America” - Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

“Too Heavy a Load: Black Women in Defense of Themselves” - Deborah Gray White

“At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance” - Danielle L. McGuire

“[insert] Boy” - Danez Smith


Being Latinx In America

“Strangers Among Us: Latino Lives in a Changing America” - Roberto Suro

“Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of Race in America” - Gregory Rodriguez

“This Bridge Called My Back” - Cherrie Morag

Being Asian in America

“Strangers from a Different Shore: A History” - Ronald Takaki


“No One is Illegal: State Violence on The U.S.-Mexico Border” - Justin Chacon (also under Being Latinx In America)

“Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants” - David Bacon

“Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal” - Aviva Chomsky

“American Immigration: A Short Introduction” - David A. Gerber

“Coming to America: A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life” - Roger Daniels

“Diary of an Undocumented Immigrant” - Ramon T. Perez

“Undoing Border Imperialism” - Harsha Walia

#NoDAPL and Indigenous Struggles/American Colonialism

“Islands of Decolonial Love” - Leanne Simpson

“Queer Indigenous Studies” - Qwo-Li Driskill

“Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide” - Andrea Smith

“IRL” - Tommy Pico

“Two-Spirit People: Native American Gender Identity, Seuxality, and Spirituality” - Sue-Ellen Jacobs

“Sovereign Erotics” - Qwo-Li Driskill

“Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir” - Deborah Miranda

“Yakama Rising: Indigenous Cultural Revitalization, Activism, and Healing” - Michelle M. Jacob

“Boarding School Seasons” - Brenda J. Child

“Education for Extinction” - David Wallace Adams

“Kill the Indian, Save the Man: The Genocidal Residential Schools” - Ward Churchill

“An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” - Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

“All the Real Indians Died Off and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans” - Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

“Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future” - Melissa K. Nelson

“Braiding Sweetgrass” - Robin Wall Kimmerer

Being Muslim in America/Islamophobia

“Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire” - Deepa Kumar

The War on Terror

“A Rage for Order” - Robert F. Worth

“The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy” - Marc Lynch

“The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

“Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” - Joby Warrick

“America’s War for the Greater Middle East” - Andrew J. Bacevich

Reproductive Rights/Being A Cis-Female In America/Intersectional Feminism/Gender and Sexuality

“Women, Race, & Class” - Angela Davis (also under #BlackLivesMatter)

“The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America” - Ruth Rosen

“Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement” - Rosalyn Baxandall

“Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence”

“We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out” - Annie E. Clark

“Intersectionality” - Patricia Hill Collins

“Color of Violence” - Incite!

The U.S. Economy


“The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” - Edward E. Baptist

“Local Dollars, Local Sense” - Michael Shuman

 Gun Violence in America

“The Second Amendment: A Biography” - Michael Waldman

“Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms” - Adam Winkler

Poverty In America/America’s Class System

“Subterranean Fire: A History of Working-Class Radicalism in the United States” - Sharon Smith

“Class Lives” - Chuck Collins

“Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor” - Sudhir Venkatesh

America’s Political System

”The Democrats: A Critical History” - Lance Sefla

“How Did We Get Into This Mess?” - George Monbiot

“Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to The Party of The People?” - Thomas Frank

“The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism” - Andrew J. Bacevich

“Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority” - Steve Phillips

Understanding Political Systems: What is Socialism? What is Fascism? What is Authoritarianism?

“The Revolt of the Masses” - Jose Ortega y Gasset

“Escape from Freedom” - Erich Fromm

“Politics from A to Z” - Richard Ganis

Mass Surveillance/Cyber Warfare

“The Snowden Reader” - David Fidler

“No Place To Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, the U.S. Surveillance State” - Glenn Greenwald

“Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles To Collect Your Data and Control Your World” -  Bruce Schneier

“Future Crimes: Inside the Digital Underground and the Battle For Our Connected World” - Marc Goodman

The American Military

“How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon” - Rosa Brooks

“A Theory of The Drone” - Gregoire Chamayou

“Drone (Object Lessons)” - Adam Rothstein

“Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century” - P.W. Singer

“The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order” - Sean McFate

“Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” - Jeremy Scahill

“Dirty Wars: The World Is A Battlefield” - Jeremy Scahill

“The Assassination Complex: Inside The Government’s Secret Drone Program” - Jeremy Scahill

“Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power” - Rachel Maddow

“National Security and Double Government” - Michael J. Glennon

“Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War” - Andrew J. Bacevich

“The New America Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War” - Andrew J. Bacevich

“A Question of Torture” - Alfred McCoy

“Truth, Torture, and the American Way” - Jennifer K. Harbury

“The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America’s Wars” - John Tirman

The History of Whiteness in America/The Religious Right, Middle America, Coal Country

“The Possessive Investment in Whiteness” - George Lipsitz

“Working Toward Whiteness” - David Roediger

“How the Irish Became White” - Noel Ignatiev


“Splinterlands” - John Feffer

Protests in America/Struggles for Liberation/Organizing and Mobilizing

“Freedom is a Constant Struggle” - Angela Davis (also under #BlackLivesMatter and Palestine)

“101 Changemakers: Radicals and Rebels Who Changed U.S. History” - Michael Bollinger  

“Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America” - Ari Berman

“The Fight to Vote” - Michael Waldman

“The Next American Revolution” - Grace Lee Boggs

“The Revolution Will Not Be Funded” - INCITE!

“No More Heroes: Grassroots Challenges to the Savior Mentality” - Jordan Flaherty

“This is an Uprising” - Mark Engler  

“Undoing the Silence: Six Tools for Social Change Writing” - Louise Dunlap

Self-Care/Uplifting/Moving Forward

“Hope In The Dark” -  Rebecca Solnit

 (book currently discounted)