Leftist Reading Recommendations

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Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine

John Perkins – The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman

David Harvey – A Brief History of Neoliberalism

David Harvey – Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism

Joseph Stiglitz – Globalization and its Discontents Revisited

Steve Keen – Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?

Sylvia Federici – Caliban and the Witch

John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney – The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China

Marx – Capital v1-3

Anwar Shaikh – Capitalism: Competition, Conflict, Crises

Karl Polanyi – The Great Transformation

Michel Foucault – The Birth of Biopolitics

Frantz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth

Glen Coulthard – Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition

Bram Buscher, Wolfram Dressler, and Robert Fletcher – Nature Inc.: Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age

Jessica Dempsey – Enterprising Nature: Economics, Markets, and Finance in Global Biodiversity Politics

Tania Li – The Will to Improve


Samb1600 says:

cmon its all bookchin & graeber all day everyday

Rn H says:

I’m very new to this but all I know is that I am a democratic socialist. I’m honestly afraid of reading literature that ends up diving too deep into communism or way out of my league of thinking. Is there any way to be careful of this (not necessarily avoid) and be aware of what I’m reading?

Lazy Litch says:

I wonder if a discord server for people who follow your videos and other left youtubers would be productive ?

Brenden Kirch says:

I was just pointed to your channel the other day, really loving it! I’ve only been getting more into Leftist/Socialist theory the last few years, so it’s great to come across someone who has studied it more in depth and can make it more understandable for a beginner like myself.

Mike Palecek says:

The May Issue of PENN MAGAZINE is now available online

The Evil Empire


Also here, for all issues of Penn:
pennmagazine.us Also at archive.org

Penn Magazine is named in honor of Penn Jones Jr., one of the first honest researchers into the John Kennedy murder by the U.S. deep state, which was the opening big event, leading to the murders of Martin King and Robert Kennedy, Oklahoma City, 9/11, Sandy Hook, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, etc.

Thank you.

Mike Palecek, editor
Chuck Gregory, publisher

*Please forward this note to others if you are in the mood.

Jemando Ondame says:

I think when it comes to critisism of neoclassical economics Steven Keens book “Debunking Economics” is much better. I also recommend Philip Pilkingtons “The Reformation in Economics”, “The Rhetoric of Economics” by McCloskey and.. here comes the greatest suggestion of all of them..Hans Christoph Binswanger. This is an insider. “The Frenchman is not only the chief economist of the IMF, the most important of all the international institutions dedicated to macroeconomics. Blanchard is also the author of the standard textbook on economics worldwide. When Blanchard attacks the ruling paradigm, it wobbles.” and “He claims that neoclassics was invented as a radical departure from classical economics in order to suppress Marx’s analyzes, which were largely based on classical economics.” (This view incidentaly is held by many other heterodox and especially classical economists like Krishna Bharadwaj (In her R C Dutt Lecture, which was later published as a book in 1986, she makes it clear that the emergence of demand and supply theories were primarily a reaction against Ricardo and Marx.) Pierro Sraffa and so on. Binswanger calls for a comprehensive modernization of the “neo-classical equilibrium model”, which is still based on a traditional farming economy of the 19th century as the basis of modern economics. He himself made a counter model to neoclassics and to me it looks similar to neo marxian economists.

Ugh.. I have so much to say on this topic but no one is going to read anyways.. I remember when I was in an organisation having lectures critising neoclassics. I also recommend Marcel Hänggi.. I woud mention many many more but I do not think the effort is worth it. If anyone here wants to discuss the with me just comment something I can send you a message to.

Teerth Aloke says:

I would recommend ‘Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism’ and the ‘Enigma of Capital’.

gespilk says:

I did not know you have a majestic ‘Pinocchio nose’.

Sarah Weaver says:

Have you read America The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges? I’m considering checking that one out.

Kamerad Kircheis says:

Bad Samaritans by Ho-Joon Chnag also does a great job at debunking neo-liberalism and it being good for developing countries.

Drew Sparks says:

If you are interested in history, “A nation without borders” is an excellent book on America’s imperialistic history.

Jason Knott says:

I’m late to the game (just discovered your channel, and I love it), but I would recommend/like your thoughts on Democracy in Chains by Nancy Maclean and SM Amadae Prisoners of Reason. These books go together as a good explanation of neoliberalism both in terms of history and their philosophical underpinnings. Also, the collection of essays “Fabian Essays in Socialism” is an oldie but goodie, one that has influenced me a lot. Thanks for the recommendations.

Abdifatah Aden says:

If you find something difficult to read opening up the dictionary whenever you need to is a huge investment in your reading future. Most authors don’t introduce new language every chapter so you will realistically only have to do this at the start of any book. This will be helpful when you pick up your next book.

In my experience the best way to make it easier to understand and learn anything is to read Plato’s dialogues and take your time with them. The first time I read the Phaedo I genuinely felt like my reading comprehension expanded.

Last point, people know that reading speed is a skill but they assume attention isn’t. If you read something extremely difficult to stomach and continue to do so for an extended period of time your brain will get better at concentrating, which is largely a function of your physiological ability to produce energy in the brain. When yo go back to your regular reading you’ll find that you’re much more adept. Henry James and Hegel are very useful for this.

LandslideBR says:

I remember some books who would be cool see you talking about. Some stuff from authors outside the mainstream of North America an Europe.

Frantz Fanon – The Wretched of the Earth
Kwame Nkrumah – Neo-Colonialism: Highest Stage of Imperialism
Kwame Nkrumah – Africa Must Unite
Walter Rodney – How Europe Underdeveloped Africa
Ngugi wa Thiong’o – Decolonising the Mind
Amilcar Cabral – Unity and Struggle
Spivak – Can the Subaltern Speak?

Just some stuff that came to my mind cause I make my research on African intellectual History. Keep up the good work!


what is it that you study?

JacktheRah says:

I’m missing “The conquest of bread” here. It easily has the same importance as “Das Kapital” from Marx.

mysterios being says:

Hi and welcome to head space

ThatGuyWithHippyHair says:

the great transformation is a solid rec! really helped me see that economic disenfranchisement is just one side of the coin of capitalism’s flaws – you have to also acknowledge the consequences for communal structures even in areas where capitalism appears to improve economic situations

Andy Benevides says:

Nature Inc., I’ll definitely have to read that one.
Could I also suggest Engels- Socialism: Utopian and Scientific. I like how he goes into the history of explaining socialism before it was known by it’s name.

Daniel Alveo says:

YouTube and their algorithm took me to this video. I am glad they did. I find your list fascinating.
I laughed when you showed that picture of Peterson and then said: ” I don’t want to go full PoMo on you” next to a picture of Foucault’s book.
Like you said Das Kapital put “everything together” for me too. It’s a formative book and I think everyone should read it. I am more interested though in a Marxist Critical Theory. Do you have any books that you can recommend?

Artur LL says:

On the 5th chapter of “Caliban and the Witch” by S. Federici: https://arturllp.blogspot.com/2018/05/on-5th-chapter-of-caliban-and-witch-by.html?spref=tw

J Street says:

Thank you for the suggestions. This is a really good free resource too: https://www.historyisaweapon.com/

Prkypine slicez says:

I found Mein Kampf to be delightful. and no, Nazis are not fascists, not even right winged.

Valeria Moro says:

This video is precious! And i love your channel!

john panos says:

nice list,. watch “money as debt ” on youtube.

Sub Roy says:

Fantastic list. As an addendum to people who have read the first three books on your list and are now prepared to understand deeper-but-not-inaccessible theory, I’ll link former Youtuber Rebel Absurdity’s absolutely brilliant leftist reading recommendation video and also list the books they suggested below: watch?v=KFp6xNzGKw4

The books:
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
Discourse on the Origin of Human Inequality by Rousseau
The Social Contract by Rousseau
The Elgar Companion to Post Keynesian Economics
The Elgar Companion to Marxist Economics
The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde

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