What Political Books Should College Students Read?

–Caller asks what to read in order to develop a better understanding of politics

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Broadcast on January 19, 2018


Dave Mills says:

Robert Reich has some good books. A recent book “Beyond Outrage” is a good start. But then a recent PDF book by Sarah Chayes on corruption is a must read for all human beings

These two books will help clear the clouds away to enable a student to properly understand other books

Josh Gannon-Salomon says:

Last Act of the Circus Animals, The Conquest of Bread

Marksmaniac5551 says:

It is increasingly obvious (at least via certain social media discussion) that there are irreconcilable differences between fullthroated Democratic Party loyalists and faithless Democratic Party voters on a litany of policy postions as well as the regard of elected officials. One side has a notion that the other should effectively “fall in-line” and “stop being naive purists”. The other believes that the party effectively acts like its “too big to fail” and that the party “needs to wholeheartedly represent the people and not be corrupt”. In the court of law, irreconcilable differences are grounds for a divorce and I believe that is what the current division within the party merits. IMHO I feel that an effective way to do this is to take advantage of the unpopularity of DJT and the likely, yet not permanent, overthrow of the GOP in state legislatures, governors’ mansions, Congress and the Oval Office between 2018 and 2020. Before power is likely obtained in these branches of government, a clear, executable plan needs to be agreed upon by all candidates and elected Dems in order to enact the divorce process.

This can be done via Comprehensive Election Reform. This will include but may not be limited to anti-gerrymandering laws, anti voter suppression laws, voter empowerment actions (expanding election day, no excuse absentee/early voting, same day registration, mandatory-ish voting), open/hybrid state run primaries, campaign finance reform (public finance of elections, “get money out of politics”) and electoral college review & reform. However most important to the divorce process, federal and state ranked choice voting need to be implemented. This will nullify the “spoiler effect” lamented by many of those against third-party voting. Furthermore, the Commission on Presidential Debates and other debate/town hall/forum regulating bodies must immediately allow at least Green Party and Libertarian Party candidates on the debate stage. Also, rules must be put into place that make getting onto the debate stage and ballot easier for all hard-working candidates.

In order to receive the immediate party unity that apparently held in such high esteem, it is strongly encouraged that all candidates and elected Dems agree to this Comprehensive Election Reform Pact. Failure to agree could result in consequences (for Dem party) similar to the elections between 2010 and 2016 on all levels of government. Since nothing in this reform is abhorrently objectionable in nature, it should behoove wholesale, fullthroated agreement. Once in power (respectively for each level of government), this Comprehensive Election Reform agenda must be signed into law and executed upon within the first 100 days in power for that branch of government.

Ęÿūį Æßñ says:

Twilight and the ABC book

Jason A says:

Conquest of Bread

Brainstormer623 says:

What Political Books Shouldn’t College Students Read?

1. The Art of the Deal

Truth Robot says:

Listen Liberal by Thomas Frank and any founding father biography worth a damn…

The Britanic says:

I sound so shitty in this vid

J.P. M. says:

Thomas Paine is a great place to start.

Laura Miner says:

Easy way to get started = look for BBC podcast series “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg on the authors mentioned here.

flora4 says:

I’ve been wondering awhile if Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’ is still worth reading?
And if its worth reading, should it be read; as an antiquated historical piece?; a relevant political piece?; or an aspirational political piece?

Richard Lionheart says:

Mein Kampf

dennis says:

Art of the Deal LOL

David Soll says:

“War is a Racket” by General Smedley Butler and “Communist Manifesto” by Marx

adamishaw says:

I just did the political compass test. Thanks David. https://www.politicalcompass.org/test and my results were…

Marak Lia says:

The last book I ever read was Al Franken’s “Lying Liars” about Bill O’Reilly and Fox News like 15 years ago..
Before that was Catcher in the Rye in 8th grade.
And I did read the handbook that came with my new dishwasher back in October.

Mr. Tapioca Balls in Bubble Tea says:

The Conquest of Bread

Eric Sarnoski says:

John Locke ; Hume ; Samuel Johnson; Guns, Germs & Steel,

TheScholar74 says:

John Stuart Mill and Thomas Paine are good places to start.

I Rate Your Comments says:

Hey kid, I don’t know what you’re looking for, but get some Ayn Rand and start there….

COEXISTential says:

George Lakoff ‘Moral Politics’
Bob Altemeyer ‘The Authoritarians’

Fergus Mallon says:

Hobbs is modern?

Joe Dirt says:

He should read The communist manifesto, God of the Machine, and Green Eggs and Ham

firespinnr says:

In the era and rule of Trump the best read for anyone is On Tyranny Twenty lessons from the twentieth century by Timothy Snyder.

Khalkara says:

None in my opinion.

elitemathlete says:

This blessed american heart by sarah and todd palin is pretty good. Not very partisan and a general feel good piece.

nelson phillips says:

John Stuart Mill, William James, Pragmatist Philosophy, Phenomenology, Clement Greenberg, Micheal Fried, Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Space and Deleuze& Guattari Thousand Plateaus, *Alfred North Whitehead Process and Reality* , Norbert Wiener Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

Your Friendly Satanist says:

The Revolt Of The Angels by Anatole France

amlite says:

to the caller with interests about socialism -start by watching this movie https://youtu.be/Lj8fP5wCy9g or here https://youtu.be/X_RSDqBn0bA it unequivocally shows what socialism inevitably leads to. you will be well ahead of most people.

Paul Berevoescu says:


AnarchoWildCat says:

Peter Kropotkin’s theory of mutual aid, read some Mikhail Bakunin, Max Stirner (Like Ayn Rand but actually good) , Marx, Chomsky and Murray Bookchin.

Seriously what is it with Americans and Ayn Rand?. The neo liberal policies that have spawned from her ideology are atrocious. Capitalism also is inherently crony. Use some common sense and actual rationality.

P Aul says:

im 53 and i have not read a book yet. reading is hard.


………………..” Monkey Wrench Gang” by Edward Abbey, and The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolf is Politically Inspiring…as are any books by Kurt Vonnegut

David Harding says:

Contemporary reading would include ‘Capital in the 21st Century’ by Thomas Piketty, ‘The Price of Inequality’ by Joseph Stiglitz, and ‘The Global Minotaur’ by Yanis Varoufakis. As much as I agree with David on reading enlightenment philosophy, ‘The Rights of Man’ by Thomas Paine and ‘On Liberty’ by J.S. Mill are essential, I think he’s wrong to suggest Ayn Rand, she was neither a philosopher nor an intellectual and there are other academics like Nietzsche and Hayek, that while as I disagree with at least they offer cognisant ideas which she lacked.


The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul ……

Sernobil83 says:

Have you even read Loki?

Shad Jones says:

Subscribe to American Affairs, the Nation and Skeptic

e w says:

College kids should read Vonnegut. It’s more of a politics of outlook and interpersonal politics. A good cynical yet compassionate perspective on humanity.

Ben Mangrum says:

I’m going to College in August

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