On Being Human (Erich Fromm)

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On Being Human

“Social psychologist Erich Fromm observed the spread of alienation in the 1960s, arguing that humans who were once dynamic, creative beings were reduced to fixating on TV screens, emotionally paralyzed by anxieties over threats like nuclear war. Though we may stare at different devices and worry about other dangers today, his insights are as useful as ever, and allow us to gain perspective on the human condition.

A collection of his writings on ‘New Humanism’ and the need to reclaim our happiness and peace of mind, this is a thoughtful, fascinating overview of the past that shaped us, and the philosophies and practices that can ensure a better future, both for ourselves and for the world at large. Continue reading…

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis (J.D. Vance)

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. Continue reading…

Doing It: Women Tell the Truth About Great Sex (Karen Pickering)

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Doing It: Women Tell the Truth About Great Sex

“Women love sex. So why do we have such a difficult time accepting them as sexual creatures? For a society that loves to project sex onto women, we’re not so keen on their free sexual expression. Doing It brings together some incredible female writers to reflect on why that might be, how they feel about sex, and why they love it. Women don’t get to talk about this, or hear it, enough. Edited by renowned feminist Karen Pickering, Doing It celebrates women taking control of their sexual lives, with some brilliant writing on intimacy, physicality, gender and power. Continue reading…

Highlights from The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

The Communist Manifesto

The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. 

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. 

Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. 

The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. 

[Free trade:] In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. 

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe.

Continue reading…

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) (Sam Atkinson)

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The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

The Sociology Book takes on some of humankind’s biggest questions: What is society? What makes it tick? Why do we interact in the way that we do with our friends, coworkers, and rivals?
The Sociology Book profiles the world’s most renowned sociologists and more than 100 of their biggest ideas, including issues of equality, diversity, identity, and human rights; the effects of globalization; the role of institutions; and the rise of urban living in modern society

Easy to navigate and chock-full of key concepts, profiles of major sociological thinkers, and conversation starters galore, this is a must-have, in-a-nutshell guide to some of the most fascinating questions on earth. Continue reading…

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (Gustave Le Bon)

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The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (French: Psychologie des Foules; literally: Psychology of Crowds) is a book authored by Gustave Le Bon that was first published in 1895.

In the book, Le Bon claims that there are several characteristics of crowd psychology: ‘impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgement of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of sentiments, and others…’ Le Bon claimed that ‘an individual immersed for some length of time in a crowd soon finds himself—either in consequence of magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant—in a special state, which much resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer.’”

Wikipedia. Continue reading…

Authority (Richard Sennett)

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Authority

“This book is a study of both how we experience authority and how we might experience it differently. Sennett explores the bonds that rebellion against authority paradoxically establishes, showing how this paradox has been in the making since the French Revolution and how today it expresses itself in offices, in factories, and in government as well as in the family. Drawing on examples from psychology, sociology, and literature, he eloquently projects how we might reinvigorate the role of authority according to good and rational ideals. Continue reading…

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need (Naomi Klein)

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need

“A road map to resistance in the Trump era from internationally acclaimed activist and bestselling author Naomi Klein.

‘This book is a toolkit to help understand how we arrived at this surreal political moment, how to keep it from getting a lot worse, and how, if we keep our heads, we can flip the script and seize the opportunity to make things a whole lot better in a time of urgent need. Continue reading…

Get Anyone to Do Anything (David J. Lieberman)

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Get Anyone to Do Anything

“Are you tired of being manipulated and taken advantage of? Do you sometimes feel you’re not being listened to and don’t get the respect and cooperation that you deserve? If you’ve ever wanted the ability to take control of every conversation and situation, now you’ve got it! Why go through life letting others lead you, when you can use the greatest psychological secrets to make things go your way… get anyone to do anything… and never feel powerless again! Continue reading…

The Behavior of Crowds (Everett Dean Martin)

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The Behavior of Crowds

“Since the publication of Le Bons book, The Crowd, little has been added to our knowledge of the mechanisms of crowd-behavior. As a practical problem, the habit of crowd-making is daily becoming a more serious menace to civilization. Events are making it more and more clear that, pressing as are certain economic questions, the forces which threaten society are really psychological.

Interest in the economic struggle has to a large extent diverted attention from the significance of the problems of social psychology. Continue reading…