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)

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained): Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

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)

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

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)

Authority: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

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)

Get Anyone to Do Anything: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

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)

The Behavior of Crowds: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

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…

No Contest: The Case Against Competition (Alfie Kohn)

No Contest: The Case Against Competition: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

No Contest: The Case Against Competition

No Contest stands as the definitive critique of competition. Contrary to accepted wisdom, competition is not basic to human nature; it poisons our relationships and holds us back from doing our best. In this new edition, Alfie Kohn argues that the race to win turns all of us into losers.”

New Books Playground says: No Contest: The Case Against Competition is one of the most important books we know, because we have this vague idea that competition was normal or that we’d need to compete—but, no. Continue reading…

Wonder (R.J. Palacio)

Wonder: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Wonder

“’I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. Continue reading…

Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t (Jeffrey Pfeffer)

Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t

“Some people have it, and others don’t—Jeffrey Pfeffer explores why in Power. One of the greatest minds in management theory and author or co-author of thirteen books, including the seminal business school text Managing With Power, Pfeffer shows readers how to succeed and wield power in the real world.”

New Books Playground says: Power: Why Some People Have It—and Others Don’t is an excellent book about power, how power works, how we can increase our power, &c.—and we liked that we could take quite a few tangible things away from it. Continue reading…