Share You Say You Want a Revolution: 13 Books Sure to Inspire You

You Say You Want a Revolution: 13 Books Sure to Inspire You

Allison Tyler thinks a good book and a cup of tea help cure what ails you. If you're looking for her, she's probably painting in the woods.

This year, the United States has seen an impressive amount of civic engagement from longtime political organizers and first-time marchers alike. As we navigate the great political divides of our nation today, it’s important to remember that each and every one of us can make a difference and that great causes—big and small—are worth standing up for. No matter what motivates you to rise, let these 13 books about resistance and revolutions throughout history support and inspire you as you forge ahead.

by David McCullough

In his book 1776, David McCullough illustrates the “OG” (aka “original gangster”) of American uprisings, led by General George Washington himself—the stirring story of our nation’s birth. This is an intensely human tale of the Americans in the ranks and the momentous 12 months of revolution in which they fought for independence.

More from David McCullough.

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle
by Angela Y. Davis
Acclaimed activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis examines the kinship of state violence and oppression throughout history in this collection of thought-provoking essays, interviews, and speeches.

When We Rise
by Cleve Jones
It’s almost hard to believe that Cleve Jones, cofounder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and creator of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history, once felt like the only gay person in the world. With strength, pride, and fierce determination, he shares his story of rising to become a leader in the fight for human rights and liberation that still exists today.

The Omnivore's Dilemma
by Michael Pollan
Bringing attention to the then little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world.

Carry Me Home
by Diane McWhorter
Diane McWhorter’s Pulitzer Prize–winning and painstakingly researched opus of the civil rights battle in Birmingham, Alabama, is as critically relevant as ever. Called “gripping,” “brutal,” and “indispensable,” CARRY ME HOME is a must-read.

My Life on the Road
by Gloria Steinem
“Statistically speaking, home is a more dangerous place for a woman than on the road,” writes Gloria Steinem in her moving, funny, and profound memoir. Steinem shares how surprising encounters on the road shaped both her own personal growth and the revolutionary movement for women’s equality.

They Marched Into Sunlight
by David Maraniss

Pulitzer Prize–winning author David Maraniss tells the epic story of Vietnam and the 1960s through the events of a few gripping, passionate days in October 1967, including the student riot at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, when protesters tried to stop Dow Chemical, the maker of napalm, from recruiting on campus.

Read the full review of THEY MARCHED INTO SUNLIGHT here.

Long Walk to Freedom
by Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela began writing this autobiography during his 27-year imprisonment for resistance against the National Party’s apartheid policies. His lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression won him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993; and in 1994 he became the first freely elected president of South Africa.

Our Revolution
by Bernie Sanders
For the millions of Americans looking for political revolution, former US presidential candidate and senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders outlines a progressive and transforming economic, environmental, racial, and social justice agenda.

Farm Sanctuary
by Gene Baur
Gene Baur founded Farm Sanctuary, an organization that rescues discarded living animals from stockyards, slaughterhouses, and factory farms. Here he provides a thought-provoking investigation of the ethical questions involved in the production of beef, poultry, pork, milk, and eggs, and what each of us can do to help revolutionize the meat and dairy industries by stopping the mistreatment of farm animals and promoting compassion.

Outlaw Woman
by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
OUTLAW WOMAN tackles the complex issues of patriarchy, capitalism, imperialism, and racism. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s compelling, no-holds-barred account of her journey through radical and tireless activism in the 1960s and ’70s across the United States, Cuba, and South Africa is essential reading for anyone interested in social justice in its myriad forms.

Blood in the Water
by Heather Ann Thompson
In September 1971, a group of prisoners took over Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest brutal mistreatment. The Pulitzer Prize–winning book BLOOD IN THE WATER gives voice to their struggle while meticulously detailing the riots, their cause, their aftermath, and their legacy.

The Good Girls Revolt
by Lynn Povich

Employment ads of the 1960s specified if applicants should be male or female, and although the 1964 Civil Rights Act made gender discrimination illegal, changes in the law didn’t solve everything. THE GOOD GIRLS REVOLT tells the story of the first female class action lawsuit in which a group of women sued their bosses at Newsweek for gender discrimination and, eventually, won. It was also the basis for the smart, and unfortunately short-lived, Amazon series.

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