Are you satisfied with a current world and its political processes? No? Then, get some tips from the best books about revolution.
Against the System: List of Books About Revolution
Since the dawn of modern history, man has seen many revolutions in different countries. In recent years, we have witnessed the Arab Spring, the London disturbances, the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, the Bolotnaya Square in Moscow, and the Ukrainian Euromaidan. In that regard, we have composed the list of books on the political, creative, and hooligan confrontation against the system, which examine the phenomenon of protest from a sociological point of view.
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Abbie Hoffman, “Steal This Book”
Leftist, activist, and author of the bestseller “Revolution for the Hell of It” Abby Hoffman wrote a book that was scandalously illustrated by artist Robert Crumb. This hooligan duet have created an ironic guide to survival in America, which inspired a whole generation of rebels. Hoff man offers readers to break the generally accepted norms always and everywhere and gives specific pieces of advice: how to open a pirate radio station or grow marijuana. The author does not even mind his book to be stolen, on the contrary, he calls to deceive the state, which, in his words, has been already for a long time transformed into “an empire of pigs.”
Dorian Lynskey, “33 Revolutions per Minute”
Songs and poems are often associated with social movements and social changes. Some performers were censored and even attacked for their verbal courage. Others simply exploited the themes of the revolution to glorify their mediocre pop music. In the book “33 Revolutions per Minute: History of protest songs from Billy Holiday to Green Day,” British rock critic Dorian Lynskey tried to understand why some revolutionary songs caused goose-flesh in the listeners even decades after the release. Billy Holiday wrote the first anti-racist song Strange Fruit in 1939, in the 1970s John Lennon called for peace throughout the world in Give Peace a Chance, and now singers speak out about nuclear energy and corruption. The process of interpenetration of music and politics is the subject of Lynskey’s study.
Thomas Paine “Common Sense”
On January 10, 1776, the intellectual and radical Thomas Paine published a pamphlet called Common Sense. Although he did it anonymously, this opus immediately gained popularity, breaking sales and citation records. It also became the most important document of the American Revolution. The book caused a resonance not only because of the straightforwardness of the arguments but also because it was written simply and clearly, unlike the British texts, crammed with Latin terms and sophisticated sayings. Paine’s text is modeled as the sermon, and the author has linked the need for independence with Protestantismso successfully that it became the foundation of American ideology.
James M. Jasper, “The Art of Moral Protest”
Professor of Princeton University James Jasper in the text The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements presented his thoughts on the subjective side of the protest. Jasper explores how the social changes correlate with the life of an individual, what role a person plays in a social change, and why some people can lead the millions. Oddly enough, the personal aspect is often ignored in theories about a collective protest.
Justin Wintle, “Perfect Hostage”
Oppositional politician of Burma and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the most extraordinary figures of modern politics. Almost 15 years she was under house arrest for her political views and statements about illegitimate elections. Writer Justin Wintle dedicated her the book, permeated with admiration for her Oxford education and femininity, which contrasts with the images of a zealous revolutionary or “Iron Lady” exploited by the media.
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Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience”
Henry Thoreau was a poet, philosopher, abolitionist, and transcendentalist, in general, one of the most important thinkers of the XIX century. In his 1849 essay, he presented exciting examples of both individual protests and mass revolutions. This book inspired not one generation of nonconformists to fight the lawlessness of the authorities: the followers of Toro included Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
The writer himself was indignant over the existence of slavery, unfair wars, and other global problems. He expressed his thoughts on these iniquities at the lecture “The Rights and Obligations of the Individual in the Face of the State,” and then arranged them in the essay.