Evicted

Matthew Desmond

For months, Matthew Desmond lived in the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee, getting to know the locals and documenting their impossible struggles to find and keep a home.

The Essex Serpent

Sarah Perry

In this Victorian novel, Cora Seagrave’s abusive husband has died, leaving her and her son the best possible gifts: freedom and wealth.

Democracy in Chains

Nancy MacLean

Nancy MacLean unravels the main source of the right’s efforts to reimagine American democracy: the writing and thinking of political economist James Buchanan.

Critical Race Theory

Kimberlé Crenshaw, Neil Gotanda, Gary Peller & Kendall Thomas

This anthology gathers core writing on the subject of critical race theory—a movement that looks at how the law is complicit in the creation and maintenance of oppression along the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and class.

Twitter and Tear Gas

Zeynep Tufekci

Zeynep Tufekci’s book spans the Zapatista uprisings in Mexico, the Occupy movement, a Turkish coup, Arab Spring, fake news, and more—and provides the most lucid analysis of the ways digital networked media has both enabled social justice movements and been used to thwart them.

Too Much and Not the Mood

Durga Chew-Bose

It’s difficult to describe this collection of essays; I’m not convinced I should even refer to them as essays, exactly, as they often feel more like lyric than prose.

Parable of the Talents

Octavia E. Butler

This sequal to Parable of the Sower follows Lauren Olamina and her Earthseed community as it grows—and then is viciously assaulted.

Parable of the Sower

Octavia E. Butler

Lauren Olamina lives in a walled neighborhood in Southern California; it’s dangerous to venture beyond the walls, where there’s little work, less food, and no law.

The Sea and Summer

George Turner

Turner’s The Sea and Summer takes place in far future Australia, where the greenhouse effect has led to eternal summers and encroaching sea level.

Backing Hitler

Robert Gellately

Robert Gellately’s close history of the Nazi period focuses on one particular question: how much did ordinary Germans know about what was going on?

Citizen

Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine’s book-length lyric poem is adorned with an image of a torn black hood—a reference that could be any of the many black men and women who have been abused by the white state.

The Underground Railroad

Colson Whitehead

The most talked-about feature of Whitehead’s novel of the underground railroad is the railroad itself: reimagined as an actual railroad, with tunnels and tracks and steam engines and crazed conductors, it makes for stunning, cinematic imagery.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

It’s a refrain of late to say that this—Margaret Atwood’s most famous book, now thirty-one years old—is suddenly relevant again.

Sister Outsider

Audre Lorde

More than three decades after this collection was first published, it remains as critical, as relevant, as unremitting as ever.

Black Against Empire

Joshua Bloom & Waldo E. Martin, Jr.

A comprehensive, authoritative, and nuanced look at how the Black Panther Party was born, the nature of its methods and politics, and the many forces that caused it to unravel.

Davis has spent more than five decades fighting for Black liberation, women’s liberation, and prison abolition, and in this brief book she renews those calls in lucid and moral terms.

The Fire Next Time

James Baldwin

“If we…do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.”

White Rage

Carol Anderson

Anderson traces the repeated push and pull of black advancement and the white response that sought to defeat it, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow, mass incarceration, and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act.

Disrupting White Supremacy from Within

Jennifer Harvey, Karin A. Case & Robin Hawley Gorsline

Written and edited by a group of white Christian theologians, this book looks at how white supremacy is constructed and maintained, how the church is implicated in that system, and what individuals and communities can do to dismantle it.

Hope in the Dark

Rebecca Solnit

By arguing that hope is a prerequisite of success, Solnit makes the case that even when we are most inclined to despair, we have to choose to hope.