Here are your top books for 2021
Last week we asked you for your top books of 2021, and we got the ball rolling with a dozen or so great titles. What follows is 15 more books worth considering for your holiday reading. Our thanks to everyone who made submissions.
Banning the Bomb, Smashing the Patriarchy (2021) by Ray Acheson. An insider’s view of how an activist movement came together with governments to change the conversation around ‘strategic security’ and spawn the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This book tells the inspiring story of banning the Bomb and provides a relevant organizing model for transforming dreams into reality. Rob
Divided: Populism, Polarization and Power in the New Saskatchewan (2021) by JoAnn Jaffe, Patricia W. Elliott and Cora Sellers (Eds.). Casts a broad lens on the past 40 years of neoliberal economics in Saskatchewan. Relevant across the country and beyond for a glimpse into the tactics employed to divide the people of the province but also the resiliency of the vision for social solidarity. Bernadette
Border and Rule – Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism (2021) by Harsha Walia. Every once in a while there comes a book that makes you never see the world the same way again. Harsha Walia’s Border and Rule is such a book. Incisive and rigorously researched, Walia lays bare the border apparatus like no other: its bloody history based on colonial dispossession, Indigenous genocides, anti-Black enslavement, and its contemporary function of maintaining—with militarized enforcement of divisions—a racialized global system of subjugation and exploitation rife with criminal inequalities and ecological catastrophes. “Border and Rule”” is the most important reframing of borders and their enforcement apparatus that I have ever read. It demonstrates that the border is not a passive wall but an expansive omnipresent regime, and that there is no “”border crisis”” but a displacement crisis.” Feliks
The Brothers (2013) by Stephen Kinzer. This book is about the Dulles Brothers, John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles. Under Eisenhower, John Foster became Secretary of State And Allen became the head of CIA. This is a serious study of the exercise of American global power in the first decades of the Cold War. During this period the Dulles brother completely controlled US foreign policy through the overturning of governments of sovereign countries like Guatemala and the assassination of democratically elected leaders like Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of the Congo. I want to understand the scope and scale of US foreign policy and how it exercises global control over much of the world through the neoliberal corporate elite and the Military Industrial Complex. All roads of this global hegemony lead back to the Dulles brothers secretly planned and violent campaigns against sovereign nations. Understanding the US politically after the second world war up to present day, as regards to their imperial foreign policy is crucial to understanding their deceitful narrative of bringing democracy to the world and the myth of American Exceptionalism compared to the reality of their pursuit of global political, economic and military domination. This book was extremely well written as regards how the Dulles brothers laid the foundation for how US foreign policy became crucial in the US becoming the Imperial Empire it is today. Pamela
Less is More: How degrowth will save the world (2021) by Jason Hickel. About living with less when we quit destroying our earth. Amazingly, our lives will be better and happier.
Waging Peace (2014) by David Hartsough with Joyce Hollyday. Global adventures of a lifelong activist. I liked it because David throughout his life lived his faith convictions, inspired by Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The book demonstrates the power of non-violent peace actions. Ernie
The Saint and the Sultan (2009) by Paul Moses. The story of St Francis of Assisi and his journey to meet Sultan Malik al Kamil during the 5th Crusade. In a time of horrific violence much of it perpetrated by European Christians Francis in the spirit of true Gospel nonviolence demonstrates love of the strange other in whom he finds not a montrous enemy but a kindred spirit, mystic, cultured and deeply religious man of peace. Very moving and also not sentimental at all. Francis is seen in his deep humanity in the context of his time a time of frightful violence, fear, and ignorance which he challenges by his commitment to Jesus’ teaching of nonviolence the most neglected teaching of the Gospels even by the Churches themselves.” Gregory
The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark matter, Spacetime, & Dreams Deferred (2021) by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is Jewish, Black, a feminist, a social justice advocate, and a physics professor. Although she is American and holds a professorship in the U.S., she did graduate work in physics at the University of Waterloo. She is a particle physicist, who is inspired by research into the nature of matter and the cosmos. Her writing is autobiographical and uses her own experiences to discuss a fascination with physics and the obstacles that people of color and women face in academia in physics departments. She also discusses the colonialist mentality that pervades onsite research. Her book is part confession, part advocacy, and part enthusiasm. It is highly intersectional in its scope and also educational. Gord
21 Things You May Not About The Indian Act (2018) by Bob Joseph. Michael
Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion (2021) by Robert B Cialdini. Previous editions sold over 5,000,000 copies. Explains the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights in business and everyday settings. Rashid
The Case for Basic Income (2021) Jamie Swift, Elaine Power. Canada has basic income for those below age 18 and for age 65 and above. What about for people in between those age groups? This book goes through the history of basic income in Canada, from Mincome in Dauphin, to OBIP and CERB. Why and how this can replace a patchwork of existing programs from EI to social assistance, without dis-incentivizing work, is the topic of this book.
Sufferance (2021) by Thomas King. I’ve picked this title for the PAL book club. Jeremiah is a forecaster for business, but he’s packed it in. His employer buys him the residential school on the reserve where he was born, but keeps pursuing him for forecasts. A satire about the social and political consequences of the inequality created by privilege and power. – Runner-up – Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard. Ellie
Under the Dome (2009) by Stephen King. A small American town is mysteriously cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible dome. The various traits of human nature, ranging from the good to the very worst, emerge in this tiny micro-climate. Much like we have been seeing today in response to covid-19, around the world. Yes, we’re all in this together, but some of us will STILL be more equal than others. Jaye
Peace On Earth – Is It Possible? — Science Facts, Microorganisms, Viruses, Religion, Ancient Hear-Say, Legends and Fear-mongering (2006) by Carl Zimmerling. Horst
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I am presently reading the Universal Christ by Richard Rohr. The subtitle is how a forgotten reality can change everything we see, hope for and believe.
Jesus was called Christ and this truth can restore hope and meaning to our world.
The co-founders of Anima Leadership (consultancy for good group/workplace dynamics, including a real focus on race relations) have each written great books. A new version of Shakil Choudhury’ Deep Diversity is out this year. Subtitle: A Compassionate, Scientific Approach to Achieving Racial Justice. The first chapters lay out why and how the Deep Diversity approach works and the last big gives us stories to anchor what we learn, stories that move and inspire! Not to be missed!
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