The best 33 Class books

Class dynamics shape societies in profound ways, impacting individuals and communities across various contexts. Our carefully selected book list delves into this intricate topic, shedding light on the nuances of social stratification and inequality.

Explore these insightful reads to gain a deeper understanding of class structures and their effects on society. Take the first step towards unraveling the complexities of class dynamics with our comprehensive collection – dive in today!

The best 33 Class books
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1
Class Books: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation

Eric Schlosser
The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
4.3 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Fast Food Nation about?

Fast Food Nation shows how the fast food industry has massive consequences on many other aspects of our lives, including our education, health and working conditions. The book reveals the terrible methods and working conditions – caused in great part by the fast food industry’s focus on profit – that are used to create our food.

Who should read Fast Food Nation?

  • Anyone who cares about their own health
  • Anyone who wants to understand the wide-reaching implications of a single industry
  • Anyone interested in human and animal rights

2
Class Books: Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh

Gang Leader For A Day

Sudhir Venkatesh
A Rogue Sociologist Crosses The Line
3.8 (17 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Gang Leader For A Day about?

Gang Leader For A Day is based on author Sudhir Venkatesh’s ten years of personal, in-depth research conducted on-site at the notorious Robert Taylor Homes public housing projects in Chicago. Ignored by city government and law enforcement, residents in the close-knit community rely only on local gangs and each other for basic services and social support.

Who should read Gang Leader For A Day?

  • Anyone interested in the influence of gangs in the United States
  • Anyone curious about what it takes to be a gang leader
  • Anyone interested in how poor communities are supported by underground economies

3
Class Books: The Locust Effect by Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros

The Locust Effect

Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros
Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence
4.5 (23 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Locust Effect about?

The Locust Effect (2014) argues that foreign aid is only useful to developing countries if their impoverished citizens have protection from violence and crime. Without this, aid money is wasted because neither individuals nor businesses are safe to grow. Financial donations should aim to strengthen national criminal justice systems, so countries can serve themselves in the long run.

Who should read The Locust Effect?

  • Students of political science, international relations and foreign policy
  • Donors and sponsors looking to help the developing world
  • Anyone interested in global development

4
Class Books: The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal

The Age of Empathy

Frans de Waal
Nature’s Lessons for a Kinder Society
4.2 (93 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Age of Empathy about?

The Age of Empathy (2009) debunks popular theories which suggest that human nature is inherently selfish, cut-throat and prone to violence. Evidence provided by biology, history and science makes clear that cooperation, peace and empathy are qualities that are as natural and innate to us as our less desirable traits.

Who should read The Age of Empathy?

  • Anthropologists curious about human nature
  • Sociologists interested in our innate biological ability to bond with others
  • Students interested in how social science, politics, evolution and biology intersect

5
Class Books: The Death of Expertise by Tom Nichols

The Death of Expertise

Tom Nichols
The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters
4.2 (68 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Death of Expertise about?

The Death of Expertise (2017) examines the current attacks on science and knowledge that seem to be on the rise in our current technological and political environment. What has happened to objective truths being the truth and facts being indisputable? Why is science now a matter of political partisanship? Find out what’s really going on and why this is one of the most important issues of our day.

Who should read The Death of Expertise?

  • Citizens looking for facts rather than political rhetoric
  • Readers concerned about fake news and misinformation
  • Students of political science and communications

6
Class Books: Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Evicted

Matthew Desmond
Poverty and Profit in the American City
4.0 (55 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Evicted about?

Evicted (2016) tells the heartbreaking story of the individuals and families who struggle to get by in the United States’ poorest cities. Despite their best efforts, many of these people have fallen into a vicious cycle of poverty that has left them at the mercy of greedy property owners who don’t hesitate to evict families at the slightest provocation. To take a closer look at the details of their lives, we’ll focus on the inner city of Milwaukee and the tenants and landlords who populate this deeply segregated area.   

Who should read Evicted?

  • Sociologists
  • Students of urban planning and political science
  • Local politicians, leaders and policy makers

7
Class Books: Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Strangers in Their Own Land

Arlie Russell Hochschild
Anger and Mourning on the American Right
3.8 (32 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Strangers in Their Own Land about?

Strangers in Their Own Land (2016) discusses the issues that divide American politics, with specific focus on the Tea Party of Louisiana. In the course of explaining how Louisiana ended up where it is today, the author encourages readers to empathize with disparate political stances.

Who should read Strangers in Their Own Land?

  • People interested in American society
  • Students of politics and sociology
  • Anyone interested in today’s political climate

8
Class Books: Dreamland by Sam Quinones

Dreamland

Sam Quinones
The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic
4.5 (30 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Dreamland about?

Dreamland (2015) tells the story of how the opiate crisis in the United States went from being a problem only among social outcasts and the urban poor to one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the country. The background and science of the crisis are rooted in socioeconomic factors that are distinctly American.

Who should read Dreamland?

  • Non-Americans left nonplussed by the United States’ opiate problem
  • Health care professionals
  • Policy wonks

9
Class Books: Distinction by Pierre Bourdieu

Distinction

Pierre Bourdieu
A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
4.6 (57 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Distinction about?

Distinction (1979) is widely considered one of the most important works of twentieth-century sociology. Drawing on extensive empirical research and developing many new concepts that have had a lasting impact on the social sciences, it puts forward a groundbreaking theory about the relationship between taste and class. 

Who should read Distinction?

  • Students of sociology 
  • Fans of French theory
  • Anyone interested in the underpinnings of class or taste

10
Class Books: Superior by Angela Saini

Superior

Angela Saini
The Return of Race Science
4.2 (66 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Superior about?

Superior (2019) tracks the history of race science, from its origins in the Enlightenment to its hidden – but growing – presence in the twenty-first century. The uncomfortable truth is that science is not always apolitical, and the theory of biological race lives on in subtle ways, despite the mounting evidence against it. Groups of people might look, sound, and do things differently – but genetically, we’re very much the same. 

Who should read Superior?

  • Students of human biology, genetics, and anthropology
  • Anyone searching for the truth about the science of race
  • People of color and those considered minorities

11
Class Books: The Broken Ladder by Keith Payne

The Broken Ladder

Keith Payne
How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die
4.2 (67 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Broken Ladder about?

The Broken Ladder (2017) explores the psychological, physical, and social ramifications of rising inequality. As the rich get richer, it powerfully demonstrates, everyone else feels poorer, regardless of material circumstances – with devastating consequences for all.

Who should read The Broken Ladder?

  • Social psychology
  • Anyone who wants to better understand inequality

12
Class Books: Wildland by Evan Osnos

Wildland

Evan Osnos
The Making of America's Fury
3.4 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Wildland about?

Wildland (2021) recounts the story of how America became unraveled throughout the first two decades of the twenty-first century. Drawing on stories from residents of three US cities –⁠ Greenwich, Connecticut; Clarksburg, West Virginia; and Chicago, Illinois –⁠ it examines the undercurrents of change that tie together the fates of these varied landscapes. Finally, it describes how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the foundation for the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021. 

Who should read Wildland?

  • Americans trying to make sense of the changes in their country
  • Students of American politics and culture
  • Activists looking for a holistic picture of the grievances of average Americans

13
Class Books: Perversion of Justice by Julie K. Brown

Perversion of Justice

Julie K. Brown
The Jeffrey Epstein Story
4.4 (36 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Perversion of Justice about?

Perversion of Justice (2021) reveals how a reporter for the Miami Herald broke the story behind Jeffrey Epstein’s sex crimes and the scandalous deal he got from the US justice system in 2008. It explains the history of the case, how the mysterious financier was able to escape justice for so long, and the important questions that remain unanswered.

Who should read Perversion of Justice?

  • Anyone curious how a serial sex offender can elude punishment
  • Fans of true crime investigations
  • People interested in the ongoing mystery behind Epstein and his accomplices

14
Class Books: Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

Empire of Pain

Patrick Radden Keefe
The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
4.5 (64 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Empire of Pain about?

Empire of Pain (2021) follows the rise and fall of the elusive Sacklers, the billionaire family behind Purdue Pharma. Its blockbuster drug, OxyContin, was aggressively marketed as safe, but would go on to spur a devastating opioid crisis that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Yet the Sacklers’ fortress of lawyers, political connections and a philanthropic name would, time and again, protect them from responsibility.

Who should read Empire of Pain?

  • Current affairs enthusiasts
  • Lovers of family dynasty dramas
  • Anyone wanting to understand the opioid crisis

15
Class Books: Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis

Women, Race & Class

Angela Y. Davis
4.5 (145 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Women, Race & Class about?

Women, Race and Class (1981) is a collection of essays that expose how racism, sexism, and classism intertwined in the struggle for women’s suffrage in the United States. With special emphasis on the historical missteps of the mainstream feminist movement, it charts a path for an anti-racist and anti-classist feminism. 

Who should read Women, Race & Class?

  • Feminists looking to understand intersectionality more deeply
  • History buffs
  • Anyone invested in the ongoing struggle for justice

16
Class Books: Slouching Towards Utopia by J. Bradford DeLong

Slouching Towards Utopia

J. Bradford DeLong
An Economic History of the Twentieth Century
4.0 (46 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Slouching Towards Utopia about?

Slouching Towards Utopia (2022) examines the “long century” between 1870 and 2010, during which technological progress, globalization, and the advent of social democracy opened a new horizon of human progress. Barring the horror years of World Wars I and II, humanity seemed to be on a slow, uneven crawl toward utopia. But in 2010, the tables turned. Economic progress in the Global North ground to a halt. 

Who should read Slouching Towards Utopia?

  • History buffs
  • John Maynard Keynes fans
  • Anyone wondering how the world became so unequal

17
Class Books: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote

Miguel de Cervantes
4.4 (288 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Don Quixote about?

Don Quixote (1605) is widely regarded as the first modern novel. Its claim to fame extends beyond historical novelty. For many readers and critics, it remains the greatest novel of its kind. It tells the story of a man who becomes so enchanted by tales of chivalry that he decides to become a knight-errant – a wandering gallant in the style of Lancelot. The self-styled knight who calls himself Don Quixote and his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza get themselves into all kinds of absurd mischief, but their foolish quest ultimately brings them something precious: an immortal friendship.

Who should read Don Quixote?

  • Anyone who’s been put off by the length of Cervantes’s great novel
  • Lovers of classic literature, tall tales, and absurd adventures
  • Anyone looking to put a face to the famous names Don Quixote and Sancho Panza

18
Class Books: It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism by Bernie Sanders

It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism

Bernie Sanders
3.9 (284 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism about?

It’s OK to be Angry About Capitalism (2023) is a critique of the economic and political system in the US. It offers a blueprint on how to move past unbridled capitalism onto a fairer and freer future.

Who should read It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism?

  • Everyone interested in the idea of democratic socialism
  • Those who’d like to understand Bernie Sanders’s political agenda
  • Anyone concerned about inequality

19
Class Books: The Myth of American Inequality by Phil Gramm, Robert Ekelund & John Early

The Myth of American Inequality

Phil Gramm, Robert Ekelund & John Early
How Government Biases Policy Debate
4.0 (96 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Myth of American Inequality about?

The Myth of American Inequality (2022) corrects widespread misconceptions about inequality in the United States. Taking aim at misleading official statistics, it shows that poverty has all but disappeared in today’s America and that the gap between rich and “poor” isn’t nearly as large as many people assume. 

Who should read The Myth of American Inequality?

  • Politicos and policymakers
  • Historians and economists
  • Anyone interested in contemporary debates about economic justice

20
Class Books: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret History

Donna Tartt
A Novel
4.4 (28 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Secret History about?

The Secret History (1992) is the gripping tale of a group of Classics students at a New England college who are involved in the murder of a classmate. The novel explores the complex relationships between the friends, and the impact the incident has on their lives.

Who should read The Secret History?

  • People who enjoy psychological fiction
  • Fans of the “dark academia” genre
  • Anyone with an interest in Classics

21
Class Books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë
4.7 (48 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Jane Eyre about?

Jane Eyre (1874) is an intense, intimate portrait of a young woman’s search to find her place in Victorian society without compromising her passionate ideals. It follows her as she navigates life’s obstacles – and her developing love for the mysterious Edward Rochester.

Who should read Jane Eyre?

  • Hopeless romantics who crave plot twists and turns
  • History lovers keen to get a window into life as a nineteenth-century governess
  • Fans of period dramas like Outlander and Bridgerton

22
Class Books: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

John Steinbeck
4.7 (104 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Of Mice and Men about?

Of Mice and Men (1937) is a poignant tale that traces an unlikely friendship between two impoverished workers in California during the Great Depression: compact, quick-witted George Milton, and huge, childlike Lennie Small.

Who should read Of Mice and Men?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • Those entranced by the American dream
  • People curious about one of Steinbeck’s greats

23
Class Books: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë
4.7 (51 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Wuthering Heights about?

Wuthering Heights (1847) is a masterpiece of English literature. Set in Yorkshire, it tells the story of two families and their intense, often tumultuous relationships – in particular, the stormy romance between Heathcliff and Catherine.

Who should read Wuthering Heights?

  • Fans of family sagas
  • People drawn to unconventional love stories and antiheroes
  • Anyone interested in classic novels of the nineteenth century

24
Class Books: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

George Orwell
4.8 (454 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Animal Farm about?

Animal Farm (1945) is a classic satirical novella that transplants the events of the Russian Revolution of 1917 to a small English farm. Once the animals stage an uprising, a political battle ensues between an ideological pig named Snowball and a power-hungry pig named Napoleon. 

Who should read Animal Farm?

  • Fans of political satire
  • Animal lovers
  • Anyone who likes a classic story

25
Class Books: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart
4.3 (15 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's We Were Liars about?

We Were Liars (2014) is the suspenseful story of the wealthy, carefree Sinclair family and the tragic event that exposes the cracks in their perfect facade – as told by an unreliable narrator, Cadence Sinclair.

Who should read We Were Liars?

  • Lovers of suspenseful fiction and well-crafted romance
  • Anyone keen for a glimpse into the lives of the 1 percent
  • Avid readers who want the scoop on one of the best-loved young adult contemporary novels

26
Class Books: A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

A Rose for Emily

William Faulkner
4.5 (31 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Rose for Emily about?

A Rose for Emily (1930) was first published in Forum magazine. Told in a nonlinear style, it starts with the funeral of Emily, a fixture in the fictional Jefferson County. It then goes back in time to trace moments of her life, and the decline in her health and status. 

Who should read A Rose for Emily?

  • Faulkner fans
  • Lovers of Southern Gothic literature
  • Anyone curious to learn more about a complex classic

27
Class Books: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins
4.7 (51 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Hunger Games about?

The Hunger Games (2008) is the first volume of the popular YA fantasy trilogy. In the post-apocalyptic future state of Panem, teenagers participate in a brutal yearly game show where they compete against each other in a deadly obstacle arena. When her sister is drafted for the games, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her place – not realizing she’ll end up fighting for something bigger than mere survival.

Who should read The Hunger Games?

  • Sci-fi fans and fantasy aficionados
  • Readers who love strong female characters
  • Fans of The Hunger Games movies with Jennifer Lawrence

28
Class Books: A Theory of Justice by John Rawls

A Theory of Justice

John Rawls
4.2 (286 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's A Theory of Justice about?

A Theory of Justice (1971) is a seminal work of political philosophy, in the social contract tradition. One of the most widely debated philosophical works of the twentieth century, it provides a framework for evaluating societies and social outcomes in terms of justice, fairness, and rights.

Who should read A Theory of Justice?

  • Political philosophy buffs
  • Those wishing to deepen their understanding of social inequality
  • Anyone who cares about creating a fairer society

29
Class Books: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens
4.6 (204 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Great Expectations about?

Great Expectations (1860) is Charles Dickens’ classic novel about the social ambitions and failings of Pip, a small-town orphan who suddenly becomes wealthy through a mysterious benefactor. Pip leaves his home town for London, but as his social and material standing develop, he suffers a moral deterioration that leaves him questioning his decisions. 

Who should read Great Expectations?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Anyone who loves a good tale of rags to riches
  • People who want to find out what Dickens was all about

30
Class Books: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas
4.0 (119 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Hate U Give about?

The Hate U Give (2017) is a critically acclaimed coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of racism and police brutality. It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she navigates two contrasting worlds: the poor Black neighborhood where she lives and the white prep school where she studies. Starr's attempt to strike a balance between these two worlds is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her childhood friend, Khalil, by a police officer.

Who should read The Hate U Give?

  • Social justice advocates and activists
  • Young adults exploring identity and inequality
  • Anyone interested in compelling contemporary fiction

31
Class Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain
4.6 (177 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Prince and the Pauper about?

The Prince and the Pauper (1881) is a classic tale that explores the societal framework of the sixteenth-century English society. The story unravels the unexpected journey of two identical boys – Prince Edward, the royal heir, and Tom Canty, a destitute pauper, as they swap their lives. In exploring each other's worlds, they gain insightful lessons about society, identity, and human kindness, with the story offering a profound commentary on class disparities and social norms.

Who should read The Prince and the Pauper?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Fans of classic literature
  • Personal development seekers

32
Class Books: Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane

Small Mercies

Dennis Lehane
A Novel
4.2 (77 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's Small Mercies about?

Small Mercies (2023) is an intense thriller that takes place in Boston in 1974, when the city’s busing crisis was just getting started. The story centers around a single mother in the neighborhood of South Boston, whose daughter goes missing on the same night a Black man is found dead under suspicious circumstances.

Who should read Small Mercies?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Crime drama aficionados
  • Anyone craving a suspenseful story

33
Class Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.1 (107 ratings)
Listen to the Intro
00:00

What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

Related Topics

Class Books
 FAQs 

What's the best Class book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Fast Food Nation as the ultimate read on Class.

What are the Top 10 Class books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  • Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh
  • The Locust Effect by Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros
  • The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal
  • The Death of Expertise by Tom Nichols
  • Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  • Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
  • Dreamland by Sam Quinones
  • Distinction by Pierre Bourdieu
  • Superior by Angela Saini

Who are the top Class book authors?

When it comes to Class, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Eric Schlosser
  • Sudhir Venkatesh
  • Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros
  • Frans de Waal
  • Tom Nichols