The best 73 Socialism & Capitalist Critique books

Exploring the intricacies of Socialism & Capitalist Critique sheds light on contrasting economic ideologies and societal structures, vital for comprehending today's global landscape. Our curated book list delves into these complexities, offering fresh perspectives and stimulating insights.

Uncover the rich discourse surrounding socialism and capitalist critique with our selection. Ready to challenge your perspectives and deepen your understanding of socio-economic systems? Start your enlightening journey today!

The best 73 Socialism & Capitalist Critique books
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Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson

Why Nations Fail

Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
4.6 (493 ratings)
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What's Why Nations Fail about?

Why Nations Fail revolves around the question as to why even today some nations are trapped in a cycle of poverty while others prosper, or at least while others appear to be on their way to prosperity. The book focuses largely on political and economic institutions, as the authors believe these are key to long-term prosperity.

Who should read Why Nations Fail?

  • Anyone who is interested in world politics and foreign aid
  • Anyone who wants to find out why some countries are poor while others prosper
  • Anyone who has thought about how we can tackle inequality in the world

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Michael Pollan
A Natural History of Four Meals
4.4 (110 ratings)
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What's The Omnivore's Dilemma about?

We face an overwhelming abundance of choices when it comes to what we eat. Should you opt for the local, grass-fed beef, or save time and money with cheap chicken nuggets? Organic asparagus shipped from Argentina, or kale picked from your neighbor’s garden? The Omnivore’s Dilemma examines how food in America is produced today and what alternatives to those production methods are available.

Who should read The Omnivore's Dilemma?

  • Anyone thinking about changing their eating habits – whether by becoming a vegetarian, switching to organic produce or trying their hand at hunting, gathering or growing their own food
  • Anyone interested in sustainability, food policy or food politics

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

Manufacturing Consent

Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
The Political Economy of the Mass Media
4.5 (208 ratings)
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What's Manufacturing Consent about?

Manufacturing Consent (1988) takes a critical view of the mass media to ask why only a narrow range of opinions are favored whilst others are suppressed or ignored. 

It formulates a propaganda model which shows how alternative and independent information is filtered out by various financial and political factors allowing the news agenda to be dominated by those working on behalf of the wealthy and powerful. Far from being a free press, the media in fact maintain our unequal and unfair society.

Who should read Manufacturing Consent?

  • Anyone who wants to know who sets the agenda of the mass media
  • Anyone who would like to know whose interests the media serve
  • Anyone who wants to understand why the mass media suppress independent voices

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: No Logo by Naomi Klein

No Logo

Naomi Klein
4.2 (67 ratings)
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What's No Logo about?

No Logo takes a look at how the power of brands has grown since the 1980s, and how companies have emphasized their brand image rather than their actual products. No Logo shows how this strategy has affected employees in both the industrial and the non-developed world. No Logo also introduces the reader to the activists and campaigners who are leading the fight back against multinationals and their brands.

Who should read No Logo?

  • Anyone who wants to understand why brands are so prevalent in modern society
  • Anyone who wonders how multinationals wield global power
  • Anyone who wants to learn how activists can fight back against the brands


Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

The Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein
4.2 (81 ratings)
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What's The Shock Doctrine about?

The Shock Doctrine (2008) offers insights into the dark world of disaster capitalism, in which crises serve as an instrument to undo the trade regulations and national protections which prevent international megacorporations from totally exploiting poorer countries. Rooted in the findings of the CIA-sponsored "MKUltra" psychological torture experiments, economic shock treatment has left behind a legacy of blood and destruction since it first began to be taken seriously in the 1970s.

Who should read The Shock Doctrine?

  • Anyone interested in economics
  • Anyone interested in foreign policy
  • Anyone interested in history


Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
4.2 (836 ratings)
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What's The Communist Manifesto about?

The Communist Manifesto is the result of a meeting of international communists in London. It vividly portrays the first common position of political communism regarding the class struggle between the working class and the capitalist bourgeoisie.

Who should read The Communist Manifesto?

  • Anyone who works for someone else
  • Anyone who’s wondered why wealth seems to concentrate at the top
  • Anyone remotely interested in politics

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin

The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Jeremy Rifkin
The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism
4.2 (33 ratings)
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What's The Zero Marginal Cost Society about?

The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014) lays out a strong case for the self-destructive nature of capitalism, demonstrating how it is sowing the seeds of its own destruction. But in its wake, a new, collaborative, democratized economy will materialize – one made possible by the internet.

Who should read The Zero Marginal Cost Society?

  • People who are interested in the future of our global economy
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the personal and social impact of cutting-edge technology
  • Committed capitalists

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith
4.4 (1,025 ratings)
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What's The Wealth of Nations about?

The Wealth of Nations is a profoundly influential work in the study of economics and examines exactly how nations become wealthy. Adam Smith advocates that by allowing individuals to freely pursue their own self-interest in a free market, without government regulation, nations will prosper.

Who should read The Wealth of Nations?

  • Anyone who wants to understand the foundations of capitalism and the free market
  • Anyone curious about the core tenets of a fundamental work of economic theory

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Monopolists by Mary Pilon

The Monopolists

Mary Pilon
Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game
4.2 (15 ratings)
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What's The Monopolists about?

The Monopolists (2015) unveils the true yet checkered history of Parker Brothers's most successful board game, Monopoly. It tells the tale of the game’s origins in progressive, anti-capitalist thinking to its evolution under the control of Parker Brothers, a company that went to extraordinary lengths to rewrite Monopoly’s history and crush any competition in the process.

Who should read The Monopolists?

  • Fans of the board game Monopoly
  • Lawyers or specialists in trademark or property rights laws
  • Historians or popular culture fanatics

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Žižek

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Slavoj Žižek
4.4 (61 ratings)
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What's First as Tragedy, Then as Farce about?

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce (2008) sets out to uncover the hidden ideology that surrounds us in our everyday lives. In examining how capitalist society affects our lives and permeates the way we think, the book ultimately offers a new and better alternative to the way our world is structured today.

Who should read First as Tragedy, Then as Farce?

  • People interested in politics, society and philosophy
  • Fans of Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein and Alan Badiou
  • Students of philosophy or psychoanalysis

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Phishing for Phools by George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller

Phishing for Phools

George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller
The Economics of Manipulation and Deception
4.0 (120 ratings)
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What's Phishing for Phools about?

Phishing for Phools (2015) reveals the ways in which modern free-market systems, so often praised as the epitome of rational exchange, are fueled instead by willful deceit, with the goal of pushing you to act against your self-interest.

Who should read Phishing for Phools?

  • Economists or students examining free-market systems
  • Any consumer interested in how the market works
  • Socially-conscious business owners

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The House of Rothschild by Niall Ferguson

The House of Rothschild

Niall Ferguson
Money’s Prophets 1798–1848
4.3 (111 ratings)
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What's The House of Rothschild about?

The House of Rothschild (1998) offers a detailed, insider look into the famed Rothschild family’s multinational partnership. By examining the relationships and strategies that launched the Rothschilds to success, the book demystifies this historic family, making their meteoric rise to tremendous wealth and fame much easier to understand.

Who should read The House of Rothschild?

  • Anyone with an interest in European history
  • Anyone curious about the world of banking in the nineteenth century
  • Anyone fascinated by the enduring Rothschild myth

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: PostCapitalism by Paul Mason


Paul Mason
A Guide to Our Future
3.9 (115 ratings)
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What's PostCapitalism about?

Postcapitalism (2015) offers a close examination of the failures of current economic systems. The 2008 financial crisis showed us that neoliberal capitalism is falling apart, and these blinks outline the reasons why we’re at the start of capitalism’s downfall, while giving an idea of what our transition into postcapitalism will be like.

Who should read PostCapitalism?

  • Capitalists and anti-capitalists
  • Students of sociology or politics
  • Anyone interested in what the future holds for modern-day societies

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Restart by Mihir Sharma


Mihir Sharma
The Last Chance for the Indian Economy
3.5 (13 ratings)
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What's Restart about?

A few decades ago, India seemed poised to become a major player in the global economy. Today, a number of serious problems hold the country back. Restart (2015) explains what caused India’s decline and offers insights about what could be done to fix it.

Who should read Restart?

  • Students of economics, political science and sociology
  • Anyone interested in India

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Raw Deal by Steven Hill

Raw Deal

Steven Hill
How the “Uber Economy” and Runaway Capitalism are Screwing American Workers
3.1 (23 ratings)
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What's Raw Deal about?

Raw Deal (2015) reveals the ugly truth behind the new sharing economy and the harm that companies like Uber or Airbnb are inflicting upon societies around the world. There’s a major crisis on the horizon, and it will affect not only these companies’ exploited employees. We’re all at risk, and we’ll need to choose our next steps wisely to prevent an economic collapse.

Who should read Raw Deal?

  • Students of economics and politics
  • Readers interested in the job market and labor regulations
  • Employees worried about declining workplace standards

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough, John Helyar

Barbarians at the Gate

Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
The Fall of RJR Nabisco
4.1 (48 ratings)
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What's Barbarians at the Gate about?

Barbarians at the Gate (1989) tells the story of one of the largest corporate deals in US history, the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco. These blinks provide a gripping portrait of the extreme and extravagant behavior in corporate America during the 1980s.

Who should read Barbarians at the Gate?

  • Anyone working in finance or business who wants to learn about a legendary deal
  • Citizens appalled by the excesses of corporate America
  • Anyone enthralled by hostile takeovers and cutthroat dealings

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

First They Killed My Father

Loung Ung
A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
4.5 (17 ratings)
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What's First They Killed My Father about?

First They Killed My Father (2006) is Loung Ung’s memoir of her childhood experiences living under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia during the 1970s. She begins her story as the Khmer Rouge take power, forcing her family to flee the country’s capital, Phnom Penh, only to find themselves living as slave laborers, in constant fear that they would be personally targeted by the regime.

Who should read First They Killed My Father?

  • Anyone who’s seen the Oscar-winning film The Killings Fields
  • History buffs
  • Fans of autobiographies and memoirs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Bad Blood by John Carreyrou

Bad Blood

John Carreyrou
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
4.2 (122 ratings)
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What's Bad Blood about?

Bad Blood (2018) is the harrowing inside story of a how a tech start-up rooted in Silicon Valley’s fake-it-till-you-make-it culture risked the lives of millions with a blood-testing device that proved too good to be true. Written by Pulitzer-winning journalist John Carreyrou, who broke the story and pursued it to its end, this is the account of Theranos and its wunderkind CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ meteoric rise and epic fall from grace.

Who should read Bad Blood?

  • Anyone working in a start-up
  • Fans of true stories that you just can’t make up
  • Professionals in the medical industry

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Us vs. Them by Ian Bremmer

Us vs. Them

Ian Bremmer
The Failure of Globalism
4.4 (78 ratings)
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What's Us vs. Them about?

Us vs. Them (2018) explores how globalism has created both winners and losers and explains how the losers are now looking to set things right. In countries from the United States to China, from Venezuela to Turkey, unhappy citizens are making new demands of their governments, and populist politicians are promising easy answers. Us vs. Them offers a lucid take on the forces disrupting societies around the world and suggests potential solutions for the future.

Who should read Us vs. Them?

  • Anyone interested in understanding populist forces and their origins
  • People concerned about the impact of robots on the workforce and society
  • Readers interested in foreign affairs and political science

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Glass House by Brian Alexander

Glass House

Brian Alexander
The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town
3.7 (26 ratings)
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What's Glass House about?

Glass House (2017) tells the cautionary tale of Lancaster, Ohio, a town that went from boom to bust over the course of the past fifty years. At the heart of this downfall is the Anchor Hocking glass factory, a major source of employment that turned into a bitter disappointment. This story is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the current state of affairs in American society and politics.

Who should read Glass House?

  • Politicians and policy-makers
  • Students of history and American studies
  • People interested in the current state of American affairs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu

The Curse of Bigness

Tim Wu
Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
4.6 (28 ratings)
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What's The Curse of Bigness about?

The Curse of Bigness (2018) deals with topics and questions that have become especially pressing in recent times. How and why have markets become dominated by a handful of corporate giants? And what can we do about it? To answer these questions, the author recounts the political, economic and legal history of economic concentration. Along the way, he examines the dangers that come with it, and how they can be mitigated.

Who should read The Curse of Bigness?

  • Citizens worried about unchecked corporate power  
  • People interested in the intersection between politics, economics and law
  • Late-nineteenth and twentieth-century US history buffs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Socialism by Michael Newman


Michael Newman
A Very Short Introduction
4.4 (180 ratings)
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What's Socialism about?

Socialism (2005) is a dash through the history of the term after which the book is named. Socialism has played an important role over the past 200 years of human history, but its original goal of achieving an egalitarian society has, in recent decades, been somewhat forgotten. This book is a thorough tour of socialism’s history. It’s also an exploration of the various ways the word has been implemented and a guide to ways we might use it in the future.

Who should read Socialism?

  • Anyone tired of their unstable economic condition
  • Students of politics, economics or history
  • Those who want more information on a commonly misunderstood term

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Future Is History by Masha Gessen

The Future Is History

Masha Gessen
How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
4.1 (98 ratings)
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What's The Future Is History about?

The Future Is History (2017) tackles the complex issue of Russia’s love/hate relationship with democracy. By looking at the lives of a select few, Masha Gessen takes us from the collapse of the Communist Party to deep within the activism of the Putin era – all in an attempt to show us how and why Russia’s modern brand of totalitarianism came about.

Who should read The Future Is History?

  • Readers curious about Russian politics
  • Students of sociology and world politics
  • History buffs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff
The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
4.5 (313 ratings)
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What's The Age of Surveillance Capitalism about?

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (2019) provides a revealing look at just how committed companies like Google and Facebook are to tracking every one of your actions and selling that data to advertisers. Over the past few years, this business practice has become one of the most prominent worldwide, and the harmful effects it has on personal liberty and democracy are becoming more apparent.

Listed on The Guardian’s Best 100 Books of the 21st Century

Who should read The Age of Surveillance Capitalism?

  • Users of Google or Facebook
  • People who value privacy and free will
  • Anyone curious about how much personal data is being collected

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt
4.6 (430 ratings)
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What's The Origins of Totalitarianism about?

The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) is a landmark work by Hannah Arendt, in which she traces the anti-Semitic and imperialist roots of modern-day totalitarianism in Europe. Starting with the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century, Arendt reveals the prejudices and myths that empowered the Nazism and Stalinism of the early twentieth century, and that can lead to the erosion of free-thinking democracy. She also gives clear warning on how to avoid predatory totalitarian movements in the future.

Who should read The Origins of Totalitarianism?

  • Students of philosophy and political science
  • Anyone interested in how history can teach us about the present
  • People concerned about human rights

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman

Utopia for Realists

Rutger Bregman
And How We Can Get There
4.4 (279 ratings)
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What's Utopia for Realists about?

Utopia for Realists (2016) is a call to arms for a radical rethinking of life, work and how society functions. It argues that the world enjoys unprecedented wealth and material comfort but is still full of problems, from soul-destroying jobs to inequality and poverty. We have the power to solve these problems and build a better future if we embrace utopian thinking.

Who should read Utopia for Realists?

  • Blue-sky thinkers
  • Socially engaged people who want to eradicate poverty 
  • Frustrated citizens who feel there must be a better way to organize our society and economy

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Third Pillar by Raghuram Rajan

The Third Pillar

Raghuram Rajan
The Revival of Community in a Polarized World
4.5 (41 ratings)
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What's The Third Pillar about?

The Third Pillar (2019) traces the evolving relationship between the three “pillars” of human life – the state, markets and communities – from the medieval period to our own age. Economist Raghuram Rajan argues that, throughout history, societies have struggled to find a sustainable balance between these pillars. Today is no different: caught between uncontrolled markets and a discredited state, communities everywhere are in decline. That, Rajan concludes, is jet fuel for populist movements. But a more balanced kind of social order is possible.

Who should read The Third Pillar?

  • Anyone apprehensive about the rise of intolerant political movements
  • Historians and economists
  • Community organizers and neighborhood activists

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: New Dark Age by James Bridle

New Dark Age

James Bridle
Technology and the End of the Future
4.0 (92 ratings)
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What's New Dark Age about?

New Dark Age (2018) investigates the fundamental paradox of our digital age: as new technologies allow us to gather more and more data on our world, we understand less and less of it. Examining the history, politics and geography of the complex digital network we are enmeshed in, James Bridle sheds new light on the central issues of our time, from climate change to wealth inequality to post-factual politics, and explains how we can live with purpose in an era of uncertainty.

Who should read New Dark Age?

  • Tech skeptics and tech enthusiasts
  • Critical thinkers fascinated by the geopolitics of our networked world
  • Anyone interested in the silly and profound ways technology shapes our lives

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson

Imagined Communities

Benedict Anderson
Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
4.6 (99 ratings)
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What's Imagined Communities about?

Imagined Communities (1983) is one of the most influential studies of the origins of nationalism. In it, Benedict Anderson asks a question that had long vexed his fellow historians: Why did nations become such a potent source of identity in the modern world? In these blinks, we’ll unravel Anderson’s fascinating answer to this conundrum as we delve into the history of capitalism, the printing press, religious belief systems, and nationalism. 

Who should read Imagined Communities?

  • History buffs
  • Thinkers and theorists who love bold ideas
  • Anyone who’s wondered why we live in a world of nation-states

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism by Kristen Ghodsee

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

Kristen Ghodsee
And Other Arguments for Economic Independence
3.7 (41 ratings)
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What's Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism about?

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism (2018) makes an argument that’s even more provocative than its title suggests. More than just better sex, it claims that women have better lives in general under socialism. To prove this claim, it compares and contrasts women’s lives under state socialism, democratic socialism, and neoliberal capitalism. 

Who should read Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism?

  • Socialists wanting ammunition for their next argument 
  • Capitalists wanting food for thought 
  • Women and men wanting a fresh take on gender equality

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
4.6 (119 ratings)
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What's The Romanovs about?

The Romanovs (2016) charts the stunning rise and dramatic fall of one of the world’s great dynasties. The Romanov family helmed the Russian empire for three centuries filled with family dramas, power struggles, political upheaval, and opulent spending.

Who should read The Romanovs?

  • Russophiles and Romanov fans
  • Fans of history with a taste for juicy drama
  • Revolutionaries brushing up on old-school socialist revolts

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Americana by Bhu Srinivasan


Bhu Srinivasan
A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
4.3 (75 ratings)
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What's Americana about?

Americana (2017) traces the history of the USA from one key perspective: capitalism. Bhu Srinivasan shows how the development of the country has been closely bound up with the development of capitalism, from the New England colonies’ earliest days to the most recent innovations of Silicon Valley or Wall Street.

Named by The Economist as one of the best books of 2017

Who should read Americana?

  • American history enthusiasts
  • People interested in the economy past and present
  • Fans – or enemies – of capitalism

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Private Government by Elizabeth Anderson

Private Government

Elizabeth Anderson
How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It)
4.0 (85 ratings)
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What's Private Government about?

Private Government (2017) boldly asserts a provocative thesis: most modern companies are run more like communist dictatorships than the “free enterprises” their often libertarian-minded owners, managers, and defenders believe them to be. Drawing on a wide range of ideas, facts, and data from economics, political philosophy, and history, Private Government backs this thesis up with a strong, compelling argument that’s well worth reckoning with.

Who should read Private Government?

  • Employees unhappy with their employment
  • Employers wondering why their employees might be so unhappy
  • Anyone else wanting to know what’s wrong with the modern workplace

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Angrynomics by Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth


Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth
4.1 (109 ratings)
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What's Angrynomics about?

Angrynomics (2020) examines the growing atmosphere of anger around the globe. Part political theory, part social science, this approachable text diagnoses the cause of the rising resentment and proposes a few popular solutions.

Who should read Angrynomics?

  • News junkies seeking fresh takes on the current political climate
  • Activists wishing to understand popular movements
  • Anyone with an interest in where the world is headed

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Economists’ Hour by Binyamin Appelbaum

The Economists’ Hour

Binyamin Appelbaum
False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society
4.3 (68 ratings)
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What's The Economists’ Hour about?

The Economists’ Hour (2019) is a compact history of how economists came to dominate our political discourse. This work traces the rise of neoliberal ideology from the 1960s to today.

Who should read The Economists’ Hour?

  • Political wonks wanting to parse the current climate
  • Citizens concerned about America’s rightward shift
  • Anyone asking, “how did things get so bad?”

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Chaos Under Heaven by Josh Rogin

Chaos Under Heaven

Josh Rogin
America, China, and the Battle for the 21st Century
4.2 (59 ratings)
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What's Chaos Under Heaven about?

Chaos Under Heaven (2021) brings to life the behind-the-scenes negotiations and deliberations that dictated the Trump administration’s policy toward China. America’s understanding of the inner workings of the Chinese state has changed a great deal, yet competing interests have so far led to a chaotic response as the US grapples with this foreign policy challenge. 

Who should read Chaos Under Heaven?

  • Policy wonks
  • News junkies
  • People interested in world affairs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century by Erik Olin Wright

How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century

Erik Olin Wright
4.2 (109 ratings)
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What's How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century about?

How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century (2019) is both a moral critique of capitalism and a pragmatic strategy guide to building an alternative economic system. Drawing from Erik Olin Wright’s four decades of work in sociology, it provides a nuanced account of why democratic socialism is both possible and desirable.

Who should read How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century?

  • Anticapitalists looking for new ways of thinking
  • Pro-capitalists who want to understand their opponents’ views
  • Skeptics who aren’t sure which side of the debate is right

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy by Joseph Schumpeter

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Joseph Schumpeter
Essential analysis on where the world economy is headed
4.2 (637 ratings)
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What's Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy about?

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942) is a seminal work of economics. Its ideas have proven prophetic, and remain relevant to this day. It claims that capitalism will ultimately be eroded by the very processes that define it. It also explains the differences between capitalism and socialism and their relationship to democracy, and helps readers understand the role of entrepreneurship and creative destruction in modern capitalism.

Who should read Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy?

  • Students of the social sciences
  • Those interested in politics, economy, and their histories
  • Critical thinkers curious about the future of capitalism

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Lonely Century by Noreena Hertz

The Lonely Century

Noreena Hertz
How Isolation Imperils Our Future
4.2 (159 ratings)
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What's The Lonely Century about?

The Lonely Century (2021) explores the loneliness that characterizes the twenty-first century. Drawing on a decade of research, it reveals how neoliberal policies, new technologies, and mass migration to cities have contributed to us becoming so lonely – and what shifts need to occur for us to reconnect.

Who should read The Lonely Century?

  • Isolated individuals interested in understanding our current crisis of loneliness
  • Political thinkers who want to understand the roots of far-right movements
  • Community leaders looking for ways to bring people together

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Mission Economy by Mariana Mazzucato

Mission Economy

Mariana Mazzucato
A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
4.0 (211 ratings)
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What's Mission Economy about?

Mission Economy (2021) explains how we can rethink our approaches toward government and capitalism through the concept of missions – huge, ambitious projects that inspire people across society to think big. These blinks show how we can change the world by taking inspiration from one of the most famous missions of all: the moon landing.

Who should read Mission Economy?

  • Visionary thinkers who want to transform society
  • Economists and politics fans in search of bold new ideas
  • Critics of capitalism who want to see change

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich A. Hayek

The Constitution of Liberty

Friedrich A. Hayek
In Defense of Freedom and a Free Society
3.9 (303 ratings)
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What's The Constitution of Liberty about?

The Constitution of Liberty (1960) is a classic of economic philosophy. As one of the seminal texts of modern liberalism, it reminds us of the values of individual freedom, limited government, and universal principles of law. First published in the 1960s, it contends that social progress depends on the free market rather than on socialist planning. This work remains relevant in an age where socialist ideas are gaining new popularity. 

Who should read The Constitution of Liberty?

  • Students of twentieth-century history, politics, and economy 
  • Progressives and conservatives curious about liberalism 
  • Anyone interested in economic philosophy

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: After the Fall by Ben Rhodes

After the Fall

Ben Rhodes
Being American in the World We've Made
3.9 (232 ratings)
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What's After the Fall about?

After the Fall (2021) takes a sobering look at the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism in places like Hungary, China, Russia, and the United States of America. It examines how the standing and influence of the US changed in the years following the Cold War, and how this has led to the current challenges facing democracy around the world. 

Who should read After the Fall?

  • Political junkies
  • Fans of democracy
  • Students of modern history

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Maoism by Julia Lovell


Julia Lovell
A Global History
4.3 (86 ratings)
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What's Maoism about?

Maoism (2019) is a deep dive into Maoist ideology, tracing the origins of the movement in the caves of northwest China to the jungles of India, the high Andean sierra, and the California city parks where The Black Panthers did their military drills. Maoism is a movement that’s hardly limited to China or even Asia.

Who should read Maoism?

  • Anyone looking to bone up on Chinese history
  • Followers of leftist politics
  • Those interested in transnational historical arcs

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber & David Wengrow

The Dawn of Everything

David Graeber & David Wengrow
A New History of Humanity
4.1 (376 ratings)
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What's The Dawn of Everything about?

The Dawn of Everything (2021) is a reimagining of the history of humanity, based on new discoveries in the worlds of anthropology and archeology. According to the authors, new findings challenge what we thought we knew about hierarchies, inequality, property, and the state. 

Who should read The Dawn of Everything?

  • Anyone who’s ever shaken their fist at bureaucracy
  • History lovers of all stripes
  • Those who want to be Indiana Jones when they grow up

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Raging 2020s by Alec Ross

The Raging 2020s

Alec Ross
Companies, Countries, People – and the Fight for Our Future
3.8 (95 ratings)
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What's The Raging 2020s about?

The Raging 2020s (2021) is an autopsy of the American social contract, which once kept companies, governments, and individuals in stable harmony but has since broken down. In particular, it describes how the power of corporations has expanded in recent years while federal might has waned –⁠ and how the result is that companies have more control over people’s lives than ever before. We must work to restore the balance and write a new social contract for the modern age.

Who should read The Raging 2020s?

  • Citizens concerned about the increasing power of corporations
  • Current or aspiring politicians and activists
  • Anyone who sees the value in capitalism but thinks it can be improved

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Earth for All by Sandrine Dixson-Decleve, Owen Gaffney, Jayati Ghosh, Jorgen Randers, Johan Rockstrom and Per Espen Stoknes

Earth for All

Sandrine Dixson-Decleve, Owen Gaffney, Jayati Ghosh, Jorgen Randers, Johan Rockstrom and Per Espen Stoknes
A Survival Guide for Humanity
4.5 (49 ratings)
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What's Earth for All about?

Earth for All (2022) is more than a book – it’s a survival guide. After centuries of industrialization, population growth, and rising inequality, our planet is now at a tipping point. We are already learning to live with pandemics, war, wildfires, and more. This guide offers timely, practical solutions for the urgent problems facing humankind.

Who should read Earth for All?

  • People concerned about climate change
  • Activists seeking a better future
  • Residents of planet Earth – in other words, all of us!

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Financial Feminist by Tori Dunlap

Financial Feminist

Tori Dunlap
Overcome the Patriarchy's Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love
4.1 (325 ratings)
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What's Financial Feminist about?

Financial Feminism (2022) debunks the money myths and exposes the systemic oppression that keeps many stuck in toxic jobs or cycles of debt. Offering practical solutions that everyone can start today to close the wage gap, ramp up financial fitness, and build the life of their dreams.

Who should read Financial Feminist?

  • Anyone feeling stuck living paycheck to paycheck
  • Those who want to retire someday
  • Anyone frustrated by the sexist wealth gap looking to build a more equal future

Socialism & Capitalist Critique 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)
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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

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
4.3 (50 ratings)
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What's American Psycho about?

American Psycho (1991) is a controversial cult novel that uses graphic violence to satirize modern capitalism and consumer culture. It follows the life of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy and handsome investment banker living in Manhattan in the 1980s. Beneath his polished exterior lies a psychopathic killer who preys on his victims without remorse. Bateman’s exploits quickly grow more and more extreme, and his mask of sanity starts to slip.

Who should read American Psycho?

  • Fans of the the 2000 movie starring Christian Bale
  • Readers who enjoy Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon, and William S. Burroughs
  • Anyone who enjoys dark humor

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Profit Over People by Noam Chomsky

Profit Over People

Noam Chomsky
Neoliberalism and Global Order
4.3 (405 ratings)
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What's Profit Over People about?

Profit Over People (1999) is a deep dive into the often hidden world of neoliberalism, revealing how global power structures and US policies are influenced by corporate interests. You’ll be taken on a journey that uncovers an economic system geared toward the affluent, often to the detriment of the many.

Who should read Profit Over People?

  • Students of economics or international relations 
  • Policymakers and businesspeople
  • Curious minds interested in the way our world works

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm

George Orwell
4.8 (445 ratings)
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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

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller
4.3 (48 ratings)
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What's Death of a Salesman about?

Death of a Salesman (1949) is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest plays. A poignant critique of the promises and pitfalls of capitalism and the American Dream, it follows the salesman Willy Loman, his increasingly tense relationships with his family and colleagues, and his tragic, hallucinatory descent into fantasy and madness. 

Who should read Death of a Salesman?

  • Budding playwrights and theater enthusiasts
  • People curious about the dangers of unbridled capitalism
  • Anyone interested in modern drama

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Myth America by Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer

Myth America

Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer
Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies about Our Past
2.9 (120 ratings)
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What's Myth America about?

Myth America (2022) is a collection of essays that examine and dismantle some of the most pervasive myths about America: how it was founded, who’s allowed to be here, and how we define a ‘real’ American or American family.

Who should read Myth America?

  • History buffs
  • Students of American politics
  • Activists and social justice warriors

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Prosperity by Colin Mayer


Colin Mayer
Better Business Makes the Greater Good
4.1 (151 ratings)
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What's Prosperity about?

Prosperity (2018) examines how business thinking has led to our current state of social, political, and environmental disaster. Drawing on historical, legal, and economic knowledge, it presents a radical new framework in which both corporations and the broader community can flourish together.

Who should read Prosperity?

  • Business leaders and company directors
  • MBA students
  • Economic policy developers wanting to fix our broken system

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Capital by Karl Marx


Karl Marx
A Critique of Political Economy
4.3 (354 ratings)
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What's Capital about?

Capital (1867) represents a groundbreaking analysis of money and its many roles at the height of the industrial revolution. By focusing on the exploitation of the working class, the text challenges traditional economic theories and frames a capitalist economy as a system inherently leading to social inequality and class struggle.

Who should read Capital?

  • Students studying political theory, economics, or sociology
  • Those curious about one of the most influential texts in economics
  • Readers seeking insights on class struggles and social inequalities

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens
4.4 (119 ratings)
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What's A Tale of Two Cities about?

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel set against the backdrop of the tumultuous times of the French Revolution and London in the late eighteenth century. The story revolves around the lives of Charles Darnay, a French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a dissolute English lawyer, who share a striking physical resemblance. As the novel unfolds, it explores themes of sacrifice, resurrection, and the stark contrast between the two cities of Paris and London, ultimately culminating in a powerful and emotionally charged climax.

Who should read A Tale of Two Cities?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Literature lovers
  • Students of social justice

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Thomas Piketty
3.5 (159 ratings)
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What's Capital in the Twenty-First Century about?

Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) offers a deep dive into the historical trends and dynamics of income and wealth inequality. Drawing from centuries of data, it examines how capital concentration perpetuates inequality and proposes bold solutions to address this growing divide.

Who should read Capital in the Twenty-First Century?

  • Economists studying wealth dynamics
  • Those who would like to contextualize modern economic issues with historical data
  • Advocates for social justice and economic equality

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

Birnam Wood

Eleanor Catton
A Novel
4.1 (11 ratings)
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What's Birnam Wood about?

Birnam Wood (2023) is an engrossing thriller about what happens when a group of idealistic activists cross paths with the wrong venture capitalist. What looks like an amazing opportunity soon turns into a deadly nightmare, full of lies, cover-ups, and dangerous bedfellows.

Who should read Birnam Wood?

  • Fans of suspenseful stories
  • People interested in modern eco-thrillers
  • Anyone looking for a novel filled with surprises, twists, and turns

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Capital and Ideology by Thomas Piketty

Capital and Ideology

Thomas Piketty
3.1 (123 ratings)
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What's Capital and Ideology about?

Capital and Ideology (2019) delves into the historical evolution and justification of economic inequality across various societies and ideological systems. It scrutinizes the roles of property relations and educational structures in consolidating wealth and power, concluding with proposals for progressive policies to mitigate prevailing inequalities.

Who should read Capital and Ideology?

  • Economic students exploring comprehensive analyses of wealth disparity and its historical context
  • Historians interested in the evolution of economic structures and ideologies across civilizations
  • Policy-makers seeking to understand and address economic inequalities

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Social Justice Fallacies by Thomas Sowell

Social Justice Fallacies

Thomas Sowell
3.7 (160 ratings)
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What's Social Justice Fallacies about?

Social Justice Fallacies (2023) unravels the myths and misconceptions driving today's social justice movement. It turns out that many popular beliefs about how society should be improved often conflict with concrete facts. This exploration sheds light on the perilous path of good intentions paired with fallacious assertions.

Who should read Social Justice Fallacies?

  • Critical thinkers who find themselves questioning social justice movements
  • Enthusiasts of fact-driven political discourse
  • Anyone wanting to debunk widely accepted social narratives

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher

Capitalist Realism

Mark Fisher
Is There No Alternative?
3.9 (228 ratings)
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What's Capitalist Realism about?

Capitalist Realism (2009) offers an analysis of how contemporary society is shaped and constrained by capitalist ideology. You'll explore the concept of “capitalist realism” – the pervasive sense that no alternative to capitalism is possible. This influential work challenges you to consider the psychological and cultural impacts of living under such a dominant economic system, prompting a reevaluation of societal structures and personal beliefs.

Who should read Capitalist Realism?

  • Anyone feeling let down by our current social or economic systems
  • Activists seeking insights on capitalist influence in society
  • Students of political theory or philosophy

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: American Marxism by Mark R. Levin

American Marxism

Mark R. Levin

What's American Marxism about?

In "American Marxism," Mark R. Levin examines the rise of Marxist ideology in the United States and its impact on American society and politics. He delves into the tactics and strategies employed by Marxist movements and offers a critique of their influence on education, media, and government. Levin also presents a call to action for those who oppose the spread of Marxist ideas and seek to preserve the principles of liberty and individual freedom.

Who should read American Marxism?

  • Individuals interested in understanding the current state of American politics and society
  • Those looking to gain insights into the rise of Marxist ideologies within the United States
  • Readers who want to explore alternative perspectives on the challenges and threats facing the nation

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Dream of Solomeo by Brunello Cucinelli

The Dream of Solomeo

Brunello Cucinelli
My Life and the Idea of Humanistic Capitalism

What's The Dream of Solomeo about?

In "The Dream of Solomeo," Brunello Cucinelli shares the inspiring story of how he transformed a small, medieval village in Italy into a thriving center for art, culture, and ethical business practices. Through his own experiences and reflections, Cucinelli offers valuable insights into the power of creativity, craftsmanship, and community in creating a more meaningful and sustainable way of life. This book is a testament to the potential for positive change and the pursuit of a higher purpose in both business and society.

Who should read The Dream of Solomeo?

  • Readers seeking inspiration from successful entrepreneurial journeys
  • Those with an interest in conscious capitalism
  • Individuals attracted to a blend of philosophy and business

What's Society of the Spectacle about?

If you're interested in understanding how modern society has been overtaken by images and spectacle, "Society of the Spectacle" by Guy Debord is a must-read. Debord critiques the way in which capitalism creates a world of superficial images that dominate our lives, leading to a loss of genuine human experience and connection. It offers a thought-provoking analysis of the impact of consumer culture and media on our everyday lives.

Who should read Society of the Spectacle?

  • Those interested in critical theory and media studies
  • Individuals seeking to understand the impact of consumerism on society
  • Readers who want to explore the concept of spectacle and its role in shaping contemporary culture


What's The Accumulation of Capital about?

The Accumulation of Capital by Rosa Luxemburg is a classic work of economic theory that challenges the prevailing ideas of its time. Luxemburg argues that capitalism relies on constant expansion into non-capitalist economies in order to avoid economic collapse. She explores the relationship between capitalism and imperialism, and offers a thought-provoking analysis of the dynamics of economic growth and crisis.

Who should read The Accumulation of Capital?

  • Anyone interested in understanding the economic and social implications of capital accumulation
  • Students and scholars studying Marxist theories and critiques of capitalism
  • Individuals seeking alternative perspectives on economic systems and political economy

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: The Socialist Manifesto by Bhaskar Sunkara

The Socialist Manifesto

Bhaskar Sunkara

What's The Socialist Manifesto about?

The Socialist Manifesto by Bhaskar Sunkara provides a compelling argument for the relevance of socialism in today's world. It delves into the history of socialist movements, critiques of capitalism, and outlines a vision for a more equitable society. Sunkara challenges misconceptions about socialism and offers thought-provoking ideas for a better future.

Who should read The Socialist Manifesto?

  • Readers curious about the history and principles of socialism
  • Individuals interested in exploring alternative economic and political systems
  • Activists and advocates looking for ideas to address social and economic inequality

What's The Soul of Man under Socialism about?

The Soul of Man under Socialism is a thought-provoking essay by Oscar Wilde that challenges the prevailing economic and social systems of his time. Wilde argues for a society where individualism and creativity can flourish, free from the constraints of capitalism and class divisions. He presents a vision of socialism that prioritizes the well-being of the individual and the pursuit of one's passions.

Who should read The Soul of Man under Socialism?

  • Readers interested in exploring the relationship between art and society
  • Individuals looking to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks of socialism
  • Those curious about the ideas and philosophies of Oscar Wilde

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Why Not Socialism? by G. A. Cohen

Why Not Socialism?

G. A. Cohen

What's Why Not Socialism? about?

Why Not Socialism? by G. A. Cohen challenges the idea that socialism is an unattainable or undesirable political system. Through thought-provoking arguments and examples, the book explores the moral and practical aspects of socialism, questioning why we shouldn't strive for a society based on equality and cooperation.

Who should read Why Not Socialism??

  • Readers who are curious about exploring different political and economic systems
  • Those who are open-minded and willing to consider new ideas and perspectives
  • Individuals who want to understand the moral and ethical arguments for socialism

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Why You Should Be a Socialist by Nathan J. Robinson

Why You Should Be a Socialist

Nathan J. Robinson

What's Why You Should Be a Socialist about?

Why You Should Be a Socialist by Nathan J. Robinson challenges common misconceptions about socialism and presents a compelling argument for its principles and potential benefits. Through thorough analysis and concrete examples, the book encourages readers to reconsider their views on political and economic systems.

Who should read Why You Should Be a Socialist?

  • Individuals curious about socialism and its potential benefits
  • Readers seeking a clear and accessible introduction to socialist ideas
  • Those open to challenging their preconceptions and considering alternative political and economic systems

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Reasons to Vote for Democrats by Michael J. Knowles

Reasons to Vote for Democrats

Michael J. Knowles

What's Reasons to Vote for Democrats about?

Reasons to Vote for Democrats by Michael J. Knowles is a satirical book that presents a humorous take on the political landscape. The book consists of over 250 blank pages and humorously highlights the author's perspective on why one might consider voting for the Democratic party. It has sparked much debate and gained attention for its unique approach.

Who should read Reasons to Vote for Democrats?

  • People interested in politics and current events
  • Readers looking for a satirical take on the Democratic party
  • Those who enjoy a quick and witty read

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Dark Agenda by David Horowitz

Dark Agenda

David Horowitz

What's Dark Agenda about?

Dark Agenda by David Horowitz delves into the hidden war against traditional values and religious freedom in America. Horowitz argues that a radical leftist agenda is seeking to undermine Christianity and reshape the country. Through extensive research and analysis, the book sheds light on the tactics and motivations behind this “dark agenda” and calls for a renewed defense of faith and freedom.

Who should read Dark Agenda?

  • Individuals who are interested in understanding the cultural and political forces shaping America
  • Readers who want to gain insights into the challenges facing Christianity in modern society
  • Those who are open to exploring alternative perspectives and engaging in critical thinking

What's Marx for Beginners about?

Marx for Beginners by Rius is a graphic introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx. Through humorous illustrations and straightforward explanations, the book delves into Marx's theories on capitalism, class struggle, and the potential for a socialist society. It offers a beginner-friendly exploration of a complex and influential thinker.

Who should read Marx for Beginners?

  • Readers who want to understand Marxist concepts in an engaging and accessible way
  • Individuals who are curious about the history and ideas behind Marxism
  • People who enjoy learning through illustrations and cartoons

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books: Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton

Why Marx Was Right

Terry Eagleton

What's Why Marx Was Right about?

Why Marx Was Right by Terry Eagleton challenges the common misconceptions about Karl Marx and his ideas. Eagleton argues that Marx's critiques of capitalism, class struggle, and the potential for a more just society are still relevant today. He addresses criticisms and presents a compelling case for why Marx's analysis of the flaws within capitalism and the need for social change are more important than ever.

Who should read Why Marx Was Right?

  • Individuals interested in understanding the core principles of Marxism
  • Readers looking to challenge conventional capitalist ideologies and explore alternative economic systems
  • Those who want to critically engage with political and social theories

Related Topics

Socialism & Capitalist Critique Books

What's the best Socialism & Capitalist Critique book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Why Nations Fail as the ultimate read on Socialism & Capitalist Critique.

What are the Top 10 Socialism & Capitalist Critique books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  • Manufacturing Consent by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
  • No Logo by Naomi Klein
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
  • The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy Rifkin
  • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
  • The Monopolists by Mary Pilon
  • First as Tragedy, Then as Farce by Slavoj Žižek

Who are the top Socialism & Capitalist Critique book authors?

When it comes to Socialism & Capitalist Critique, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
  • Michael Pollan
  • Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
  • Naomi Klein
  • Naomi Klein