The best 59 Socialism & Capitalist Critique books

Death of a Salesman

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller
A Play About the Success and Disappointments of the American Dream

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

The Wealth of Nations

The Wealth of Nations

Adam Smith
The most influential economic book of all time
4.3 (756 ratings)

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

Myth America

Myth America

Kevin M. Kruse and Julian E. Zelizer
Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies about Our Past
2.9 (75 ratings)

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

The Communist Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Workers of the world unite!
4.3 (624 ratings)

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

Animal Farm

Animal Farm

George Orwell
A Political Satire on the Corrupting Influence of Power
4.8 (258 ratings)

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

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy

Joseph Schumpeter
Essential analysis on where the world economy is headed
4.2 (557 ratings)

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

Why Nations Fail

Why Nations Fail

Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson
The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
4.6 (352 ratings)

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

It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism

It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism

Bernie Sanders
What it Would Take to Change the Status Quo That Enriches Billionaires and Holds the Working Class Down
4.0 (244 ratings)

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

American Psycho

American Psycho

Bret Easton Ellis
A Violent Satire on Modern Capitalism and Corporate Greed
3.8 (11 ratings)

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

The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt's landmark work about Europe's anti-Semitic and imperialist roots
4.6 (282 ratings)

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

The Dawn of Everything

The Dawn of Everything

David Graeber & David Wengrow
A New History of Humanity
4.1 (327 ratings)

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



Eric Lonergan and Mark Blyth
How we can rearrange our economies to produce more equality and less anger
4.0 (98 ratings)

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

Phishing for Phools

Phishing for Phools

George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller
The Economics of Manipulation and Deception
4.0 (91 ratings)

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

Financial Feminist

Financial Feminist

Tori Dunlap
Overcome the Patriarchy's Bullsh*t to Master Your Money and Build a Life You Love
4.0 (293 ratings)

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

The Constitution of Liberty

The Constitution of Liberty

Friedrich A. Hayek
In Defense of Freedom and a Free Society
3.9 (278 ratings)

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

The House of Rothschild

The House of Rothschild

Niall Ferguson
Money’s Prophets 1798–1848
4.3 (82 ratings)

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

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Shoshana Zuboff
The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
4.6 (242 ratings)

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

Utopia for Realists

Utopia for Realists

Rutger Bregman
And How We Can Get There
4.4 (224 ratings)

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

How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century

How to Be an Anticapitalist in the 21st Century

Erik Olin Wright
A pragmatic strategic guide to building an alternative economic system
4.2 (95 ratings)

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

Bullshit Jobs

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber
A Theory
4.3 (173 ratings)

What's Bullshit Jobs about?

Bullshit Jobs (2018) takes an unwavering look at a dismal fact: millions of people – from corporate lawyers to university administrative assistants – are stuck in jobs that they know, deep down, are pointless and unnecessary. Despite technological advances that could allow us to work less and enjoy life more, our cultural values mean we’ve come to prioritize work, even if it’s bullshit. 

Who should read Bullshit Jobs?

  • Anyone who thinks their job is bullshit
  • People with an interest in modern-day employment
  • People seeking inspiration for a new work-life balance



Michael Newman
A Very Short Introduction
4.4 (145 ratings)

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

Us vs. Them

Us vs. Them

Ian Bremmer
The Failure of Globalism
4.4 (58 ratings)

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

The Romanovs

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
4.5 (100 ratings)

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



Paul Mason
A Guide to Our Future
4.0 (100 ratings)

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

Manufacturing Consent

Manufacturing Consent

Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky
The Political Economy of the Mass Media
4.5 (164 ratings)

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

The Raging 2020s

The Raging 2020s

Alec Ross
Companies, Countries, People – and the Fight for Our Future
3.9 (88 ratings)

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

Earth for All

Earth for All

Sandrine Dixson-Decleve
A Survival Guide for Humanity
4.4 (29 ratings)

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!

The Future Is History

The Future Is History

Masha Gessen
How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia
4.3 (81 ratings)

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

New Dark Age

New Dark Age

James Bridle
Technology and the End of the Future
4.1 (79 ratings)

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



Bhu Srinivasan
A 400-Year History of American Capitalism
4.4 (67 ratings)

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

The Omnivore's Dilemma

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Michael Pollan
A Natural History of Four Meals
4.5 (63 ratings)

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

After the Fall

After the Fall

Ben Rhodes
Being American in the World We've Made
4.0 (228 ratings)

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



Julia Lovell
A Global History
4.3 (78 ratings)

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

Chaos Under Heaven

Chaos Under Heaven

Josh Rogin
America, China, and the Battle for the 21st Century
4.3 (54 ratings)

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

Bad Blood

Bad Blood

John Carreyrou
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
4.2 (111 ratings)

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

Mission Economy

Mission Economy

Mariana Mazzucato
A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism
4.0 (200 ratings)

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

The Economists’ Hour

The Economists’ Hour

Binyamin Appelbaum
False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society
4.3 (62 ratings)

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?”

Barbarians at the Gate

Barbarians at the Gate

Bryan Burrough
The Fall of RJR Nabisco
4.1 (40 ratings)

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

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

Slavoj Žižek
Why the crises keep happening
4.5 (55 ratings)

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

The Lonely Century

The Lonely Century

Noreena Hertz
How Isolation Imperils Our Future
4.2 (148 ratings)

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

Imagined Communities

Imagined Communities

Benedict Anderson
Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism
4.6 (85 ratings)

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

No Logo

No Logo

Naomi Klein
The increasing power of brands
4.1 (57 ratings)

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


Private Government

Private Government

Elizabeth Anderson
How Employers Rule Our Lives (and Why We Don't Talk about It)
4.0 (66 ratings)

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

The Shock Doctrine

The Shock Doctrine

Naomi Klein
Disaster capitalism's rise and what it means for you
4.2 (60 ratings)

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


The Zero Marginal Cost Society

The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Jeremy Rifkin
The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons and the Eclipse of Capitalism
4.3 (29 ratings)

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

Raw Deal

Raw Deal

Steven Hill
How the “Uber Economy” and Runaway Capitalism are Screwing American Workers
3.3 (21 ratings)

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

The Curse of Bigness

The Curse of Bigness

Tim Wu
Antitrust in the New Gilded Age
4.6 (23 ratings)

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



Christopher Leonard
The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America
4.2 (41 ratings)

What's Kochland about?

Kochland (2019) is a biography of Koch Industries. Once a relatively small and disorganized conglomeration of private holdings, Koch Industries is now the second-largest privately held corporation in the United States, with a sprawling network of assets that includes everything from oil refineries to chemical plants and oil pipelines to paper mills. These blinks tell the story of Koch’s massive growth and shine sidelights on the life of Charles Koch, Koch’s CEO for more than 50 years and the man who made it all possible. 

Who should read Kochland?

  • People who’ve heard the name, but don’t know Koch’s history
  • Citizens concerned about corporate power in the United States
  • Anyone wondering why Koch Industries is so secretive

Glass House

Glass House

Brian Alexander
The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town
3.6 (22 ratings)

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



Mihir Sharma
The Last Chance for the Indian Economy

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

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism

Kristen Ghodsee
And Other Arguments for Economic Independence
3.7 (39 ratings)

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

Beyond Outrage

Beyond Outrage

Robert B. Reich
What Has Gone Wrong with Our Economy and Our Democracy, and How to Fix It
4.3 (20 ratings)

What's Beyond Outrage about?

Beyond Outrage provides a sobering analysis of what has gone wrong in American politics and economics. Looking at the distribution of wealth and income imbalance, it convincingly argues that we must wrest government from the hands of the regressive right.

Who should read Beyond Outrage?

  • Anyone who is interested in US politics
  • Anyone who worries about growing wealth inequality
  • Anyone who wants to improve American economic policy and democracy

The Third Pillar

The Third Pillar

Raghuram Rajan
The Revival of Community in a Polarized World
4.4 (35 ratings)

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

The Great Degeneration

The Great Degeneration

Niall Ferguson
How Institutions Decay and Economies Die
3.8 (46 ratings)

What's The Great Degeneration about?

The Western world seems to be in crisis. It is faced with huge levels of public and private debt, and the economies of the rest of the world are fast catching up. After 500 years of total global dominance, the era of Western powers could be coming to an end.

The Great Degeneration (2014) aims to tackle why this is the case. It suggests that a decline in Western institutions is partly to blame. Only by arresting this decline through radical reform can the West recover.

Who should read The Great Degeneration?

  • Students of political and economic history
  • Anyone who wants to know why Western nations are in so much debt
  • Anyone who is interested in the future of democracy



John Naish
Breaking free from the World of Excess
4.2 (11 ratings)

What's Enough about?

Enough offers a scathing critique of the one rule that always seems to hold in Western societies: “more is always better.” With the help of compelling biological and psychological studies, Enough shows us how our obsession with “more” is actually the source of many of our woes, as well as what we can do about it.

Who should read Enough?

  • Anyone interested in the connection between psychology, advertisement and society
  • Anyone who feels overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice he or she has
  • Anyone who feels compelled to buy the newest toys and gadgets

First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father

Loung Ung
A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
4.4 (14 ratings)

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

The Monopolists

The Monopolists

Mary Pilon
Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game

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

A Quiet Word

A Quiet Word

Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell
Lobbying, Crony Capitalism and Broken Politics in Britain

What's A Quiet Word about?

A Quiet Word explains what lobbyism is, how it works and why it can be dangerous for democracy. The authors reveal the extent of lobbying today, detail different strategies used by lobbyists to influence governments, and offer a solution to help defend democracy.

Who should read A Quiet Word?

  • Anyone who is interested in learning more about lobbyism
  • Anyone who is critical of big corporations’ influence on politics
  • Anyone who is losing faith in democracy

Factory Man

Factory Man

Beth Macy
How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local and Helped Save an American Town

What's Factory Man about?

Factory Man unveils the dark side of globalization; that is, the horrific impact it has had on American business and the lives of factory workers. In its detailed examination of twentieth-century furniture manufacturing, it reveals how to fight against the death of the local economy and, more importantly, why this fight is worth it.

Who should read Factory Man?

  • Anyone whose industry has been impacted by globalization
  • People in the furniture business
  • Anyone interested in geopolitics and offshoring

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