Nelson Mandela's A Long Walk to Freedom (1994) is one of the most famous autobiographies of recent times. It tells the story of his life, from his humble beginnings in the South African countryside to his work as an iconic anti-apartheid freedom fighter, and ends, after chronicling his twenty-year prison sentence, with his final victory and release.
Rational Ritual (2001) offers a profound, game theory-based analysis of the role that rituals, ceremonies and media events play in society. Throughout the ages, these rites have been used to create “common knowledge” that allows people to solve problems such as which ruler to obey and which products to buy. Essential reading for budding Robespierres or Steve Jobses alike.
A Force For Good (2015) reveals how you can swap your negative thoughts for positive actions. By taking a closer look at the Dalai Lama’s wisdom and vision, these blinks explain how individuals acting positively can together form a global force of good, driving change in our world through mutual compassion.
Start with Why gets to the bottom of why certain people and businesses are far more innovative and successful than others – even in situations where everyone has access to the same technology, people and resources. The book shows you how to create a business that inspires customers and has satisfied employees.
The True Believer (1951), published in the aftermath of World War II, is an exploration of mass movements and the means by which they attract followers. These blinks will take you on a walk through history – showing how, under certain circumstances, be they right or wrong, anyone can become a true believer.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965) is a profound and personal account of one man’s journey from dropping out of school and entering a life of crime and drug addiction to finding redemption through human rights activism. These blinks tell the story of a curious and evolving mind: a man who dedicated his life to helping African-Americans gain identity and freedom from oppression by any means necessary.
The Black Jacobins traces the remarkable history of the revolution in the French colony of San Domingo (modern day Haiti). It describes the events that helped the revolution become the first successful slave rebellion in history.
In particular, The Black Jacobins views the events through the prism of the revolution’s greatest figure, Toussaint L’Ouverture. It shows how he, a former slave who was inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, successfully defeated the European empires and helped to destroy the brutal practice of slavery in San Domingo.
This is a Blinkist staff pick
“One of my favorite things about Blinkist is that it helps you learn about topics you might not delve into otherwise. In my case, without these blinks I probably never would have known about this fascinating bit of Haitian history.”
– Ben H, Head of Editorial at Blinkist
In this book, author Seth Godin reveals the most powerful unit of social organization: the “tribe,” or a group of people connected to a cause, a leader and each other, who together drive change in society. It shows us how we can harness the power of the internet to form and lead our own tribes. Tribes also advocates the universal need for change and leadership, so we can grow as a company or as a society.
Anything You Want (2011) is a guide to realizing your dream business, which is easier than you might think. These blinks will teach you why the conventional ideas of amassing tons of money, consultants and technology are all wrong, and that the real key to success is you and your stellar ideas.
In Originals (2016), Adam Grant taps into the field of original thinking and explores where great ideas come from. By following unconventional rules, Grant gives us helpful guidelines for how we can foster originality in every facet of our lives. He also shows that anyone can enhance his or her creativity, and gives foolproof methods for identifying our truly original ideas – and following through with them.