10 Books on Activism

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit

“Time and again she comes running towards you with a bunch of hopes she has found and picked in the undergrowth of the times we are living. And you remember that hope is not a guarantee for tomorrow, but a detonator of energy for action today.” —John Berger, author, Ways of Seeing

Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement

by Angela Y. Davis

"Whether you've grown up with the courage and conscience of Angela Davis, or are discovering her for the first time,  Freedom Is a Constant Struggle is a small book that will be a huge help in daily life and action, from exposing the "prison industrial complex" that she named long ago to understanding that leaders are only leadersif they empower others. She herself exposes facts and makes connections, but also leads in the most important way–by example." —Gloria Steinem

Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism

by Jennifer Baumgardner, Amy Richards and Winona LaDuke

“Have you ever wanted to make a difference but didn't know how? Grassroots  is the book you've been waiting for. Using examples drawn from progressive and feminist campaigns all over the country, Veteran activists Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards explain how to organize your friends, your community, and most important, yourself.” Katha Pollitt

Aftershock: Confronting Trauma in a Violent World: A Guide for Activists and Their Allies

by Pattrice Jones

"pattrice jones has her finger on the pulse of the real America . . . a country teeming with homeless shelters, alcohol and drug rehab centers, rape crisis hotlines, battered women's shelters, prisons, law enforcement agents, and soldiers. Aftershock  is a manual for the many wounded souls seeking to survive such trauma and to participate in the struggle for a more just society." -- Mickey Z. , author of  The Seven Deadly Spins  and  50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know

The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century                            by Grace Lee Boggs

"Reading Grace Lee Boggs helps you glimpse a United States that is better and more beautiful than you thought it was. As she analyzes some of the inspiring theories and practices that have emerged from the struggles for equality and freedom in Detroit and beyond, she also shows us that in this country, a future revolution is not only necessary but possible." —Michael Hardt, co-author of Commonwealth

The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way 

by Hillary Rettic

Lifelong Activist is a unique and luscious hybrid, part inspirational tract and part practical textbook on sustaining effective and dedicated activism over the long, long haul.  --  SusanG, Daily Kos

Feminism is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks

"bell hooks has always written in a very readable style, eschewing footnotes because people in her hometown told her they were put off by books with footnotes. This time, she set out to write a book that explains feminism, particularly for a mainstream audience….certainly she has once again made the point that feminists need to try to reach women of all races and classes." ―Carol Anne Douglas, Off Our Backs (2001)

How to Save the World in Your Spare Time by Elizabeth May

"The book offers succinct advice on questions that arise in new grassroots advocacy groups: Should we organize and lobby with letters or email? Should we get a lawyer? What are our rights? How do we get media people to care? It’s also a great refresher for long-time organizers, reminding the reader to ponder, before embarking on a campaign, whether she is willing to undergo hunger strikes and civil disobedience, be arrested, and/or remortgage her home for a full-page ad in the  Globe and Mail." --Carra NoelleSimpson, Geist

Activists Beyond Borders by Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink

"Activists beyond Borders  makes a compelling case for the conditions under which international collaboration among activists across nations can achieve change that would have been impossible otherwise. The authors take care to develop a clear model of the factors necessary for such change, they are restrained in their willingness to generalize beyond the cases they have examined, and they supplement the contemporary campaigns analyzed in the book with historical examples."― Signs

Organizing for Social Change

by Kimberley Bobo, Steve Max and Jackie Kendall

In the hands of young organizers, this book has helped to build strategic campaigns, provide best practices and develop the next generation of leaders. --Gregory Cendana, President 2009-10 U.S. Student Association (USSA)

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