Every month we’ll bring you highlights from our reading stack.
Equity and Activism Book Club Pick: This Is An Uprising
If you, too, have had it with liberals policing each others’ activism, This Is An Uprising is the book you’ve been searching for. The authors delve into a recent history of nonviolent activism and present various theories for the mechanisms by which progressive movements can bring about change. They take pains to reference empirical data that corroborates the effectiveness of methods like mass protests, strikes, and sustained engagement by as little as 3% of the population (movements can be effective with much less than 3% engagement, but above 3% engagement their chance of success is extremely high.)
Socially-Conscious Fiction Pick: The Underground Railroad
I wasn’t sure what to make of a book that seemed to feature an <i>actual train</i> as a stand-in for the Underground Railroad, but it’s actually a very effective device for conveying the reader from place to place. Up there with <i>Kindred</i> for me in its harsh, stirring portrayal of life as a Black woman in the antebellum South. You’ll be cheering for Cora every step of the way.
“I Told You So” Feminist Pick: Women After All
I’m always skeptical of feminist books written by men, but Women After All doesn’t really bill itself as feminist, per se. It’s an account of the biological and anthropological basis of women’s oppression, starting with the surprisingly enthralling mating habits of sea-slugs all the way up to modern-day quasi-matriarchal societies. I don’t necessarily agree with all of the author’s assertions about the biological basis of femininity (the logic gets a bit circular, here) but overall it’s a compelling narrative. And who can argue with a book that concludes that we need to give more power to women?