My Reading List

Below is a growing list of books, read in the past few years, that resonate with me in my pursuit to better understand the thinking and politics of my country, the politicians and our history, specifically in how it has led us to where we are today in this concerning and vitriolic climate. Read. Listen. Stay informed!

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
    • Summary:  ‘In The Color of Law (published by Liveright in May 2017), Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America—the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife—is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.’
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America by Sarah Kendzior
    • Summary:  ‘Sarah Kendzior’s Hiding in Plain Sight pulls back the veil on a history spanning decades, a history of an American autocrat in the making. In doing so, she reveals the inherent fragility of American democracy – how our continual loss of freedom, the rise of consolidated corruption, and the secrets behind a burgeoning autocratic United States have been hiding in plain sight for decades.’
  • Our Time is Now by Stacey Abrams
    • Summary:  ‘Celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams offers a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country. A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack.’
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
    • Summary:  ‘In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.’
  • Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World  by Jacqueline Novogratz, Jacqueline
    • Highlight:  ‘In 2001, when Jacqueline Novogratz founded Acumen, a global community of socially and environmentally responsible partners dedicated to changing the way the world tackles poverty, few had heard of impact investing—Acumen’s practice of “doing well by doing good.”  Drawing on inspiring stories from change-makers around the world and on memories of her own most difficult experiences, Jacqueline divulges the most common leadership mistakes and the mind-sets needed to rise above them.’
  • Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein
    • Summary: ‘Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis. A revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.’
    • THIS IS A MUST READ!
  • The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
    • Summary: ‘Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative of the Trump administration’s botched presidential transition takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its leaders through willful ignorance and greed. The government manages a vast array of critical services that keep us safe and underpin our lives from ensuring the safety of our food and drugs and predicting extreme weather events to tracking and locating black market uranium before the terrorists do. The Fifth Risk masterfully and vividly unspools the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works.’
  • The Warmth of other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
    • Summary: ‘In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.’
    • ‘I love this book and it changed my life. It’s a MUST read!’ ~ Sandra Sick
  • White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
    • Summary: ‘In her groundbreaking history of the class system in America, extending from colonial times to the present, Nancy Isenberg takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing––if occasionally entertaining––poor white trash.’
  • Gaslighting America by Amanda Carpenter
    • Summary: ‘In Gaslighting America, Carpenter breaks down Trump’s formula, showing why it’s practically foolproof, playing his victims, the media, the Democrats, and the Republican fence-sitters perfectly. She traces how this tactic started with Nixon, gained traction with Bill Clinton, and exploded under Trump. If you think Trump is driving you crazy, it’s because he is.’
  • Whose Votes Count: Affirmative Action and Minority Voting Rights by Abigail M. Thernstrom
    • Summary: ‘Thernstrom demonstrates how voting rights have created a “political thicket” in which Congress, the courts, and the justice Department have been lost. Why this should be true, how small statutory changes led to large and unexpected results, how civil rights groups prevailed against a conservative Senate, how Republicans have benefited from gerrymandering to increase black officeholding—these stories are all part of Thernstrom’s well-told tale.’
  • Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair that Shaped a First Lady by Susan Quinn
  • The Truths We Hold: An American Journey by Kamala Harris
  • Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg
  • This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren
  • Our Revolution: A Future t Believe In by Bernie Sanders
  • Some not so obvious choices, but some popular books with timely ‘wake-up calls’ to all of us: