There's a lot of good books out there. And a lot to learn about this f-ed up world of ours and the shifty, shady forces who control it and have a plan to control us, if we don't wise up to their game. Unfortunately for them, they've failed to realize that smart folks ain't going out like that. So let's get it on, because mind freedom is only a library card away.
Young and Fucked Over
Growing Up Absurd, Paul Goodman (1960)
The Student As Nigger, Jerry Farber (1967)
If you can find this book, you're in luck. 'Cuz it's the bomb and will wake you up. Check out this opening paragraph:
"School is where you let the dying society put its trip on you. Our schools may seem useful: to make children into doctors, sociologists, engineers - to discover things. But they're poisonous as well. They exploit and enslave students; they petrify society, they make democracy unlikely. And it's not what you're taught that does the harm but how you're taught. Our schools teach you by pushing you around, by stealing your will and your sense of power, by making timid square apathetic slaves out of you - authority addicts."
And it gets better from there. After this amazing manifesto was first published, it was reprinted more than 500 times around the country in several magazines, underground newspapers, and student newspapers on hundreds of campuses during 1967-68. It caused controversy and fucked shit up wherever it appeared. Reprint some sections of it yourself with graphics sprinkled throughout, distribute it at your high school or college, and watch the shit hit the fan.
Our Time Is Now: Notes From The High School Underground, John Birmingham (editor) (1970)
Generation At The Crossroads, Paul Rogat Loeb (1994)
Welcome To The Jungle: The Why Behind Generation X, Geoffrey T. Holtz (1995)
Power Structure/Ruling Class
Friendly Fascism, Bertram Gross (1980)
The power that corporations and the wealthy have over us in today's America may be steering dangerously close to fascism, but it's a smarter, more devious kind than has popped up in the past, because there's no central dictator, no storm troopers, and still the pretense of free elections and democracy. It's fascism with a velvet glove covering the iron fist underneath, it's a kinder, gentler, friendly fascism. This book saw it all coming and will teach you how to better fight it.
Democracy For The Few, Michael Parenti (1983)
Our number two pick. This book lays it on the line, it's easy to follow, and it's full of dangerous knowledge the power structure doesn't want you to read. We live in a time when our lives are increasingly controlled by the plans and decisions of multi-national corporations. Our privacy and individual rights are steadily being taken away from us through the use of ever more high-tech, sophisticated monitoring and surveillance techniques. Our government is bought and paid for by these same large corporations whose plan seems to be total global control and unending profits for them at the entire world's expense. If you think we're still living in a democracy, take the challenge and read this book. You're in for a rude awakening...
The Democratic Facade, Daniel Hellinger (1994)
The Mass Media & Its Lies
Don't Blame The People, Robert Cirino (1971)
Amusing Ourselves To Death, Neil Postman (1985)
Why the fuck do we watch so much television? Growing up in America means spending more time in front of the TV than in school. The average American watches an unbelievable six hours per day. Eight hours working, eight hours sleeping, six hours watching TV - that only leaves two hours to eat your meals, get laid, and do the laundry! No wonder nobody's got time to figure out how they're bring fucked over by the rich and the super-rich, or raise a hand to do anything about it. In this book Neil Postman reveals the forces that feed America's addiction to entertainment and proves they're one of the main reasons our future on this planet is fast going up in smoke.
Unreliable Sources: A Guide To Detecting Bias in News Media, Martin Lee & Norman Soloman (1990)
Inventing Reality: The Politics Of News Media, Michael Parenti (1993)
Manufacturing Consent, Noam Chomsky (1994)
Exploitation & Other Joys Of Work
The Electronic Sweatshop: How Computers Are Transforming the Office of the Future into the Factory of the Past, Barbara Garson (1988)
Falling From Grace: The Experience Of Downward Mobility In The American Middle Class, Katherine S. Newman (1988)
The Humanized Workplace, Jerome Braun (1995)
Divide & Conquer Through Racism, Sexism, Homophobia
Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology Of Writings From The Women's Liberation Movement, Robin Morgan (editor) (1970)
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, Susan Faludi (1991)
Backlash rocks. Must reading for everybody, female and male. Our number four pick. It breaks down the myths and bullshit that would have you believe women's fight for equality in this country is already won. Is it "equality" when nearly 75% of full-time working women make less than $20,000 a year, nearly twice the percentage of males making that little? Why are 2/3 of all poor adults women, and why are women so much more likely than men to live in poor housing and have no health insurance, and twice as likely to draw no pension? Why does the average female college graduate today earn less than a male high school graduate, an f-ed up imbalance that hasn't changed since the 1950's?
Why are women less than 8 percent of all federal and state judges, less than 6 percent of all law partners, and less than one half of one percent of top corporate managers? The number of women in the U.S. Senate is at an all-time high - a measly 6 out of 100. Why do only ten states have laws mandating arrest for domestic violence committed by husbands against their wives? Why do women constantly have to defend their right to control their own reproductive organs, and why are new laws restricting abortion (or even information about abortion) for young and poor women being passed?
All this shit should make you plenty pissed off, and reading this book will clue you in on the reasons it's all going down.
Two Nations, Andrew Hacker (1992)
Our number three pick. This book spells out in black and white the state of U.S. race relations in the 90s. In case anybody bought the Cosby Show version of today's America as a place where racism and white supremacy have almost disappeared, check this knowledge out and get a fuller picture. But it goes a lot deeper. Why do the powers-that-be tolerate, allow, even encourage the continued existence of race-based hatreds? Because they divide us, separating us from one another along imaginary lines, preventing the majority of the people from realizing our real adversaries are the corporations and the super-rich who want us all under their control.
What can be done about it? Coming to grips with the myths of racism, understanding their origins and why they're still around, and figuring out how to tear these myths down. You don't have to run out and organize a protest march first thing. Books like this one arm you with the information power you need to figure out what you can do in your own life to help heal America's race wounds. If enough of us connect with the people we come into contact with on an equal basis, as fellow freedom-loving individuals, even in small steps we'll be moving down the road toward the day when people can truly live together and love one another.
Don't Forget To Exploit The Third World
How The Other Half Dies: The Real Reasons For World Hunger, Susan George (1976)
The Washington Connection And Third World Fascism, Noam Chomsky & Edward S. Herman (1979)
Rebels From The Past
The Autobiography Of Malcolm X (1964)
Who was Malcolm X? He was a black American who aroused more fear and hatred among white racists in the sixties than anyone else - because he was committed to liberating black Americans from racism and oppression by any means necessary, and it was obvious to all that he would never give up, never sell out, never stop fighting. This is his story.
Living My Life, Vols 1 & 2, Emma Goldman (1970)
A People's History Of The United States, Howard Zinn (1980)
You need to read this book. There's a lot of good ones listed here, but this one is it. The straight dope. Our number one pick. The one that tells you about the real history of America, not the whitewashed bullshit one they tried to brainfeed you in grade school. The history of ordinary Americans who have fought brave and hard against corporate exploitation, racism, police brutality, and other fucked up anti-democratic bullshit the powers-that-be have been trying to pull on all of us since this country came into being. Go find it.
Uncovering The Sixties, Abe Peck (1985)
Did you know that during the sixties there were at least five hundred revolutionary, underground papers distributed for free all over the country? And we're not talking about publications full of nothing more than current movie reviews, club listings, overpriced restaurants that want your food dollars, and personal ads from lonely thirty-somethings. These papers printed news that the mainstream media wouldn't, preaching revolution against the war machine, corporate exploitation, racism, sexism, and the brainwashing of youth. And definitely in favor of free love, drug adventures, and loud music. They were down for the struggle, and they had an impact! On the surface, this book is a history of that press. But it's so much more than that - it's the story of what the underground press covered - the whole freaky wild craziness that actually went down in the sixties. So deep a story it will blow your mind and make you wonder, "did this shit really happen only thirty years ago?" Required reading - our number five pick.
Democracy Is In The Streets, James Miller (1987)
The Best Of Abbie Hoffman (1989)
Abbie Hoffman is my hero. And he should be your hero, too. Included in this volume are selections from his very out-of-print classics Revolution For The Hell Of It, Woodstock Nation, and Steal This Book. They went out of print because they were too controversial for any publisher to touch for many years. Revolutionary, hustler, general badass - Abbie was the man. And he scared people. Threw dollar bills down on traders on the floor of New York Stock Exchange and had them scrambling around like the greedy bastards they really were, for the world to see. Helped organize a 500,000 person strong March On The Pentagon designed to exorcise it of evil, war-like spirits, complete with announced plans to levitate the building at the march's conclusion. Had authorities terrified that thousands of hippies were coming to disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and poison the water supply with LSD. These fears ultimately provoked a police riot that proved once and for all how the power structure really reacts to those who question its authority. Steal this book, then read it.
Fighting Back Today
Reveille For Radicals; Rules For Radicals, Saul Alinsky (1946 & 1971)
Saul Alinsky was a radical organizer of people's movements against poverty and oppression. He wrote these two books to teach other people how they could do the exact same thing. You'll learn tactics, philosophy, invaluable insights into human nature and why people act they way they do, and important information about how to survive, succeed and win as a radical in America.
The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Boston Women's Health Book Collective (1992)
Greetings From This Modern World; Tune In Tomorrow, Tom Tomorrow (1992 & 1994)
America: What Went Wrong?, Donald Barlett & James Steele (1992)