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Beginner leftist books

Beginner Leftist Books

Have you just realized that there is something fundamentally wrong with the world we live in today? Have you been wondering where to begin to learn more about the world we live in today and what is wrong with it? Have you been inspired by the leftist ideology and want to begin your reading journey? Then look no further (or maybe you do!). Here is a list of books you can start with in your journey of leftism. I have not included books that have complicated theories or that have terms and vocabulary that a new leftist may not understand. I hope some of them will inspire you to read more.

Beginner leftist books Marx's Capital for Beginners David N.Smith

1. Marx's Kapital for Beginners - David N.Smith

Marx's Kapital for Beginners is a book written in comic book style about politics and economics. A very good introduction that could quickly have you understand the major themes of Marx's theory of Capital. This book cuts to the chase and is straight to the point. It has it all — Labor Theory, exploitation, relative and absolute surplus value, diminishing profits, concepts of commodities, exchange value, abstract labor, money, class struggle and a summary of the path forward. Its a perfect book for beginners to understand what capitalism actually is.

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Beginner leftist books Communist manifesto

2. The Communist manifesto

I know I promised that I will not include books that have complicated theories or that have terms and vocabulary that a new leftist may not understand, but this small book is a manifesto written for the industrial workers at the time (1848). Although the theory of Capital is explained here, it is explained in a way that common people could understand and get inspired. I strongly recommend you read this short book before going further and reading other works. Even if you cannot fully understand it, it will stay in the back of your mind while you slowly gain more realization about the existing society.

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 Must read Beginner leftist books Pedagogy of the oppressed – Paulo Freire

3. Pedagogy Of The Oppressed – Paulo Freire

Pedagogy Of The Oppressed is among the most important books about education. The Brazilian radical educator and philosopher elaborates on an approach he created to emancipatory education and a marxist class analysis of the relationship between colonizer and the colonized. He treats education as a practice of freedom as against the traditional pedagogy, which treats the student as an empty vessel to be filled with knowledge. Instead, he argues that education should treat the learner as a co-creator of knowledge. The goal of education must be to transform structural oppression instead of adapting people to their oppressive conditions. This way of pedagogy is fundamental to revolutionary process.

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Beginner socialist books Anarchism and other essays — Emma Goldman

4. Anarchism and other essays — Emma Goldman

Anarchism and other essays by Emma Goldman is a collection of essays first published in 1910 where Goldman writes about an anarchist views on oppression of women and shortcomings of first wave of feminism, prisons, political violence, sexuality, religion, nationalism and art theory.

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Beginner leftist reading guide Don't let my past be your future — Harry Leslie Smith

5. Don't let my past be your future — Harry Leslie Smith

Don't let my past be your future is a memoir and a social history of the 20th century Britain by Harry Leslie Smith who served in the British Royal Airforce in the Second World War. Harry Smith writes politics from the common people's point of view. He explains the social changes that came after the end of second world war and how the social changes were threatend by the growing trend towards right-wing populist movements in England, Europe, and United States.

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Beginner leftist books list Understanding Power – Noam Chomsky

6. Understanding Power – Noam Chomsky

Understanding Power is a collection of transcripts of talks, and Q&A sessions conducted by Noam Chomsky between 1989-99 in United States and Canada. The interview format makes the book very accessible and simple to understand. In Chomsky's own words "world affairs are trivial: there's nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old." The topics covered in book is very wide ranging from US foreign policy, function of schools, working class, propaganda, to moral values. Reading this book will give you a sense of why Noam Chomsky is arguably the most important intellectual and the most cited scholars alive today.

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Beginner anarchist books The Mismeasure of Man – Stephen Jay Gould

7. The Mismeasure of Man – Stephen Jay Gould

If you have ever been told with "scientific evidence" that white people were superior to black people, then this book is for you. Stephen Gould abolishes the ideology behind "The Bell Curve" and shows how social scientists throughout history have shaped their findings to fit their narrative of race superiority. Gould debunks the methodologies of such findings such as mental capacity and measurable IQ determined by cranial volume, and how they tried to fit their beliefs to preserve the idea that Wealthy White People have earned their status because they are more intelligent.

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Beginner leftist books 23 things they don’t tell you about Capitalism  Ha-Joon Chang

8. 23 things they don’t tell you about Capitalism Ha-Joon Chang

Thing 1: There is no such thing as free market. Thing 4: The washing machine has changed the world more than the Internet. Thing 5: Assume the worst about people, and you get the worst. Thing 13: Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer. If you've wondered how we did not see the economic collapse coming, Ha-Joon Chang knows the answer: We didn't ask what they didn't tell us about capitalism. This is a lighthearted book with a serious purpose: to question the assumptions behind the dogma and sheer hype that the dominant school of neoliberal economists-the apostles of the free market-have spun since the Age of Reagan.

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Beginner anti-capitalist books This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein

9. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein

In it, Klein argues that the climate crisis cannot be addressed in the current era of neoliberal market fundamentalism, which encourages profligate consumption and has resulted in mega-mergers and trade agreements hostile to the health of the environment. Forget everything you think you know about global warming. It's not about carbon – it's about capitalism. You have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. You have been told it's impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it – it just requires breaking every rule in the 'free-market' playbook. You have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight back is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

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Beginner leftist books anarchist books Anarcho-syndicalism Rudolf Rocker

10. Anarcho-syndicalism by Rudolf Rocker

In 1937, at the behest of Emma Goldman, Rocker penned this political and philosophical masterpiece as an introduction to the ideals fueling the Spanish social revolution and resistance to capitalism the world over. Within, Rocker offers an introduction to anarchist ideas, a history of the international workers’ movement, and an outline of the syndicalist strategies and tactics embraced at the time (direct action, sabotage and the general strike). Includes a lengthy introduction by Nicholas Walter and a Preface by Noam Chomsky.

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