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Post-Election 2016 Reading to Inspire Action, Find Meaning, and Learn from Our History

Post-Electio 2016 readig

The results of the 2016 presidential election have left many people in shock and disappointment. In a time where people are fearing that a new administration will work to reverse much of the progress made in the last eight years, we are left wondering what the future holds. How do we continue to fight against climate change, fight for reproductive rights, LGBTQ protections, and racial and economic justice?

Some people are turning to different voices to learn how to step up to the task of movement-building. Some are looking for advice to help them process their post-electoral grief. Others are looking for expert analysis and critique on the current issues affecting our society. At Beacon, publishing books on these issues is our mission. Now, more than ever, these books are relevant and timely, and we need our authors’ wisdom and expertise. Below we offer a non-exhaustive list of post-election reading recommendations from our catalog.

Books to Inspire Action

The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Modern-day civil rights champion Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America’s racial divide.

You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times
Howard Zinn

In his classic memoir, influential teacher and activist Howard Zinn gives us reason to hope that by learning from history and engaging politically, we can make a difference in the world.

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In his final book, Dr. King lays out his reflections after a decade of civil rights struggles. With a universal message of hope, he demands an end to global suffering.

Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer
Eric Mann

In this comprehensive guide for the twenty-first century, Eric Mann articulates pragmatically what’s required in the often mystifying and rarely explained on-the-ground practice of organizing.

Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists
Lyn Mikel Brown

Drawing from a diverse collection of interviews with women and girl activists, Lyn Mikel Brown’s playbook shows how to work with and train girls to be activists of their own social movements.

Bridging the Class Divide and Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing
Linda Stout

Linda Stout tells the inspiring story of how she founded one of this country’s most successful and innovative grassroots organizations, the Piedmont Peace Project.


Books to Find Meaning

Man’s Search for Meaning
Viktor Frankl

Based on his experiences of surviving Nazi death camps and his patients’ experiences, psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s timeless memoir continues to help us find meaning in the midst of suffering.

Poems to Live By in Troubling Times
Joan Murray, editor

In the wake of September 11, editor and poet Joan Murray brought together sixty poems by an international group of distinguished writers to address our need for wisdom in dark times.

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh’s classic book on meditation offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercises to guide us in working toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.

For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey
Richard Blanco

2013 inaugural poet Richard Blanco shares his journey as a Latino immigrant and openly gay man discovering a new understanding of what it means to be an American in his memoir.

Baldwin for Our Times: Writings from James Baldwin for an Age of Sorrow and Struggle
James Baldwin with an introduction by Rich Blint

This e-book collection of James Baldwin’s writings speaks urgently to our current era of racial injustice and the renewed spirit of activism represented by the Black Lives Matter movement.

MLK on “The Other America” and “Black Power”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

In this e-book collection, two of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most radical works examine inequality, police brutality, and black power, and speak to our most pressing social issues of today.


Books on American Society

Wrapped in the Flag: What I Learned Growing Up in America’s Radical Right, How I Escaped, and Why My Story Matters Today
Claire Conner

Clair Conner, the daughter of one of the John Birch Society’s founding fathers, offers an intimate history of the infamous ultraconservative organization.

Family Pride: What LGBT Families Should Know About Navigating Home, School, and Safety in Their Neighborhoods
Michael Shelton

Community activist Michael Shelton lays out concrete strategies LGBT families can use to intervene in and resolve difficult community issues, teach their children resiliency skills, and find safe and respectful programs for them.

Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance
Linda K. Wertheimer

Education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer reveals a public education system struggling with the debate over religion in the classroom and offers a roadmap for raising a new generation of religiously literate Americans.

“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People” And Other Myths About Guns and Gun Control
Dennis A. Henigan

Gun law advocate Dennis Henigan debunks the lethal logic and behind the persuasive myths and pro-gun slogans that continue to frame the gun control debate.

Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America
Eboo Patel

Interfaith leader Eboo Patel offers a primer for Americans to defend the values of inclusiveness and pluralism to rise up and confront the prejudices of our era.

What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice
Wen Stephenson

Journalist Wen Stephenson gives us an urgent, on-the-ground look at some of the “new American radicals” who have laid everything on the line to build a stronger climate justice movement.

“They Take Our Jobs!” And 20 Other Myths About Immigration
Aviva Chomsky

History professor Aviva Chomsky illustrates how the parameters and presumptions of the immigration debate distort how we think and have been thinking about immigration.

Detained and Deported: Stories of Immigrant Families Under Fire
Margaret Regan

Journalist Margaret Regan shares a rare and intimate look at the people ensnared by the US detention and deportation system, the largest in the world.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz radically reframes more than four hundred years US history and reveals how Native Americans have actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

Dispatches from the Abortion Wars: The Costs of Fanaticism to Doctors, Patients, and the Rest of Us
Carole Joffe

Sociologist Carole Joffe brings together surprising firsthand accounts from the front lines of abortion provision to uncover the persistent cultural, political, and economic hurdles to access.

The Stranger Next Door: The Story of a Small Community’s Battle over Sex, Faith, and Civil Rights
Arlene Stein

Arlene Stein sets out to discover why a small town with no apparent queer population became the site of a bitter battle over gay rights.

We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Stories from Immigrant Communities after 9/11
Tram Nguyen

Tram Nguyen reveals the human cost of the domestic war on terror and examines the impact of post-9/11 policies on people targeted because of immigration status, nationality, and religion.

Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War
Artemis Joukowsky

This official companion to the Ken Burns PBS documentary tells the little-known story of the Sharps, an ordinary couple that undertook the dangerous rescue and relief missions across war-torn Europe, saving the lives of refugees, political dissidents, and Jews on the eve of World War II.