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Social Justice for Beginners

Social Justice for Beginners

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About the list

Friendspire handpicked this based on a list by Blinkist on 13 October 2020.

Have you ever thought about why you like to read? What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" novels and movies are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is definitely no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that smell of paperback novels or th
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Blueprint for Revolution

2015 | Srdja Popovic,Matthew Miller

An urgent and accessible handbook for peaceful protesters, activists, and community organizers--anyone trying to defend their rights, hold their government accountable, or change the world Blueprint for Revolution will teach you how to * make oppression backfire by playing your opponents' strongest card against them * identify the "almighty pillars of power" in order to shift the balance of control * dream big, but start small: learn how to pick battles you can win * listen to what people actually care about in order to incorporate their needs into your revolutionary vision * master the art of compromise to bring together even the most disparate groups * recognize your allies and view your enemies as potential partners * use humor to make yourself heard, defuse potentially violent situations, and "laugh your way to victory" Praise for Blueprint for Revolution "The title is no exaggeration. Otpor's methods . . . have been adopted by democracy movements around the world. The Egyptian opposition used them to topple Hosni Mubarak. In Lebanon, the Serbs helped the Cedar Revolution extricate the country from Syrian control. In Maldives, their methods were the key to overthrowing a dictator who had held power for thirty years. In many other countries, people have used what Canvas teaches to accomplish other political goals, such as fighting corruption or protecting the environment."--The New York Times "A clear, well-constructed, and easily applicable set of principles for any David facing any Goliath (sans slingshot, of course) . . . By the end of Blueprint, the idea that a punch is no match for a punch line feels like anything but a joke."--The Boston Globe "An entertaining primer on the theory and practice of peaceful protest."--The Guardian "With this wonderful book, Srdja Popovic is inspiring ordinary people facing injustice and oppression to use this tool kit to challenge their oppressors and create something much better. When I was growing up, we dreamed that young people could bring down those who misused their power and create a more just and democratic society. For Srdja Popovic, living in Belgrade in 1998, this same dream was potentially a much more dangerous idea. But with an extraordinarily courageous group of students that formed Otpor!, Srdja used imagination, invention, cunning, and lots of humor to create a movement that not only succeeded in toppling the brutal dictator Slobodan Milosević but has become a blueprint for nonviolent revolution around the world. Srdja rules!"--Peter Gabriel "Blueprint for Revolution is not only a spirited guide to changing the world but a breakthrough in the annals of advice for those who seek justice and democracy. It asks (and not heavy-handedly): As long as you want to change the world, why not do it joyfully? It's not just funny. It's seriously funny. No joke."--Todd Gitlin, author of The Sixties and Occupy Nation

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Engines of Liberty

2016 | David Cole

One of Washington Post's Notable Nonfiction Books of 2016 How did gay and lesbian couples' right to marry go from unthinkable to inevitable? How did the individual right to bear arms, dismissed as fraudulent by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1990, become a constitutional right in 2008? And what compelled President George W. Bush to rein in many of his initiatives in the war on terror before leaving office, even though past presidents have had a free hand in wartime? We are likely to answer that, in each case, the Supreme Court remade our nation's most fundamental law. Yet as the award-winning legal scholar David Cole argues in Engines of Liberty, citizen activists are the true drivers of constitutional change. Drawing on interviews with participants in the most successful rights movements of the last 30 years, he shows that time and again, associations of ordinary Americans confronting long odds have managed to transform the nation's highest law. And they have done so largely through advocacy outside the federal courts altogether. We witness marriage equality advocates in the 1980s and 1990s uniting behind a strategy of state-based incrementalism that paved the way for their historic Supreme Court victory. We see the NRA building a loyal and active membership base that can swing elections and influence state and federal law, thereby shaping the debate about guns at the Supreme Court. And we watch as civil liberties and human rights groups encourage foreign populations and governments to challenge the president when few domestic institutions would. Offering a new vision of the role we all play in shaping our Constitution and illuminating the tactics successful reform campaigns have employed, Engines of Liberty restores faith in the power of citizen activists to help shape our nation's future.

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She/He/They/Me

2019 | Robyn Ryle

An accessible guide for learning about gender identity for those questioning their own genders, generally curious about gender, or interested in better understanding someone else's identity. If you've ever questioned the logic of basing an entire identity around what you have between your legs, it's time to embark on a daring escape outside of the binary box. Written in a choose-your-own path style, you'll explore over one hundred different scenarios that embrace nearly every definition of gender around the globe and throughout history in a refreshingly creative exploration of the ways gender colors and shapes our world. In She/He/They/Me, Dr. Robyn Ryle, professor of sociology and gender studies at Hanover College in Indiana, thoughtfully discusses gender constructs, expectations, and transitions along with covering everything from the science, biology, and psychology of gender to the philosophy, legality and societal implications. This is a must-read for better understanding and celebrating LGBTQ+, nonbinary, and transgender identities and a great resource for parents of gender queer kids. Praise for She/He/They/Me: An engaging, choose-your-own-adventure-style guide to gender that encourages readers to travel down paths with which they may not be familiar. These guided thought experiments are opportunities to consider just how strongly our gender assignments influence our daily lives.--Psychology Today Light and accessible, this is a smart and streamlined journey through the nuances of gender identity.--Booklist

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The War on Normal People

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2018 | Andrew Yang

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From 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a captivating account of how "a skinny Asian kid from upstate" became a successful entrepreneur, only to find a new mission: calling attention to the urgent steps America must take, including Universal Basic Income, to stabilize our economy amid rapid technological change and automation. The shift toward automation is about to create a tsunami of unemployment. Not in the distant future--now. One recent estimate predicts 45 million American workers will lose their jobs within the next twelve years--jobs that won't be replaced. In a future marked by restlessness and chronic unemployment, what will happen to American society? In The War on Normal People, Andrew Yang paints a dire portrait of the American economy. Rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and automation software are making millions of Americans' livelihoods irrelevant. The consequences of these trends are already being felt across our communities in the form of political unrest, drug use, and other social ills. The future looks dire-but is it unavoidable? In The War on Normal People, Yang imagines a different future--one in which having a job is distinct from the capacity to prosper and seek fulfillment. At this vision's core is Universal Basic Income, the concept of providing all citizens with a guaranteed income-and one that is rapidly gaining popularity among forward-thinking politicians and economists. Yang proposes that UBI is an essential step toward a new, more durable kind of economy, one he calls "human capitalism."

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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America

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2017 | James Forman Jr.

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In recent years, America’s criminal justice system has become the subject of an increasingly urgent debate. Critics have assailed the rise of mass incarceration, emphasizing its disproportionate impact on people of color. As James Forman, Jr., points out, however, the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. In Locking Up Our Own, he seeks to understand why. Forman shows us that the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office amid a surge in crime and drug addiction. Many prominent black officials, including Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry and federal prosecutor Eric Holder, feared that the gains of the civil rights movement were being undermined by lawlessness—and thus embraced tough-on-crime measures, including longer sentences and aggressive police tactics. In the face of skyrocketing murder rates and the proliferation of open-air drug markets, they believed they had no choice. But the policies they adopted would have devastating consequences for residents of poor black neighborhoods. A former D.C. public defender, Forman tells riveting stories of politicians, community activists, police officers, defendants, and crime victims. He writes with compassion about individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas—from the men and women he represented in court to officials struggling to respond to a public safety emergency. Locking Up Our Own enriches our understanding of why our society became so punitive and offers important lessons to anyone concerned about the future of race and the criminal justice system in this country.

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