^ These guys are really the pinnacle of the downtrodden Trump was appealing to, right?Oh the calls to return to the “good old days” that are happening everywhere. Where all of a sudden the post World-War-Two-age with the recognition that things like internalized and accepted racism had led to mass murder, that nativism and populism had allowed for the unchecked rise of demagogues and the resultant death of millions seems to have disappeared. Yes. The good old days. Those times were fun, weren’t they?
Leaving aside the political commentary (for now), here are some fantastic books to read which help illuminate the current political climate.
- Red Notice – an amazing book that sheds light on the political oligarchy of Russia today and the way in which the Putin regime is not substantially different from that of the Soviets at the height of their abuses of power. Given how much Putin and Russia have become part of the news of the day (between accusations of meddling in the US election and their affiliations with the Assad regime in Syria) it sheds a lot of light on the policies of the government.
- Hillbilly Elegy – a fantastic insight into the Rust Belt and its “culture in crisis.” Best book I’ve read in the past twelve months.
- The Accusation by Bandi – First piece of fiction that came out of North Korea. Considering North Korea’s place in the world as a dangerous and complicated country, this interesting book offers fascinating insight.
- Nickled and Dimed, on (not) getting by in America – it’s easy for some of us to lose sight of the position that some North American citizens find themselves in. We would be to remiss to forget the way in which some live at or below the poverty line, and this book sheds light on that.
- Age of Anger – a great book at the rise of anger in the 21st century, and how anger is fuelling political movements of the moment.
- The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession transformed American and European Politics – Donald Trump. Brexit. Need I say more? An amazing survey of how populism (a movement born in Midwestern America in response to exploitation of the monied coastal classes, way back in the 20s and 30s) has transformed the political landscape in the last few years. Written in the last few months, it is a perfectly timed book.
I would say Happy Reading like I usually do, but let’s be honest, it’s all depressing AF.