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2017 Books for the Holidays: Politics and Activism Must-Reads

The end of the year is a great time to catch up on the state of politics and activism. Stay up to date with what’s going on in our country with these reads.

Check out all our 2017 holiday lists here.

  1. 1

    The Truth Matters

    Distinguish fake news from reliable journalism with this clear and concise handbook by New York Times best-selling author Bruce Bartlett. The Truth Matters presents actionable tips and tricks for reading critically, judging sources, using fact-checking sites, avoiding confirmation bias, identifying trustworthy experts, and more.

    The Truth Matters Book Cover Picture
  2. 2

    We Were Eight Years in Power

    In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.” We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America.

    We Were Eight Years in Power Book Cover Picture
  3. 3

    American Radical

    It’s no secret that federal agencies are waging a broad, global war against terror. But for the first time in this memoir, an active Muslim American federal agent reveals his experience infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell in North America.

    American Radical Book Cover Picture
  4. 4

    Rest in Power

    Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement.

    Rest in Power Book Cover Picture
  5. 5


    In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.

    Fantasyland Book Cover Picture
  6. 6

    Conscience of a Conservative

    In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, and xenophobia. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party.

    Conscience of a Conservative Book Cover Picture
  7. 7

    On Tyranny

    The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. On Tyranny traces how our political order today faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century.

    On Tyranny Book Cover Picture
  8. 8

    Churchill and Orwell

    This dual biography of Winston Churchill and George Orwell recounts how both preserved democracy from the threats of authoritarianism, from the left and right alike. Taken together, in Thomas E. Ricks’s masterful hands, their lives are a beautiful testament to the power of moral conviction.

    Churchill and Orwell Book Cover Picture
  9. 9

    Resistance, Rebellion, Life

    From Solmaz Sharif and Eileen Myles to Kevin Young and Juan Felipe Herrera, American poets of diverse styles and strategies have contributed their truths: scenes from the front lines of resistance, and from the interior of our collective conscience.

    Resistance, Rebellion, Life Book Cover Picture
  10. 10

    An American Family

    In fewer than three hundred words, Khizr Khan electrified viewers around the world when he took the stage at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. An American Family shows us who Khizr Khan and millions of other American immigrants are, and why—especially in these tumultuous times—we must not be afraid to step forward for what we believe in when it matters most.

    An American Family Book Cover Picture
  11. 11

    I Can’t Breathe

    On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk. The final moments of Garner’s life were captured on video and seen by millions. A narrative of urban America and a scathing indictment of the perverse incentives built into our penal system, I Can’t Breathe drills down into the particulars of one case to confront us with the human cost of our broken approach to dispensing criminal justice.

    I Can't Breathe Book Cover Picture
  12. 12

    Beyond the Messy Truth

    In Beyond the Messy Truth, Jones offers a blueprint for transforming our collective anxiety into meaningful change. Tough on Donald Trump but showing respect and empathy for his supporters, Jones takes aim at the failures of both parties before and after Trump’s victory.

    Beyond the Messy Truth Book Cover Picture
  13. 13


    Luke Harding,  Guardian reporter and former Moscow bureau chief, takes the reader through every bizarre and disquieting detail of the “Trump-Russia” story. Drawing on new material and his expert understanding of Moscow and its players, he uncovers international espionage, off-shore banks, sketchy real estate deals, mobsters, money laundering, poisoned dissidents, and computer hacking.

    Collusion Book Cover Picture

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