Five books every socialist should read

Five books every socialist should read

Here at Socialist Unity we've been giving out homework! We wanted to know the books that inspire socialists so we've asked a number of left wingers what they think the "five books every socialist should read"

Diane Abbott MP gave us these; Tony Benn's Diaries, John. Maxton by Gordon Brown, Writings by Candlelight by E P Thompson, Black Jacobins by CLR James and the autobiography of MALCOLM X

And Bob Marshall Andrews told us "I am sure that you will have many of the usual tracts ("Ragged Trousered Philanthropist", "How Green Was My Valley" etc., etc).  However, you may like to add the lesser known "Study of the Soul of Man under Socialism" by Oscar Wilde which is simply the best socialist polemic written in English or any other language."

Charlie Pottins tells us that

"The Bible; excellent read for a historical materialist. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (I was told it was "the building workers' Bible" when I was reading it in my lunch break on a site in Sussex -which is where the author worked, so maybe they knew him); The Communist Manifesto. The Transitional Programme. (Both short works but the more you go back over them the more you'll find). A Scots Quair (Lewis Grassic Gibbon trilogy, brilliant use of language in unity with its social realist history as lived).

"And talking of trilogies, if I were allowed one more it might be John Dos Passos, "USA" trilogy.

"Hard to pick out five, but these five sprang to mind, of course socialists should read lots of books, and not just by socialists, but I'm sure others will come up with the others I've not listed."


These are some other choices...

Ben Drake

Derek Wall

Liz Davies

Clive Searle

John Mullen

John Morais

Glyn Robbins

Dave Riley

John Scott, Julian Thomas

Peter Green

Andy Newman

Tawfiq Chahboune,

Rupert Mallin,

Jim Jepps



... then let us know what you'd choose






April 2006

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