Five books every socialist should read

Glyn Robbins

Glyn Robbins is a member of Respect's national executive

 

This has kept me awake for some of the night!  I realise that some of my favourite books are not necessarily the ones I'd recommend to socialists, but anyway, here goes;

 

The Ragged Trousered Philanthopists, Robert Tressell

 Not an original choice, but I think essential reading for its basic arguments for socialism, set in the context of working peoples'  everyday lives and struggles.

 

Ten Days that Shook the World, John Reed

I can't really argue with Lenin's recommendation that workers of the world should read this.

 

Animal Farm, George Orwell

After reading about the glories of the Soviet revolution, we need to try and understand why it went wrong.

 

Night, Elie Wessel

The Holocaust  is one of the hardest lessons for socialists (and all people) to learn and this is a vivid description of its human consequences.

 

Native Son, Richard Wright

I could have filled all five of my choices with American books and was torn between this, Steinbeck and Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'.  But Native Son is a great read and a timeless portrayal of racism, injustice and inequality.

 

Feb 2006

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