A display of vanity — favorite books

The almost proverbial vanity of “favorite lists” is appealing to me. Not only does it give me an excuse to write something — this blog has been inactive for some time now — it also gives me some time to reflect on books that have shaped my thinking. I know the formet is a little arbitrary, but what construction isn’t? Like the book-shelf in the bourgouis livingroom, the blog-list is supposed to give a debonair sense of eclectic wit and taste — and mine is no different. If you’re looking for something to read over the summer, these won’t disappoint you. By the way, I’ve not included obvious classics like Marx’ Capital or Rousseau’s discourse on inequality, even though they were formative, nor are there any fiction on here, since that would take forever.

The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg

Discourse on Colonialism — Aimé Césaire

The Origins of the Second World War — A.J.P. Taylor

Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World — Mike Davies

The Memoirs — Hector Berlioz

The State and Revolution — Vladimir Lenin

The Second Sex —  Simone de Beauvoir

Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance — James C. Scott

The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire — John Newsinger

Mythologies — Roland Barthes

The Coming of the French Revolution —  Georges Lefebvre

My Life — Leon Trotsky

The Prophet: Trotsky — Isaac Deutscher

Selections from the Prison Notebooks of Antonio Gramsci

The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution — C.L.R. James

Orientalism — Edward Said

The Wretched of the Earth — Frantz Fanon

Tristes Tropiques — Claude Levi-Strauss

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West — Dee Brown

Man’s Worldly Goods: The Story of the Wealth of Nations — Leo Huberman

The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time — Karl Polanyi

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature — Erich Auerbach

Prisoner of Love — Jean Genet

The Age of-books —  Eric J. Hobsbawm

Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism — Peter Marshall

Return from the USSR —  André Gide

Diaries of Franz Kafka

The Great War and Modern Memory — Paul Fussell

Essays —  George Orwell

Illuminations: Essays and Reflections — Walter Benjamin

An Occult Diary —  August Strindberg

Letters from a Stoic — Seneca

Memoirs of a Revolutionary — Victor Serge

Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge — Paul Karl Feyerabend

Annals and Histories — Tacitus

Memoirs of a Revolutionist — Peter Kropotkin

Film Form: Essays in Film Theory — Sergei Eisenstein

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist — Alexander Berkman

Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments — Adorno & Horkheimer

What Is History? — E.H. Carr

Corruptions of Empire: Life Studies & the Reagan Era — Alexander Cockburn

Diaries of a Young Poet — Rainer Maria Rilke

Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and Its Triumphs — Edited by John Pilger

Labor and Monopoly Capital: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century — Harry Braverman

News from Nowhere and Other Writings — William Morris

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism — Ha-Joon Chang

Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media — Chomsky & Herman

Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake — Northrop Frye

Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark — Mary Wollstonecraft

The Mismeasure of Man — Stephen J. Gould

Revolutionary Dreams: Utopian Vision and Experimental Life in the Russian Revolution — Richard Sites

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine — Ilan Pappé

Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II — William Blum

Essential Writings of Gandhi

The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money — J.M. Keynes

In Praise of Idleness: And Other Essays — Bertrand Russell

A Handbook on Hanging — Charles Duff

The Kingdom of God Is Within You — Leo Tolstoy

Poison Penmanship: The Gentle Art of Muckraking — Jessica Mitford

The Varieties of Religious Experience — William James

 A Mencken Chrestomathy — H.L. Mencken

The Journal, 1837-1861 — Henry David Thoreau

The Foucault Reader

Humanitarian Imperialism: Using Human Rights to Sell War — Jean Bricmont

Unto This Last and Other Writings — John Ruskins

The Portable Hannah Arendt

Notes on the Cinematographer — Robert Bresson

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa — Walter Rodney

The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays — Charles Baudelaire

In the Belly of the Beast: Letters From Prison — Jack Henry Abbott

The History of Rome —  Titus Livy

The Anatomy of Fascism — Robert O. Paxton

Man Meets Dog — Konrad Lorenz

The Freud Reader

Fidel Castro: My Life

Farber on Film: The Complete Film Writings — Manny Farber

Poet in New York —  Federico García Lorca

Critique of Economic Reason — Andre Gorz

Saturn: An Essay on Goya — André Malraux

The Politics of Collective Violence — Charles Tilly

The Power Elite — C. Wright Mills

Agee on Film — James Agee

Ozu and The Poetics of Cinema — David Bordwell