What does it mean to be a progressive in America? In this special series Five Books approached ten political commentators, activists and politicians and asked them to talk about which books were most important for the progressive cause.
The series was edited by Eve Gerber, our US editor, and Neera Tanden.
Unlike our American Conservatism series, we did not arrange a vote to establish the ultimate books in the progressive canon. However, we can highlight the books that were chosen more than once: John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (chosen by both John Kerry and Antonio Villaraigosa) and Winner-Take-All Politics by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson.
How do the choices, made well before he was even a candidate, stand up in the age of Trump? Also, if you're able to make one of our reader lists, highlighting more recently published must-read progressive books, you can do so here.
Paul Krugman, Nobel prize-winning economist, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, and Emeritus Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton, discusses the books that most influenced his formation as a liberal economist.
Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story
by Martin Luther King Jr
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
by Malcolm X and assisted by Alex Haley, Laurence Fishburne (narrator)
The Two-Income Trap
by Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Tyagi
by Jacob S Hacker and Paul Pierson
by Jim Wallis
As American congressman Keith Ellison—the first Muslim elected to Congress—enters the race to chair the Democratic National Committee, reread this interview on the cause he stands for: progressivism — and the best books to read to fully understand it.
Cecile Richards, American pro-choice activist and former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discusses the stories of struggle and resilience that have inspired her and can give encouragement to others seeking change