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.
Historian Eric Foner chooses five books illustrating how concepts of American liberalism have changed over the past 50 years, and about the tension that lies at the heart of liberalism today.
In the last of our series of interviews on American progressivism, the mayor of Los Angeles chooses five novels and biographies that provide lessons from the past and show what a democratic society should aspire to be
John Kerry, the 68th United States Secretary of State, picks five books that every progressive should read, and discusses the divide in America between the haves and have-nots
The prominent left wing blogger tells us what books have shaped his worldview. He explains why America needs to wake up to the forces preventing change, and better understand the root causes of its political deadlock
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
The former union boss shares his reading list for American progressives, and tells us what makes a good leader and how it takes only a few committed people to bring change
Our weekly series on American progressivism continues with the journalist and author discussing the genesis of liberalism – and how the Civil War remade politics
In the latest instalment of our series on American progressivism, the environmental advocate and human rights activist tells us why the age of Obama will really only begin after the president has left office