What are some good non-fiction books? - i wanna' be (((woke)))

Duncan Hills Coffee

Oww, my byaaack
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Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer is an amazing book. It's a personal account of the 1996 Everest disaster in which a group of climbers get blindsided by a blizzard. Krakauer was with that group. It's a harrowing read. Krakauer also goes into the history of Everest and the people who climbed it so not only do you get a great non-fiction adventure story but you also get a fascinating history lesson.
 

Florence

Bim, guess what?
True & Honest Fan
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I’ve just finished The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer and Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon, and I’d definitely recommend them, but in the end it all comes down to your choice in subject matter.
 

Absolutego

Middleman who didn't do diddly
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The Gulag Archipelago is required reading for anyone trying to understand 20th century morality.

For slightly more niche tastes, Almost President is a really useful take on minority politics in the USA via analysis of perennial almost-presidents. The Columbian Exchange is a great study of the many impacts the Old and New Worlds mixing had on future history.
 

laoyang

Gravel Kang
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If you like stories about organized crime, I'd recommend Wiseguy and Casino by Nicholas Pileggi, they're the basis of Martin Scorsese's movies Goodfellas and Casino. Wiseguy is about how Henry Hill grew up in the mafia and is a fairly brisk and easy read while Casino is more about how the mob's hold on Las Vegas crumbled and can be a bit hard to follow at times just because there's no central person that it's about. I've read both over and over again and love them, they're very funny and insightful about how crime works.
 
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Lurkette

Professional Depression
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Not books, but Ive been listening to the YouTube channel "Real Stories" while I work. Lot of good, obscurish docs (like one about a dude who left his family in Canada without a word vecause he embezzeled money, lived his life in the U.S. under a different name, died, and his best friend started investigating because it was under slightly suspicious circumstances and no one came to claim his body. Plus IIRC the police admitted the name he had been using couldn't be verified. There's also cancer hoax, crime, historical, medical...just a mishmash of docs on that channel. Dunno if theyre legally posted but there ya go.)
 
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Capsaicin Addict

Dancing on the ashes of history.
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Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. While written by a pair of Democrat media hacks, the book can't help but show how damaged Hillary's campaign was even from the start. There's a number of interesting tidbits here; definitely worth reading.

Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough. A dispassionate but still unnerving examination of the radical left during the 60's up to the early 80's. I've referenced this book before and there's a good review on Status 451, but you really need to read it. Money shot for me was how the FALN somehow got their hooks into the Episcopal Church and was using it as cover and to draw funds.

Walls, Wire, Bars, and Souls by Peter Grant. An account of prison life and systems, through the eyes of a former prison chaplain. Depressing and intriguing all the same. Grant is very Christian, but don't let that put you off; he keeps the preaching to a minimum. Grant also writes a pretty decent stick with his Maxwell novels (sci-fi stories very similar to David Weber's Honorverse) and others.

The Lawdog Files, by Lawdog. A Texas sheriff's deputy who prefers the nom de plume of 'Lawdog', these are tales from his time as a deputy in the town of Bugscuffle, Texas. Three words, folks: Pink gorilla suit. That's all.
 

Oscar Wildean

True & Honest Fan
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One of the better true crime books I've read in a long long time. This is a "vintage" true crime story where Evelyn Nesbit (one of the earliest pin up girls in history) went to trial for the murder of her husband (Stanley White) by her boyfriend who she had an affair with- after telling the boyfriend (Harry Thaw) that Stanley had raped her years before they married. (Apparently he raped her when she was 16 and he was older.) This book details the marriage, affair and murder and trial. It's a fascinating case and it's written in a way that doesn't bore you with the details.
 

DatBepisTho

Cryptid Farmer
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Destiny of The Republic is p.good for politics and history (which is more my nonfic thang) and I think Hampton Sides or Eric Larson have some books with a "politics in historical events" bent to them.
 

Douglas Reynholm

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So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. Explores the lives of individuals who have felt the wrath of online mobs, seems relevant in these times. Gives insight into how people collectively de-humanise targets to the extent that they are willing to ruin livelihoods over rather trivial issues. One chapter, for example, covers the aftermath of the Justine Sacco racist tweet saga.
 

madethistocomment

welcome to god's mosh pit
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I'd recommend The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. He talks about his exoeriences during the Vietnam War and what he did and what he saw over there, and how those years have affected his and his squad's lives after the war. It's very well written and several chapters leave you deep in thought after reading. I'd describe some as haunting, even. It's definitely my favorite nonfiction book out there.
 
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Commander Keen

in GOODBYE GALAXY!!!
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The Bear Went Over the Mountain was pretty interesting. Cheap, too. Kinda hard to read on digital, though, but physical copies are also dirt cheap.

Edit: I lied. Apparently, they reprinted it since Russia is back on the menu and people want to know about Russian combat tactics again. Ebook is still 3 bucks, though.
 

Vlad the Inhaler

Wallachian Usurper/Fashion Impresario
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Must reads (in the sense that all people need to read as they are extremely helpful to gain a truly useful understanding of our world) are:

Longitude by Dava Sobel. Short but captivating and fascinating.
Ubiquity by Mark Buchanan. Absolutely essential, you will really understand the world we live in better by its study of metastable systems in nature and society.
Smoke and Mirrors by Dan Baum. The enraging but definitive indictment of the War on Drugs. Meticulously researched and documented.
The Politics of Heroin, Alfred McCoy. Explains how the CIA really were involved in drug trafficking and why.
The First World War by John Keegan. A short, easy to read treatise on the war that shaped the world we live in, and still does.
A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan. The authoritative history of the Vietnam War, and how our gov't operates.
Man's Search for Meaning, by Dr. Viktor Frankl. Short and compelling, his holocaust memoir and a manual for how to lead a good life. Unlike all the books douchebags are always saying, "It'll change your life, man!" this one really will.
The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen. (Sacha's cousin.) Great treatise on why human beings can be so barbarous, or even just slightly cruel and why we enjoy it.
The Social Contract by Rousseau. What politics should really try to accomplish.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. Although not without some valid criticism, it remains an excellent explanation of the role of technology and agriculture in the advancement of some civilizations over others.
The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Not just for his theories of warfare, but because of its applications to psychology and problem solving.
Hiroshima by John Hersey. A horrifying personilization of mass death in warfare.
Also, any decent book on the Behaviorism school of psychological theory.

I'm also trying to find a one-volume book on how our legal system works, and the theory behind it. Something that explains why I always told my clients that they could do everything that attorneys do for them, but they'd be shit nuts for trying unless they had time to read dozens of books and sit and watch dozens of trials/hearings before they did.


These are not must reads, but very compelling and useful all the same:

The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer. Superb treatise on capital punishment, as is:
The Day the Guillotine Fell by Jeremy Mercer.
The Jungle is Neutral by Spencer Chapman. Thrilling and motivating story of survival.
SPQR by Mary Beard, a comprehensive one book understanding of the Roman Empire and why they still matter.
Dangerous Waters by John Burnett. Why modern piracy is a major problem.
Why Catholics Are Right by Michael Coren. It's Catholic apologism, but it's also an intriguing look at the philosophical underpinnings of Catholic (and generally Christian) dogma, and why it's not so radically different from other religions and philosophies. Also a neat starting point for other discussion on morality and ethics, such as:
Right Conduct by Michael Bayles. College textbook consisting of various essays on ethical philosophies, all great primers and very thought-provoking. I found it a splendid challenge to consider them all and compare/contrast.

Well, that's a good start anyway. I strongly recommend all these books without reservation.
 
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Vlad the Inhaler

Wallachian Usurper/Fashion Impresario
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I'd recommend The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. He talks about his exoeriences during the Vietnam War and what he did and what he saw over there, and how those years have affected his and his squad's lives after the war. It's very well written and several chapters leave you deep in thought after reading. I'd describe some as haunting, even. It's definitely my favorite nonfiction book out there.
Not to nitpick, but The Things they Carried is actually fiction, though based on his experiences. His nonfiction book (and personally WAY better) is his first, If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box me up and Ship me Home. Phenomenal.

Days of Rage by Bryan Burrough. A dispassionate but still unnerving examination of the radical left during the 60's up to the early 80's. I've referenced this book before and there's a good review on Status 451, but you really need to read it. Money shot for me was how the FALN somehow got their hooks into the Episcopal Church and was using it as cover and to draw funds.

Walls, Wire, Bars, and Souls by Peter Grant. An account of prison life and systems, through the eyes of a former prison chaplain. Depressing and intriguing all the same. Grant is very Christian, but don't let that put you off; he keeps the preaching to a minimum. Grant also writes a pretty decent stick with his Maxwel.
I don't know if you're familiar with these titles, but they'd make perfect companions for the ones you've mentioned:

The Armies of the Night by Norman Mailer, about the anti-war movement during Vietnam, concentrating on the showdown at the Pentagon in '67. Of course it's more or less an exercise in fellating them, but it's Mailer. It's still compelling.
Also, Caught by Marie Gottschalk, about the whole mess we've created by mass incarceration. She kind of focuses on what she calls the "nons" (non-violent drug charges, non-sexual, and something else) but it is meticulously researched and footnoted.
 
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Oscar Wildean

True & Honest Fan
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Shadfan666xxx000

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Albion's Seed: Provides a very deep and in-depth look into the formation of regional identity in the United States and the way each of the major regions would define themselves in relation to their environment and each other.
Battlecry for Freedom: Gives a comprehensive summation of the lead up and events of the American civil war providing context, detail and data about the events
American nations: A decent companion read to Albion's seed. Doesn't dive nearly as deeply and there is a clear bias against the South and the Far West. I personally put it off for after Albion's seed.
 
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Kitlen

Julie, Mr. 600... I'm making friends everywhere!
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My Lobotomy, not for the faint-hearted. Gut wrenching account autobiography of a man who received an icepick lobotomy at age 12 because his stepmother hated him and the aftermath that was his life.
 

Webby's Boyfriend

reality cartoonist
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Gaming isn't the best way of learning things (for obvious reasons),
I know a lot of people who unironically claimed to have learned a lot from videogames, comicbooks, cartoons and fictional TV shows. Likely, they were all very uneducated and never read a non-fiction book or watched a documentary film.

I always liked the Anabasis by Xenophon. It's in a pretty dynamic and relatively accessible style and tells an excellent story.
I have that book in the Ancient Greek original version.
 
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