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

Inflatable Julay

I have to stand up to play the git-tar
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The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, alternates between the construction of the 1893 World's Fair and H. H. Holmes, a serial killer who built a "murder castle" near the fair.

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sistero, far better than the movie and goes into more detail about the really shitty things Tommy did that weren't mentioned or brushed over in the movie.
 

Medical Hawaii

Serenity Now!
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While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within by Bruce Bawer. Disturbing look into how Europe’s response to the 9/11 attacks (setting themselves apart from America by trying to appear more welcoming and liberal) has introduced a growing demographic and cultural threat from various Muslim immigrant communities. They’ve let them resist integration into society, and have allowed them to even accelerate their indoctrination and grow in their extremist groups
 
I'll tell you what's NOT a good non-fiction book: anything that starts with "A Concise History" or "A Brief History."

You are guaranteed that it will either be ironically named and be the exact opposite, extremely long and composed entirely of minutiae that does nothing to further your holistic understanding of the subject, or it will be accurate and be so concise that it has nothing new to offer and is like reading a 300-page Wikipedia article.
 

KiwiFuzz

Lady chode
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"War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning" by Chris Hedges is brilliant and crushing. "Radical politics fills empty lives."

"Game Change" is a book I haven't read in a while but it's juicy and paints Obama's success in 2008 as a series of failures on the part of his opponents, especially Edwards but also Hillary and McCain. And Palin.

"Deep Survival" is a particular favorite of mine. It's equal parts true life adventure stories and musings on psychology and neurochemistry. (The second chapter made me think that I might have made a mistake, but the third chapter picks up again.) This book really influenced the way I view police shootings in that expecting people to make rational decisions when the brain is flooded with different chemicals is not realistic. "Adrift: Seventy-six Days Lost At Sea" by Steve Callahan is a book that I read after it was cited in "Deep Survival" and it's a page turner; he's in a raft in the middle of the Atlantic and when he accidentally punctured the raft and half of it deflated, I felt the man's utter despair.

"Road To Jonestown" was great. "Season Of The Witch" is apparently also great, but I haven't read it yet.

"Don't Think Of An Elephant" is a little dated and obviously left-slanted but the idea of framing is an interesting one. (Like right now they're talking about "school opening" on the TV and I am cringing because the framing is awful.)

"Albion's Seed," which was suggested upthread, is a chonker but it's great and you shouldn't feel compelled to read the whole thing from start to finish. You can skip around a bit and learn a ton of shit.

"The Hot Zone" is gruesome and fun.

"The Art of War" is a classic.

@Leonard Helplessness I started "The Federalist Papers" just today and they're really interesting. Read the second one if you read nothing else.

 

MerriedxReldnahc

World's Okay-est Proctologist
True & Honest Fan
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For people with nerdier interests, The Ten-Cent Plague is a really interesting account of the early history of comic books and the comic scare that just about ruined the industry in the 50's. It would be an even more interesting read now considering how comics of our current time are getting the sanitization treatment, so there's a lot of parallels that can be drawn between now and the past.

Relating to that is the book Seduction of the Innocent, which I haven't read but have wanted to find for a while. It's the very book that launched the whole comic book witch hunt in the first place. The author, Fredric Wertham, was a child psychologist who worked with cases of juvenile delinquency. He noted a pattern between violent behavior and reading violent comic books and conveniently forgot that nearly every child in America read comic books. And apparently he sounded like Dr. Strangelove.

Dear Reader is another good book but I don't know whether it can be properly called non-fiction. It's the "unauthorized autobiography" of Kim Jong Il, assembled by author Michael Malice from various books actually written by Kim Jong Il. It's written as if it came from the man himself and is delightfully insane. It doesn't include the more famous stories such as his perfect score the first time he went bowling and him evolving beyond the need to defecate, but I recall mention of robot overlords and the claim that Korean opera is a greater gift to humanity than the discovery of fire.


The number one answer to this, of course, is Mein Komf.
From what I understand if you wanna read Mein Kampf, you want to make sure you have a good translation. The most common translation (the Manheim version )is kind of clunky and makes Hiter even more of a rambling nut. The Ford version is apparently much better in terms of being faithful to the original German while also being more readable. But take this all with a grain of salt, this is based on things I was told maybe ten years ago and I myself never made it through the whole book.
 
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Rumpled Foreskin

More Human Than Human
True & Honest Fan
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@MerriedxReldnahc the original post was more or less a shit post, because most people see the name Hitler and automatically dismiss the work. You’re more or less right, where the “generally accepted” version has a lot of stuff added to it, and some frankly bad translations.
 
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Hermann the German

Niemand lügt soviel als der Entrüstete.
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Masters of Doom, about the founding of id Software and the development of their pivotal games, is an interesting look into how different mindsets clash and the compromises made in the race to turn a profit and impress with new technology versus the creative instinct.
 

albertbrown26

#1 Bill Hicks fan
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Nonfiction is one of the best genres out there, since it totally beats self-help most of the time.
My suggestions would have to be:

The Myth of Male Power
Industrial Society and its Future, Technological Slavery
and Anti-Tech Revolution
My Life
by Benito Mussolini (a lot of people referenced Mein Kampf , but I get surprised when I asked people about this book, it seems that no one has really mentioned it or have heard of it)
 
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BrunoMattei

Vincent Dawn
True & Honest Fan
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Confessions of a Yakuza. Chronicles a guy in the early part of the 20th century rising through the ranks.
 

Aberforth

Straight A student in special ed.
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Masters of Doom, about the founding of id Software and the development of their pivotal games, is an interesting look into how different mindsets clash and the compromises made in the race to turn a profit and impress with new technology versus the creative instinct.
The Game Engine Black Books are also quite good. They go over the source code and the game's history. The Doom one has a section about 90's computers and how each component works. Pretty cool stuff.

Also has some funny stories like Romero getting trapped in his office. Don't worry, John Carmack saved him. With a battle axe he kept around.
 

rocknrollmartian

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Dated and imperfect but still worth a read/relevant:

Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos

Bias by Bernard Goldberg

The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

New and compelling:

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigal Shrier
 

Maiden

OwO~
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Seconding the rec a few posts up for Road to Jonestown. Really fascinating exploration of the how the cult evolved and just how powerful it was at one point. Eerie stuff to think about in hindsight. Seductive Poison is also an interesting read as a companion to it as it's written by one of Jones' closest associates who managed to escape before the mass suicide happened. Though it's obviously not as outwardly in-depth as the former, it does well for showing just how so many people were drawn into the cult since, well, it happened to the author.

Couple other ones I've read recently:

- We Believe the Children - a very straightforward dig into the 1980s Satanic Panic. Another one of those things that seems insane for people to get swept up into in hindsight but the book does a good job of mapping out how the moral panic escalated and how it was fed by the absolute shitshow that was the way investigators handled it.

- On the Farm - a fantastically in-depth true crime book about the "Pig Farmer" serial killer Robert Pickton. This one was a genuinely great read - it digs into the history of Pickton from pretty much the very beginning of his life with impressive detail to the end of his trial and the aftermath. It does the same to the best of its ability for his victims as well, which I really appreciated as I find a lot of serial killer focused true crime books tend to kind of... fawn over their subjects a bit (even if it's unintentional) at the expense of forgetting to remind the reader that the killer's victims were human, too. Also one of the few books that left me shook up for a good few days after the fact - reading about ground human meat kept frozen in a meat locker tends to do that to you.

- The Death of Innocents - I normally read nonfiction about stuff I'm already interested in (mostly edgy shit like serial killers, satanic panic, mkultra, ww2 experimentation etc..) but I'm about 75% into this... well, tome is the best word I've got, about a whole bit of madness I never even knew was a thing until now. It starts with a seemingly straightforward case of a father murdering his children for their insurance payouts, and slowly unravels into a complete criminal and medical clusterfuck when it turns out that the academic paper that was the crux of the defense's argument was also a case of serial murder - except in that case everyone initially had blinders on to the point a nation and then world-wide movement around SIDS was predicated on deaths that weren't exactly sudden or unexplained. Absolute madness and even more chilling when you remember you're reading nonfiction and not a well-layered mystery novel.
 

Scrub Chan

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In Cold Blood by Truman Capote was one I read recently and it paints a timeline of the Clutter family murder and how the murderers had gotten away with it for so long and then their capture. It also goes into the prison industrial complex a fair bit in a pretty interesting way. It's hailed as the first true crime book so if you're into that kinda thing def check it out.
Also, Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb is an incredibly well researched account of the team of Holocaust survivors who tracked down and captured Adolf Eichmann. It reads like a James Bond novel and it's real good.
 
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Getting tard comed

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If you're into war strategy/tactics I'd recommend The 4th Generation Warfare Handbook. It's a good concise overview of the development of war strategy and a good breakdown of how current wars are fought/will be(should be) fought.

A History of Freedom of Thought I found to be an enlightening read though not for the reasons the author intended I'm sure.

How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big

Pre
-Suasion

And anything by Nassim Talib. Just finished Fooled by Randomness and moved on to his The Black Swan from his Incerto series and besides absolutely loving both they are at the very least adding a completely new way of viewing the world/processing information if not changing the way I think about most everything. Very highly recommended.
 
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