W. Kamau Bell’s Resistance Reading

Authors pick books that bring solace and understanding in a time of rancor.

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We asked a range of authors and creative types to name books that bring solace or understanding in this age of rancor. More than two dozen responded. Here’s what the political comedian, podcaster, CNN personality, and debut author W. Kamau Bell had to recommend.

Latest book: The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell (May 2017)
Also known for: United Shades of America (TV series)
Recommended reading: I find that no book explains America as well as The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley. It’s a classic American tale of a person lifting themselves up by their bootstraps to find success—it just happens that Malcolm’s version of success is the liberation of oppressed people. And Lindy West, the author of Shrill, is a critical voice. If we all want to have any hope of not just surviving but thriving in the next four years to eight years and beyond, then we need to listen to her. Also, she’s funnier than probably everybody you know—unless you know her.
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The complete series: Daniel Alarcón, Kwame Alexander, Margaret Atwood, W. Kamau Bell, Ana Castillo, Jeff Chang, T Cooper, Michael Eric Dyson, Dave Eggers, Reza Farazmand, William Gibson, Mohsin Hamid, Piper Kerman, Phil Klay, Alex Kotlowitz, Bill McKibbenRabbi Jack Moline, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Peggy Orenstein, Wendy C. Ortiz, Darryl Pinckney, Joe Romm, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Tracy K. Smith, Ayelet WaldmanJesmyn Ward, and Gene Luen Yang.


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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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