Important Books

I recommend them, but these are not necessarily my “favourite” books. I recommend them not for fun, but because I think anyone trying to improve the world must know their content.

These are the most important books I have to recommend. 

Sorted by their page-by-page amount of clearly communicated, important, and well-founded information. They tend to be of the “paradigm-shattering” type.

1. “Understanding Power”

Understanding Power is a wide-ranging collection of transcribed and previously unpublished discussions and seminars (from 1989 to 1999) with the famous sociopolitical analyst Noam Chomsky. 

Understanding Power – The Indispensable Chomsky”, edited by the public defenders Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel, contains easily readable explanations of politics, power, world history, the media, propaganda, justice, education, and wars.

Here’s the co-founder of Wikipedia recommending it and describing the experience of reading it: 

Two years ago this summer I read a book that changed the entire way I see the world. I had been researching various topics — law, politics, the media — and become more and more convinced that something was seriously wrong…”

2. “…and forgive them their debts”

The history of the world as a history of debt, and the many times it was cancelled, and why it does not happen today.

The most striking insight in this book by renowned professor of economics, Michael Hudson, is that – in a nearly complete consensus of Assyriologists & biblical scholars – the Bible is preoccupied with debt, not sin.

In all eras – from antiquity to the present – debts have tended to mount up faster than the ability of most debtors to pay. The remedy was always clear: Clean Slate debt cancellations (also called the “Jubilee Year”), used in Babylonia since Hammurabi’s dynasty, first appear in the Bible in Leviticus 25. Jesus’s first sermon announced that he had come to proclaim it. This message – more than other religious claims – is what threatened his enemies, and why he was put to death. 

This interpretation has been all but expunged from our contemporary understanding of the phrase, “…and forgive them their debts,” in The Lord’s Prayer. It has been changed to “…and forgive them their trespasses (or sins),” depending on the particular Christian tradition that influenced the translation from the Greek opheilēma/opheiletēs (debts/debtors).

3. The Divide

The Divide” by Jason Hickel.

4. Enough is Enough

Enough is Enough” by Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill.