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[Red] Reading Rainbow a reading list

#1 User is offline   J m HofMarN Icon

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 01:54 AM

I was once asked, nay, demanded, to reveal the extremist bullshit that I read to a forum troll in the debate club. For all the irrelevence of this demand, it was a good idea if put into practice elsewhere, such as here. So if anyone else is curious about socialism and so forth, have a read, won't you?

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

Why: This book lays out the basic thoughts of Marx on economy, history, and future class struggle. Not so much instructive in modern leftist thought as it is a good basis to understand it.

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Why: This book, one of just two works of fiction on the list, paints a terrific picture of life under imperialism and its effects. Its message was later dumbed down when it was turned into the film, Apocalypse Now.

The State and Revolution by V I Lenin

Why: State and Revolution is instructive in the actual creation of communism, of the change from a capitalist/feudal society to a socialist one.

Marxism and Terrorism by Leon Trotsky

Why: The capitalist understanding of terrorism assumes at its heart that it is unjustifiable. Trotsky understood modern terrorism far better in his time than any capitalist commentator today. This short book is most useful in offering a socialist understanding of terrorism, why we oppose it, and how the forces that cause it should truly be given vent (proletarian revolution).

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Why: Steinbeck provides a stirring portrait of poverty and class struggle in a Western country that is most apt for any English speaker, and is true, even if it didn't happen. His stirring climax is empowering and the book is fiction, so it's a good way to learn about socialist ideals without going through a lot of heavy text.

Quotations from Chairman Mao by Mao Zedong

Why: Mao was a brilliant tactician with some grand ideas and advice before he became a ruler and made a bit of a mess of things. Never the less without him China would not be a world power today, and his involvement in causing the famines under his regime is still disputed. Whatever one thinks of hi mas a man, his unique idea of socialism is still very relavant: most communist insurgencies remaining, especially in the East, are Maoist. It's also a very acceptable book that offers basic advice on how a communist should act as an individual among the masses.

The Prison Letters of Fidel Castro by Fidel Castro

Why: These letters are great because they give you a window into the mind of one of the most brilliant socialist thinkers of the last half of the 20th century.

Inside the Company by Phillip Agee

Why I plan to read it: Agee was a CIA agent who, while listening to a man he'd helped capture be tortured by a regime he was funding, realized that the CIA was evil and decided to fight against that evil. A window into the tactics of a ruthless, cruel and murderous anti-communist network is something that should be highly educative to any young cadre.

Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara

Why: This text is great instruction on how to conduct guerilla war against the oppressing class not only as a means to gain power, but as the sword of the oppressed, the vanguard of the proletariat, as any socialist movement should be.

Man and Socialism in Cuba by Che Guevara

Why: This is the start of Che's answers to Mao's quotations. He is not only a marxist, he is a dialectical materialist, a communist philosopher. Here and in another work, Che lays out his ideas for how a man should live under socialism.

Che Guevara and the Cuban Revolution by Che Guevara

Why: This book, a collection of Che's speeches and writings, is the very best introduction to Che's ideas both on the national and personal levels. It also helps us to understand the Cuban view of how a Marxist economy operates.

Biographies of Eva Peron, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Vladdimir Lenin, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Why: First of all, most of these people led very interesting lives. I find it's much easier to put down a book of communist theory than to turn away from the story of one of the actors in our movement. Roosevelt was not officially a communist, but his administration was the closest the US has gotten thus far to the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Eva Peron was also not a proper communist and was accused of fascism, but her and her husband did a great deal for Argentina's poor. These two are also great examples of how socialist revolution can occur through democracy.

The Prison Diary of Ho Chi Minh by Ho Chi Minh

Why: These memories of Minh's time in prison, presented as poetry, are epicly beautiful and soulful, a look into the mind of a very human Marxist, and it helps to give an idea of how socialist consciousness is raised the more the oppressing class try to crush the will of the people.

The Spanish Civil War by Hugh Thomas

Why: Many socialists neglect learning about the civil war in spain because firstly it was against fascism, not capitalists, and second it was not just a socialist war, and was joined by liberals and anarchists as well. This is incorrect. We should take the lessons of the fall of the Spanish republic to heart and learn from their failures. It is also worth noting that this was the first battle against fascism, and it was a valiant one at least partyly led by our Party.

The Black Panthers Speak by Phillip S Foner

Why: The BPP, far from being a black supremacist group, was a racially diverse group that provided community services as well as protection from the pigs to the poor, regardless of their race. They were chiefly motivated by Marxist and Maoist ideas and were more a socialist group than a black racist group as the bourgeoisie claim.

The Wretched of the Earth

Why: A great study of imperialism and how to remedy it. I currently have my copy coming in hte mail.

This post has been edited by J m HofMarN: 08 August 2008 - 02:09 AM


I don't know about you but I have never advocated that homosexuals, for any reason, be cut out of their mother's womb and thrown into a bin.
- Deucaon toes a hard line on gay fetus rights.

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