Recently, I met an 18 year old lad who was inspired by the Momentum group and is a Corbynista. They do a lot of campaigning, but little reading, discussing and theoretical analysis. He is still formulating his understanding of the world and is politically inspired.
So what books should I recommend?
I struggled, but here are some suggestions.

George Orwell ‘Homage to Catalonia’

Brilliant journalistic account of the experience of arriving in a city that has been taken over by the working class; of being shot by the Falangists; and the destruction of the revolution by the Communist Party.

George Orwell ‘Road to Wigan Pier’

The first half of the book looks at the conditions faced by the northern working class in the 1930s. The second half is a critique of the London Socialists, their lack of understanding and fear of the working class. So resonant. 

Patrick Moore ‘The Diary of a Greenpeace Dropout

Patrick was one of the co-founders of Greenpeace. He led the opposition to nuclear tests in rubber dinghies etc. He became disillusioned with Greenpeace in the 1980s and explores all the environmentalist claims from global warming, to DDT and pesticides to ‘sustainable development’. Patrick believes in human progress and draws out the anti-human consequences of environmentalism.

Matt Ridley ‘The Rational Optimist

Matt answers the question. What makes us human and why did human civilization rapidly expand around 3,000 years ago. he also looks at the basis for human progress. Matt Ridley used to think that everything was getting worse, until he researched it. Matt underestimates the power of ideology, but he makes you think about how best to improve wealth, especially for the developing world.

Alex Epstein ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels’

Environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be? The explanation, energy expert Alex Epstein argues in “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” is that we usually hear only one side of the story.

Claire Fox ‘I Find That Offensive’

“When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase ‘I find that offensive’, you know you’re being told to shut up. But how did we become so thin-skinned? In ‘I Find That Offensive!’ Claire Fox addresses the possible causes of what is fast becoming known as ‘Generation Snowflake’ head-on (no ‘safe spaces’ here) in a call to toughen up, become more robust and make a virtue of the right to be offensive…”

Spiked

The essays are always thought-provoking. Written by people who believe in human progress and from a left-wing background.

Frank Furedi

Frank is a prolific writer and sociology professor. Always worth reading.

Kenan Malik

Especially good is ‘What is wrong with multi-culturalism?’

 

If you have any suggestions, please leave a message..
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