Books on Activism

Bornstein, David.  How to Change the World:  Social Entrepreneurs & The Power of New Ideas.  Oxford University Press, 2007.  Bornstein utilizes case studies of individuals around the world who are making innovative changes through the non-profit sector.


Cohen, Stanley.  States of Denial:  Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering.  Polity Press, 2001.

This book provides a comprehensive view of denial in a range of forms from personal avoidance to how governments deny     genocides to help us understand the phenomenon.


Cooney, Nick.  Change of Heart: What Psychology can Teach us about Spreading Social Change.  Lantern Books, 2010. This book condenses over eighty years of scientific research in an accessible manner to effectively promote change.


Ginsberg, Caryn.  Animal Impact:  Proven Secrets to Achieve Results and Move the World.  Priority Ventures Group, 2011.  Ginsberg shares methods, including a 7 step technique, to more effectively        promote change that can be applied on a personal or larger scale. The book looks at animal advocacy and the lessons on high-impact advocacy are applicable to other topics.


Johnson, Allan G.  Privilege, Power, and Difference.  McGraw-Hill, 2005.  This book, used often as a college text, looks at the way systems of privilege and different manifest in society.


Lappe, Frances M. & Jeffrey Perkins.  You Have the Power:  Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear.  TarcherPerigee, 2005.  Lappe and Perkins look at how to overcome personal fear to create personal and world-wide change.


Loeb, Paul R.  Soul of a Citizen:  Living with Conviction in Challenging Times.  St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010.   

Loeb tells stories about Americans who have found fulfillment through social       involvement.


Pipher, Mary.  Writing to Change the World:  An Inspiring Guide for Transforming the World with Words.  Riverhead Books Reprint, 2007.   Pipher argues that writers have the power to motivate people to move toward social justice.


Rettig, Hillary.  The Lifelong Activist:  How to Change the World without Losing Your Way.  Lantern Books, 2006.  

A guide to living joyfully and having a  productive life through a progressive mission.


Scott, James C.  Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts.  Yale University Press, 1992.  Details the power struggles between those who hold power and those who do not and how to turn that relationship around.


Solnit, Rebecca.  Hope in the Dark.  Nation Books, 2005.  If you read one book on this list, make it this one.  She makes the case for staying the course in a world where the future is so uncertain.  


Weil, Zoe.  Most Good, Least Harm:  A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life.  Atria Book, 2009.  Weil provides practical steps about how you can help to change the world.  


You probably have thought of a dozen more.  If so, send me an email at  As this guide is updated, we will add more books.