Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. Harper, 2005.
The book is available online for free at: http://www.historyisaweapon.com/zinnapeopleshistory.html
A history of the United States from the perspective of the common person—Native Indian, women, slaves, and others who have been oppressed in America.
Lewis, Sinclair. It Can’t Happen Here. Signet, Reprint, 2014.
Lewis’s book, written in 1935, describes an America where the people vote in a fascist ruler under the guise of his populist appeal to the masses. If that sounds eerily like Trump, you’ll want to read this to see exactly how fascism rolled out in the United States. Trump could have used Lewis’s work like a playbook. His plans parallel the fascist president in the novel.
Arendt, Hannah. The Origins of Totalitarianism. Mariner Books, 1973.
Arendt looks at two totalitarian nations, Nazi Germany and the communistic USSR, and traces their historical roots.
Orwell, George. 1984. Signet Classics, 1949.
Reveals a futuristic world ruled by a totalitarian, bureaucratic society and how one average man attempts to negotiate it.
Also by Orwell, see Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, a satire of the Russian Revolution and Communism, and Homage to Catalonia, about the fight against totalitarianism in Spain during the Spanish American War.
Roth, Phillip. The Plot Against America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004.
A “what if” novel where the famous aviator and Hitler-fan Charles A. Lindbergh became president of the United States and blamed the Jews for America’s ills. He negotiates an “understanding” with Hitler and begins to persecute Jews in North America. The novel echoes threats and legal actions being made against Muslims.
Camus, Albert. The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt. Vintage, 1951.
A look at rebellion and revolution in societies and how revolt often leads to tyranny. An example that parallels the quiet workings of the Tea Party between 2008 and 2016, and how their agenda of hate led to the election of Trump.