The Age of Selfishness by Darryl Cunningham
Cunningham links the 2008 financial crisis to the bizarre cult of Ayn Rand, and the (highly selective) advocacy of selfishness. His take down of this poorly thought-through “philosophy” is thoughtful and effective.
The Cartoon History of the United States by Larry Gonick
Want to learn accurate US history, quickly and painlessly? Gonick has a great genius for making hard subjects (calculus, history, genetics) come alive. Refusing to duck from controversy, this history includes the grim issues of slavery and decimation of Native peoples. He gives appropriate weight to an often overlooked subject, Shay’s Rebellion, which was a flashpoint in our history.
Journalism by Joe Sacco
A collection of Sacco’s “short form comic journalism” of serious, often dreadful, news. It’s one thing to read in a newspaper about “atrocities” in some country, but Sacco’s drawings make the experience raw and immediate.
Red Rosa by Kate Evans
Great bio of socialist and revolutionary, Rosa Luxemburg. Lovely, poignant, sweet and heart-rending. One endorsement, by Barbara Ehrenreich, says it all: “This book is hard to put down…” Damn straight.
Introducing Keynesian Economics by Peter Pugh & Chris Garratt
A small book in graphic novel format, this is a great introduction to the life and theories of economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynes proposed a way out of recessions—have the government provide 100% employment until the recession ends. During the Great Depression, one country, Sweden, followed Keynes and quickly recovered. The US, under FDR, tried a very weak-sauce version, and remained sluggish.
Wobblies! Edited by Paul Buhle & Nicole Schulman
The story of the dream of a union for all. A wild, exciting ride. Includes many great characters, including the original Rebel Girl, the journalist John Reed (the subject of the movie, Reds), and so much more.
Che by Spain Rodriguez
A biography of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, from his travels in South America, to his revolutionary activity in Cuba, and finally his death in 1967. Rodriquez was one of the true giants of the art of comics.
Footnotes in Gaza by Joe Sacco
One day, in 1956, in Rafah—a killing. One hundred eleven people died, and, though it has been largely forgotten, Sacco brings us a sexy, human, terrifying story. Most Americans have had Gaza-overload for a long time—here is a fresh and human story that most readers will find illuminating.
Marx by Corinne Maier and Anne Simon
Who the hell was Marx? Why should we care? The answer is in this biography. More story than ideology, Marx comes alive in this book by the duo. This is as accessible as the man gets.
Trotsky by Rick Geary
A cradle-to-grave history of the man and his political ideas. His opposition to Lenin and Stalin sent him, eventually on the run. He ended up in Mexico, where he had an affair with painter Frido Kahlo, and where he was assassinated. Beautiful; Geary is an award-winning artist.
Introducing Marx by Rius
A very informative book told in a comic book format by the Marxist artist Rius. The book includes a long and interesting history of western philosophy. On the Marxist principle of “alienation” he writes: “Money obliges those who haven’t got any to sell themselves body and soul.”