Popular Sociopolitical Books 2017: Selected Quotes

The list of this year’s most popular sociopolitical books per the Goodreads Choice Awards (Nonfiction) includes the following:

Below are samples of these authors’ best quotes:

When people discuss the drug war, they are usually referring to the one that began in the 1970s, without realizing that this was, at least, our third drug war in the twentieth century. I found David F. Musto’s The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control to be extremely helpful on the subject. It was depressing to see that drug wars, in this country, are almost never launched purely out of concern for public health. In almost every instance that Musto looks at there is some fear of an outsider—blacks and cocaine, Mexican Americans and marijuana, Chinese Americans and opium. Ta-Nehisi Coates

Every Trump voter is certainly not a white supremacist, just as every white person in the Jim Crow South was not a white supremacist. But every Trump voter felt it was acceptable to hand the fate of the country over to one. Ta-Nehisi Coates

An America that asks what it owes its most vulnerable citizens is improved and humane. An America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future. Ta-Nehisi Coates

Charity is no substitute for justice…We must never ignore the injustices that make charity necessary, or the inequalities that make it possible. Michael Eric Dyson

Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public. Michael Eric Dyson

Do not tell us how we should act if we were you; imagine how you would act if you were us. Imagine living in a society where your white skin marks you for disgust, hate, and fear. Imagine that for many moments. Only when you see black folks as we are, and image yourselves as we have to live our lives, only then will the suffering stop, the hurt cease, the pain go away. Michael Eric Dyson

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion. Timothy Ferriss

Teach her that if you criticize X in women but do not criticize X in men, then you do not have a problem with X, you have a problem with women. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Thanksgiving tradition we celebrate today with a feast actually commemorates a betrayal that happened two years after the first arrival of the colonists. In 1622, Myles Standish, an English military officer working for the Pilgrims, heard that Indians planned to raid the newly established white settlement of Wessagussett. Standish organized a militia to repel the attack, but no Indians appeared. So he decided to preemptively attack by luring two Indians to Wessagussett under the pretense of sharing a meal. When they entered the house, Standish and his men killed them. Chris Hayes

The ability to discount darker people and darker nations in order to justify stealing their land and labor was foundational, and none of it would have been possible without those theories of racial supremacy that gave the whole morally bankrupt system a patina of legal respectability. In other words, economics was never separable from “identity politics,” certainly not in colonial nations like the United States—so why would it suddenly be today? Naomi Klein

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