Dogeared Lit

Sociology Books to Improve Your College Chit-Chat - Reading
Written by JoAnn Chateau

Going back to school in a month? Have something intelligent to say — without even reading a book. (But I think you’ll want to.) Here, we have four authors talking about their latest sociological work.

Each of their books illuminate a societal shift or movement that is happening in our country right now. From the corporate takeover of Wisconsin, to the rise of white supremacy, it’s fascinating stuff… and all, somehow, eerily connected.

What would you say is the underlying fabric that holds all this sh*t together?

With that question percolating in your brain, enjoy listening to these dynamic authors discuss their investigative research. If you’re like me, you’ll want to read all four books!

Grasping the Big Picture

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • Very good suggestions, JoAnn. I would add to that list Nancy MacLean’s DEMOCRACY IN CHAINS: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.

    From my past several decades studying this issue, I can say that this book sums up very well why the U.S. is now so deeply divided, fracturing society at many levels from politics to racism to corporate power (deregulated almost free-wheeling in Washington) to religion, to socialism (not communism), etc.

    Her research was thorough and astounding, discovering an on-campus treasure trove of documents crafted back in the days of James McGill Buchanan and Colgate Whitehead Darden, jr, two of the original key players in designing and facilitating the old South’s model of a political economy where the wealthy and the privileged made the rules to suit themselves and their class. Disgruntled by the tremors of slowly advancing liberalism, it was they who, possibly more than most, shaped our current rigged economic system by stealthy design.

    • Thanks for the reading recommendation, Max. MacLean’s book sounds fascinating.

      We are reared with the ideas of democracy and the Golden Rule. So I think for most people, it’s a tough pill to swallow when they finally understand that their leaders consider them nothing more than disposable peons/peasants/slaves. (Middle class, wake up. They lump you into that group, too.)

      To be so unloved is almost incomprehensible.

  • Thanks for the recommendations, JoAnn. These days, in my growing concerns to understand what’s happening in America, I find myself reading more non-fiction books than fiction. I’ve just finished reading A Nation Unmade by War by Tom Engelhardt and I’m almost through What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson.

    We’re not in a good place right now in America. If nothing else, I hope that the Trump presidency has awakened Americans to the reality of those who have been left behind and the real forces driving inequality. As Dyson reminds us: “America was split in two – not between North and South – but between the powerful and the disenfranchised.”

    • I, too, read What Truth Sounds Like. Dyson is so correct. Thanks for the quote and additional reading recommendations. Have a good reading weekend, Rosaliene!

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