Recommended Readings

CrimethInc Ex-Workers Collective Website: Books, Articles, etc.



Sprawl and Politics: New Book Details Political History of Maryland’s Smart Growth Initiative

A new book by National Center for Smart Growth Associate Director John W. Frece details the politics and back-room maneuvering that led to the creation in 1997 of Maryland’s well known Smart Growth and Neighborhood Conservation initiative and its implementation in succeeding years. Sprawl and Politics: The Inside Story of Smart Growth in Maryland, was published in July by the State University of New York Press and includes a Foreword by Center Executive Director Gerrit-Jan Knaap.


(From the Publisher): West argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country’s inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive.


(From the Publisher): This book explores our species’s tendency to allow decisions to be made for us when shocked – a sense of desperate disorientation searching for whatever leadership comes first.  This biological phenomenon has now been turned into a philosophy of obtaining and maintaining power over the masses.

The book explores how governments, economists and corporations have adopted a shock doctrine to grow more power, more money and more control over the very structure of our new global system.  From hurricanes to the shock-and-awe “war on terror”, natural and manufactured shock is now being used to keep us in perpetual shock, allowing powers that be to maintain control and further push us into a system that serves the interests of the few.


(From the Publisher):

You know you have a problem when both political parties, and every economist and media pundit is debating how to best achieve something not physically possible.

As obvious as it may seem, though it rarely discussed on television, you can not sustain an growth-based economy on a finite planet. Our current system is entirely dependent on a growing economy, which requires infinite oil, infinite energy availability, infinite soil, infinite potable water… too bad there’s only so much oil, so much cheap energy, so much fertile soil and so much water that can keep this train charging.

Thus the question becomes, at what point is the party over? Which will be the first resource to deplete to the point our economy shuts down? When will our food supply, consumer goods and population cease to grow? This book compares the current resource supply to consumption rates, and offers this answer: the end of growth is now.


(From the Publisher): Many Americans worry about putting food on the table. When they do get the food to their families, it’s not necessarily what many would traditionally consider “food”.

As described in the Omnivore’s Dilemma, agriculture corporations have paid off the government to help create a complex, cheap-fossil-fuel-based unsustainable food production system, in a successful effort to temporarily control global food supply. Beyond the injustices it has created – destroying family farms, destabilizing world food markets, cheap labor exploitation and more – the system is destroying itself; its toxic inputs are poisoning the water and washing away soil the system needs to continue.

As food supply grows, nutrient levels have dropped, leading Big Ag to genetically manipulate their crops in an attempt to protect them from new super pests the’ve created, and to keep their customers alive as the quality of the food is leaving the population undernourished.

This book explores the history of “nutritionism” in the US, how corporations have bought your health, and how to get your family healthy again.

DEBT THE FIRST 5,000 YEARS – David Graeber

(From the Publisher) One of the more common grievances at Occupy demonstrations is the anger over being forced to live in a system entirely dependent on debt. Debt is not just the problem of those sloppy with their credit card payments. Debt is not only a problem for those sold into believing a $100,000 college degree guarantees them elevated success.  Debt is not only a problem for those forced into debt in order to pay for food or medical bills when they lose their job.

Money, itself, is debt, and historically, it has almost always been debt.

The theft of a few trillion dollars in today’s world is just the current tip of an economic system 5,000-years in the making, now so complex very few believe they can keep track. This book shows how living in a debt-based economy, with interest that can only be paid back by putting another person deeper into debt, is one of the larger roots of our problems.

From the OWS website

Find the books at your local library, via

These #ows primer books have been selected because they

  1. give a basic yet rarely-discussed understanding of the structural problems that need to change
  2. are often-requested books at the Occupy Wall Street Library
  3. are relatively objective, even though trolls and false media may profess otherwise

#Occupy has spread from Wall Street to the entire globe, and occupiers everywhere are proving that tools of the system cannot break a movement simply by tearing down a few tents and beating up your fellow 99% citizens.  It’s time you empower yourself, occupy everywhere; stop your contributions to the system and move to fix it.

Many excellent, pertinent books will be added to the various more specialized lists, but we feel this is the minimum education to understanding the state of your current world.

*These primer books, of course, do not represent all there is to know, nor does it necessarily represent the opinion of 99% of the country or 99% of the movement; a six-book list can never reach consensus, with so many voices, which is a good thing. The structure of the site will soon change, so that occupiers can have an opportunity to provide their own lists of vital books, films and other media, but this is a good emergency start.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s