Discrimination and social injustice aren’t things that can only be changed by what happens in the political or legal arenas. However, how we all behave can make a significant impact. While many experts talk about equality, some books on the topic hit the right chord. Here we take a look at three that are a must-read in 2020.
Arguably one of Dickens’ most profound evocation on a society where the roots of an individual have an impact or determine one's destiny. The entire premise of Bleak House is how both its heroes and transgressors are struggling against their origins.
Another point that the book conveys is the role of law in our society. Bleak House lets us know to not rely on the court system in matters regarding justice. Ultimately, people in the courtroom cannot deliver a fair and just society.
Bleak House also states the importance as well as the dangers of passion. That is, how it can, at times be satisfying and healthy, but on the contrary, also be destructive and harmful. While passion plays a vital role in leading a fruitful life, taking it to an unhealthy level can prove detrimental.
Similar to his other works, Dickens, successfully balances themes of social criticism with a unifying element of dealing with the truths of personal experience. Bleak house is based on several motifs, including concepts, attitudes, insights, and explorations of various aspects of the human experience.
A book based on the only successful slave revolt in America that took place in Haiti, The Black Jacobins deals with the complexity of the rebellion’s leader Toussaint L’Ouverture. What makes this book a complex read is how it doesn’t make the leader out to be a saint that people in today’s world might make out Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King to be. It is about how an individual led this revolt against the slave-owning class, and in certain aspects had to be shocking and terrible.
The second half of the book deals with the issue of how to effectively overcome systematic discrimination. The only way plantations function is by separating the slave labour from the rest of humanity.
The manipulative slave owners had to categorize it and then control it to make it work. James also states how plantation owners classified slaves by determining how much European blood they had. There were over 128 classifications. This is the perfect example of how Haiti's society was purposefully structured to maintain slavery and how the revolutionaries successfully dismantled this profoundly rooted system. People of today's world might describe this terrible injustice as institutionalized racism.
In Bowling Alone, Putnam gave us the idea of social capital. The two primary challenges that humanity has to deal with are: how we live with the planet and how we live together. The two clash as climate change has resulted in vast populations to move across continents.
Roughly 200 million people are situated outside the country of their birth, which is around double what it was 30 years ago. This number will slowly but definitely multiply as years pass by. The challenge we face is not necessarily climate change, but about how people can now travel much further and faster across the globe than ever before and how this trend changes the world as we know it today and what it will be in the future.
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