Reading Group


Our Reading Group meets once a month to discuss key aspects of democratic socialism and freedom struggles. Members are encouraged to suggest future topics or readings. Check the Events page for upcoming sessions.

This page lists the collected materials from previous Reading Groups.


Organizing the South: A Third Reconstruction?

-Bill Fletcher Jr. (2014) The Unfinished Civil War. 3 pages.
-Bob Wing & Stephen McClure (2015)- The importance of the fight for the South–and why it can and must be won. 11 pages.
-Carl Davidson (2018) The U.S. ‘Six Party System’ 3.0: Revising the Hypothesis Again. 6 pages.
-Tram Nguyen (2019)- Democrats could learn a lot from what happened in Virginia. 2 pages.
-Southerners on New Ground (2011)- Our people are worth the risks: A Southern queer agenda from the margins and the red states. 6 pages.

-Heather Cox Richardson (2015)- Killing Reconstruction. 9 pages.
-Robert Greene II (2018)- The Legacy of Black Reconstruction. 4 pages.
-Michael Honey (2000) Anti-Racism, Black Workers, and Southern Labor Organizing: Historical Notes on a Continuing Struggle. 13 pages.

From the Working History Podcast:
-Katherine Rye Jewel (2018). Shaping a New Conservatism in the South. 40 min.
-Michael Honey (2015) A Lifetime of Building Solidarity. 33 min.


Jane McAlevey- Organizing for Power: A Four Step Course in How We Win

Excerpts for Jane’s book in Spanish and English here.
Three video presentations on organizing fundamentals here.


The Fight for Medicare for All

Medicare for All Summary (2019) 2 pages
–Jeremy Gong (2017)- Medicare for All: Turning Socialist Politics Into Mass Politics (7 pages)
-Democratic Left (2018) Medicare for All Special Issue (pages 2-7, 10-12, 15)
-Adam Gaffney (2017) The Case Against the Public Option (6 pages)
-Nathan Robinson (2018)- The Healthcare System You Could Have (4 pages)
Suggested video:
-Bernie Sanders speech on Medicare for All (50 Minutes)
Suggested additional reading:
Harmony Goldberg and Jesse Graham (2017) Splitting Trump’s Base Through a Fight Over Medicaid in Maine (4 pages)


Against Imperialism

-Phyllis Bennis (2018)- A Bold Foreign Policy Platform for the New Wave of Left Lawmakers (13 pages) 
-Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers (2018)- The Foundation for International Justice is Anti-Imperialism (4 pages)
-Rohini Hensman (2019)- The Enemy’s Enemy Is Not Your Friend ( 2 pages)
-Edward Goldsmith (1996)- Development as Colonialism (13 pages) 
Recommended Videos:
– Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, John Bellamy Foster, John Smith, Hannah Holleman, and Intan Suwandi (2016)- Imperialism in the 21st Century (2 hours)
– Noam Chomsky (2008)- Modern Day Imperialism: Middle East and Beyond (2 hours)


The Freedom Papers and Story-Based Strategy

-Dream Defenders (2018)- Freedom Papers (9 pages + illustrations)
-Center for Story-Based Strategy (2019)- Story-Based Strategy 101 (2 pages)

The Freedom Papers Playlist

Recommended additional materials:
-Doyle Canning and Patrick Reinsborough (2009) Re-imagining change: An Introduction to Story Based Strategy (pp. 5-34)
-Team Human Podcast (2019) ‘Beyond Salvation and Disaster’ with George Monbiot (68 min)                                                                                                                        


Environmental Justice and the Green New Deal

-Laura Pulido (2016) Flint, Environmental Racism, and Racial Capitalism (13 pages)
-Max Carlock (2018) A Green New Deal (pages 1-8)
-Daniel Aldana Cohen (2017) The Last Stimulus (10 pages)
-George Lakey (2015) The sun as the center of a new campaign for economic and racial justice (3 pages)

Recommended audio/video:
The Intercept (2019 A message for the future with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (7 min)
Clearing the Fog (2019). Winning the Green New Deal (60 min)
The Next System Podcast (2018).  A Green New Deal and the shift to a new economy (45 min)

Recommended Additional Readings:
-Max Ajl (2018) Beyond the Green New Deal (7 pages)
St. Petersburg Integrated Sustainability Action Plan (2019) (47 pages illustrated)
-Sierra Club (2018) Ready for 100% Case Study Report (intro)
-Jeremy Brecher & Joe Uehlein (2018) 12 Reasons Labor Should Demand a Green New Deal (4 pages)



To Free Straight Society: Stonewall, Gay Liberation and Black Insurrection (Lecture by Michelle O’Brien)

-Huey P. Newton (1970) “The Women’s Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements”. (2 pages)
-Communist Intervention Revolutionary Feminism Reader- Week7: Gay Liberation. Selections by Radicalesbians, Carl Wittman, Radicalqueens, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries, & Charlotte Bunch (22 pages) 
-Terrence Kissack (1995) “Freaking Fag Revolutionaries: New York’s Gay Liberation Front, 1969-1971” (30 pages)


The Rojava Revolution

-CrimethInc. (2015)-“Understanding the Kurdish Resistance” (19 pages) (
-Daniel Gutiérrez, Antje Dieterich, Victor Hertzfeld (2017) “Fighting Form: Beyond the Party in Kurdistan” (10 pages)

-”The New International” Episode 2- follows a day in the life of Italian internationalist revolutionary woman Heval Nujin, who has travelled to Rojava, Northern Syria to work in solidarity (47 min)
-Cooperation Jackson leader Kali Akuno interviews Ercan Ayboga: “The Rojava Revolution and Democratic Confederalism” (113 min)
-This Is Hell radio. Interview with Dilar Dirik: “Rojava vs the World: The radical fight for survival, independence and freedom” (58 min) and “It feels like everyday life under the revolution: Growing a new world in Rojava” (38 min)

-Abdullah Ocalan (2011) Democratic Confederalism. (38 pages)
-Joris Leverink (2015)- “Murray Bookchin and the Kurdish Resistance” (8 pages)



Relational Organizing and the Love Ethic

-Ejeris Dixon (2018) “Our Relationships Keep Us Alive: Let’s Prioritize them in 2018” (6 pages)
-bell hooks (1994) “Love as the Practice of Freedom” (6 pages)
-adrienne maree brown (2015) “What is/isn’t Transformative Justice?” (7 pages)
-Jonathan Matthew Smucker (2012) “Falling in love with ourselves” (3 pages)
-Starhawk (1988)- “Questions for Keeping Track of Group Structures and Processes” in Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics ( 2 pages)
-Virginia Coover et. al. (1985) “Group Dynamics” and “Maintaining Community” in Resource Manual for a Living Revolution (15 pages)

-Starhawk (1988)- “Building Community: Processes for Groups” and “Circles and Webs: Group Structures” in Dreaming the Dark: Magic, Sex, and Politics


How to Be An Anti-Racist

(Outing to Ibram X. Kendi Lecture-
-Ibram X. Kendi (2017) – Uncovering the Roots of Racist Ideas in America

-Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez  (1998) What is White Supremacy?

-Paul Kivel (2006) – Guidelines for Being Strong White Allies


Beyond Social Democracy: Envisioning Democratic Socialism

Main Readings:
-“After Ocasio-Cortez’s victory, democratic socialists are just getting started” by Maria Svart (2 pp.)
-“Bernie Sanders and the rise of American social democracy” by Ryan Cooper (4 pp.)
-“Beyond Social Democracy” by Ralph Miliband and Marcel Liebman (13 pp.)
-“Democratic Socialism Isn’t Social Democracy” (4 pp.) by Michael A. McCarthy
-“If You Want a Better Capitalism”: An Interview on Social Democracy with Gabriel Kuhn by Enrique Guerrero-López and Adam Weaver  (5 pp.)

-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on PBS Firing Line (27 min)
-“Democratic Socialism in the United States”- Speech by Bernie Sanders (68 min.)

Also Recommended:
-“Resistance Rising: Socialist Strategy in the Age of Political Revolution: A Summary of Democratic Socialists of America’s Strategy Document”
-“The Paradox of Social Democracy: The American Case” by Robert Brenner
-“The Dawn of American Socialism” by Ryan Cooper (
-“Own the Future” by Peter Gowan


Fascism and Anti-Fascism


Twenty-Five Theses on Anti Fascism by Shane Burley (5 pp.)

Fascism and Anti-Fascism by Don Hamerquist (24 pp)


Charlottesville: Race and Terror Vice News (22 min)

AntiFa: The Film Deep Dish TV (31 min)  

Interview with Juan Prieto and Kieran of Anti-Racist Action on Against the Grain  (60 min)


-Fighting the Klan in Reagan’s America by Branko Marcetic (10 pp.)

-Italy: We Partisans- Resisting the  Wave of Fascism, Spring 2018 by Crimethinc. (21 pp.)


Socialism, Sexuality and the Family


-Ben Serby and Jeremy Cohan- From Gay Rights to Queer Liberation (4 pp.)

-Leslie Cagan and Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz- How Queer Life Might be Different in a Socialist USA (2 pp.)

-JOMO- Queer Liberation is Class Struggle (13 pp.)

-Peter Drucker- Gay Normality and Queer Transformation (16 pp.)

Suggested videos:

-Audre Lorde- Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power (18 min.)

-Estelle Freedman- Allan Bérubé, “No Race-baiting, Red-baiting, or Queer-baiting”  (Part 1 of 4)

Suggested Readings:

-Walt- Gay Liberation Through Socialist Revolution: A History of the Lavender and Red Union (15 pp.)

-John D’Emilio- Capitalism and Gay Identity (9 pp.)

-Amber Hollibaugh and Margot Weiss- Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence (7 pp.)

-Alan Sears- The Social Reproduction of Sexuality (6 pp.)


Migration and Borders

-Wayne A. Cornelius et. al. Giving sanctuary to undocumented immigrants doesn’t threaten public safety—it increases it (3 pp.)

-Harsha Walia (2013) Undoing Border Imperialism selection (20 pp.)

-Kyle Barron (2017) Sanctuary: A Movement Redefined (8 pp.)

– Mark and Paul Engler (2016) The massive immigrant-rights protests of 2006 are still changing politics (2 pp.)

Suggested Podcasts:

-Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move. Interview with Reece Jones. Voices of the Middle East and North Africa Radio Show hosted by Malihe Razazan and Kahlil Bendib. (58 Minutes)

-Mai Ngai on The Dig Podcast: No Human Being is Illegal (76 minutes)

-Camilo Torres interviews Luis from Ice out of Austin on community defense against ICE raids (51 minutes)

Suggested Readings:

-Daniel Costa et. al. (2014) – Facts about Immigration and the U.S. Economy (16 pp.)

-Juan Gonzalez- Latino Immigrants in the Labor Movement (8 pp.)

-Antje Dieterich- Urban Sanctuary: The Promise of Solidarity Cities  (8 pp.)

-Bridget Broderick and Orlando Sepulveda (2016) When Immigrants Marched Out of the Shadows (8 pp.)

-CrimethInc (2011) Designed to Kill: Border Policy and How to Change It. (15 pp.)



The Communist Manifesto: Marx at 200

-The Communist Manifesto (1848) by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

(pp. 31-84. Note: this is a pocket-sized book; the text amounts to 20 letter-sized pages)

-Or, for a fun-but-not-lightweight comic-book summary of the manifesto, see pages 112-140 of the great Mexican political cartoonist Rius’s Marx for Beginners:

-“Introduction” by David Harvey (pp. 1-30 in the above pdf)

-“The Communist Manifesto after 150 Years” by Ellen Meiksins Wood (15 pp.)
-Jacobin Radio with Suzi Weissman: David Harvey on Marx Today (30 min)
-“In Our Time: Capitalism” (30 min)



-James Gustave Speth:- Global Warming and Modern Capitalism (6 pp.)
-Ian Angus- How to Make an Ecosocialist Revolution (15 pp.)
-Darryl Fears- Tampa Bay’s Coming Storm (9 pages)
-Naomi Klein- Capitalism vs. the Climate (20 pp.)


Labor at the Crossroads

What the Revival of Socialism in America Means for the Labor Movement by Shaun Richman and Bill Fletcher, Jr. (8 pages)

At Labor’s Crossroads by Rich Yeselson (10 pages)

Toward a 21st Century Labor Movement by David Rolf (5 pages)

The Next Operation Dixie by Sarah Jaffee (5 pages)


-Behind the News with Doug Henwood: Jane McAlevey on power, strange alliances, and serious threats to workers & Jane McAlevey and Liza Featherstone on sexual harassment, capitalism, and power (52 minutes) (see also for Jane McAlevey on organizing)

– Bill Moyers interviews Bill Fletcher Jr. and Stephen Lerner on Unions in Peril (24 minutes)

-Democracy Now! “We Won!”: Teachers End Historic Strike in West Virginia with 5% Pay Raise for All State Workers (15 minutes)


When Women Organize, We Win: Lessons From the West Virginia Teachers’ Strike by Kate Doyle Griffiths (4 pages)

Who works for the workers? by Gabriel Winant (10 pages)

The Seeds of a New Labor Movement by Harold Meyerson (16 pages)



Socialism and the City


Casting Shadows: Chokwe Lumumba and the Struggle for Racial Justice and Economic Democracy in Jackson, Mississippi by Kali Akuno (24 pages)

Richmond Progressive Alliance: Defeating Big Money in Politics by Mike Parker (32 illustrated pages)


This Is Hell Radio: “Reclaiming democracy and rebuilding politics at Cooperation Jackson.” (57 min)

Democracy Now: “Kali Akuno on the Struggle for Economic Democracy and Black Self-Determination Amid Rise in White Supremacy” (34 min)

Extra credit:

The Jackson Kush Plan by Kali Akuno (24 pages)

Sharing Our Experience: The Richmond Progressive Alliance by Juan Reardon with Gayle McLaughlin and Mike Parker (8 pages)



Electoral Strategy


Blueprint for a New Party by Seth Ackerman (18 pages)

It’s their Party by Paul Heideman (8 pages)

Lessons from Vermont by Luke Elliott-Negri (6 pages)


(Readings begin on p. 42 of the DSA Boston Readings Packet)



Anarchism & Four Kinds of Anti-Capitalism


Notes on Anarchism by Noam Chomsky (~12 pages)

How to be an Anti-Capitalist Today by Erik Olin Wright (~15 pages)


(Also recommended – follow-up debates here and here)



Socialist Feminism


The Socialist Feminist Project by Nancy Holmstrom (~9 pages)

Democracy and Care Unbound: On Feminism’s Abiding Political Value (4 pages)

The Hammer in Our Hamlets Part 3: Patriarchy on the Left by Eve Mitchell (~15 pages)



Socialist Perspectives on Racism & Anti-Racist Organizing


Toward a Socialist Theory of Racism by Cornel West (6 pages)

The Politics of Race by Joseph Schwartz (4 pages)

A Vision for Black Lives by The Movement for Black Lives (13 pages)



Community Organizing & Disaster Solidarity


Organizing for Justice- A DSA Resource for Effective Community Organizing (25 pages)

The Uses of an Earthquake by Harry Cleaver, Midnight Notes Collective (~5 pages)



Democratic Socialism


Resistance Rising: Socialist Strategy in the Age of the Political Revolution (12 pages)

Towards Freedom: Democratic Socialist Theory and Practice (8 pages)