The Flip Side - A Reading List for a Balanced Perspective



For teenagers who are interested in finding a political internship, the first step is to learn about the issues. Liberal or conservative, young people will benefit from being well-versed in political literature. Below is a list of books that provide opposing views on different political and societal issues. Enjoy!


Economics:

The Road to Serfdom

The Road to Serfdom is Hayek’s seminal work, and has sold millions of copies since being published in 1944. In the book, Hayek warns of the danger of collectivization and argues for the preservation of individualism. For those interested in economics, politics, or the intersection of those two disciplines, The Road to Serfdom should be one of the first stops on your reading journey.


The General Theory

If The Road to Serfdom is your first stop, then The General Theory should be your second. The General Theory is the last, and most influential, book by British economist John Maynard Keynes. Keynes’ writing lays the foundation for modern macroeconomic theory. If you decide to read one of these two books, you should most definitely read the other for a balanced perspective.


The 2016 Election:

Shattered, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

Shattered is an inside account of the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign. Having read the book myself, one of the most compelling aspects of the book is how Allen and Parnes take the reader through the pivotal moments in the campaign and into the rooms where crucial decisions were made. In contrast to What Happened, Shattered is critical of the campaign, but does this in as objective of a way as possible.


What Happened, by Hillary Rodham Clinton

While Shattered attempts to be objective in its analysis, What Happened makes no such claims and is a personal account of the campaign by Secretary Clinton herself. Interestingly enough, the majority of the book is not dedicated to “what happened”, but focuses on Clinton’s political career instead. Those who are Clinton fans or are interested in hearing about the campaign from her perspective will enjoy this book!


Race and Class in America:

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Written as a letter to his teenage son, Ta-Nehisi Coates recounts his life experiences and how they have informed his perspective on race and class in America. The book has sold hundreds of thousands of copies since its publication in 2015, and Coates has even been hailed as a successor to James Baldwin. One of the notable features of the book is its brevity (176 pages). Although it may be a seemingly quick read, the book is thought-provoking and will leave you questioning basic truths.


Discrimination and Disparities, by Thomas Sowell

If Between the World and Me is an indictment of race and class relations in America, Sowell’s Discrimination and Disparities is an explanation of them. Sowell utilizes historical analogies and argues against government policies that have, according to him, hurt the lower class. Sowell’s writing is accessible even to the uninitiated in economics and, just like Between the World and Me, is under 200 pages.


Religion:

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

Mere Christianity is designed for the religious skeptic and the occasional Christian. One of the defining elements of the book is that it makes no assumptions: Lewis begins the journey by making an assertion, then a second assertion, then a third assertion, and walks the reader through his logic. In doing this, Lewis makes a traditional argument accessible to any reader, no matter how little they know about religion.


The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins

On the other hand, Dawkins’ The God Delusion is the most prominent pro-atheist book of our time. It has sold millions of copies and, interestingly enough, was downloaded illegally 3 million times in Saudi Arabia. Dawkins explains to the reader the flaws with organized religion in a step-by-step way, similar to how Lewis does the opposite in Mere Christianity.


If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy:

Internships for High Schoolers Interested in Politics