Sources – Books – Links

Note: 03/14/2011 :
I need to re-work this page to be more ‘user friendly’!

(1) Blog roll‘  – side bar, this page and home page, lists sites I visit more regularly than what’s found here.

(2)Essential Practices– side bar, this page and home page, features links specific to practices we need to bring into wider use.

(3) ‘Symptoms/understanding‘ also with “Essential Practices” (side bar this page and home page) has links that have been especially instructive to me. If I were still teaching, I’d build unit study around many of them. None are without some ‘critical questions’ from me, but they confirm what I’ve learned and observed previously, or enhance, offer insight.

I’m so convinced we need to learn ‘deeper’ awareness of ourselves as social, political, beings – not to ‘shame us’ of assorted behaviors but to realize it’s actually ‘normal human psychology’ at work when we create misery for one another in social/political/economic behaviors.  I believe IF we know, we can learn to make more  conscious choice, rather continue the sleep-walking approach we’ve been using (for generation upon generation!)


Offerings here, at ‘sources-books-links’ are a very limited list and include influences from much earlier times.  Full bibliography, following decades of curious, interested reading, is far too much to post here! Some items here at ‘sources-books’ might be better located at ‘symptoms/understanding‘ – Ruby Payne, on poverty, for example – so feel free to browse here also!


Bibliography of Critical Thinkers and Concepts:

Authors, sources, themes, ideas, referenced here  are among influences with uncommon staying power across time for me.

In a specific recommendation below I suggest: “Let your mind follow along” . It’s good to do that with each of these thinkers!

Aside from their published books; thinking by most if not all these comprehensive analysts is available on their own websites, other websites dedicated to their ideas, and in many cases there may be on-line posted interviews and lectures. Searching by author name is a good way to find links. Much is available on YouTube (I don’t bother with YouTube postings less than around 10 minutes; and especially value 1 hr postings as they are complete lectures.) Book retailers and libraries are an obvious source as well!

The list is in no particular order.

Books: (See also ‘Fiction’ below for a list of novels, novelists.)

Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D: “A Framework for Understanding Poverty“;
RFT Publishing, 1998. I cannot emphasize Payne’s investigations and findings enough!  Poverty in a “modern, industrialized society”, in particular in the US and Canada in my experience, is generally understood in stereotypical ways that have developed with some validity, but are no longer the least comprehensive – too easily lead to over-simplified ideas on how to address.  Anyone, especially in education and social services, and anyone who wants research to counter statements blaming the impoverished, will gain from Payne’s findings and interpretations. (Later comment: I’ve perused current info on Payne. A lot of disappointment, even strong criticism published, especially on lack of supporting formal research, lack of peer review, and over-zealous marketing.  My experience pre-dates the Aha! program. It was my experience (and observation) in our high needs elementary school that Payne’s Framework added insight, expanded teacher understanding of poverty as a concept and experience.  It may be that Payne contributes helpful perspectives otherwise not considered (our school did not relate to Framework as a complete answer); it may be that the ‘tone’ of what Payne offers has shifted.  Framework was the first encounter I had as a teacher with a program attempting to take a comprehensive look at poverty, and for that reason alone, welcome.  I usually ‘bristle’ quickly at stereotyping, and did not find Framework offensive. The criticism is firm, however, and raises concerns that should be noted.)

Vance Packard: “The Hidden Persuaders
” (advertising expose, published late 1950’s)

Alfred Adler (Theory of Individual Psychology
.)  A younger contemporary of Freud. Adler did not publish tomes; see  “The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler“, selections collected by Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher; see also additional publications by Dreikurs and others on Adler. Adler is a major ‘root’ thinker/practitioner to much that emerged in psychology, counseling practices since the early 1970’s.

Ken Wilbur: “A Brief History of Everything
“; Shambhala Press, 1996.

Emmanuel; Emmanuel’s Book II; Emmanuel’s Book III
.  Channeled, compiled by Pat Rodergast and Judith Stanton, pub. , Bantam pb,  1987-1994.  Teachings for humankind; extraordinarily gentle, good humored, reassurance; passages are brief with poetic quality.

James Gleick: “CHAOS
“; Penguin Books, 1988.

Stephen and Ondrea Levine: “
Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying“; Anchor Books, 1989.

Juan Ramon Jimenez: “Platero and I, An Andalusian Elegy
” ; original Spanish translated by William and Mary Roberts; Signet pb, 1960.

Jared Diamond:
Guns, Germs, and Steel; Norton, 1999.

e.e. cummings
(poet): Any publications featuring cummings poetry – collections, anthologies, etc.  I consider his poetry metaphorical non-fiction.

Alice M. Brock: “How to Massage Your Cat
“; Chronicle Books, 1992. (This may not qualify as ‘comprehensive analysis’, or as ‘non-fiction’ but needs to be on this list!)

Mixed media (books, videos, internet):

Noam Chomsky
: Any books, videos, interviews: social, political, economic analysis. Comprehensive analysis based on deep exploration of human affairs.

Michael Parenti
: Any books, videos, interviews: human bias/objectivity, social, political, economic analysis. Comprehensive analysis based on deep exploration of human affairs.

Mixed media – Special Section – Soldier Voice:

This section is dedicated to a treasured friend, Vietnam veteran, who shared with me  who he was when he enlisted, why he re-enlisted, how it went, what it turned out to mean, and what remained for him as on-going, personal, deep and uncomfortable, puzzle.  Here I list only a few soldiers who give personal voice to the matter of soldiering and war.  Their insight zeroes in on personal psycholgy, social psychology, humanity’s greater and lesser inclinations and impulses, and of course, politics related to military and war. These are American voices, primarily intended for American audience.  In citizenship and compassion, it is our task to listen, to hear, and to accept challenge to comfort as it is delivered to us by these soldier voices.

S. Brian Wilson
; Vietnam War veteran : With great courage, intelligence, humanity and compassion shares how personal experience led to anti-war conclusions of where we need to take ourselves – includes insights on individual/group need to understand our cultural perspectives, so we can contribute to the shift.)

Tyler Beaudreau
, Iraq War veteran : With great courage, intelligence, humanity and compassion shares how personal experience led to anti-war conclusions of where we need to take ourselves – includes insights on individual/group need to understand our cultural perspectives, so we can contribute to the shift.

Howard Zinn
, WWII veteran :  Turned social activist.  A man of great courage, intelligence, humanity and compassion.  He has special capacity to explore what it is like for those on the receiving end of wars of conquest.
” “ is for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of our post-9/11 world and a clear sense of how our imperial globe actually works.”  Note: I was directed to this site by email giving the following link to an article by William Astore: “American Militarism on Steroids”.  Article to be found here: .  My summary statement of his article: Astore lays out strong challenge, in plain language, to various ways our American culture has come to “romanticize” and “egotize” our relationship with “military”.


(A tiny selection from my “so big I can no longer find what I want, what folder I used, …” bookmarks list.  There are many more! I sometimes prefer to find video and audio interviews so use ‘video’ and/or ‘audio’ as key search words. )
: Feature interviews/lectures on social, political, economic change.
: Catherine Austin-Fitts, economist: Wall Street and Washington experience, knows regional/national/global economic forces; analysis for a new economic dynamic.
: Limited postings, entertaining panel explorations of philosophical questions – let your mind follow along!

:  Not a link – I suggest you search for this as there are many sources. By Max Ehrmann. One page (or so) inspirational “life advice”  uncommonly and beautifully worded.  “Go placidly amid the noise and haste … … You are a child of the universe …” Has been set to music also. Note to teachers – I developed this for upper elementary as a combined reading comprehension and personal development study; gave each student a rolled, ribboned copy at completion. (Wide appeal – all ages!)
: A non-profit bonanza of careful, thoughtful, high quality documentaries drawn from a range of sources – ‘societal’ is my favorite section so far.
: See my Quotes page  also.  I’ve not found the specific quoted interview but this page opens the door to Joe Bageant’s experience, breadth, depth, and studied knowledge of socio, economic, political dynamics in the US and globally. Be ready for strong, irreverent language with some posted essays/articles.  Several media interview links did not work (dated on source sites?).  Below interview links worked recently  and give a good overview of Joe Bageant’s knowledge – with none or much less possibly objectionable language of some site postings!  Center focus is Bageant’s “Deer Hunting With Jesus“, a remarkable book celebrating his personal ‘red neck’ environment, with observations also of a “bigger picture”.  Joe’s style, revealed in recorded interviews, is genuinely cordial to all points of view, is direct and ‘non-academic’.
:  The ‘podcast’ section is a likely favored area for me.  Feature interviews with authors, analyses of social, political, economic state of affairs.  Interviews running from 30 min or so to up to 1.5 hrs or so.  A great chance to hear authors beyond the shorter  interview bits often offered by mainstream.
: “Humanities scholar and author, Clay S. Jenkinson, adopts the persona of Jefferson each week to comment on current events and answer questions you may have about Jefferson’s thoughts on any and all topics.” Hour long ‘interviews with Jefferson’ archived as podcasts. Weekly must!

(Very recent for the most part; but others stay with me across time, even vaguely, but are never ‘gone’.)

Khaled Hosseini
:  “The Kite Runner“, Riverhead Books, 2004.; “A Thousand Splendid Suns“, Riverhead Books, 2008.

Ken Follett: “World Without End
“, New American Library, 2008.  Feudal England – a thousand pages loaded with detail of character’s lives across the economic spectrum; civil law and construction engineering of the day; political maneuverings of character, village, church, and state.

Joseph Conrad:
All titles: “Lord Jim”, “Heart of Darkness”, “The Secret Agent”, … , Years ago was a passionate reader of Conrad, intend to get back to these and re-read.

(… end list …)