B. R. Ambedkar was a key figure in Indian politics for many years and one I wish I was introduced to sooner! He fiercely debated Gandhi on many issues, often being the one to side with the downtrodden whether that is through speeches like this one or by fighting for a more revolutionary constitution in an independent India. This book contains a speech I have heard many good things about from very few people as it does not seem to be well circulated? …


I don’t really talk much about the fiction I read, it’s interesting to hear everyone’s interpretations of great literature of course, but when I write about it I tend to give away spoilers. Like when I told someone about the end of the Titanic and completely ruined the film for them! Speaking of boats (*spoiler* The Titanic was a boat), this book has a boat in it and it is a classic read that made me ponder all sorts from the past and present, as well as other books I have read! A key theme of the book is the…


This is one of the most scathing books I have ever read! Césaire pulled no punches as he tore apart the hypocrisy of Europe regarding colonialism and the turmoil it brought to the world. The absurdity of Britain, France, Portugal, Germany and the United States (plus the rest) have robbed and ravaged countries of their culture, people and resources. Such an incredibly rich text, I tend to dip into it when I need inspiration. So eloquent, so fiery, it offers so much. …


The way things are going the city of Venice will be totally underwater by the year 2030! This is a bit of an exaggeration but I hope it alarmed some of you as the climate crisis is something worth paying attention to. Climate change is even more important than daily underpant change but although there is greater discussion about tackling the environmental impact we wretched apes have had on this whirling rock we live on, the solutions put forward are consistently ineffective or detrimental. …


“Those unwilling to fight for the freedom of others will never be able to fight for their own”. This book is a powerful example of humanitarian effort motivated by a strong sense of justice and the will to help people in need. Apartheid South Africa was a sickening example of white supremacy in its rawest form; after Angola broke free of Portuguese colonial rule South Africa attempted to impose its own rule on the long-suffering nation. The United States, along with the United Kingdom, were key allies of South Africa and their power of veto on any proposed United Nations…


In 1791 the slaves of San Domingo rose up and managed to overthrow the wretched system that oppressed them. CLR James writes beautifully and his analysis highlights the importance of revolution as a locomotive for change in a sensitive and precise manner. I have been meaning to read this book for donkey’s years as James is a renowned scholar who valued the radicalism of the Greek and Hebrew intellectual traditions he was educated in. This work is not pure classical academia, it’s grounded in the aspirations and struggles of the people, viewing them compassionately and critically. …


Margaret Thatcher famously said, “There is no alternative” (TINA) to the deregulation of the global market economy and to public spending cuts. David Harvey explores the effects of this ideology from the late sixties onwards and highlights that the belief in TINA is the only thing that maintains the status quo. Liberals and conservatives do not need an understanding of the world beyond their everyday experience as reality works for them, why would they need an alternative? It’s a different story for the working class for which the world does not offer what we deserve. History helps to paint a…


I’ve always dreamed of love and found it frustrating and confusing that I had no idea how to attain it. This left me numb and when the potential for love in the form of caring and wonderful people came along I was never ready. This book has taken a few read to truly sink in, but it has genuinely changed my life for the better. There is a lot of media that portrays men as being lost, angry and confused, which I feel is an accurate reflection of society as a whole. …


This was really difficult to write, not emotionally, I’m just incredibly hungover. As I celebrated Luke Shaw’s early goal in the final of the European Football Championship it all seemed too good to be true. Even the man jubilantly swinging a carrier bag full of his dog’s shit around his head could not throw me off my stride. Everything was going to be fine forever! When I was young I yearned for England to win the World Cup (and I’ll lump in the Euros as well to make this preamble less pointless). I didn’t think I would be bothered about…


Che Guevara is known the world over for being a handsome, bearded revolutionary. However, it’s not just his pretty, socialist face that was easy on the eye, his words formed a compelling perspective on the Cuban struggle in the form of his diaries and in this case an overview of his vision and how it was being implemented in Cuba. This short but powerful book made me contemplate what an individual should value and how this should contribute to society for it to thrive. I reflected on this recently when considering Cuba’s place in the present. A country of just…

Reflective Reading

Reflecting on the books I have read, what they have offered me and opening up discussion

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store