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Must-See Books and Movies If You’re Into Politics

If you are someone who is interested in American politics, here's a list of books and movies that I think you should read and watch.

1.     Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild

This is probably my favorite book to recommend to anyone who wants to learn and understand more about the American political climate. This book is written by a sociologist who seeks to understand more about why conservatives vote and think the way that they do. She heads to Louisiana and begins talking to local conservatives, focusing on environmental issues. She finds that many conservatives are either single issue voters, with the issue of abortion swaying their vote, or that they feel like they are being left behind and cheated by the political system.  This book provides interesting insights into how the right makes political decisions, and who they choose to vote for. 

2.     The Trial of the Chicago 7

This film depicts the controversial trial that followed Vietnam War protests. This movie is great for a history buff or anyone interested in learning more about resistance movements. In the film, a group of protestors decides to gather in Downtown Chicago to protest U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war and the protest turns violent after an encounter with police. The film shows the trial that followed. 

3.     Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump Ph.D

Although Trump is no longer president, his niece’s 2020 tell-all book is still a very interesting read. Mary Trump takes it upon herself to provide insight into the Trump family, and the rise of Donald Trump himself.

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4.     Bombshell

This film exposes the allegations made by female Fox News staff against Roger Ailes and provides a deeper picture of the Me Too movement. While it may not seem political at first, Ailes had deep political ties. The film in general also provides insight into not only the past two elections, but an all-too-common occurrence in the workplace, and many politicians’ offices. 

5.     E-Team

This film shares the story of four members of the human rights watch emergencies team as they track human rights violations in Syria and elsewhere. The film provides critical insight into these types of situations and the politics behind providing humanitarian aid.

6.     American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt was published in 2020 and depicts the story of a Mexican woman and her young son fleeing cartel violence in Acapulco, Mexico. The story shares their journey to America taking La Bestia, a train to the north, and then their journey through the desert to cross the border. This fictional book has received some backlash. However, I believe it may help provide some insight to the migrant experience. 

If you’re interested in American Politics, and looking for something new to read or watch, this list is a great place to start. These films and movies cover a wide range of topics, and will be sure to capture your attention. 

Shannon is a junior majoring in political science at Loyola University Chicago. She loves working out, cooking, and exploring the city.
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