Caliban and the Witch (2004)

Witch-hunts are a phenomenon that are not only understudied but commonly not well understood or even misunderstood. I attempt to summarize a book that (among other things) is a fairly detailed treatment of the phenomenon of witch-hunts in Europe as well as later witch-hunts that have occurred and are occurring in other parts of the world. Caliban and the Witch links the ramp-up to witch-hunts to class struggle and political unrest, depopulation, early modern statecraft, privatization / enclosure of commons, and conquest in the New World, among other things. I summarize some of the book's historical content in this post.

The Reactionary Mind (1st ed. – 2011)

The author of this book read the writings of a lot of conservative intellectuals and uses that to describe the psychology of a reactionary -- a type of conservative who is largely driven by preservation of hierarchy, even at the expense of tradition. He describes the process that creates reactionary politics, which I summarize with a meme.