Born OTD in 1924, American novelist, playwright, and activist, James Baldwin. Baldwin’s novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only African Americans, but also gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals’ quests for acceptance.

When David meets the sensual Giovanni in a bohemian bar, he is swept into a passionate love affair. But his … More

Born OTD in 1856, Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist, Bernard Shaw. Andrew Undershaft, a millionaire armaments manufacturer, loves money and despises poverty. His estranged daughter Barbara, on the other hand, shows her love for the poor by throwing her energies into her work as a Major in the Salvation Army, and sees her father as another soul to be saved. But when the Army needs funds to keep going, it is Undershaft who saves the day with a large cheque – forcing Barbara to examine her moral assumptions.

Are they right to accept money that has been obtained by ‘Death and Destruction’? Full of lively comedy and sparkling … More

Born OTD in 1942, American professional boxer, activist, & philanthropist, Muhammad Ali. When Ali died, many mourned the life of the greatest sportsman the world had ever seen. In Redemption Song, Marqusee argues that Ali was not just a boxer but a remarkable political figure in a decade of tumultuous change. Playful, popular, always confrontational, Ali refashioned the role of a political activist & was central, alongside figures such as Malcolm X and MLK, to the black liberation & the anti-war movements.

The stunning new edition of Redemption Song by Mike Marqusee, includes a foreword by political sportswriter Dave Zirin. “One of … More

Born OTD in 1933, American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher, and political activist, Susan Sontag. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag’s first collection of essays and made her name as one of the most incisive thinkers of our time. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between ‘high’ & ‘low’ art forms, & to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces ‘Notes on Camp’ &, ‘Against Interpretation’. Here too are impassioned discussions of Sartre, Camus, Simone Weil, Godard, Beckett, Levi-Strauss, science-fiction movies, psychoanalysis & contemporary religious thought.

Originally published in 1966, this collection has never gone out of print and has been a major influence on generations … More

A lifetime of activist experience informs this playbook for building and conducting nonviolent direct action campaigns Beginning as a trainer in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, George Lakey has been on the front lines of social change for decades. Now, in this timely and down-to-earth guide, he passes the torch to a new generation of activists hitting the streets.

He looks to successful campaigns across the world to help us see what has worked and what hasn’t: from choosing the right … More

Born OTD in 1931, Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician, & psychiatrist. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam, paying particular attention to the practice of female genital mutilation in her society. This powerful non-fiction account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago.

Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, … More

Penny Pepper has led an extraordinary life. She is a writer. Poet. Punk. Pioneer. Activist. And she also happens to be disabled. In her absorbing memoir, which spans the mid-80s up until the millennium, Penny paints a picture of life, love, sex, music, success, failure and misadventures in the UK punk scene of the late 20th century. Craving freedom from the poor Chiltern Hill council estate where she grew up, Penny dreams of moving to London, of writing, of finding her way in the North London music scene.

She doesn’t have what others take for granted; she is disabled. And she sets out with just her raw, burgeoning … More

Born OTD in 1952, American author, feminist & social activist, bell hooks. In this classic study, cultural critic bell hooks examines how black women, from the seventeenth century to the present day, were and are oppressed by both white men and black men and by white women. Illustrating her analysis with moving personal accounts, Ain’t I a Woman is deeply critical of the racism inherent in the thought of many middle-class white feminists who have failed to address issues of race and class.

While acknowledging the conflict of loyalty to race or sex is still a dilemma, hooks challenges the view that race … More