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David Lammy's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books David Lammy recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of David Lammy's favorite book recommendations of all time.

Political speech in the United States is undergoing a crisis. Glendon's acclaimed book traces the evolution of the strident language of rights in America and shows how it has captured the nation's devotion to individualism and liberty, but omitted the American traditions of hospitality and care for the community. less
Recommended by David Lammy, and 1 others.

David LammyRights Talk is a seminal book. In a sense it is about the other side of the hyper-individualistic society that we’ve arrived at. Now let’s be clear. I wouldn’t be talking to you, as a black MP who’s grown up in Britain, were it not for the huge advances of the sixties and for the socially liberal environment. But that kind of freedom alone is not the answer to the problems that we saw during the... (Source)

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The Bond

Three Young Men Learn to Forgive and Reconnect with Their Fathers

Recommended by David Lammy, and 1 others.

David LammyThis is a deeply personal book that paints a picture of growing up in Newark in New Jersey, America. It speaks to me deeply, as I think it would to most young men who have grown up without a father. The writers of The Bond discuss why you might join a gang or peer-group to discover your masculinity, and why you might feel inadequate in relation to it. They talk a lot about mentoring. They... (Source)

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A New World Order


The Africa of his ancestry, the Caribbean of his birth, the Britain of his upbringing, and the United States where he now lives are the focal points of award-winning writer Caryl Phillips’ profound inquiry into evolving notions of home, identity, and belonging in an increasingly international society.
At once deeply reflective and coolly prescient, A New World Order charts the psychological frontiers of our ever-changing world. Through personal and literary encounters, Phillips probes the meaning of cultural dislocation, measuring the distinguishing features of our...
Recommended by David Lammy, and 1 others.

David LammyI first read this book on entering Parliament in 2000. I thought it was a wonderful collection of essays that spanned the black diaspora. I reread it recently and it is still incredibly fresh. Caryl Phillips writes beautifully, and he is gentle in approaching what is a very difficult, complex and easily caricatured subject. Some of his writing feels like fiction, some of it is academic and some... (Source)

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In modern Britain, the working class has become an object of fear and ridicule. From Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard to the demonization of Jade Goody, media and politicians alike dismiss as feckless, criminalized and ignorant a vast, underprivileged swathe of society whose members have become stereotyped by one, hate-filled word: chavs.

In this groundbreaking investigation, Owen Jones explores how the working class has gone from “salt of the earth” to “scum of the earth.” Exposing the ignorance and prejudice at the heart of the chav caricature, one based on the media’s...
Recommended by David Lammy, and 1 others.

David LammyOwen has written an outstanding book that is doing extremely well at the moment. It is seminal in the sense that it has captured the zeitgeist and is reaching deep places. That is because he taps into what is going on in Britain. More and more people define themselves as middle class, and as a consequence there is what appears to be an emerging “other” class. Class remains the unresolved wound... (Source)

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No Logo

With a new Afterword to the 2002 edition, No Logo employs journalistic savvy and personal testament to detail the insidious practices and far-reaching effects of corporate marketing—and the powerful potential of a growing activist sect that will surely alter the course of the 21st century. First published before the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, this is an infuriating, inspiring, and altogether pioneering work of cultural criticism that investigates money, marketing, and the anti-corporate movement.

As global corporations compete for the hearts and wallets of...
Recommended by Bogdana Butnar, David Lammy, and 2 others.

Bogdana ButnarI thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written. (Source)

David LammyThis is another modern classic worth revisiting. It charts how brands have become tangled up with identity – how they stopped being markers of quality and became symbols of identity and markers of status. Logos have moved from the inside label to being splashed all over products. Having a coffee in Starbucks is an experience not a product. What you wear helps signal your worth. (Source)

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