The Greatest "Massachusetts, Political" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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The category of "Massachusetts" books refers to literature that is set in or about the state of Massachusetts. These books may explore the history, culture, and people of Massachusetts, as well as the unique landscapes and landmarks that define the state. From classic works of American literature to contemporary fiction and non-fiction, the Massachusetts category offers a diverse range of books that capture the essence of this iconic New England state. Whether you're a history buff, a lover of nature, or simply looking for a great story, the Massachusetts category has something for everyone.


The "Political" category of books encompasses works that explore the theory, practice, and history of government and politics. These books may cover topics such as political ideologies, political systems, political institutions, political movements, and political leaders. They may also examine the relationship between politics and other areas of society, such as economics, culture, and international relations. Political books can be both informative and thought-provoking, offering readers insights into the complexities of the political world and the challenges of governing in a democratic society.

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  1. 1. Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

    The book is a seminal work on the philosophy of non-violent resistance, advocating for individual freedom and the refusal to obey unjust laws. The author argues that individuals have a duty to prioritize their conscience over the dictates of laws and that governments are inherently prone to corruption and should not command absolute allegiance from their citizens. The book has greatly influenced many nonviolent resistance movements around the world, including those led by Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

    The 1036th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

    This novel is a contemporary, multicultural exploration of family life, love, and identity. It follows the lives of two mixed-race families, the Belseys and the Kipps, who are linked by their shared professions in academia and a complex web of marital and extramarital relationships. The story is set against the backdrop of Wellington, a fictional New England town, and explores themes of race, class, and cultural clash. It also delves into the world of academia, examining the politics and conflicts that arise in that environment.

    The 1459th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Bostonians by Henry James

    This novel is a satirical depiction of the post-Civil War feminist movement in Boston. The story revolves around a young feminist advocate, her conservative cousin, and a charming young man who wants to marry her. The novel explores themes of feminism, male dominance, and the battle between tradition and progress. It also provides a critical view of the era's political reformers and abolitionists.

    The 2238th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Common Ground by J. Anthony Lukas

    "Common Ground" is a non-fiction book that provides an in-depth examination of racial tensions in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1960s and 1970s, primarily focusing on the controversial issue of court-ordered busing to integrate public schools. The narrative follows three families - one African-American, one Irish-American, and one Yankee - to depict the effects of these tensions on the city's different communities. The book also explores the historical, political, and social context of these events, offering a comprehensive analysis of a critical period in American history.

    The 3443rd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

    "Home Fire" is a contemporary reimagining of Sophocles' Antigone set against the backdrop of modern-day London and Syria. The novel explores the lives of five characters caught in a complex web of love, loyalty, and sacrifice. The story revolves around two British-Pakistani families, each struggling with their own dilemmas related to identity, radicalism, and loyalty. One family is headed by a powerful politician who disowns his jihadist son, while the other consists of three orphaned siblings whose lives are turned upside down when their brother is accused of joining ISIS. The novel explores the consequences of their actions, questioning the extent to which one can go for love and loyalty.

    The 4839th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. The Emperor Of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter

    "The Emperor of Ocean Park" is a gripping novel that combines elements of mystery, legal drama, and family saga. Set in the affluent world of African-American elites in New England, the story follows Talcott Garland, a law professor and former Supreme Court nominee, as he investigates the mysterious death of his father, a prominent conservative judge. As Talcott delves deeper into his father's past, he uncovers a web of secrets, political intrigue, and corruption that threatens to unravel his own life and reputation. With its intricate plot and richly drawn characters, the book explores themes of power, loyalty, and the complexities of race and identity in America.

    The 6394th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

    This biography provides an in-depth exploration of Malcolm X's life, from his early days of crime and imprisonment to his transformation into one of the most influential African-American leaders. It delves into his complex relationships, his evolving political beliefs, and his controversial views on race and religion. The book also examines his assassination, shedding new light on the circumstances around his death and the conspiracy theories that followed.

    The 8196th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas by Louis Menand

    "The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas" is a historical account of the development of pragmatism, one of America's most significant philosophical movements. The book explores the lives and intellectual journeys of four influential thinkers - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, and John Dewey. The narrative centers around the Metaphysical Club, a conversational group these men formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1872. Through their discussions, they developed the pragmatist belief that ideas are not mere reflections of reality but tools for action and problem-solving. The book also examines how their ideas influenced American thought and policy in areas such as law, education, and social reform.

    The 10062nd Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. W.E.B. Dubois : Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 by David Levering Lewis

    This biography provides an in-depth look into the life of W.E.B. Dubois, a prominent African-American sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist. The book traces Dubois' life from his birth in 1868 to 1919, detailing his upbringing, education, and his significant contributions to the civil rights movement. It offers a comprehensive portrait of his ideologies, personal struggles, and his tireless fight for racial equality, making it an essential read for those interested in American history and race relations.

    The 11272nd Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.