I have been greatly enjoying the thread on mandatory reading in high school .... and was wondering if I could suggest a variation on the 'reading nostalgia' theme.
I am interested in hearing Babblers reflect about books that made a difference to them - books that so affected us that we were compelled to look at the world through new eyes ... and presumably from a more progressive / socialist / feminist perspective.
To lead with a personal example .... in 1969 a brand new Grade 10 English Teacher (from England, with long hair!) had our class read "Manchild in the Promised Land" by Claude Brown. It is an incredibly powerful story about a young African-American boy growing up in Harlem of the 1950s. At heart it is a classical American tale of one remarkable individual's struggle against the odds / over adversity.
But from where I sat (warm, white and comfortable in a Montreal suburb) it was a heart-stopping revelation about the damage wraught to individuals and communities by the twin evils of poverty and racism. My emergent political sensibilities headed leftwards almost overnight .... and when school reconvened the following September, Mr Potter was nowhere to be seen.