Books in the ‘socially responsible’ genre

I teach a Freshmen Seminar course at my university (among other classes) and after a few terms of trying and failing to get the students to choose topics that help them see things from points of views they haven’t heard of before in regards to social conscience issues, I have decided that this semester each of the small groups (3 to 4 students) in the class will pick a book, read it, research topics discussed in the book and use that for their end of semester presentation.

The books don’t necessarily have to do with any one specific topic, but the goal is to have books that talk about social problems and perspectives (women’s rights, poverty, class warfare, etc).
My only trouble is that I haven’t read as many books as I would like to, so my list is lacking. Below I have listed the books I am considering putting on the list but I’d like more. If you’ve read a book you think would work let me know the title and a short blip on what it is about or if you’ve read one of the books on my current list and want to rant or rave about it, please do so.
Books possibly on my list:
* Fast food nation – by Eric Schlosser
* Nickel & Dimed – by Barbara Ehrenreich
* The working poor: invisible in America – by David Shipler
* This land is their land – by Barbara Ehrenreich
* Perfect girls, starving daughters – by Courtney Martin
* He’s a stud, she’s a slut – by Jessica Valenti
* The beauty myth – by Naomi Wolf
* Can’t buy my love: how advertising changes the way we think and feel – by Jean Kilbourne & Mary Pipher
* A nation of sheep – by Andrew Napolitano
* The end of America: a letter of warning to the young patriot – by Naomi Wolf
* The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power – by Joel Bakan
* Free lunch: how the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at the government expense – by David Johnston
Just a little demographic note about the students in this course: 16 of the 20 are female, most of them are nursing majors with the remainder in psychology/sociology, they are all 17 or 18 years old and most of them have fairly conservative family backgrounds. With that being said, when recommending books also think about the title of the book as it may be a great book but if it’s title is too ‘threatening’ or ‘stereotypical’ to one side or the other, they won’t pick it. I will organize the books into catagories so that no two groups can do one from the same catagory so there is a balance for the presentation.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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