Building A Forbidden Library: The Most Important Anti-Woke Books


These are the books that either expose or explain wokeism, or that explore objective knowledge about the world, outside of the radical anti-West woke perspective.

Books Discussed in the Anti-Woke Book Club on the Richard Syrett Show

Indigenous Issues

Books with a grasp of the big picture

The Status Game: On Social Position and How We Use It, by Will Storr, is a fascinating and easy read. I chose to discuss this book first because it deals with the thing that “equity” is trying to eradicate: social hierarchy. Storr did an excellent job of arguing that hierarchies resulting from the ambitions of status seekers are natural to the human condition. It would be a disaster to end meritocracy and to rob ambitious people of the ability to ascend in status as a result of their hard work. If people are not recognized and rewarded for doing exceptional things, why would anyone do exceptional things?

While we might like to think that humans act out of altruism or a desire to serve others, the truth is that many people crave status. Because status motivates people to do amazing things, in my view, it should be embraced as human nature and not thought of as a negative trait. Buy this book for the annoying equity officer at your school or workplace.

The War on the West by Douglas Murray. The first paragraph on the inside sleeve of Douglas Murray’s newest book says the following:

“It is now in vogue to celebrate non-Western cultures and disparage Western ones. While a reckoning is necessary, much of the criticism fatally undermines the very things that created the greatest, most humane civilization in the world.”

It is imperative that we have writers like Douglas Murray to remind us of this. On that note, I must also recommend Murray’s previous book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity, especially if you are just starting to notice that something is a little off with society these days.

The reason I recommend these two Douglas Murray books so high up on the list, is because they are compelling and easy to read. These two books can be read very quickly, they may actually be the most effective way to upload a memorable outline of the shape of woke identity politics. The reader will walk away knowing what wokeism is and how to spot it.

If you don’t know much about the culture wars (or even if you do), these two highly readable books by one of the most insightful writers on society and culture, provide an excellent introduction to the very serious woke cultural revolution currently sweeping through all democratic Western nations. MUST READ!!

Western Self-Contempt: Oikophobia in the Decline of Civilizations. Philosopher Benedict Beckeld exams a curious pattern seen throughout history where prosperous states, at the height of their success, become overwhelmed with self-contempt rooted in a belief that the prosperity and material abundance they enjoy, is merely a result of historical injustice. It is called Oikophobia, it is a fear or contempt for ones surroundings or homeland, and it happens to people when their society is at its most advanced and thriving. The woke are often described, accurately, as “anti-West.” Woke ideology, and its dominance in public institutions, has spurred modern self-contempt and the oikophobic trajectory of Western nations.

Dominion: How The Christian Revolution Remade The World by Tom Holland. I am not recommending this book as a way to convert readers to Christianity (although the reader could do worse), rather, I recommend it as an important work of history concerning the Western world. The reader will take away the central premise that liberalism is a secularized version of Christianity. As the New Yorker stated in their review, “this lively, capacious history of Christianity emphasizes the extent to which the religion still underpins Western liberal values.”

The Psychology of Totalitarianism by Mattias Desmet. Something scary happened to us during the pandemic that I’m relieved appears to be somewhat revering course. The way we turned against the unvaccinated, or the way our Prime Minister and legacy media characterized freedom protestors as racists and misogynists, showed signs of something like a mass psychosis. Rationale voices, the ones not outright cancelled, were drowned out by a cacophonic social hysteria. What emerged early in the pandemic was an acting technocracy, in the form of mostly “doctors and experts from the medical community.”

A mass consensus, built more on fear than facts, formed around the newly anointed medical technocrats, and anything short of full unflinching support of there public health dictums was not tolerated. Politicians deferred to these so-called experts, in effect surrendering the governance of health policy to panels of science nerds who didn’t know the first thing about political leadership.

There is perhaps no better data driven work (including deep statistical analysis) which exams the insanity of the pandemic. The mass formation theory put forward by Desmet will be discussed for years to come. And I believe, this book will equip the reader with the knowledge necessary to spot irrationality and avoid being swept up in the hysteria of fear driven totalitarian mass formation.

Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration, and the Future of White Majorities by Eric Kaufmann. Although this book is by no means a light or easy read, Kaufmann’s take on the woke movement is one of the most interesting in my view. A political scientist who’s research overlaps well into the world of social demography (where much technical statistical analysis is employed), Kaufmann brings a deep understanding of the woke cultural movement (which originated in 1960s academia and the counter-culture), and is able to make sense of and communicate clearly the complexities arising from large volumes of data analysis. This includes an examination of the culture wars, the implications of political movements, immigration and more. There may be no other book which better explains (based on the smart collection and analysis of demographic data) the woke scourge that Western nations are currently plagued with.

Acknowledgements: A Cultural Memoir And Other Essays by Barbara Kay. The essays collected in this volume were written before the term woke became ubiquitous, when “political correctness” was how the radical anti-west ideology was referred. This book shows that Barbara Kay was ahead of the curve (as she usually is) in critiquing the emergent radical leftism marching through the institutions of the West and drastically reshaping society. From academia to feminism to anti-male bias in media and family courts to abortion to anti-Israel bias on campuses, this volume is packed full of insights guaranteed to inspire the reader to reassess many long held assumptions about modern Western culture.

The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth by Jonathan Rauch. From the books description:

“Disinformation. Trolling. Conspiracies. Social media pile-ons. Campus intolerance. On the surface, these recent additions to our daily vocabulary appear to have little in common. But together, they are driving an epistemic crisis: a multi-front challenge to America’s ability to distinguish fact from fiction and elevate truth above falsehood…In this pathbreaking book, Jonathan Rauch reaches back to the parallel eighteenth-century developments of liberal democracy and science to explain what he calls the “Constitution of Knowledge”—our social system for turning disagreement into truth.”

Fools, Frauds and Firebrands: Thinkers of the New Left by Sir Roger Scruton. This sagacious volume offers a discerning assessment (and takedown) of influential left-wing thinkers - including E. P. Thompson, Ronald Dworkin, R. D. Laing, Jurgen Habermas, Gyorgy Lukacs, Jean-Paul Sartre, Jacques Derrida, Slavoj Zizek, Ralph Milliband and Eric Hobsbawm.

Understanding the speculative and overtly anti-liberal theories of these major left-wing figures will give the reader a thorough grasp of how the madness of Wokeism has infected the institutions of society and the thinking of the leaders who run them.

The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America by Roger Kimball. This volume pairs well with Roger Scruton’s Fools, Frauds and Firebrands, as it tackles the source of the anti-west cultural revolution that today is referred to as the woke movement.

The 1960s counterculture is responsible for transforming “high culture as well as our everyday life in terms of attitudes toward self and country, sex and drugs, and manners and morality. Believing that this dramatic change ‘cannot be understood apart from the seductive personalities who articulated its goals,’ he (Kimball) intersperses his argument with incisive portraits of the life and thought of Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Timothy Leary, Susan Sontag, Eldridge Cleaver and other ‘cultural revolutionaries’ who made their mark. For all that has been written about the counterculture, until now there has not been a chronicle of how this revolutionary movement succeeded and how its ideas helped provoke today's ‘culture wars’."

Must read Thomas Sowell books

The Thomas Sowell book I find myself recommending the most is Discrimination and Disparities. In this volume Sowell examines in great detail the mechanisms behind social disparities and why the usual rationale for differences between racial groups, which is almost always based on there being antipathy between those groups, is not plausible in the real world. Many of the reasons for this implausibility are carefully analyzed and explained with a profound clarity that only Thomas Sowell can bring.

Keep in mind that Thomas Sowell has written approximately 50 books. I haven’t read them all, but I imagine they are all worth while. Thomas Sowell is easily one of the most important thinkers of our time. His analysis of history, education, culture, society is always deeply considered and researched. Below I will recommend a few more Thomas Sowell titles that I believe belong in his greatest hits:

Books that explain Woke

Counter Wokecraft: A Field Manual for Combatting the Woke in the University and Beyond by Charles Pincourt. At less than one hundred pages, this thin volume is an “invaluable contribution to the understanding, recognizing, and ultimately countering ‘Wokecraft’ wherever it appears.” From the description on the back of the book:

“The Woke ideology is colonizing Western Civilization. This ideology views the world through a Marxist-inspired lens of ‘systemic power dynamics’ that divides us between the ‘privileged’ and ‘oppressed’. This colonization has successfully captured many of our noblest and most vital institutions...”

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay

Helen Pluckrose

James Lindsay

Michael Rectenwald

John McWhorter

Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder

Gad Saad

Vivek Ramaswamy

Books on Antifa and Black Lives Matter

Books on Transgenderism and Gender Ideology

Books on the Freedom Convoy

Books recommended by Mr. M

Regular readers of Woke Watch Canada will know that Mr. M is an anonymous historian who is co-writing a book with me called The Great Illiberal Subversion: How Radical Activists Ru(i)n Western Democracies. Below are few of his book recommendations: