Books for Education and Economic Change

Books for Education and Economic Change

Some congregations find a book study useful for learning about and exploring issues of economic justice. Listed here are a number of books and a few articles or online videos that may suite your congregation’s needs.

 Faith and economic justice


  • The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer by John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, 2010. See the free study guide from the UCC Economic Justice League.
  • Jesus: The Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary by Marcus J. Borg, HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.
  • The Politics of Jesus by Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Three Leaves Press (Doubleday Press), 2006.
  • In the Shadow of Empire edited by Richard A. Horsley, John Knox Press, 2008.

  • The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg, Harper Collins, 2003.  Being a Christian means loving God, and loving who and what God loves. Thus, we are called to do justice.
  • God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now by John Dominic Crossan, Harper Collins, 2007.
  • Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Order, by Richard A. Horsley, Fortress Press, 2003.
  • Exodus from Hunger by David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, examines the causes of hunger, presents case studies of countries that have made great strides against it, and puts a human face on the problem.
 Economic Justice – Conditions in the U.S.


  • Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond, Crown, 2016.
  • $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015
  • Re-Writing the Rules of the American Economy: An Agenda for Growth and Shared Prosperity by Joseph E. Stiglitz, W.W. Norton and Co., 2015
  • Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few by Robert B. Reich, Knopf, 2015.
  • Inequality: What Can Be Done? by Anthony B. Atkinson, Harvard University Press, 2015.
    The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz, W.W. Norton and Co., 2013
  • Winner-Take-All Politics by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, Simon and Schuster, 2010. How policy choices have enriched the rich, hurt the poor, and eroded the middle class. Bill Moyers interviewed the authors on his TV show, Moyers and Company.

  • The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler, Vintage Press, 2004.
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, Henry Holt and Co, 2002.
  • Perfectly Legal: The covert campaign to rig our tax system to benefit the super rich – and cheat everybody else (2003)and Free Lunch: How the wealthiest Americans enrich themselves at government expense and stick you with the bill (2007), both written by David Cay Johnston, published by Portfolio by the Penguim Group.
  • When Corporations Rule the World by David C. Korten, Kumarian Press, Inc. and Berrett-Koehler Purblishers, Inc., 2001.  It is a few years old but still very relevant.
  • The Color of Wealth: The story behind the U.S. racial wealth divide by Meizhu Lui, Barbara Robles, e al., The New Press, 2006.
  • The Spirit Level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, Bloomsbury Press, 2009. Discuss the varied and very negative impacts of inequality. There is also a web site based on the book, Equality Trust. The authors provide multiple, very convincing reasons for reducing inequality – it harms rich, poor, and middle income people – but they don’t get into how to do this.

  • Hostile Takeover: How big money and corruption conquered our government and how we can take it back by David Sirota, Crown Publishers, 2006.
  • Broke, USA: From pawnshops to Poverty Inc. – how the working poor became big business by Gary Rivlin, HarperCollins, 2010.
  • Freefall: America, free markets, and the sinking of the world economy by Joseph E. Stiglitz, W.W. Norton and Company, 2010. 
  • Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich, Vintage Press, 2010.
  • Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick,  Knopf, 2011.


  • Growth isn’t Working, a monograph from the New Economics Foundation. Economic growth harms the environment but will not solve the problem of poverty – so we need to limit or halt economic growth in the global North.

  • Can America Make It?, a Special Report from the American Prospect in December 2011. How can the U.S. economy get back on a strong path toward good jobs and reduce the trade deficit.


Economic Justice -- Global


  • World Hunger: Twelve Myths, 2nd ed. by Frances Moore Lappe, Joseph Collins, and Peter Rosset; Grove Press, 1998
  • Globalization and its Discontents by Joseph E. Stiglitz, W.W. Norton and Company, 2002.
  • From Poverty to Power: How active citizens and effective states can change the world by Duncan Green, Oxfam International 2008. (available from Oxfam)
  • Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2004

  • Bad Samaritans: The myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang, Bloomsbury Press, 2008.

  • Alternatives to Economic Globalization  by John Cavanagh, Jerry Mander, et al.; Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2002  




Contact Info

Edith Rasell, Ph.D.
Minister for Economic Justice
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115