Rippey's World of History

Emile Durkheim

French philosopher and sociologist, 1858-1917. Durkheim is considered the first modern sociologist, using statistical material and sharp intellect to study such topics as suicide and religion.




The Rich

The home of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, near Seattle, Washington. The compound has a total of 66,000 square feet of space, and is valued at about $140 million. In 2017 Forbes Magazine
estimated his net "worth" to be $88 billion.

The Poor

Homeless man, 14th Street in Manhattan, 2015.


Read to find the answer



  • Sociological Perspectives (Thompson and Tunstall)

  • The Rules of the Sociological Method (Emile Durkheim)

  • Sociology: A Down to Earth Approach (James Henslin)

  • Social Problems (Maxine Baca-Zinn)


  • The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions (William Julius Wilson)

  • Two Nations: Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal (Andrew Hacker)

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)



  • Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville)

  • Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Emile Durkheim)

  • The Sociology of Religion (Max Weber) 

  • The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (Friederich Engels) 

  • The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Max Weber)

  • A Consumer's Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America (Lizabeth Cohen) 

  • The Organization Man (William Whyte) 

  • White Collar (C. Wright Mills) 

  • Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Committment in American Life (Bellah, et al)

  • Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right (Arlie Hochschild)


  • The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (Max Weber)

  • The Power Elite (C. Wright Mills)

  • Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (Kim Phillips-Fein)

  • Selling Free Enterprise: The Business Assault on Labor and Liberalism (Elizabeth Fones-Wolf)

  • Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America (Nichols and McChesney)

  • Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections (Richard Hasen)


  • Capital, volume 1 (Karl Marx) 

  • The Fight for Socialism (Max Shachtman, chapters 1-5 are a distillation of much of Capital)

  • Labor and Monopoly Capitalism: The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century

  • (Harry Braverman) 

  • Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (Jonathan Kozol)

  • The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, The Underclass, and Public Policy (William Julius Wilson)

  • Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehrenriech) 

  • The American Dream (Jason DeParle) 

  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein)

  • The Working Class Majority: America's Best Kept Secret (Michael Zweig)

  • The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences (Louise Uchitelle) 

  • Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System - And Themselves (Andrew Ross Sorkin) 

  • Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession (Barbara Garson)

  • Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality (David Cay Johnston)


  • Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life (Bowles and Gintis)

  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Paulo Freire)

  • Horace's Compromise and Horace's Schools (Ted Sizer) 

  • Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (Jonathan Kozol)

  • Ghetto Schooling: The Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform (Jean Anyon)

  • Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America's Schools (Steven Brill)

  • The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education (Diane Ravitch) 

  • The Flat World and Education: How America's Committment to Equity Will Determine Our Future (Linda Darling-Hammond) 

  • Wither Opportunity: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances (Duncan and Murnane, eds)

  • Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools (Diane Ravitch) 

  • The Prize: Who's in Charge of America's Schools? (Dale Russakoff) 

  • The Math Myth: And Other STEM Delusions (Andrew Hacker) 


  • Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (Kenneth Jackson)

  • The Origins of the Urban Crisis (Thomas Sugrue) 

  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities (Jane Jacobs) 

  • Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Lisa McGirr)

  • White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (Kevin Kruse)

  • The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South (Matthew Lassiter)

  • City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (Mike Davis)

  • The New Suburban History (Kruse and Sugrue)

  • How to Kill a City: Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood

  • (Peter Moskowitz) 

  • Ghetto: The Invention of a Place, the History of an Idea (Duneier)


  • Can We Say No? The Challenge of Rationing Health Care (Aaron, Schwartz, and Cox)

  • The Health Care Mess: How We Got into It and What it Will Take to Get Out (Richmond and Fein)

  • Health, Wealthy, and Wise: Five Steps to a Better Health Care System (Cogan, Hubbard, and Kessler) 

  • Social Relations and the Cuban Health Miracle (Elizabeth Kath)

  • Healing the Masses: Cuban Health Politics at Home and Abroad (Julie Feinsilver)

  • An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became a Big Business and How You Can Take It Back (Elisabeth Rosenthal)

  • Talking About Single Payer: Health Care Equality for America (James Burdick)


  • The Population Bomb (Paul Ehrlich)

  • State of the World (annual series of books, ALL are good on the many environmental problems over the past 30 years)

  • This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (Naomi Klein)

  • World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (Lester Brown) 


  • The Search for the Causes of Crime: A History of Theory in Criminology (Dow-Burkhead and Braswell)

  • Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice (Bohm and Walker)

  • The Prison Industrial Complex for Beginners (James Braxton Peterson)

  • Lockdown America: Police and Prisons the Age of Crisis (Christian Parenti)

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)




Harlan County, U.S.A.
The American Dream
Manufacturing Consent
Roger and Me
Earth and the American Dream
Bowling for Columbine
Fahrenheit 911
Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train
The Corporation
An Inconvenient Truth
Why We Fight
Sir No Sir
Bastards of the Party
The U.S. vs. John Lennon
Who Killed the Electric Car? 
The Persuaders (PBS) 
Bill Moyers Journal: Buying the War (PBS)
Money Driven Medicine
Sick Around the World (PBS) 
Food, Inc.
The College Conspiracy
The Money Fix
Waiting for Superman
The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman
The Billionaire's Tea Party
The Inside Job
Inequality for All


Salt of the Earth
Bob Roberts
Dead Man Walking
Bread and Roses


In the Background: Ferguson, Missouri

Ferguson, Missouri, summer 2014. The conflict between law enforcement and community over the killing of a young black man highlighted the stark divisions in American society, and demonstrates clearly how groups and institutions in society interact and conflict.

Ferguson 2014.jpg

External Links

Income and Poverty

Marxism as a Solution

Healthcare, Environment, and Education Under Capitalism


Karl Marx

(1818-1883), part sociologist, part economist, part historian, part philosopher, part revolutonary, AND a working journalist. Marx is best known for his "Communist Manifesto" calling for an end to the capitalist economic system, although his most important contribution to our knowledge today can be found in "Capital" (1867), where he describes and analyzes how capitalism functions and how classes conflict within societies