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Updated by Jenny Garrett on Oct 13, 2019
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10 Books that give you a Diverse Perspective

10 Books that can help those seeking to better understand the diverse world around them

Song of Solomon

In 1930s America Macon learns about the tyranny of white society from his friend Guitar, though he is more concerned with escaping the familial tyranny of his own father. So while Guitar joins a terrorist group Macon goes home to the South, lured by tales of buried family treasure. But his odyssey back home and a deadly confrontation with Guitar leads to the discovery of something infinitely more valuable than gold: his past and the origins of his true self.
‘The story of Milkman Dead and Guitar had me in thrall’ Salman Rushdie, New York Times

GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING

Eimear McBride's award-winning debut novel tells the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. It is a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist. To read A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is to plunge inside its narrator's head, experiencing her world at first hand. This isn't always comfortable - but it is always a revelation.

The Remains of the Day

A contemporary classic, The Remains of the Day is Kazuo Ishiguro's beautiful and haunting evocation of life between the wars in a Great English House.

In the summer of 1956, Stevens, the ageing butler of Darlington Hall, embarks on a leisurely holiday that will take him deep into the English countryside and into his past.

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think

The international bestseller by legendary statisticians Hans, Ola and Anna Rosling: inspiring and revelatory, filled with lively anecdotes and moving stories, Factfulness is an urgent and essential book that will change the way you see the world, and make you realise things are better than you thought.

Back to Black: Retelling Black Radicalism for the 21st Century

Back to Black traces the long and eminent history of Black radical politics. Born out of resistance to slavery and colonialism, its rich past encompasses figures such as Marcus Garvey, Angela Davis, the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter activists of today. At its core it argues that racism is inexorably embedded in the fabric of society, and that it can never be overcome unless by enacting change outside of this suffocating system. Yet this Black radicalism has been diluted and moderated over time; wilfully misrepresented and caricatured by others; divested of its legacy, potency, inclusivity and force for global change.

Kehinde Andrews explores the true roots of this tradition and connects the dots to today s struggles by showing what a renewed politics of Black radicalism might look like in the 21st century.

Inglorious Empire

In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. The Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation.

British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift' - from the railways to the rule of law - was designed in Britain's interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile industry.

In this bold and incisive reassessment of colonialism, Tharoor exposes to devastating effect the inglorious reality of Britain's stained Indian legacy.

The Loudest Duck: Moving Beyond Diversity while Embracing Differences to Achieve Success at Work

Written in an accessible style, The Loudest Duck is a business fable that offers an alternate view of a multicultural workplace through the use of practical stories and cultural anecdotes. For instance, the Chinese teach their children, "The loudest duck gets shot," a viewpoint that gets carried into adulthood, while many Americans are taught, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." As a result, you find two distinct ways of doing business, neither one being necessarily the right or better way. By understanding others' viewpoint, you can understand how better to work with them.

Narrowing the Attainment Gap: A handbook for schools

The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers is one of the most insidious social injustices in the developed world. It is a significant factor in the growing inequality of our societies and persists across time and nations. For this reason, narrowing the gap is a top priority for governments and policymakers, and an issue that all schools must tackle.

Written by a leading expert in the field of inclusion, Narrowing the Attainment Gap is designed to support school leaders in understanding and reducing the attainment gap in the context of their setting. Drawing on research and his own extensive experience in leading a team that has worked with over 1,000 schools, Daniel Sobel examines the real issues behind the attainment gap and the barriers schools face when trying to narrow it.

The book provides a unique approach with hands-on, practical guidance to enable every school leader to develop their own bespoke solutions to meet the needs of their community. Case studies and examples illustrate how these interventions can be put into practice and the impact they can have, while template resources help schools demonstrate to stakeholders the change they are driving at an individual, cohort and whole-school level.

The Other Half: Why We Need to Close the Gender Data Gap

Imagine a world where your phone is too big for your hand, where your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body, where in a car accident you are 47% more likely to be seriously injured, where every week the countless hours of work you do are not recognised or valued.

If any of this sounds familiar, chances are that you're a woman.

Invisible Women shows us how, in a world largely built for and by men, we are systematically ignoring half the population. It exposes the gender data gap – a gap in our knowledge that is at the root of perpetual, systemic discrimination against women, and that has created a pervasive but invisible bias with a profound effect on women’s lives.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, urban planning and the media, Invisible Women reveals the biased data that excludes women.

Award-winning campaigner and writer Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the impact this has on their health and well-being. In making the case for change, this powerful and provocative book will make you see the world anew.

Our Search for Belonging: How Our Need to Connect Is Tearing Us Apart

Why are we so divided today? Paradoxically, Howard Ross, author of Everyday Bias, says it's our compulsion to belong to a group--something hardwired into us-- that ends up making us deeply connected with some, yet deeply divided from others. Ross shows how we can overcome this growing tribalism.
We are living in a world of almost unparalleled separation. People are no longer disagreeing, but are instead disavowing each other's rights to an opinion. What is driving this polarization, and how can we overcome it? Howard Ross says that ironically it's our profound need to belong. He delves deeply into the powerful psychological, neurological, and biological forces that drive us to want to identify so strongly with a group we're sometimes even willing to sacrifice our individual identity.
Drawing on his decades of leadership in the diversity and inclusion field, Ross probes the depth and impact of this growing tribalism, the role social media plays in exacerbating it, the ways it impacts every aspect of the daily lives, and how to combat it. Readers will gain tools for exploring contentious dialogue in healthier ways and guidelines for breaking down barriers and building bridges across difference, and organizations and institutions will be able to develop approaches that can open dialogue and encourage mutual understanding.