- Peter Linebaugh, The London Hanged: Crime and Civil Society in the Eighteenth Century (1991). This book by the co-author of The Many-Headed Hydra is one of the best studies of capital punishment ever written.
- Josephine Humphreys, Nowhere Else on Earth (2000). A brilliantly-realized story of race, class, place, and the deeper meanings of American history.
- Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger (1993). Perhaps the best historical novel I have ever read.
- Barry Unsworth, The Quality of Mercy (2012) A worthy sequel to Sacred Hunger.
- Martín Espada, Imagine the Angels of Bread: Poems (1997). One of the best political poets writing in any language today.
- Staughton Lynd, Accompanying: Pathways to Social Change (2012).
- Christopher Hill, The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas during the English Revolution (1972). The single most inspiring work of history I have ever read. It strongly shaped my views of the past and my decision to become a historian.
- C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution (1938). As history and literature, this book is a profound meditation on one of the world’s great revolutions.
- E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (1963). The book that many regard as the founding text of history from below, and one of the greatest works of history of all time.