The first book was The Motorcycle Diaries. I grew up in a family where Che Guavera was public enemy #1, slightly ahead of Castro brothers. I had the book on my shelf for 15 years before I decided to bring it with me when my band played in d.c. I blew through it in 3-4 days and while I enjoyed it much to my surprise at the time it put questions in my head that I kept on tumble dry for at least a year. So I looked up the political status/climate of the countries he rode through and found he rode through Guatemala assisting poor people and lepers at the exact time the CIA had launched a coup to oust Jacobo Arbenz. Then it all crystallized for me.
The second book was JFK And The Unspeakable. I had read nothing on this subject for 18 years until a friend recommended this one. It’s a real Cold War source book but it’s the meticulous source notes within that provide the denouement. Daniel Ellsberg raved about it, Marcus Raskin, JFK’s nuclear advisor labels it a sourcebook to rebuild a constitutional democracy...James Bradley, Yoko Ono, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin and the guy who wrote the economic hitman book all raved about it. So I said fine, i’ll Try it. It’s shocking. No other word to describe what James Douglass produced. It’s about so much more than why 35 died. It includes a history of Thomas Merton who was a towering figure in the peace movement.
Anyway, those books turned me from a gop automaton to a read every book I can get left of Bernie voter. Call me a socialist I guess, i’m Not sure what other label would apply.