13 books everyone should read and why—as voted by you

Add these great titles to your wish list or secure copies for yourself.

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  • We asked BigThink's readers and staff for their recommendations on books everyone should read.
  • A collection of fiction and non-fiction works from around the world spanning millennia, these books will expand your horizons.
  • Many of these books are long out of copyright, and can be read for free.
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Black households face greater financial devastation due to COVID-19 shutdowns

New research spotlights how low-income Black households face greater financial distress and vulnerability as a result of the pandemic economic crisis.

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  • A paper by a team of Princeton researchers highlights devastating socioeconomic inequalities between racial groups worsened by the pandemic shutdowns.
  • By the middle of June, the rates of new debt were similar for Black and Latinx households at more than 80%, while about 70% of white households reported new debt.
  • When the pandemic ends, tens of millions of households will still find themselves stuck in a devastating financial hole, and a disproportionate amount of those will be Black and Latinx households.
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A brief history of human dignity

What is human dignity? Here's a primer, told through 200 years of great essays, lectures, and novels.

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  • Human dignity means that each of our lives have an unimpeachable value simply because we are human, and therefore we are deserving of a baseline level of respect.
  • That baseline requires more than the absence of violence, discrimination, and authoritarianism. It means giving individuals the freedom to pursue their own happiness and purpose.
  • We look at incredible writings from the last 200 years that illustrate the push for human dignity in regards to slavery, equality, communism, free speech and education.
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COVID-19 amplified America’s devastating health gap. Can we bridge it?

The COVID-19 pandemic is making health disparities in the United States crystal clear. It is a clarion call for health care systems to double their efforts in vulnerable communities.

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated America's health disparities, widening the divide between the haves and have nots.
  • Studies show disparities in wealth, race, and online access have disproportionately harmed underserved U.S. communities during the pandemic.
  • To begin curing this social aliment, health systems like Northwell Health are establishing relationships of trust in these communities so that the post-COVID world looks different than the pre-COVID one.
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How socioeconomic status negatively impacts children's brains

A new study shows how poor children are negatively impacted neurologically.

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  • Children in poor neighborhoods exhibit abnormal activation of motivational circuits in their brains.
  • The neurological impact increases the likelihood of criminal behavior and substance abuse later in life.
  • Researchers suggest focusing on shaping the environment to set up the child for success.
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