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Calls to action: 6 books that inspired political activism

It didn't take long before celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon were visiting the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, and as the gatherings have spread, so has the word. Literally. Writers have a special love for the diverse demonstrations. Just take it from their online statement at OccupyWriters.com. Visitors are welcomed by a big, bold message: "We, the undersigned writers and
/ Source: TODAY books

It didn't take long before celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Susan Sarandon were visiting the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York, and as the gatherings have spread, so has the word. Literally.

Writers have a special love for the diverse demonstrations. Just take it from their online statement at OccupyWriters.com. Visitors are welcomed by a big, bold message: "We, the undersigned writers and all who would join us, support Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement around the world."

Among the names: Margaret Atwood, Noam Chomsky, Eve Ensler and Salman Rushdie, writers well known for revolutionary spirit. Here, a look back at powerful works by authors with an agenda, and the uprisings they supported and inspired.

‘Animal Farm’

By George Orwell

(Plume)

George Orwell's 1945 allegory about the creation of the Soviet Union showed how greed and arrogance could undermine a revolution. In the book, a pig named Napoleon organizes animals to drive away the human owner of the farm where they live. But soon Napoleon is a despot with his own secret police force (dogs), who rewrites history to glorify himself and destroy any who oppose him. Banned in the Soviet Union, the book nonetheless undermined leader Joseph Stalin.

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‘Slaughterhouse-Five’

By Kurt Vonnegut

(Dial Press)

Kurt Vonnegut's 1969 novel came out 25 years after the allied firebombing of Dresden, which it depicts, but only a year after the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive. Vonnegut quickly became an exalted figure in the anti-war counterculture. By sharing his own experiences as a soldier in World War II, Vonnegut stoked popular horror over the injustices that come with armed combat.

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‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

By Harper Lee

(Harper)

In her classic novel, published in 1960, Harper Lee introduced Atticus Finch, a white Alabama lawyer who takes the case of a black defendant accused of rape. Though Lee herself had little personal involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the novel is credited with turning a lens on racist attitudes in the deep South, and fueling the fight against Jim Crow laws.