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George Orwell is best known for his fictional works Animal Farm and 1984. But when it comes to his greatest empathic writing, Down and Out in Paris and London ranks as outstanding.
Frans de Waal is a world-renowned primatologist and empathy expert, and this book is his masterpiece on the subject of empathy. De Waal brilliantly makes the case that the standard story that human beings are essentially selfish by nature has little scientific grounding.
In this book journalist and historian Adam Hochschild delves into what he refers to as the world’s first great human rights movement – the movement to abolish slavery and the slave trade in Britain in the late eighteenth century.
John Howard Griffin, who was born in Texas in 1920, was a remarkable character. During World War Two he joined the French underground, helping smuggle Jewish children out of Germany to England.
George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) was a great believer in the power of empathy to move her readers. Back when she was writing in the 19th century, empathy was generally known as ‘sympathy’.
This novel by Christopher Waking is right up there amongst my empathic favourites.
This is a classic short-story from Ursula Le Guin, one of the greatest sci-fi writers ever. You can find it in her collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters. It’s not long but it has a powerful empathic message at the heart of it.
This is the original book on which Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List, was based. Keneally is both a historian and a novelist, and this book combines both approaches with enormous skill.