On this historical Inauguration Day, we look at 7 books about societies where democracy has  gone terribly wrong. Let’s hope our society never looks this bleak.


It’s inauguration day in America. Today will officially begin the Trump administration. On the eve if his taking office it was announced that Trump intends to dismantle the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, two federal agencies who strengthen and support creative endeavors. This is in addition to some of the most controversial cabinet picks in memory.  It makes us wonder what our country will look like 4 years from now. Hopefully nothing like the societies in these dystopian novels.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In Collins’s dystopian blockbuster, the United States is not so united in the not too distant future. Instead of 50 states there are 13 districts that make up the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, each district paying tribute to the over indulgent Capitol. Let’s hope we never get a President Snow.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Imagine a society under harsh military rule where the citizens are on the verge of starvation and living in fear of their government while the military lives in opulence. This is the world of Shatter Me. But one girl may have the power to send the whole system crashing down.


1984 by George Orwell

No dystopia book list is complete without the Orwell classic, 1984. This book has remained relevant since it was first published in 1949. In Orwell’s imagined future, information is manipulated on a grand scale, children spy on their parents and thoughts can be criminal.


Divergent by Veronica Roth

It’s post-war America and our society has been split into 5 factions: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity and Erudite. You fall into one of these sector or you fall out of society. And living on the fringes can be a death sentence…or a call to rebellion.


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

In the distant future, the world leaders have created a perfect society using genetic engineering, recreational sex and drugs. But this perfect world is not for everyone. There is at least one citizen who would rather break free of his plastic prison to explore the world beyond.


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

In Atwood’s imagined world woman’s rights do not exist for handmaids. These woman have one purpose: bear children. In a world with a seriously declining birth rate, handmaids are valued for their fertility. They are not prized for this, instead they’re treated as property. But at least one handmaid remembers her life before, and all she has lost.


Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Internment is a floating city in the sky where you can be anything you want. The only thing you can never so is see the ground. But is the city Internment a paradise or a prison?

These books are fiction, but if we don’t want our rights trampled it’s up to us to be vigilant and involved in the world around us. Let’s keep the dystopia on the page and out of the real world.