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LostYonder wrote

Howard Zinn would certainly be towards the top of any list. I would add, though probably not a usual consideration, Orlando Patterson's Slavery and Social Death. Though it has morphed over the years, much of the work of the early Subaltern Studies collective coming out of India is particularly important (once many of them moved to the US their scholarship went different directions though hanging on to the undercurrent of critical studies). Ranajit Guha's Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India is good place to start. E.P. Thompson would also be significant for tracing out the disruptions of liberal modernity in British history.

Most obvious would probably be David Graeber's work, such as his study on the history of Debt. Though critical of Graeber and anarchist movement, David Harvey's work is extremely important to engage, particularly in the ways modernity disrupts historical, non-state, modes of politics and community. In that line, though not a historian, James Scott on tactics of resistance and his critique of the modern state and its making would also be insightful. I would add Paul Willis's Learning to Labour to such a list as well.

There are a number of significant studies in Latin America and Africa but am less familiar with them particularly studies on informality, peasant movements, and destructive effects of western imperialism.

I am sure there are others that I'm overlooking and would also be quite curious of suggestions from others.