Trying to unlock the mystery of why he'd given it to me I devoured it immediately and didn't give it much consideration. As I flip though it today I realize that it probably did have a major influence on my thoughts and my life, my ideas about citizenship and my sense of social justice.
Well me, as a teacher (and as a person
), I doubt he would have given you that book without a very good reason, boomer.
I think he was responding to something he perceived in you at that time which you were ready & very eager to know more about.
Whether this book hit "the spot", or not, of what you were wondering about at the time, this book has had some lasting resilience with you.
But mostly, I respect your teacher's caring of what you made of things as a person asking questions.
There are a lot of teachers who would steer clear of such territory for pretty obvious political/personal concerns.
He wanted to tell you more.