Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson
Nebula Award winner.
This is the first book in a trilogy.
This is the story of the colonization of Mars, beginning with the second manned flight to the planet. It's an international effort to establish a permanent base in 2027. There are 100 men and women.
The people on the expedition are scientists and extraordinary individuals. They're all interested in Mars, but not all with the same plans in mind. Some see Mars as an opportunity to make a new society - far enough from Earth that it does not have to stick to doing things the way they are done on Earth. Also, some envision terraforming Mars to be very similar to Earth, others believe they should maintain something more inherently Martian.
Then a larger wave of immigrants comes. Some have new political, religious or business agendas. Corporations begin to be a larger influence. These all contribute a combination of dynamics to the situation. On top of this a life-extending treatment becomes available for those who can afford it. And finally, in 2061, a new "world war" breaks out on Earth. The Martian colony experiences a rebellion. Later forces from Earth restore the old status quo, and dissidents must go into hiding.
This story of a new society is inseparable from Mars itself with much attention spent on matters of planetary science, ecology, and personal responses to the new world. I may not be able to express this part in a plot synopsis as the one above, but what I wrote above does not convey the full book without adding this.
Politics is an important element of the book, but it's not as simple as guys with white hats and guys with black hats. Things don't always go as planned and we don't finish with heroes cheered by an adoring throng. Perhaps this demands we think a bit rather than being given a perspective on a silver platter and assuming it's "the answer" because it was handed to us on a platter.
The book is large both in number of pages and in significant content. Red Mars is a book of length by itself, but is even more so if one continues following the story in the two follow-up books. There's also plenty of science, descriptions of Mars, characterization, social thought, ecology, and connections between characters. This is too much for some readers. It's probably not a good choice for those who prefer books of moderate length or prefer fast pace over depth. But for those who want to "be there" in the next best thing to virtual reality and/or appreciate social and scientific content, it should be a good selection.