Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

100 books

with one comment

The following list is from Martin Seymour-Smith’s The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998). For each book, Seymour-Smith provides 3-5 pages of commentary. I have put in boldface those I have read in their entirety, and in italic those from which I have read a substantial amount (generally seminar readings).

  1. The I Ching. c. 1500 BCE
  2. The Old Testament. c. 1500 BCE
  3. Homer – The Iliad. The Odyssey. 9th century BCE
  4. The Upanishads. c. 700-400 BCE
  5. Lao-Tzu  – The Way and Its Power (Tao Te Ching). 3rd century BCE
  6. The Avesta. c. 500 BCE
  7. Confucius – Analects. c. 5th-4th century BCE
  8. Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War. 5th century B.CE.
  9. Hippocrates  – Works. c. 400 BCE
  10. Aristotle – Works. 4th century BCE
  11. Herodotus – History. 4th century BCE
  12. Plato – The Republic. c. 380 BCE
  13. Euclid – Elements. c. 280 BCE
  14. The Dhammapada. c. 252 BCE
  15. Virgil – The Aeneid. 70-19 BCE
  16. Lucretius – On the Nature of Reality (De Rerum Natura). c. 55 BCE
  17. Philo of Alexandria – Allegorical Expositions of the Holy Laws. 1st century
  18. The New Testament. c. 64-110 .
  19. Plutarch – Lives. c. 50-120 .
  20. Cornelius Tacitus – Annals, From the Death of the Divine Augustus. c.120
  21. The Gospel of Truth (The Valentinian Speculation). c.1st century
  22. Marcus Aurelius – Meditations. 167 C.E.
  23. Sextus Empiricus – Outlines of Pyrrhonism. c. 150-210
  24. Plotinus – Enneads. 3d century
  25. Augustine of Hippo – Confessions. c. 400.
  26. The Koran. 7th century
  27. Moses Maimonides – Guide for the Perplexed. 1190
  28. The Kabbalah (Quabala). 12th century .
  29. Thomas Aquinas – Summa Theologiae. 1266-1273
  30. Dante Alighieri – The Divine Comedy. 1321
  31. Desiderius Erasmus – In Praise of Folly. 1509
  32. Niccolo Machiavelli – The Prince. 1532
  33. Martin Luther – On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. 1520
  34. Francois Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel. 1534, 1532.
  35. John Calvin – Institutes of the Christian Religion. 1536
  36. Nicolaus Copernicus – On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs. 1543
  37. Michel Eyquem de Montaigne – Essays. 1580
  38. Miguel de Cervantes – Don Quixote. Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615
  39. Johannes Kepler – The Harmony of the World. 1619
  40. Francis Bacon – Novum Organum. 1620
  41. William Shakespeare – The First Folio. 1623
  42. Galileo Galilei – Dialogue Concerning Two New Chief World Systems. 1632
  43. Rene Descartes – Discourse on Method. 1637
  44. Thomas Hobbes – Leviathan. 1651
  45. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz – Works. 1663-1716
  46. Blaise Pascal – Pensees. 1670
  47. Baruch de Spinoza – Ethics. 1677
  48. John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress. 1678-1684
  49. Isaac Newton – Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy (Principia Mathematica). 1687
  50. John Locke – Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1689
  51. George Berkeley – The Principles of Human Knowledge. 1740, rev 1734
  52. Giambattista Vico – The New Science. 1725, rev 1730, 1744
  53. David Hume – A Treatise of Human Nature. 1739-1740
  54. Denis Diderot, ed. – The Encyclopedia. 1751-1772
  55. Samuel Johnson – A Dictionary of the English Language. 1755
  56. Francois-Marie de Voltaire – Candide. 1759
  57. Thomas Paine – Common Sense. 1776
  58. Adam Smith – An Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776
  59. Edward Gibbon – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 1776-87
  60. Immanuel Kant – Critique of Pure Reason. 1781 rev 1787
  61. Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Confessions. 1781
  62. Edmund Burke – Reflections on the Revolution in France. 1790
  63. Mary Wollstonecraft – Vindication of the Rights of Woman. 1792
  64. William Godwin – An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. 1793
  65. Thomas Robert Malthus – An Essay on the Principle of Population. 1798 rev 1803
  66. George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel – Phenomenology of Spirit. 1807
  67. Arnold Schopenhauer – The World as Will and Idea. 1819
  68. Auguste Comte – Course in the Positivist Philosophy. 1830-1842
  69. Carl Marie von Clausewitz – On War. 1832
  70. Soren Kierkegaard – Either/Or. 1843
  71. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – The Manifesto of the Communist Party. 1848
  72. Henry David Thoreau – Civil Disobedience. 1849
  73. Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. 1859
  74. John Stuart Mill – On Liberty. 1859
  75. Herbert Spencer – First Principles. 1862
  76. Gregor Mendel – “Experiments With Plant Hybrids.” 1866
  77. Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace. 1868-1869
  78. James Clerk Maxwell – Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. 1873
  79. Friedrich Nietzsche – Thus Spake Zarathustra. 1883-1885
  80. Sigmund Freud – The Interpretation of Dreams. 1900
  81. William James – Pragmatism. 1908
  82. Albert Einstein – Relativity. 1916
  83. Vilfredo Pareto – The Mind and Society. 1916
  84. Carl Gustav Jung – Psychological Types. 1921
  85. Martin Buber – I and Thou. 1923
  86. Franz Kafka – The Trial. 1925
  87. Karl Popper – The Logic of Scientific Discovery. 1934
  88. John Maynard Keynes – The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. 1936
  89. Jean-Paul Sartre – Being and Nothingness. 1943
  90. Friedrich von Hayek – The Road to Serfdom. 1944
  91. Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex. 1948
  92. Norbert Wiener – Cybernetics. 1948, rev 1961
  93. George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1949
  94. George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff – Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson. 1950
  95. Ludwig Wittgenstein – Philosophical Investigations. 1953
  96. Noam Chomsky – Syntactic Structures. 1957
  97. Thomas Samuel Kuhn – The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 1962 rev 1970
  98. Betty Friedan – The Feminine Mystique. 1963
  99. Mao Zedong – Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung. 1966
  100. B. F. Skinner – Beyond Freedom and Dignity. 1971

Written by Leisureguy

4 September 2008 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Books, Daily life, Education

One Response

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  1. What a wonderful list. I’m impressed that you have completed nearly 25% of the books and read all or most of almost 60%.
    Thanks for sharing.

    donstuff

    4 September 2008 at 7:30 pm


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