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For centuries, books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspiration, and discoveries. Sometimes those books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers an education in politics and government, literature, society, academic subjects such as science and math, and religion. Politics and Government These books represent some of the most important works that examine politics, economics, and philosophy that affect government. The Republic by Plato. Considered to be the most influential text on philosophy and politics, this work delves into what is right and just. Many ideas such as philosopher-kings, Theory of Forms, and thoughts on immortality of the soul were borne of this work and continue to be discussed today. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. One of the most recognized and popular political texts written, this tract was commissioned by the Communist League and detailed a process for the working class to rise up and eliminate class struggles. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine. Paine's book states that the government's role is to protect the rights of its citizens, and when the government cannot do so, it should be overthrown. This book was written to defend the French Revolution and was an inspiration for democracy around the world. Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Published anonymously in 1776, this tract supported the Americans in their fight for independence form the British during the American Revolution. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. On a visit from France, de Tocqueville described what he saw as the reason democracy was succeeding in America, despite its failure in other countries. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.This political treatise from 1513 offers advice on how an aspiring prince can obtain the throne and how an existing prince can avoid overthrow. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe. Written by a middle aged, white woman in 1851, Uncle Tom's Cabin has been credited for changing the views of
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This critical analysis of capitalism and its exploitation of workers attempts to explain why change is necessary in a nation ruled by capitalism. Guerilla Warfare by Che Guevara. Smith's book. The characters. This philosophical work was considered radical when it was written in the mid-1800s. this collection of tales brought to life characters and stories that remain popular today. advocates a free-market economy. published in 1776. stories. A Marxist revolutionary famous for helping the plight of the oppressed. On Liberty by John Stewart Mill. these works of literature have all touched the world in significant ways. Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence. The theme of preserving cultural history in the . but it contains the kernel of all modern democracies with a call to moral and economic freedom from the state. Considered one of the most important pieces of literature in the world. not only those living in an oppressive state. Written in the 14th century. and language have taken hold of readers for hundreds of years and continue to play an important part of modern culture. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. the Divine Comedy is an epic poem that details a journey through the realms of the dead. This work is one of the most read and studied in the world. Read all the plays and poems written by William Shakespeare to understand why he is known as one of the greatest writers in the world. Literature From creating characters and stories that have become ingrained in cultures around the world to upsetting censorship to inspiring the imagination of many. This book brought the idea of censorship to light and helped overthrow it. It has become a guidebook for thousands around the world. Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.slavery in the north and continues to serve as a reminder of the effects of slavery and other inhumane acts. Das Kapital by Karl Marx. Lawrence's book about an aristocratic woman who commits adultery with a working-class man was banned in the UK due to the sexual details and language used. Guevara wrote this book as an instruction manual of revolt for those trapped in a totalitarian regime. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This book is largely viewed as the beginnings of modern economics.
Some of the developments Huxley wrote about have become startlingly accurate as the future he predicted in 1931 has come closer to reality. This novel. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. symbolism. The themes in this novel have become a major part of modern culture. This dystopian novel describes life in a totalitarian regime that has stripped the people of their rights. and characterization contained in this novel has promoted this book to the popularity it still enjoys today. Iliad and Odyssey by Homer. it has enjoyed enormous popularity. and more based on the story of the man of La Mancha. and it continues to inspire others to create movies. and Flaubert was taken to trial over the novel. Another dystopian novel. Moby Dick by Herman Melville. These two ancient Greek epic poems were a part of young Greek scholars' education and remain so today for students around the world. Christmas traditions were going out of style. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. stories. This now-famous book about a man's hunt for the great whale is considered one of the greatest novels.face of Western domination in this novel gave voice to the oppressed in Africa and caught the attention of the world. Flaubert's story of a woman who engages in adulterous affairs in an attempt to escape from a loveless marriage was subjected to censorship. He is often credited with saving the old traditions of Christmas. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. The adventure. This novel. During the time that Dickens' wrote the story. is still widely read and studied as an example of the damage of colonialism. . The book is heavy on symbolism. Madame Bovary became renowned as a masterpiece of the Realism movement. The Iliad details a few weeks during the end of the Trojan War and the Odyssey describes Odysseus' ten year journey home from the Trojan War. written in 1958. this one by Huxley is often considered one of the great novels of the 20th century. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. 1984 by George Orwell. as have terms such as "big brother" and "doublespeak" (resulting from Orwell's term of "doublethink"). Huxley's novel looked unfavorably on the loss of an individual's identity through technological advancements. After his acquittal. These two works are important for their detail of Greek history and legend. From the time this book was first published in December of 1843. but is also famous for the nature writing and detailing of the whaling industry. originally published as two books. is one of the most influential and popular novels to emerge from Spain.
Considered the first great treatise on feminism. individualism. Written in Italian.The Arabian Nights Entertainment by Andrew Lang. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling. There have been many adaptations of this book. The story Levi tells does not go for the shock value of the Nazi atrocities. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. The Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft. including the plight of Scheherazade. the adventures of Aladdin. This book has become a symbol and reminder against racial persecution. One of the best-selling books around the world. then translated into English and German. who spent one year in Auschwitz. feminism. but instead examines how easily humanity can become degraded. This English language version of One Thousand and One Nights retells the ancient stories that have now become popularized around the world. The cultural impact the Harry Potter series has had on the world is unmistakable. Wollstonecraft wrote in response to those who . and scholarship. He credits this action with promoting book sales. The innocence of this young girl so full of hopes and dreams is in sharp contrast to the reality of her ending at the hands of the Nazis. this story is a personal narrative of Levi. this story (which is often debated about whether or not it is a children's book) invites the reader to think about the meaning of life. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi. This first book of the wildly popular Harry Potter series has sparked the imagination of an entire generation of young readers and inspired those with a few more years under their belts too. The realistic details of this novel and the depth of psychological exploration have contributed to this book's frequently being included as one of the best novels of all time. but also in the fact that Coelho has embraced technology and sharing of this novel at no cost. This landmark book details the days of a Jewish family in hiding during the Nazi takeover in the Netherlands. Society These books have made an impact on society with views on racism. and the voyages of Sinbad. and separation. reflecting the depth of the impact it has made. love. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. The reason for its popularity resides not only in the inspirational tale that Coelho has told. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This book has the distinction of being the most translated book by a living author.
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. Considered the most influential dictionary of the English language. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud. Philosophae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton. In an attempt to understand herself. It is thought to be the book that began the scholarship of literary study. this work by Woolf displays the depth of her feelings on the topic. in comparison to women. calculus. He wrote the results of this experience in Walden. . but the thoughts and observations Darwin made in this book were revolutionary in his time and still continue to be studied and debated today. more self-sufficient life. Despite often being overlooked as a proponent of feminism. Science. the idea of evolution has come under fire by religious organizations. Written while Cambridge was closed because of the plague. Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir.felt that women should not be educated. Recently. This book set the stage for modern thinking on math and physics. Johnson compiled this book over nine years. mechanics. and light and color. While many current scholars disagree with many of Freud's theories. She argued that women are human and deserving of the same respect men enjoy. This work by Darwin laid the foundation for the theory of evolution. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf. and Geography These works served as the start of entire movements and schools of thought. which details the inequality women have faced throughout the years. Newton wrote his thoughts on gravity. Freud included the basics of his theories on psychoanalysis in this landmark work that is still read worldwide. The book still stands as an important examination of what it means to be a woman in this world. Woolf discusses the differences between men and women writers and how these differences come down to the availability of freedom and money that men have. A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson. de Beauvoir undertook the writing of this book. which has subsequently become a source of inspiration for those seeking a simpler. Thoreau underwent an experiment of living isolated on Walden Pond in order to better understand society. the fact that he brought the science of psychology to the public marks this book as one that changed the world. Math.
and the words here are thought to be a guide to Hinduism as well as to how one should live life. this book was written by a Tibetan monk and discusses what happens during death. and during rebirth. Carson wrote on the topic of environmental justice in a book that inspired readers to think seriously about their relationship to the Earth. This work demonstrates the genius behind the thinking that made Einstein famous.pdf *Ptolemy’s Geographia in digits. This sacred Hindu scripture is considered one of the most important philosophical texts. This book is the cornerstone of the Islamic religion. Perhaps the most well-known Tibetan text. Published as one book.Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. The Tibetan Book of the Dead. the Qur'an is believed to be the last word of God after the Christian Bible. These works were used for hundreds of years afterward. The Qur'an. Geographia by Ptolemy.pdf *Ptolemy's Geographic Perceptions of the North in Pomponius Mela. This sacred text guides Jews through their daily living. Ptolemy wrote and mapped the world according to the knowledge he had in the 2nd century. Krishna acts as the teacher in this text. The Bible. Today's cartography is directly descended from Ptolemy's work. The sacred text of Islam. Thomas Aquinas. Also known as the Book of Changes. *Ptolemy’s Geographia or Albion. during the time between death and rebirth. This book helped the modern environmental movement get off the ground. I Ching. this is actually four lectures Einstein gave a Princeton in 1921. The Analects. some for thousands of years. This sacred text brought Christianity to the world and has continued to serve as a source of inspiration for millions of people. The Bhagavad Gita. Religion These religious texts have served as a guide to many around the world. this is the most widely read of the five . The Summa Theologica of St. Written in the 13th century. The Torah. It is the most translated and the most frequently purchased book in the world. The written laws and teachings that are contained in the Tanakh (also known as the Old Testament of the Bible by non-Jews) are known as the Torah. this book is considered to be a leading authority on what it means to follow the Christian religion.pdf The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein.
The I Ching became popular around the world as a sort of sacred fortune-telling device. this text was written by Lao Tzu. Melville felt similarly about his work on Moby Dick. "Bartleby the Scrivener" is now among the most noted of American short stories. The parable within Kafka's masterpiece highlights perfectly the essence of his philosophy. "who obstinately refuses to go on doing the sort of writing demanded of him. Bartleby by Hermann Melville. The text is more likely intended as a source of guidance to express the themes of balance. although it does include a chapter which brings the story to an end. the keeper of the Imperial Library. who remained largely forgotten until some time after Kafka's death. it is an exploration of the personal. a copyist. . inaccessible authority. Bartleby is a kind of clerk." During the spring of 1851. Thus. Bartleby can be seen to represent Melville’s frustration with his own situation as a writer. with the nature of his crime never revealed either to him or the reader. evolution of events. There is nothing to indicate that the Bohemian writer was at all acquainted with the work of Melville. emotional and particularly subjective needs of individual human beings. it tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote. known as a source for many famous Chinese sayings. and the story itself is “about a writer that forsakes conventional modes because of an irresistible preoccupation with the most baffling philosophical questions. who was asked to share his wisdom for coming generations. The result is this text. It has been considered a precursor of absurdist literature. Like Kafka's other novels. individuals must search deep within the apparent absurdity of existence to achieve a somewhat objective self-awareness. in which messages are encoded in the Hebrew bible. One of Kafka's best-known works. Tao Te Ching. The Trial by Franz Kafka. The Trial was never completed. The messages are 53. Drosnin describes an alleged "Bible code". therefore. The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin. The old man. BONUS: 51. is the symbol of this universal search inherent to mankind.sacred Chinese texts. and change. The Trial is not simply a novel about the potential disaster of over-bureaucratisation in society. Assigned unique roles in life. touching on several of Franz Kafka's themes in such works as "A Hunger Artist" and The Trial.” 52. Though no great success at the time of publication. Also known as the Tao.
and can be deciphered by placing the letters of various Torah passages at equal intervals in a text that has been formatted to fit inside a graph. colonialism. etc. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literature. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire. Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical. film and television interpretations since its publication. the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel. It was also a warning against the expansion of modern man in the Industrial Revolution. such as the role of women in Victorian culture. Dracula by Bram Stoker. purported to be hidden in the Torah. that is. The story has had an influence across literature and popular culture and spawned a complete genre of horror stories and films. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel. told as a series of letters. diary entries. 55. alluded to in the novel's subtitle. The Modern Prometheus. horror fiction. Source: http://oedb.postcolonialism and folklore. Drosnin suggests that the Code was written by extraterrestrial life (which he claims also brought the DNA of the human genetic code to Earth).54.org/library/features/50_books_that_changed_the_world . conventional and conservative sexuality. immigration. ships' logs.
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