Author Topic: Books that shaped America  (Read 3892 times)

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Offline Ted

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Books that shaped America
« on: July 05, 2012, 06:33:38 AM »

 The Library of Congress recently released the 88 books that it thought shaped America.

 Any books you think should be on the list but aren't?

 Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain (1884)
"Alcoholics Anonymous" by anonymous (1939)
"American Cookery" by Amelia Simmons (1796)
"The American Woman's Home" by Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe (1869)
"And the Band Played On" by Randy Shilts (1987)
"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand (1957)
"The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Malcolm X and Alex Haley (1965)
"Beloved" by Toni Morrison (1987)
"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown (1970)
"The Call of the Wild" by Jack London (1903)
"The Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss (1957)
"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller (1961)
"The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger (1951)
"Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White    (1952)
"Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)
"The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" by Benjamin Spock (1946)
"Cosmos" by Carl Sagan (1980)
"A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible" by anonymous (1788)
"The Double Helix" by James D. Watson (1968)
"The Education of Henry Adams" by Henry Adams (1907)
"Experiments and Observations on Electricity" by Benjamin Franklin (1751)
"Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury  (1953)
"Family Limitation" by Margaret Sanger (1914)
"The Federalist" by anonymous/ thought to be Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay (1787)
"The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan (1963)
"The Fire Next Time" by James Baldwin (1963)
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" by Ernest Hemingway (1940)
"Gone With the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell  (1936)
"Goodnight Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown (1947)
"A Grammatical Institute of the English Language" by Noah Webster (1783)
"The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck (1939)
"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
"Harriet, the Moses of Her People" by Sarah H. Bradford (1901)
"The History of Standard Oil" by Ida Tarbell  (1904)
"History of the Expedition Under the Command of the Captains Lewis and Clark" by Meriwether Lewis (1814)
"How the Other Half Lives" by Jacob Riis (1890)
"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie (1936)
"Howl" by Allen Ginsberg (1956)
"The Iceman Cometh" by  Eugene O'Neill (1946)
"Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures" by Federal Writers' Project (1937)
"In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote (1966)
"Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison (1952)
"Joy of Cooking" by Irma Rombauer (1931)
"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair (1906)
"Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman (1855)
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving (1820)
"Little Women, or Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy" by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
"Mark, the Match Boy" by Horatio Alger Jr. (1869)
"McGuffey's Newly Revised Eclectic Primer" by William Holmes McGuffey (1836)
"Moby-Dick; or The Whale" by Herman Melville (1851)
"The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" by Frederick Douglass (1845)
"Native Son" by Richard Wright (1940)
"New England Primer" by anonymous (1803)
"New Hampshire" by Robert Frost (1923)
"On the Road" by Jack Kerouac (1957)
"Our Bodies, Ourselves" by Boston Women's Health Book Collective (1971)
"Our Town: A Play" by Thornton Wilder (1938)
"Peter Parley's Universal History" by Samuel Goodrich (1837)
"Poems" by Emily Dickinson (1890)
"Poor Richard Improved and The Way to Wealth" by Benjamin Franklin (1758)
"Pragmatism" by William James (1907)
"The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin, LL.D." by Benjamin Franklin (1793)
"The Red Badge of Courage" by Stephen Crane (1895)
"Red Harvest" by Dashiell Hammett (1929)
"Riders of the Purple Sage" by Zane Grey (1912)
"The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850)
"Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" by Alfred C. Kinsey (1948)
"Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson (1962)
"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats (1962)
"The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois (1903)
"The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner (1929)
"Spring and All" by William Carlos Williams (1923)
"Stranger in a Strange Land" by Robert E. Heinlein (1961)
"A Street in Bronzeville" by Gwendolyn Brooks (1945)
"A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams (1947)
"A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America" by Christopher Colles (1789)
"Tarzan of the Apes" by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1914)
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
"To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee (1960)
"A Treasury of American Folklore" by Benjamin A. Botkin (1944)
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith (1943)
"Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852)
"Unsafe at Any Speed" by Ralph Nader (1965)
"Walden; or Life in the Woods" by Henry David Thoreau (1854)
"The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes (1925)
"Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (1963)
"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum (1900)
"The Words of Cesar Chavez" by Cesar Chavez (2002)

Offline Ted

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Books that shaped America
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2012, 06:35:23 AM »

  I think if I were to name 3 books that changed America, I would name "Uncle Tom's Cabin", "Silent Spring", and "The Feminine Mystique".

  4th on my list would be "The Cat in the Hat" 

Offline Terri

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2012, 09:26:26 AM »
I like this list a lot.  I would add "Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery because Anne's drive and spirit inspired many American girls.  Yes, I know the book is Canadian but just like "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith (1943), the theme is young girls can excel, overcome hardships and that life is really good. 

"East of Eden" too, but I happened to adore Steinbeck. 

This book inspired our family vacations: "History of the Expedition Under the Command of the Captains Lewis and Clark" by Meriwether Lewis (1814).  We somewhat followed b car the journey of Lewis and Clark, yet haven't made it past Fort Mandan in North Dakota.  What a journey L&C had!! 

Great books remain in your mind and make you feel even though its been years since they were read. 
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 11:13:19 AM by Terri »

Offline SimplyBerwyn

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2012, 11:30:24 AM »
Great list of books!

If memory serves me, weren't some of those books deemed subversive at one time or another?

 :usa:   
Hope will never be silent. --Harvey Milk

Offline berwynguy

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2012, 11:36:53 AM »
A couple of those books that may be of interest to a Chicago history buff are:

"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair (1906)
"A Street in Bronzeville" by Gwendolyn Brooks (1945)
Unfortunately, this ain't your grandmother's Berwyn anymore.

Offline Ted

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2012, 12:37:57 PM »

 Native Son was also set in Chicago.

Offline markberwyn

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2012, 12:40:17 PM »

 Native Son was also set in Chicago.

And written by a Chicagoan! (Has anybody criticized the LoC yet for promoting a novel written by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party?)
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Offline Ted

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 12:43:12 PM »
"East of Eden" too, but I happened to adore Steinbeck. 

 I think for authors with many great works, they chose the one significant work to put on the list.

  I was surprised they had plays on the list ("Our Town"; "A Street Car Named Desire") since those are not technically books; they're plays. And, if plays are to be on the list, I would think "Death of a Salesman" and even musicals like "Oklahoma" or "South Pacific" should be on the list.

  Finally, I think some of the books are because of who the author was (Cesar Chavez, Malcom X) more than the influence of the book itself.
 

Offline Ted

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 12:45:29 PM »
(Has anybody criticized the LoC yet for promoting a novel written by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party?)

 Don't worry.  I expect Jake or Eno or HKay to pipe in any minute now.... LOL

Offline SimplyBerwyn

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 12:50:07 PM »
(Has anybody criticized the LoC yet for promoting a novel written by a card-carrying member of the Communist Party?)

 Don't worry.  I expect Jake or Eno or HKay to pipe in any minute now.... LOL

+1
Hope will never be silent. --Harvey Milk

Offline Guy_on_Clinton

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 01:14:10 PM »
House on Mango street
SPINDLEVIEW RULES!!!!!!!!

Offline buzz

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 07:00:48 PM »
The Kamasutra
Why won't anyone believe it's not butter ?

Offline berwynguy

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 07:45:50 PM »
The Bible
Unfortunately, this ain't your grandmother's Berwyn anymore.

Offline Ted

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 06:04:42 AM »

The Bible is on the list (an Americanized, illustrated version of the Bible).

 "A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible"
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 06:07:08 AM by Ted »

Offline Boris

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 05:20:52 PM »
I forgot where I saw it, but Uncle Tom's Cabin was deemed the most important book in American history ... or in the history of America.
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Offline scottymac

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Re: Books that shaped America
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 10:52:49 PM »
Playboy.

But seriously, the bible has to be the most important work. Only because the forefathers were escaping religious (and tax) oppression and the Constitution was built on the premise of religious freedom.

As an atheist, I don't subscribe to the stories in the bible, but it sure served as a major impetus in the formation of the USA.