Modern Library’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Reads (with links)

Piers YoungNotesLeave a Comment

I’ve been on the hunt for some good non-fiction reads for 2019 and realised in the rush with everyone else to read Sapiens or Sleep, I’m probably missing out on some classics.

The Modern Library has made a pretty good, if very American, list of its 100 best non-fiction titles. Some of them I’ve read for pleasure, some for studies, and some of them I’m not likely to because of dryness (Principia Mathematica) or expense (£165 for a book on ants…).

Still, as I was trawling through, I added some links to their list so that I could click back easily and think about buying. The list is below, and the links are all to smile.amazon.co.uk=style urls, in case anyone finds it useful.

  1. THE EDUCATION OF HENRY ADAMS
    by Henry Adams
  2. THE VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
    by William James
  3. UP FROM SLAVERY
    by Booker T. Washington
  4. A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN
    by Virginia Woolf
  5. SILENT SPRING
    by Rachel Carson
  6. SELECTED ESSAYS, 1917-1932
    by T. S. Eliot
  7. THE DOUBLE HELIX
    by James D. Watson
  8. SPEAK, MEMORY
    by Vladimir Nabokov
  9. THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE
    by H. L. Mencken
  10. THE GENERAL THEORY OF EMPLOYMENT, INTEREST, AND MONEY
    by John Maynard Keynes
  11. THE LIVES OF A CELL
    by Lewis Thomas
  12. THE FRONTIER IN AMERICAN HISTORY
    by Frederick Jackson Turner
  13. BLACK BOY
    by Richard Wright
  14. ASPECTS OF THE NOVEL
    by E. M. Forster
  15. THE CIVIL WAR
    by Shelby Foote
  16. THE GUNS OF AUGUST
    by Barbara Tuchman
  17. THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND
    by Isaiah Berlin
  18. THE NATURE AND DESTINY OF MAN
    by Reinhold Niebuhr
  19. NOTES OF A NATIVE SON
    by James Baldwin
  20. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALICE B. TOKLAS
    by Gertrude Stein
  21. THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE
    by William Strunk and E. B. White
  22. AN AMERICAN DILEMMA
    by Gunnar Myrdal
  23. PRINCIPIA MATHEMATICA
    by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell
  24. THE MISMEASURE OF MAN
    by Stephen Jay Gould
  25. THE MIRROR AND THE LAMP
    by Meyer Howard Abrams
  26. THE ART OF THE SOLUBLE
    by Peter B. Medawar
  27. THE ANTS
    by Bert Hoelldobler and Edward O. Wilson
  28. A THEORY OF JUSTICE
    by John Rawls
  29. ART AND ILLUSION
    by Ernest H. Gombrich
  30. THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS
    by E. P. Thompson
  31. THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK
    by W.E.B. Du Bois
  32. PRINCIPIA ETHICA
    by G. E. Moore
  33. (Couldn’t find)PHILOSOPHY AND CIVILIZATION
    by John Dewey
  34. ON GROWTH AND FORM
    by D’Arcy Thompson
  35. IDEAS AND OPINIONS
    by Albert Einstein
  36. THE AGE OF JACKSON
    by Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
  37. THE MAKING OF THE ATOMIC BOMB
    by Richard Rhodes
  38. BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON
    by Rebecca West
  39. AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
    by W. B. Yeats
  40. SCIENCE AND CIVILIZATION IN CHINA
    by Joseph Needham
  41. GOODBYE TO ALL THAT
    by Robert Graves
  42. HOMAGE TO CATALONIA
    by George Orwell
  43. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MARK TWAIN
    by Mark Twain
  44. CHILDREN OF CRISIS
    by Robert Coles
  45. A STUDY OF HISTORY
    by Arnold J. Toynbee
  46. THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY
    by John Kenneth Galbraith
  47. PRESENT AT THE CREATION
    by Dean Acheson
  48. THE GREAT BRIDGE
    by David McCullough
  49. PATRIOTIC GORE
    by Edmund Wilson
  50. SAMUEL JOHNSON
    by Walter Jackson Bate
  51. THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X
    by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
  52. THE RIGHT STUFF
    by Tom Wolfe
  53. EMINENT VICTORIANS
    by Lytton Strachey
  54. WORKING
    by Studs Terkel
  55. DARKNESS VISIBLE
    by William Styron
  56. THE LIBERAL IMAGINATION
    by Lionel Trilling
  57. THE SECOND WORLD WAR
    by Winston Churchill
  58. OUT OF AFRICA
    by Isak Dinesen
  59. JEFFERSON AND HIS TIME
    by Dumas Malone
  60. IN THE AMERICAN GRAIN
    by William Carlos Williams
  61. CADILLAC DESERT
    by Marc Reisner
  62. THE HOUSE OF MORGAN
    by Ron Chernow
  63. THE SWEET SCIENCE
    by A. J. Liebling
  64. THE OPEN SOCIETY AND ITS ENEMIES
    by Karl Popper
  65. THE ART OF MEMORY
    by Frances A. Yates
  66. RELIGION AND THE RISE OF CAPITALISM
    by R. H. Tawney
  67. A PREFACE TO MORALS
    by Walter Lippmann
  68. THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE
    by Jonathan D. Spence
  69. THE STRUCTURE OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS
    by Thomas S. Kuhn
  70. THE STRANGE CAREER OF JIM CROW
    by C. Vann Woodward
  71. THE RISE OF THE WEST
    by William H. McNeill
  72. THE GNOSTIC GOSPELS
    by Elaine Pagels
  73. JAMES JOYCE
    by Richard Ellmann
  74. FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
    by Cecil Woodham-Smith
  75. THE GREAT WAR AND MODERN MEMORY
    by Paul Fussell
  76. THE CITY IN HISTORY
    by Lewis Mumford
  77. BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM
    by James M. McPherson
  78. WHY WE CAN’T WAIT
    by Martin Luther King Jr.
  79. THE RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT
    by Edmund Morris
  80. STUDIES IN ICONOLOGY
    by Erwin Panofsky
  81. THE FACE OF BATTLE
    by John Keegan
  82. THE STRANGE DEATH OF LIBERAL ENGLAND
    by George Dangerfield
  83. VERMEER
    by Lawrence Gowing
  84. A BRIGHT SHINING LIE
    by Neil Sheehan
  85. WEST WITH THE NIGHT
    by Beryl Markham
  86. THIS BOY’S LIFE
    by Tobias Wolff
  87. A MATHEMATICIAN’S APOLOGY
    by G. H. Hardy
  88. SIX EASY PIECES
    by Richard P. Feynman
  89. PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK
    by Annie Dillard
  90. THE GOLDEN BOUGH
    by James George Frazer
  91. SHADOW AND ACT
    by Ralph Ellison
  92. THE POWER BROKER
    by Robert A. Caro
  93. THE AMERICAN POLITICAL TRADITION
    by Richard Hofstadter
  94. THE CONTOURS OF AMERICAN HISTORY
    by William Appleman Williams
  95. THE PROMISE OF AMERICAN LIFE
    by Herbert Croly
  96. IN COLD BLOOD
    by Truman Capote
  97. THE JOURNALIST AND THE MURDERER
    by Janet Malcolm
  98. THE TAMING OF CHANCE
    by Ian Hacking
  99. OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS
    by Anne Lamott
  100. MELBOURNE
    by Lord David Cecil

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