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books that changed the world

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Showing 26-50 of 55 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jul 6, 2012 6:49:54 AM PDT
Sarida says:
There are some great answers! I agree that the Bible is a given. "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was a great answer.

The first book that popped in my mind was:

The Jungle

It may not have changed the entire world, but it certainly altered American history.

I suspect the books that really changed the world won't be amongst the classics, or even in our modern world. When books alter people - then people alter the world. Those dime westerns full of misinformation and anti-Indian sentiment most likely changed perceptions and realities for many. The books about the romance of Africa sent explorers into the inland and changed the lives of the native population forever.

The Travels of Marco Polo - Complete [Illustrated]

Worked up the imagination of so many.

Mark Twain's books certainly changed the world but not in ways that seem earth shattering.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 7:06:46 AM PDT
Wired did a great list this month:

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 8:03:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 10:09:11 AM PDT
Here is a scholarly, serious book about HOW books have changed the world. As a booklover I was appalled, but convinced, by its premise. I'd recommend sampling first.

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 8:23:12 AM PDT
Just Peachy says:
That sounds interesting. I sent a sample to my Kindle.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 8:38:50 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 10:02:05 AM PDT
Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Freud, Marx, Hitler, Helen Keller, Silent Spring,

The Holy Koran, The Wealth of Nations,

Homer, Plato, Shakespeare, The Diary of Anne Frank, Black Like Me, Nancy Drew, The Feminine Mystique, On the Beach, Soylent Green {i.e., Make Room, Make Room, thanks Roy}

ETA: Little Red Book of Quotations from Chairman Mao, Grey's Anatomy, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, Jules Verne (as an idea and invention generator), The Adventures of Robin Hood (populist morality and 'outlaw' opposition to injustice)

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 8:40:52 AM PDT
Kevin Monroe says:
Well . . . how about award winning books, should be some good ones, if not world changing, amoung them.

Try these lists:
1) Pulitzer prize winners for fiction
2) Bookler Man prize winners
3) Nebula Award Winners

There's also some lists that are interesting:
And, as previously mentioned, the Lbrary of Congress just came out with a list of 88 influential books in America.

I would encourage you to look for the award winners in whatever genre you're interested in.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 8:47:29 AM PDT
"Soylent Green" is a movie. The book is "Make Room, Make Room"

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 8:57:02 AM PDT
Kris C. says:
Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey--sadly, not in Kindle format...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 9:10:27 AM PDT
T. Cannon says:
One way I think the Harry Potter books changed the world is that it got kids reading that were not reading. Hopefully they continued reading other things once HP helped them realize that reading can be fun. Now I also agree that Tolkien did the same thing for some kids but I think Harry potter had broader appeal at least at the time it came out. I am sad that some people will not read "old books" books because they are always looking for something new.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 11:41:36 AM PDT
Very good. Well as others have mentioned - you have several religious books to choose from.
I agree with the suggestions for Uncle Tom's Cabin.
A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Mary Wolstonecraft)
As you mentioned finding ways to survive - Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)
Hiroshima (Hershey)
Mans Search for Meaning (Frankl) Another related to concentration camps. I think this is one makes every list of bests for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 11:44:56 AM PDT
Joy of Sex and Mastering the Art of French Cooking

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 11:46:31 AM PDT
Amy Lane says:
A Tale of Two Cities and Brave New World

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 1:39:45 PM PDT
Just because a book was successful, or is widely known, or you liked it does NOT mean that the book "changed the world". Very few books can truthfully be said to have done that.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 4:35:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 6, 2012 4:37:28 PM PDT
A Customer says:
In my opinion, it has to be: Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica
The very fact that a device like the Kindle is possible today has its roots in the concepts expressed in the above book.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:00:05 PM PDT
kindle krazy says:
Someone Knows My Name: A Novel

The Birth House

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:02:46 PM PDT
The best selling book series in history has sold over 1 billion copies in pulp booklet format.

I'd wager that most people here have never heard of it, and only a very, very few would know that the series is the bestselling in history unless they went to look it up, like I did.


In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:22:30 PM PDT
Perry Rhodan?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 5:33:33 PM PDT
you win!

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 5:39:29 PM PDT
My vote: On the Origin of Species

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 7:43:30 PM PDT
Iowa Reader says:
A book about a book that changed the world: The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.

I second nominations for "Uncle Tom's Cabin".
This is a book about the author, her famous family and the writing of UTC:Mightier than the Sword: Uncle Tom's Cabin and the Battle for America.

Agree with Darwin's "Origin of the Species"; Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird"; and "Diary of Anne Frank".

I will add: The Feminine Mystiqueby Betty Friedan.

Should we list all the Great Books of the Western Civ Canon? As important as they are, the books written in the last 2-300 years have a much wider (international) and deeper (more social strata) appeal.

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 7:53:40 PM PDT
Iowa Reader says:
Oops, Wild Reader already mentioned "The Feminine Mystique".

Posted on Jul 6, 2012 10:05:05 PM PDT
One that hasn't, ironically: The Kindle Fire Manual.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 6, 2012 10:15:26 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 6, 2012 11:03:06 PM PDT]

Posted on Jul 7, 2012 12:29:08 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 7, 2012 12:33:49 AM PDT
A. says:
I'm going to argue for the Harry Potter series. Yes I know that there are books that have changed the world in lasting ways throughout history. Books that challenge our ideas of existence and life. Books that have revolutionized thought. That being said, love them or hate them, the Potter books have changed, or at the very least enhanced the lives of millions of children and their
In my family, this series of books has created a lasting and dear set of experiences. From reading them to our children when they were very young, to attending midnight book releases and parties, to having Harry reading performances, to playing Potter trivia. They have changed our language and expression. They have enhanced my family's history. As different as our children are from us due to natural generational variances, this series has given us a common bond. I never had such a common pop culture experience with my parents. I doubt the experience will be repeated any time soon in the world.
It's easy to pass them off as just a popular children's series of books. But they are so much more than that to a lot of families.
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 5:29:34 AM PDT
Welll...yeah I'll give you that (well-put, btw). I know numerous families whose kids were not enthusiastic readers before HP, but the parents swear that changed BECAUSE of it. There are quite a few things from these books that have made it into the common lexicon, and it transcends generations, it's true. I'm certain you can't say that about Catcher in the Rye (which, conversely, I don't know anyone who didn't detest that book).

I don't know quite what it is about the HP "experience", but I may have to admit that they
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  34
Total posts:  55
Initial post:  Jul 5, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 9, 2012

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