Most Influential Books Ever Written

Most Influential Books Ever Written – After two years of painstaking reading and passing time, Robert McCrum has completed his selection of the 100 Greatest Fantasy Books. Take a look at five centuries of fine writing

2. Joan Didion’s A Year of Magical Thinking (2005) This brutal and devastating exploration of the author’s grief after the sudden death of her husband changed the nature of bereavement writing.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

Most Influential Books Ever Written

Naomi Klein’s timely anti-brand bible combines a powerful report on the dark side of capitalism with a fresh approach to corporate tyranny.

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Addressed to Hugh’s late wife, Sylvia Plath, these poignant, daring poems contribute to the myth of the couple and are a landmark in English poetry.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

This remarkable memoir reveals not only literary genius but also the power to change the face of American politics forever.

A theoretical physicist’s account of the origin of the universe, it is a monumental achievement, a masterpiece of scientific research that has influenced the minds of a generation.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Tom Wolfe has taken the quest to find out what would get a man to the moon to a new level of dazzling.

Challenging Western attitudes toward the Orient, this multi-polar masterpiece is as published today.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

An irresistible sense of urgency and a unique voice make Herr’s memoir of Vietnam a definitive depiction of war in our time.

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A pioneering innovation in evolutionary theory spawned the meme idea and paved the way for Professor Dawkins’ later, more polarizing work.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

This raw, fragile, and insecure collection transcends politics and reflects Heaney’s desire to act like a “double agent between big concepts.”

12. The Awakening by Oliver Sachs (1973) The moving story of Sachs, as a doctor in the late 1960s, who recovers patients who have been neurologically “frozen” through sleeping sickness.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Australian feminism’s famously multi-polar remains a masterpiece of passionate liberal expression that challenges women’s role in society.

This passionate story of how rock ‘n’ roll changed the world is fueled by the wild energy of the subject.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

A fascinatingly personal and accessible account of how Cambridge scientists Watson and Francis Crick unlocked DNA and changed our understanding of life.

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A ground-breaking collection devoted to the poet’s fascination with his own mortality, Plath became one of the most original and talented poets of the last century.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

In the book that sparked second-wave feminism, Is It All? The disappointment of middle-class American housewives who dared to ask.

19. EP Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class (1963) This poignant, painstakingly crafted masterpiece is like a depiction of the anatomy of pre-industrial Britain and the lost experiences of ordinary people.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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This American propaganda classic sparked a national outcry against pesticide use, inspired anti-pollution laws, and launched the modern American environmental movement.

The American physicist and philosopher coined the phrase “modeling” in a book considered a landmark in scientific theory.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

This powerful quest for loss is “Where is God?” asks the question Explore feelings of loneliness and betrayal that even non-believers will admit.

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Dorothy Parker and Stephen King inspired aspiring writers to present this definitive guide to English where brevity is key.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

25. The Uses of Literacy: Aspects of Working-Class Life by Richard Hoggart (1957) This influential cultural study of post-war Britain presents important truths about mass communication and interaction between the commoners and the elite.

Baldwin’s celebrated collection of essays explores what it means to be black in America today.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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27. The Nude: A Study of the Ideal Art of Kenneth Clarke (1956) Clarke’s study of the nude from the Greeks to Picasso anticipates the critic’s great claim to humanity in his seminal work, Culture.

28. The Hedgehog and the Fox (1953) by Isaiah Berlin The great historian of ideas begins with an allegory about animals and ends with an analysis of Tolstoy’s work in relation to existing systems of ideas.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

A delightful, funny watershed that changed the language of theater and is still controversial six years later. An absurd masterpiece.

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This landmark recipe book, a response to the horrors of post-war dieting, introduced cooks to the food of Southern Europe and readers to the art of cookery writing.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

James Baldwin, American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, essayist, and human rights activist (b. 1979). Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images

The Critic’s Controversial Commentary on English Literature is an interesting, often surprising analysis of the novel, whose influence is still felt today.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Based on his post-war British intelligence work, the historian’s vivid and harrowing account of the Fuhrer’s death is unparalleled.

33. Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Common Sense in Infant and Child Care (1946) was a pioneering manual encouraging parents to be self-confident, but it was condemned as a source of postwar “permissiveness.”

Most Influential Books Ever Written

Hersey’s extraordinary, gripping book tells the personal stories of six survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings.

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This poignant memoir of a rebellious Southern childhood vividly evokes the struggle for African-American identity decades before civil rights.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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38. Enemy of Promise, Cyril Connolly (1938). Connolly’s analysis of the art of writing and the dangers of literary life changed the contemporary English landscape.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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39. George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) Orwell’s candid account of three northern cities during the Great Depression became a milestone in the writer’s political development.

Graham Greene and Evelyn Vogue’s epic, timeless account of Byron’s journey to Afghanistan is arguably the greatest travel book of the 20th century.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

The original self-help guide—influences on American life spanning from the Great Depression to Donald Trump—has a lot to answer for.

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Britten’s exploration of her experiences as a nurse in the First World War and later victim of loss remains a powerful anti-war and feminist narrative.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

Churchill loved the boy’s candid stories about his childhood and adventures in the Boer War, which made him a hero of the press.

44. Robert Graves (1929) Farewell to All Graves’ account of his experiences in the trenches of World War I is subversive.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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The great economist’s account of what happened at the Versailles conference after the First World War was polarizing, passionate and insightful.

Most Influential Books Ever Written


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50. Lytton Strachey (1918) The Victorians Made Famous by Strachey’s Guerrillas, the often inaccurate but brilliant assassination of four great 19th-century Britons, depicts life in the Victorian era from multiple perspectives.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

A collection of essays by great public figures on the African American experience became a foundational text of the civil rights movement.

There’s an awe-inspiring majesty to Oscar Wilde’s Apocalypse , written as he prepares to break out of prison while reading.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Written by Henry’s little-known brother James, this revolutionary work brought a democratizing impulse to the realm of religious belief.

Indeed ahead of his time, the 17th-century historian and gossip columnist John Aubrey is rightly credited with inventing biography.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

The president, a Civil War general, was a reluctant author, but he set the gold standard for presidential memoirs by describing his childhood journey.

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This memoir of Samuel Clemens’ time as a ship’s pilot would become one of his most famous characters as a writer.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

57. Robert Louis Stevenson’s Journey to the Cevennes with a Donkey (1879) The Scottish writer’s donkey trek through the French highlands is a pioneering classic in outdoor literature, and as influential as his fiction.

The Victorians loved punishment, and few could compete with the British cliché “absurd winner.”

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Arnold captured the public mood with this haughty but amusing critique of Victorian society, questioning the art of civilized life that still baffles us.

A revolutionary, humane and readable introduction to Darwin’s theory of evolution, it is arguably the most important book of the Victorian era.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

This brilliant, charismatic writer captured the mood of the time with his vigorous defense of the rights of the English man.

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Most Influential Books Ever Written

Perhaps Gaskell’s best work is a bold portrait of a brilliant woman disgusted by her father’s extravagance and the death of her siblings.

Born out of Victoria’s longing for inter-ethnic order and harmony, this English-language guide is unmistakably unique.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

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The influence of the Victorian journalist’s detailed and honest depictions of London’s working-class life is still evident today.

This protest against the lack of female education was as groundbreaking as its author in Victorian literary circles.

Most Influential Books Ever Written

68. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The American Slave by Frederick.

Books Everyone Should Read: Must Read Books Of All Time

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