Random House Modern Library’s Top 100 Nonfiction Books

in 1998, the Modern Library released its list of the best 100 novels of the 20th Century amid much controversy over both what they put in and what they left out.

They’re back – with the Top 100 Nonfiction books of the 20th Century. So go ahead and argue what should have been left out and what deserved to be included.

1. Education of Henry Adams – Henry Adams, Edmund Morris

2. Varities of Religious Experiences – William James

3. Up from Slavery – Booker T. Washington

4. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf

5. Silent Spring – Rachael Carson, Ellen Burstyn, Rachel L. Carson

6. Selected Essays – T. S. Eliot

7. The Double Helix : A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA – James D. Watson

8. Speak, Memory : An Autobiography Revisited (Everyman’s Library (Cloth), 188) – Vladimir Nabokov

9. American Language, Supplement One – H. L. Mencken

10. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (Great Minds Series) – John Keynes

11. The Lives of a Cell : Notes of a Biology Watcher – Lewis Thomas

12. The Frontier in American History – Frederick Jackson Turner

13. Black Boy : (American Hunger) (Perennial Classics) – Richard Wright

14. Aspects of the Novel – Edward Morgan Forster

15. The Civil War : A Narrative : Fort Sumter to Perryville, Fredericksburg to Meridian, Red River to Appomattox (3 Vol. Set) – Shelby Foote

16. The Guns of August – Barbara Tuchman

17. The Proper Study of Mankind : An Anthology of Essays – Henry Hardy(Editor), et al

18. The Nature and Destiny of Man : A Christian Interpretation : Human Nature (2 Vol Set)(Library of Theological Ethics) – Reinhold Niebuhr, Robin W. Lovin (Introduction)

19. Notes of a Native Son – James Baldwin

20. Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas – Gertrude Stein

21. Elements of Style – William Strunk, E. B. White

22. An American Dilemma : The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy (Black and African-American Studies) – Gunnar Myrdal, Bok Sissela (Introduction)

23. Principia Mathematica to 56 (Cambridge Mathematical Library) [ABRIDGED] – Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead

24. Mismeasure of Man – Stephen Jay Gould

25. The Mirror and the Lamp : Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. – Meyer Howard. Abrams

26. Pluto’s Republic : Incorporating the Art of the Soluble and Induction and Intutition – Peter Medawar

27. The Ants – Bert Holldobler, Edward O. Wilson

28. A Theory of Justice. – John Rawls

29. Art and Illusion : A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation – Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, Ernest H. Gombrich

30. Making of the English Working Class – Edward P. Thompson

31. The Souls of Black Folk – W. E. B. Dubois, et al

32. Principia Ethica (Great Books in Philosophy) – G. E. Moore

33. Philosophy and Civilization. – John Dewey

34. On Growth and Form – D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson

35. Ideas and Opinions – Albert Einstein

36. The Age of Jackson – Arthur Meier Schlesinger

37. The Making of the Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhodes

38. Black Lamb and Grey Falcon : A Journey Through Yugoslavia (Twentieth-Century Classics) – Rebecca West

39. Autobiographies (Collected Works of W.B. Yeats, Vol 3) – William H. O’Donnell(Editor), et al

40. Science and Civilization in China : Chemistry and Chemical Technology : Part 6 : Military Technology, Missiles and Sieges (Vol 5) – Joseph Needham, et al

41. Good-Bye to All That : An Autobiography – Robert Graves

42. Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell

43. Autobiography of Mark Twain – Charles Neider(Editor)

44. Children of Crisis – Robert Coles

46. The Affluent Society – John Kenneth Galbraith

47. Present at the Creation : My Years in the State Department – Dean Acheson

48. The Great Bridge : The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge – David G. McCullough

49. Patriotic Gore : Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War – Edmund Wilson

50. Samuel Johnson – Walter Jackson Bate

51. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X, Alex Haley

52. The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe

53. Eminent Victorians – Lytton Strachey

54. Working : People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do – Studs Terkel

55. Darkness Visible : A Memoir of Madness – William Styron

56. The Liberal Imagination : Essays on Literature and Society – Lionel Trilling

57. Second World War – Winston Churchill, John Keegan (Illustrator)

58. Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass (Vintage International) – Isak Dinesen

59. Jefferson, the Virginian (Jefferson and His Time, Vol 1) – Dumas Malone

60. In the American Grain – William Carlos Williams, H. Gregory (Designer)

61. Cadillac Desert : The American West and Its Disappearing Water – Mark Reisner, Marc Reisner

62. The House of Morgan : An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance – Ron Chernow

63. Sweet Science – A.J. Liebling

64. The Open Society and Its Enemies : The Spell of Plato – Karl Raimund Popper

65. Art of Memory – Frances A. Yates

66. Religion and the Rise of Capitalism – R. H. Tawney

67. A Preface to Morals – Walter Lippmann

68. The Gate of Heavenly Peace : The Chinese and Their Revolution 1895-1980 – Jonathan D. Spence

69. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Thomas S. Kuhn

70. The Strange Career of Jim Crow – Comer Vann Woodward

71. The Rise of the West : A History of the Human Community With a Retrospective Essay – William H. McNeill

72. The Gnostic Gospels – Elaine Pagels

73. James Joyce – Richard Ellmann

74. Florence Nightingale : 1820-1910 – Cecil Woodham-Smith

75. Great War and Modern Memory – Paul Fussell

76. The City in History – Lewis Mumford

77. Battle Cry of Freedom : The Civil War Era – James M. McPherson

78. Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther, Jr. King

79. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris

80. Studies in Iconology Humanistic Themes in the Art – Erwin Panofsky

81. The Face of Battle – John Keegan

82. The Strange Death of Liberal England – George Dangerfield, Peter Stansky

83. Vermeer – Lawrence Gowing, et al

84. A Bright Shining Lie : John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam – Neil Sheehan

85. West With the Night – Beryl Markham

86. This Boy’s Life : A Memoir – Tobias Wolff

87. A Mathematician’s Apology – G. H. Hardy

88. Six Easy Pieces : Essentials of Physics Explained by Its Most Brilliant Teacher (Helix Book.) – Richard P. Feynman, Paul Davies, Robert B. Leighton

89. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Perennial Classics) – Annie Dillard

90. Golden Bough – James George Frazer

91. Shadow and Act – Ralph Waldo Ellison

92. The Power Broker : Robert Moses and the Fall of New York – Robert A. Caro

93. American Political Tradition and the Men Who Made It – Richard Hofstadter

94. Contours of American History – William Appleman Williams

95. The Promise of American Life – Herbert Croly

96. In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences – Truman Capote

97. The Journalist and the Murderer – Janet Malcolm

98. The Taming of Chance – Tim Hacking, Ian Hacking

99. Operating Instructions : A Journal of My Son’s First Year – Anne Lamott

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