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Books that Changed the World

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Civil Disobedience
by Henry David Thoreau Details
Thoreau wrote this classic essay to advocate public resistance to the laws and acts of government that he considered unjust. The practical application of "Civil Disobedience" was largely ignored until the 20th century when, at different times, Modanda Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Jr. and anti-Vietnam War activists applied Thoreau's principles for their cause.
Common Sense
by Thomas Paine Details
Paine's "Common Sense" was a call to the American colonists to fight for their independence from British rule. It sold as many as 120,000 copies within the first three months of when it was released, 500,000 in the first year. Nearly every literate person in the colonies read it. In the history of literature, there is nothing that compares to the impact that this book made.
De Civitate Dei
by Saint Augustine Details
Augustine wrote the treatise to explain Christianity's relationship with competing religions and philosophies, and to the Roman government with which it was increasingly intertwined. Also known as The City of God this work laid the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire and paved the way for the subordination of the state to the church.
Isaac Newton: Organizing the Universe
by William Boerst Details
Presents the life and work of the famous 17th-century British physicist including Newton's "PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica." Translated as "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy," this work is regarded as one of the most important works in the history of science. This multivolume work reveals Newton's laws of motion and law of universal gravitation revolutionizing the field of physics and developing the field of mathematics now known as calculus.
Mein Kampf
by Adolf Hitler Details
Mein Kampf, in English, "My Struggle," combines elements of autobiography with an exposition of Hitler's political ideology. It has been called the "propagandistic masterpiece of the age" and viewed as the "most incriminating book of the twentieth century".
Plato Unmasked: The Dialogues Made New
by  Plato Details
Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of natural philosophy, science and Western philosophy. "Plato Unmasked: The Dialogues Made New" is a compilation of some of Plato's most profound works including Crito, Apology, Phaedo, Symposium, Republic, Statesman, Laws, and Timaeus.
Seven Famous Greek Plays
by Whitney J. Oates Details
Includes the plays "Prometheus Bound" by Aeschylus -- "Agamemnon" by Aeschylus -- "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles -- "Antigone" by Sophocles -- "Alcestis" by Euripides -- "Medea" by Euripides -- "The Frogs" by Aristophanes. These Greek playrights' enduring influence is attested by frequent revivals of their work and the use of themes therefrom throughout modern literature and philosophy.
The Basic Works of Aristotle
by  Aristotle Details
Preserved by Arabic mathematicians and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle' s works have shaped Western thought, science, and religion for nearly 2,000 years. Richard McKeon 's "The Basic Works of Aristotle" has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle.
The Iliad
by  Homer Details
"The Iliad" is an epic poem recounting significant events during a portion of the final year of the Trojan War. It constitutes the primary source from which all later European literature derives.
The Interpretation of Dreams
by Sigmund Freud Details
The book introduces Freud's theory of the unconscious with respect to dream interpretation. Freud formulated ideas and terms that have now become part of our daily living. Virtually every field of knowledge has felt the effects of his teachings.
The Origin of Species
by Charles Darwin Details
This book introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection, and presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose through a branching pattern of evolution and common descent. Darwin's concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to modern evolutionary theory, now the unifying concept of the life sciences.
The Prince
by Niccolo Machiavelli Details
The theories expressed in "The Prince" describe methods that an aspiring prince can use to acquire the throne, or an existing prince can use to maintain his reign. Machiavelli's ideals on ruling a country have had a profound impact on political leaders throughout the modern west including Napolean I, Benito Mussolini, and Joseph Stalin. The work is responsible for bringing the word "Machiavellian" into wide usage as a pejorative term.
The Real Price of Everything: Rediscovering the Six Classics of Economics
by Michael Lewis Details
A compilation of masterworks that revolutionized the way we understand the modern economy on a national, regional, and global scale. Includes the following works: "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith, "An Essay on the Principle of Population" by Thomas Malthus, "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation" by David Ricardo, "The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study of Institutions" by Thorstein Veblen, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money" by John Maynard Keynes.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe Details
"Uncle Tom's Cabin or, Life Among the Lowly" is an anti-slavery novel. Published in 1852, the novel had a profound effect on attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States, so much in the latter case that the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War.
Updated 12/20/2011
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