Publius’s 100 Books — For My Students

A word about my prejudices.   I’m a teacher of history and English; I know little about math and science; therefore, my list is geared toward the humanities.     Many works are chosen as representative of an entire class of literature.   Only one work is given for each author.   For the sake of brevity, these works are entirely Western.   Most I have chosen because they are, quite simply, good to read.   A few I have chosen because they are culturally important.   Mostly I’ve chosen what I like.

  1.  Aeschylus, The Oresteia Trilogy
  2. Sappho, The Poems Of Sappho
  3. Sophocles, Oedipus The King
  4. Thucydides,  History of the Peloponnesian War
  5. Plato, The Republic
  6. Cicero, Philippics
  7. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
  8. Martial, The Epigrams
  9. Catullus, Poetry Of Catullus
  10. St. Augustine, Confessions
  11. The Song of Roland
  12. Beowulf
  13. The Pearl Poet, Sir Gawain And The Green Knight
  14. Francois Villon, The Poems Of Francois Villon
  15. Marco Polo, The Travels
  16. The Little Flowers Of St. Francis
  17. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
  18. Moses Maimonides, Guide For The Perplexed
  19. Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
  20. Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
  21. Abraham Ortelius, The Theater Of The World, the first modern atlas
  22. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
  23. Desiderius Erasmus: The Praise of Folly
  24. Thomas More, Utopia
  25. Martin Luther, The Ninety-Five Theses
  26. François Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel
  27. John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
  28. Michel de Montaigne, Essays
  29. Miguel de Cervantes,  Don Quixote
  30. Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
  31. William Shakespeare, The Tragedy Of MacBeth
  32. Christopher Marlowe, The Tragical History Of Dr. Faustus
  33. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
  34. René Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
  35. John Milton, Paradise Lost
  36. Blaise Pascal, Pensées
  37. John Locke, Of Civil Government
  38. Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
  39. Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  40. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
  41. Alexander Pope, Essay on Man
  42. Voltaire, Candide
  43. Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
  44. Samuel Johnson, Dictionary
  45. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile
  46. Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
  47. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason
  48. Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
  49. James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D.
  50. Denis Diderot, The Encyclopedia
  51. Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison, The Federalist Papers
  52. Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration Of Independence
  53. Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
  54. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
  55. Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman
  56. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Elements Of The Philosophy of Right
  57. Carl von Clausewitz, On War
  58. Percy Shelley, Collected Poetical Works
  59. Arthur Schopenhauer, Studies in Pessimism
  60. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays
  61. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
  62. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
  63. John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
  64. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
  65. Henry David Thoreau, Walden
  66. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto
  67. Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
  68. Walt Whitman, Leaves Of Grass
  69. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  70. Stendhal, The Red And The Black
  71. Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler
  72. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
  73. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  74. Henry James, The Portrait Of A Lady
  75. Edgar Allen Poe, The Collected Works
  76. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  77. Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
  78. George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara
  79. John Dewey, Democracy and Education
  80. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  81. Adolf Hitler, My Struggle
  82. Alfred North Whitehead, The Aims of Education and Other Essays
  83. George Orwell, 1984
  84. John Maynard Keynes, General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
  85. Arthur Rimbaud, The Drunken Boat
  86. Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
  87. James Joyce, Ulysses
  88. Franz Kafka, The Trial
  89. Allen Ginsberg, Howl And Other Poems
  90. Erik Erikson, Young Man Luther
  91. Samuel Beckett, Waiting For Godot
  92. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day In Life Of Ivan Denisovich
  93. Albert Camus, The Myth Of Sisyphus And Other Essays
  94. Federico Garcia Lorca, The House Of Bernada Alba
  95. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique
  96. Pablo Neruda, Twenty Love Songs and A Song Of Despair
  97. Thomas Merton, The Seven Story Mountain
  98. William Butler Yeats, Collected Poems
  99. Tennessee Wiliams, A Streetcar Named Desire
  100. T. S. Eliot, Prufrock And Other Observations


Filed under: Book Review, Prose, Publius