So what books are you going to read? If like me you’re a US citizen, why not find a title that has been important in shaping the USA? The Library of Congress has published a provocative list of the “88 Books that Shaped America” (link to the HuffPo scroll).
It’s a controversial list, because the argument for “shaping” America is not quantified–how do you, for instance, justify Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird as the number one text for shaping our country? Did that book really change society that much? Wouldn’t the Federalist Papers or Common Sense have been more influential? And did Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, or Margaret Wise Brown’s Goodnight Moon really alter the American way of life? So dig into the comments after the HuffPo piece, and join the argument or, like me, get inspired to read or re-read important titles.
Personally, I’ve decided that I must read the following books from the list if I wish to continue calling myself an educated American:
- The Education of Henry Adams
- The Words of Cesar Chavez
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- Silent Spring
- Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee