DOWNS' 111 BOOKS THAT SHAPED 
WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Adam Smith
 
Sigmund Freud

In his book Molders of the Modern Mind: 111 Books That Shaped Western Civilization (1961), Robert B. Downs stressed that "there is no intention here to offer another list of 'great' books, or 'best' books. The basic principle of selection is to discover those books that have directly influenced the history, economics, government, law, scientific thought, and other aspects of Western life since the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe. Many of the books that made the greatest impact during these five hundred years are badly written works, lacking in literary style, but presenting revolutionary new concepts or highly emotional appeals." He places emphasis "primarily on the sciences and social sciences, especially the biological and physical sciences, economics, political science, history, education, and sociology." Belles-lettres are omitted unless the "cultural or sociological impact is readily apparent." Downs devotes 3-4 pages to each of the following titles that are ordered by date of publication.

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1493 Christopher Colunbus Letter of Christopher Columbus Concerning Newly Discovered Lands
1511 Desderius Erasmus The Praise of Folly
1516 Sir Thomas Moore Utopia
1520 Martin Luther An Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
1532 Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince
1536 John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion
1543 Nicolaus Copernicus Concerning the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
1543 Andreas Vesalius On the Structure of the Human Body
1576 Jean Bodin The Six Books on The State
1580- Michel de Montaigne Essays (1580-95)
1600 William Gilbert On the Loadstone, Magnetic Bodies and on the Great Magnet the Earth
1603 William Shakespeare Hamlet
1605 Francis Bacon On the Proficience and the Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human
1605- Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605-1615)
1609 Johannes Kepler The New Asronomy
1619 Johannes Kepler Harmony of the World
1625 Hugo Grotius On the Law of War and Peace
1628 William Harvey Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
1632 Galileo Galilei Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican
1637 Rene Descartes A Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth inthe Sciences
1644 John Milton Aeropagitica: A Speach of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing in the Parliament of England
1651 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme & Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiastical and Civill
1661 Robert Boyle The Sceptical Chymist: or Chymico- Physical Doubts & Paradoxes 
1665 Robert Hooke Micrograaphia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon
1678 John Bunyon The Pilgrim's Progress
1687 Isaac Newton Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
1690 John Locke Two Treatises of Government
1697 Pierre Bayle Historical and Critical Dictionary
1719 Anton van Leeuwenhoek Letters to the Royal Society of England
1719 Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe
1725 Giambattista Vico The New Science
1726 Jonathan Swift Robinson Crusoe
1748 Chatles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu Spirit of the Laws
1751 Denis Diderot Encyclopedia, or Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts (1731-32)
1755 Samuel Johnson A Dictionary of the English Language
1758- Carolus Linneaus System of Nature (1758-59)
1762 Jean Jacquws Rousseau The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right
1764 Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire Philosophical Dictionary
1764 Cesare Bonesana Beccaria On Crimes and Punishment
1765- William Blackstone Commentaries on the Laws of England (1765-69)
1774 Thomas Jefferson A Summary View of the Rights of British America
1776 Adam Smith An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
1776 Thomas Paine Common Sense, Addressed to the Inhabitants of America 
1776- Edward Gibbon The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
1788 Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay The Federalist: A Collection of Essays Written in Favor of the New Constitution
1788 James Hutton Theory of the Earth: An Investigation of the Laws Obsevable in the Composition, Dissolution, and restoration of Land upon the Globe
1789 Antoine Laurent Lavoisier Elementary Treatise of Chemistry
1789 Jeremy Bentham An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
1790 Edmund Burke Reflections on the French Revolution
1791 Benjamin Franklin Autobiography
1792 Mary Wollstonecraft Vindication of the Rights of Women
1793 William Godwin An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Political Justice, and Its Influence on General Virtue and Happiness
1795 Antoine-Nicolas de Condorcet Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind
1795 Immanuel Kant Eternal Peace: A Philosophical Proposal
1798 Edward Jenner An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, A Disease Discovered in Some of the Western Counties of England, Particularly Gloucestershire, and Known by the Name of the Cow Pox
1798 Thomas Malthus An Essay on the Principle of Population
1799- Pierre Simon Laplace Celestial Mechanics (1799-1825)
1801 Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi  How Gertrude Teaches Her Children
1807- Johann Heinrich Fichte Addresses to the German Nation (1807-08)
1808- John Dalton A New System of Chemical Philosophy (1808-27)
1813- Robert Owen A New View of Societh, or Essays on the Formation of Human Character (1813-14)
1821 Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel The Philosophy of Right
1828 Noah Webster An American Dictionary of the English Language
1830- Charles Lyell Principles of Geology, Being an Attempt to the Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface by Reference to Causes Now in Operation
1830- Auguste Comte Course of Positive Philosophy (1830-42)
1832- Karl von Clausewitz On War (1832-34)
1835- Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America (1835-40)
1836- William Holmes McGuffey Eclectic Readers (1836-37)
1839- Michael Farraday Experimental Researchers in Electricity (1839-55)
1840 Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz Studies on Glaciers
1840 Pierre Joseph Proudhon What Is Property? or an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government
1841 Thomas Carlyle On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in History
1841- Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays (1841-44)
1845- Alexander von Humboldt Cosmos (1845-62)
1847 Hermann von Helmholtz On the Conservation of Force
1848 Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto
1849 Henry David Thoreau Resistance to Civil Government
1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom's Cabin
1854 Charles Dickens Hard Times
1857 Louis Pasteur Treatise on the Fermentation Known as Lactic
1859 Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life
1859 John Stuart Mill On Liberty
1860 Abraham Lincoln & Stephen A. Douglas Political Debates...in the Celebrated Campaign of 1858 in Illinois
1862 Victor Marie Hugo Les Miserables
1865 Jules Verne From the Earth to the Moon
1866 Gregor Johann Mendel Experiments in Plant Hybridization
1867 Joseph Lister On the Antisptic Principle in the Practice of Surgery
1867 Horatio Alger, Jr. Ragged Dick
1871 Walt Whitman Democratic Vistas
1876- Josiah Willard Gibbs On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances (1876-77)
1879 Henry George Progress and Poverty: An Inquiry Into the Causes of Industrial Depressions, and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth; the Remedy
1879 Henrik Ibsen A Doll's House
1882 Robert Koch The Etiology of Tuberculosis
1884 Herbert Spencer The Man Versus the State
1886 Friedrich Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil
1888 Edward Bellamy Looking Backward, 2000-1887
1889 George Bernard Shaw, Sidney Webb, at al Fabian Essays in Socialism
1890 Alfred T. Mahan The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783
1890- Sir James G. Frazer The Golden Bough (1890, 1911-15)
1893 Frederick Jackson Turner The Significance of the Frontier in American History
1897- Havelock Ellis Studies in the Psychology of Sex (1897-1928)
1899 Thorstein Veblen The Theory of the Leisure Class
1899 John Dewey School and Society
1904 Halford Mackinder The Geographical Pivot of History
1911 Trederick Winslow Taylor Principles of Scientific Management
1913 Woodrow Wilson The New Freedom
1917 Albert Einstein Relativity, The Special and General Theory
1918 Nikolai Lenin The State and Revolution
1919 John Maynard Keynes The Economic Consequences of Peace
1925- Adolph Hitler Mein Kampf (1925-27)
1927 Ivan Petrovich Pavlov Conditioned Reflexes: An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the Cerebreal Cortex.
1930 Sigmund Freud Civilization and Its Discontents

 
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