Henry David Thoreau
100 Most Influential Books

John Stuart Mill

The following list was obtained from Martin Seymour-Smith's The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998). For each of the books, Seymour-Smith provides 3-5 pages of commentary. His selections are listed in chronological order.


  The I Ching. c. 1500 B.C.. 
  The Old Testament. c. 1500 B.C.. 
Homer  The Iliad. The Odyssey. 9th century B.C.. 
  The Upanishads. c. 700-400 B.CE. 
Lao-Tzu  The Way and Its Power. 3rd century B.C.. 
  The Avesta. c. 500 B.C.. 
Confucius  Analects. c. 5th-4th century B.C.. 
Thucydides  History of the Peloponnesian War. 5th century B.CE. 
Hippocrates  Works. c. 400 B.C.. 
Aristotle  Works. 4th century B.C. 
Herodotus  History. 4th century B.C.. 
Plato  The Republic. c. 380 B.C.. 
Euclid  Elements. c. 280 B.C.. 
  The Dhammapada. c. 252 B.C.. 
Virgil  The Aeneid. 70-19 B.C.. 
Lucretius  On the Nature of Reality. c. 55 B.C.. 
Philo of Alexandria  Allegorical Expositions of the Holy Laws. 1st century 
  The New Testament. c. 64-110 . 
Plutarch  Lives. c. 50-120 . 
Cornelius Tacitus  Annals, From the Death of the Divine Augustus. c.120
The Gospel of Truth (The Valentinian Speculation). c.1st century 
Marcus Aurelius  Meditations. 167 C.E. 
Sextus Empiricus  Outlines of Pyrrhonism. c. 150-210 
Plotinus  Enneads. 3d century 
Augustine of Hippo  Confessions. c. 400. 
  The Koran. 7th century . 
Moses Maimonides  Guide for the Perplexed. 1190 
  The Kabbalah (Quabala). 12th century . 
Thomas Aquinas  Summa Theologiae. 1266-1273 
Dante Alighieri  The Divine Comedy. 1321 
Desiderius Erasmus  In Praise of Folly. 1509 
Niccolo Machiavelli   he Prince. 1532 
Martin Luther  On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church. 1520 
Francois Rabelais  Gargantua and Pantagruel. 1534, 1532. 
John Calvin  Institutes of the Christian Religion. 1536 
Nicolaus Copernicus  On the Revolution of the Celestial Orbs. 1543 
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne  Essays. 1580 
Miguel de Cervantes  Don Quixote. Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615 
Johannes Kepler  The Harmony of the World. 1619 
Francis Bacon  Novum Organum. 1620 
William Shakespeare  The First Folio. 1623 
Galileo Galilei Dialogue Concerning Two New Chief World Systems. 1632
Rene Desartes  Discourse on Method. 1637 
Thomas Hobbes  Leviathan. 1651 
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz  Works. 1663-1716 
Blaise Pascal  Pensees. 1670 
Baruch de Spinoza.  Ethics. 1677 
John Bunyan  Pilgrim's Progress. 1678-1684 
Isaac Newton  Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. 1687 
 John Locke  Essay Concerning Human Understanding. 1689 
George Berkeley  The Principles of Human Knowledge. 1740, rev 1734 
Giambattista Vico  The New Science. 1725, rev 1730, 1744 
David Hume  A Treatise of Human Nature. 1739-1740 
Denis Diderot, ed.  The Encyclopedia. 1751-1772 
Samuel Johnson  A Dictionary of the English Language. 1755 
Francois-Marie de Voltaire  Candide. 1759 
Thomas Paine  Common Sense. 1776 
Adam Smith  An Enquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. 1776
Edward Gibbon  The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. 1776-87 
Immanuel Kant  Critique of Pure Reason. 1781 rev 1787 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Confessions. 1781 
Edmund Burke  Reflections on the Revolution in France. 1790 
Mary Wollstonecraft  Vindication of the Rights of Woman. 1792 
William Godwin  An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice. 1793 
Thomas Robert Malthus  An Essay on the Principle of Population. 1798 rev 1803
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  Phenomenology of Spirit. 1807 
Arnold Schopenhauer  The World as Will and Idea. 1819 
Auguste Comte  Course in the Positivist Philosophy. 1830-1842 
Carl Marie von Clausewitz  On War. 1832 
Soren Kierkegaard  Either/Or. 1843 
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels  The Manifesto of the Communist Party. 1848 
Henry David Thoreau  Civil Disobedience. 1849 
Charles Darwin  The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. 1859
John Stuart Mill  On Liberty. 1859 
Herbert Spencer First Principles. 1862
Gregor Mendel  "Experiments With Plant Hybrids." 1866 
Leo Tolstoy  War and Peace. 1868-1869 
James Clerk Maxwell  Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism. 1873 
Friedrich Nietzsche  Thus Spake Zarathustra. 1883-1885 
Sigmund Freud  The Interpretation of Dreams. 1900 
William James  Pragmatism. 1908 
Albert Einstein  Relativity. 1916 
Vilfredo Pareto  The Mind and Society. 1916 
Carl Gustav Jung  Psychological Types. 1921 
Martin Buber  I and Thou. 1923 
Franz Kafka  The Trial. 1925 
Karl Popper  The Logic of Scientific Discovery. 1934 
John Maynard Keynes  The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money. 1936
Jean-Paul Sartre  Being and Nothingness. 1943 
Friedrich von Hayek  The Road to Serfdom. 1944 
Simone de Beauvoir  The Second Sex. 1948 
Norbert Wiener  Cybernetics. 1948, rev 1961 
George Orwell  Nineteen Eighty-Four. 1949 
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff  Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson. 1950 
Ludwig Wittgenstein  Philosophical Investigations. 1953 
Noam Chomsky  Syntactic Structures. 1957 
Thomas Samuel Kuhn  The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 1962 rev 1970
Betty Friedan  The Feminine Mystique. 1963 
Mao Zedong  Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung. 1966 
B. F. Skinner  Beyond Freedom and Dignity. 1971