THE HARVARD GUIDE TO INFLUENTIAL BOOKS by C. Maury; Claudia M. Dissel & Kim D. Parrish--Eds. Devine


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A survey of 113 Harvard faculty members, each of whom was asked to provide four to six books that they considered to be most influential in their lives. The editors asked a wide range of professors to contribute, ranging from the humanities to the sciences. Among those who responded: Bernard Bailyn, Walter Jackson Bate, Daniel Bell, Robert Brustein, Robert Coles, Stephen Jay Gould, John Kenneth Galbraith, David Riesman, Richard Niebuhr, and Edward O. Wilson. Having been asked ""what books have helped shape your thinking and why?,"" the surveyed gave a surprisingly broad list of works: the 113 respondees listed a total of over 525. Aside from playing with the rules (John Montgomery includes Kirkpatrick's edition of Bach's ""Goldberg Variations""), the reflections do tend to be heavily weighted in favor of the humanities. Most cited work? The King James Version of the Bible (selected by seven), followed by War and Peace (chosen by six). Surprising omissions? Most of the great children's literature. A great browse.

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1986
Publisher: Harper & Row