Skip to comments.National Assoc. Of Scholars Recommended Book List
Posted on 05/30/2017 4:13:27 AM PDT by iowamark
Here are 115 books the NAS recommends for colleges and universities with common reading programs. The first list contains 80 books appropriate in level of difficulty and length for any college freshman. The second list contains 30 more ambitious choices...
Recommended Books for More Ambitious College Common Reading Programs
MATTHEW ARNOLD CULTURE AND ANARCHY (1869)
The point of culture is the pursuit of perfection; the uncultured are mere Philistines. Arnold eloquently articulates the High Victorian ideal of culture as singular and normativea valuable corrective to the modern view of culture as plural and descriptive. Students will learn to consider what they should do during college to acquire culture and leave off Philistinism.
JACQUES BARZUN BERLIOZ AND HIS CENTURY: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE AGE OF ROMANTICISM (1950)
An exemplar of intellectual history, which brings alive the great romantic French composer Hector Berlioz. Barzun shows how to conduct a sympathetic evocation of the past, and lets us know both what was new and valuable about Romanticism and how Romantic we still are.
RUTH BENEDICT PATTERNS OF CULTURE (1934)
Benedicts classic of anthropology beautifully describes the varying cultures of the Pueblo, the Kwakiutl, and the Dobu. Students will find an eloquent account of the concept of cultural relativismand also discover how deeply rooted that concept is in the Wests intellectual traditions and academic disciplines.
HAROLD BLOOM THE WESTERN CANON (1994)
Blooms enthusiasm for great books is infectious. Students wont have read many of the books he discusses but will want to.
BENVENUTO CELLINI THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BENUTO CELLINI (1558-1563)
Goldsmith, soldier, sculptor, and musician, Cellinis life embodied the gusto and ambition of the Renaissance. Cellinis autobiography is the standard by which to measure milk-and-water memoirsas his life is the standard by which to measure milk-and-water lives. Especially recommended for colleges with concentrations in the fine arts.
MIGUEL DE CERVANTES DON QUIXOTE (1605)
Is Don Quixote a hero, a fool, a madmanor all three? Don Quixote is a rich, gargantuan saga of the adventures of the iconic windmill-tilting knight-errant Don Quixote and his faithful squire Sancho Panza. The book has been called the first modern novel, and Harold Bloom writes that the tale of Don Quixotes impossible quest contains within itself all the novels that have followed in its sublime wake. The book might be the longest work a college student will ever read, but it will also be the most memorable.
WHITTAKER CHAMBERS WITNESS (1952)
A former Communist and Soviet spy, Chambers repented and exposed former State Department official Alger Hiss as a fellow Communist and spy. Hiss denied the allegation but evidence emerged that Chambers was right. Though the statute of limitations on espionage had run out, Hiss went to prison on a perjury conviction. In Witness, Chambers goes beyond the details of this case to offer a broad reflection on the course of twentieth-century history and the fate of Western civilization as it faced the challenge of totalitarian Communism...
See also NAS recommended programs:
“Here is a list of excellent programs in American studies, Western civilization, Great Books, free institutions, and the study of the Constitution and democratic government. These campus-based programs help restore rising generations attention to important but increasingly neglected ideas.”
Thanks for the link/list. BUMP!
Save for later
Go to the Great Books series from 1940, University of Chicago, Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren...that’s all we need...thanks.
I perused the list here and in the links. I bookmarked this thread because
1. I haven’t read any of these books.
2. I ain’t got no culture, and am desirous of not being a FReeptard.
I’ll copy that to my kids. They are strong enough and smart enough to resist some of the crap they get fed.
“Yeah - I thought it was going to be an interesting class - Human Geography”. What different cultures think and believe, how to reach them, useful things like that.” (He’s going to be a minister.) “Instead - it’s pretty much how the rest of the world is great, and white males are the problem.”
THE BOOK OF JOB (C. 1000 B.C.)
Among the most profound and unsettling stories in the Bible, The Book of Job depicts a righteous man brought to the depths of suffering by the seeming capriciousness of God. Job rejects the counsel of his friends to curse God for his fate, but he does eventually complain. Gods answer is awesomeand frightening. We picked this book because (a) it is among the most accessible points of entry to the Bible for secular students, and (b) it is a terrific story that can lead to important questions about the nature of justice.
Or maybe - what is important in ones life.
Ridiculous list. Pushes a bit of a political agenda, lacks teaching patriotism, respect or appreciation of US exceptionalism. I recognize having read parts of a couple of these but overall, nope. If my boys asked for a reading list, it would not include but one or two of these books and even then, they’d be down on the list. Okay, for disclosure, I did not go to an Ivy League school.
I would guess that many of the older books are public domain and available for free download at Project Gutenberg.
“Consider My Servant Job,” by Paul Ciholas, is a great book.
Wow, 5. I was about there. Okay, so we are even. And the other 110?! Did they have Che on there? Marx? They had Kenyes but not Friedman. Missed Obama’s Autobiography.
Have read Don Q. and Witness but find any reading list that omits the Holy Bible ,as first on that list FAILS. For any American who does NOT have some functional understanding of the Bible —is Ignorant of our American History. And the genesis of American Law. And the foundation of our Nations Moral Ethic (when we were “born a Christian Nation....”But then the US Army trained us to consider the Foundation when training to oppose all enemy foreign or domestic.
Contributions welcome. All great things are done by more than one.
Job and Ecclesiastes doesn’t count?
But Moby Dick isn't included? Is this a serious list?
I certainly would put Atlas Shrugged on the list. And if we're going to include more than one Shakespeare play,Macbeth should be on the list so students get some insight into Hillary Clinton's character.
Everyone should read Up From Slavery. It was written by the first Black man to be honored on a US postage stamp. Today few people under 40 have even heard of the man or his book.
Some classics of Western Civilization and some modern books that likely will become classics. I’d tell my kids to skip any humanities courses that aren’t absolutely required in college and read the books on this list.
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