You have completed reading a book, and you are in a sense of private awe even weeks after you have read. A book can enlighten, teach, influence and alter the way we think. In some instance we say “This book has changed my life!” While some books have changed people, there are certain books that have changed history, created wars, challenged societal and political norms, questioned our thinking, brought a purpose in life or we can say The Books that Changed the World!
There are 100s of books that have changed the world, and below we have put together a compilation of 10 such books. These 10 books are not of any specific orders and the compilation consist of novels, religious texts, history, science and political books. Enjoy!
• On the origin of species by Charles Darwin
A work of scientific literature that is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology which changed the way we think about the world. Even though the idea of evolution was present in some form which is traced back to Aristotle, it was Darwin who worked out natural selection as the mechanism through which evolution worked.
In the book Darwin explains that we are all netted together and how species evolved over time and gradually diverged. The book cannot just be considered as merely an Evolutionary Biology study but as a book which challenged the thoughts of religion, the theory of creationism, philosophy and politics.
• The Bible
The sacred text of finest expression of the Christian faith believed to be laws of God consisting history of the world from the beginning of creation to the rise of fall of empires and the day of Judgement. A book of proverbs, prophesies, poetry and one of the most influential and printed books in the world.
• The Quran
The sacred religious text believed to be revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammed which provides divine guidance and direction for mankind. A book of so central to the Islamic civilization that it’s believed by Muslims to be pure, unmediated word of God and immune from all error. It can be considered that it is in Islam that a book has attained its ultimate apotheosis.
• The Analects by Confucius
A collection of ancient sayings attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius on the ethical principle of human order: the relationship of family, moral values, social welfare and political hierarchy. The Analects has been one of the most important books in China which has shaped the Chinese value systems
• The Communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
One of the most popular and influential political texts to be ever written which summarizes Marx and Engels’ theories on the problems of capitalism, capitalist production, the nature of society, politics and how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism.
• 1984 by George Orwell
1984 is a dystopian social science fiction novel which has been considered as on the best classical works that has contributed to the understanding of themes like Surveillance, error of hierarchical class systems and the horror of political warfare. The book popularized the term “Big Brother” and many other terms used in the novel has entered common usage like “doublethink,” “Newspeak,” “thoughtcrime” and even “Orwellian”.
• I Ching
I Ching translated as “Book of Changes” or “Classic of Changes” is ancient Chinese philosophy text which is believed to be one of the world’s oldest books. I Ching acts a manual for rulers, a guide to an ethical life, it explains the important of patience and humility in one’s daily life and the two major branches of the Chinese philosophy, Confucianism and Taoism have common roots in the I Ching.
• The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
Widely considered as the foundational work for classical economies and the birth of modern capitalism which describes how and what builds a nation’s wealth. The book touches the description of the workings of capitalism, division of labor, and productivity. “The Invincible Hand” of the book continues to be a powerful force today.
• The Second sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Second sex discuses and examines the woman’s position in society and the treatment of women throughout history including the quality of femininity, oppression and what and how it led to this point. The book is considered as a major work which led the second wave feminism and feminist philosophy.
• Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
One of the best-selling novels in the world which has become the foundational text for all fantasy readers, authors and influenced not only fantasy literature, but also in medieval studies, modern literature and popular culture. Tolkien has spent 12-years writing this epic high-fantasy of adventures in the mythical medieval land known as Middle-Earth.