Books that shaped America
August 13, 2015 6:58 AM   Subscribe

From A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible to Our Bodies, Ourselves. In 2012 the United States Library of Congress held an exhibition on what it saw as the most influential books in American history. (via)

"The Books That Shaped America exhibition marks a starting point to spark a national conversation on books and their importance in Americans’ lives"
posted by doctornemo (7 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I know the exhibit says its list is "a start" so if Goodnight Moon is on the list, so should Action Comics #1.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:07 AM on August 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

No Book of Mormon?!!?
posted by overeducated_alligator at 7:21 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

robocop, Billington doesn't understand comics just like he doesn't understand technology.

/employee snark
posted by numaner at 8:18 AM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

No The Joy Of Sex? No Whole Earth Catalog? No Dianetics?
posted by thelonius at 8:20 AM on August 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward was hugely influential on the American socialist movement from its publication up to the post-World War I period. It also seems to me like it could use more hippie books as such.
posted by graymouser at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

I see two, maybe three books here that are specifically SF. Lists are lists of people's preferences (and prejudices) but this list is really disappointing.
posted by newdaddy at 8:55 PM on August 13, 2015

"In 1978-79, when approximately 20,000 transistors could be fabricated in a single chip, Carver Mead and Lynn Conway wrote the textbook Introduction to VLSI System Design which became a bestseller. It was the first VLSI design textbook for non-technologists. The authors intended the book to fill a gap in the literature and introduce electrical engineering and computer science students to integrated system architecture. This textbook triggered a breakthrough in education. Mead & Conway VLSI design courses were created in many universities." - quote from Wikipedia. It seems odd to me that no textbooks made the list. Conway & Mead would be my first choice. It's hard to imagine a more influencial book on modern American life (he thought, tapping his words out on a phone connected to a vast, globe-spanning information system, made possible by the proliferation of cheap, ubiquitous silicon computing elements.)

Also, Neuromancer.
posted by newdaddy at 9:08 PM on August 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

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