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The Greatest Nonfiction Books Since 1970


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  1. 201. The World Within the Word by William H. Gass

    Cover Image for the book The World Within the Word

    - Wikipedia

      
  2. 202. Fiction and the Figures of Life by William H. Gass

    Cover Image for the book Fiction and the Figures of Life

    - Wikipedia

      
  3. 203. The Pleasure of the Text by Roland Barthes

    Cover Image for the book The Pleasure of the Text

    The Pleasure of the Text is a short book published in 1975 by Roland Barthes. It was written in French and later translated into English. Barthes sets out some of his ideas about literary theory. - Wikipedia

      
  4. 204. The New Fiction by Joe David Bellamy

    Cover Image for the book The New Fiction

    - Wikipedia

      
  5. 205. Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills

    Cover Image for the book Lincoln at Gettysburg

    The book uses Lincoln's notably short speech at Gettysburg to examine his rhetoric overall. In particular, Wills compares Lincoln's speech to Edward Everett's delivered on the same day, focusing on... - WIkipedia

      
  6. 206. Superfiction by Joe David Bellamy

    Cover Image for the book Superfiction

    Short stories by such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Joyce Carol Oates, John Gardner, and John Updike reveal experiments with myth and parable and other trends in American fiction during the past d... - Google Books

      
  7. 207. Documents of Modern Art by Robert Motherwell

    Cover Image for the book Documents of Modern Art

      
  8. 208. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II by John W. Dower

    Cover Image for the book Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II

    The book covers the Occupation of Japan by the Allies between August 1945 and April 1952, delving into topics such as Douglas MacArthur's administration, the Tokyo war crimes trials and Hirohito's ... - Wikipedia

      
  9. 209. The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood

    Cover Image for the book The Radicalism of the American Revolution

    Historians have always had problems explaining the revolutionary character of the American Revolution: its lack of class conflict, a reign of terror, and indiscriminate violence make it seem positi... - Library Journal

      
  10. 210. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

    Cover Image for the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

    Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (published in May 1992) is a book by John Gray offering many suggestions for improving men-women relationships in couples by understanding the communication ... - Wikipedia

      
  11. 211. Munich: The Price of Peace by Telford Taylor

    Cover Image for the book Munich: The Price of Peace

    Munich: The Price of Peace

      
  12. 212. Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller Jr. by Lewis B. Puller

    Cover Image for the book Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller Jr.

      
  13. 213. W.E.B. Dubois : Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 by David Levering Lewis

    Cover Image for the book W.E.B. Dubois : Biography of a Race, 1868–1919

    William Edward Burghardt Du Bois - the premier architect of the civil rights movement in America - was a towering and controversial personality, a fiercely proud individual blessed with the languag... - Google Books

      
  14. 214. Truman by David McCullough

    Cover Image for the book Truman

    - Wikipedia

      
  15. 215. Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life by Joan D. Hedrick

    Cover Image for the book Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life

    - Wikipedia

      
  16. 216. Personal History by Katharine Graham

    Cover Image for the book Personal History

    Personal History is the autobiography of Katharine Graham. It was published in 1997 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1998. The book received widespread critical acclaim ... - Wikipedia

      
  17. 217. Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris

    Cover Image for the book Coming of Age in the Milky Way

      
  18. 218. Ashes to Ashes by Richard Kluger

    Cover Image for the book Ashes to Ashes

    Ashes To Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War, The Public Health, And The Unabashed Triumph Of Philip Morris, written by Richard Kluger and published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1996, won the 1997... - WIkipedia

      
  19. 219. Facts of Life by Maureen Howard

    Cover Image for the book Facts of Life

    Maureen Keans-Howard (born 1930 in Bridgeport, Connecticut) is an American writer, editor, and lecturer known for her award winning autobiography Facts of Life. - Wikipedia

      
  20. 220. How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter by Sherwin B. Nuland

    Cover Image for the book How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

    The 1994 NBA nonfiction winner, Yale physician Nuland's study of the clinical, biological and emotional details of dying. - Publisher's Weekly

      
  21. 221. Freedom by Orlando Patterson

    Cover Image for the book Freedom

    This magisterial work traces the history of our most cherished value. Patterson links the birth of freedom in primitive societies with the institution of slavery, and traces the evolution of three ... - Publisher

      
  22. 222. From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas L. Friedman

    Cover Image for the book From Beirut to Jerusalem

    From Beirut to Jerusalem is a book written by Thomas L. Friedman chronicling his days as a reporter in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War and his journey in 1984 from Beirut to Jerusalem to cover... - Wikipedia

      
  23. 223. Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story by Paul Monette

    Cover Image for the book Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story

    Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story

      
  24. 224. United States: Essays 1952-1992 by Gore Vidal

    Cover Image for the book United States: Essays 1952-1992

    United States: Essays 1952-1992

      
  25. 225. No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin

    Cover Image for the book No Ordinary Time

    A compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. With an uncanny feel for detail and a novelist's grasp of drama and depth, Doris Kearns Goodwin... - Amazon.com

      
  26. 226. Summer for the Gods by Edward Larson

    Cover Image for the book Summer for the Gods

    Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America’s Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion.

      
  27. 227. Gotham: A History of New York City by Edwin G. Burrows

    Cover Image for the book Gotham: A History of New York City

    Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 is a nonfiction book written by Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace. It was published in 1998 by Oxford University Press. It won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for... - WIkipedia

      
  28. 228. The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties by Mark E. Neely, Jr.

    Cover Image for the book The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties

    If Abraham Lincoln was known as the Great Emancipator, he was also the only president to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. Indeed, Lincoln's record on the Constitution and individual rights has fu... - Publisher

      
  29. 229. Original Meanings by Jack N. Rakove

    Cover Image for the book Original Meanings

    Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution (ISBN 0679781218) is a 464 page, non-fiction book authored by Jack N. Rakove and published on May 27, 1997 by Vintage Books. ... - WIkipedia

      
  30. 230. A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    Cover Image for the book A Midwife's Tale

    A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard based on her diary, 1785–1812.

      
  31. 231. Freedom From Fear: The American People by David M. Kennedy

    Cover Image for the book Freedom From Fear: The American People

    Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written in 1999 by historian David M. Kennedy. It is part of the Oxford History of the Unite... - Wikipedia

      
  32. 232. Annals of the Former World by John McPhee

    Cover Image for the book Annals of the Former World

    The book presents a geological history of North America, and was researched and written over the course of two decades beginning in 1978. It consists of a compilation of five books, the first four ... - WIkipedia

      
  33. 233. William Cooper's Town by Alan Taylor

    Cover Image for the book William Cooper's Town

    An innovative work of biography, social history, and literary analysis, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book presents the story of two men, William Cooper and his son, the novelist James Fennimore Coop... - Random House

      
  34. 234. God: A Biography by Jack Miles

    Cover Image for the book God: A Biography

    God: A Biography is a nonfiction book by Jack Miles. The book recounts the tale of existence of the Judeo-Christian deity as the protagonist of the Hebrew Tanak or Christian Bible Old Testament. Th... - Wikipedia

      
  35. 235. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power by Daniel Yergin

    Cover Image for the book The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power

    The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power is Daniel Yergin's 800-page history of the global oil industry from the 1850s through 1990. The Prize benefited from extraordinary timing: publis... - WIkipedia

      
  36. 236. The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston

    Cover Image for the book The Woman Warrior

    The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts is a memoir by Maxine Hong Kingston, published by Vintage Books in 1975. It is semi-autobiographical, incorporating many elements of fiction. T... - Wikipedia

      
  37. 237. What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer

    Cover Image for the book What It Takes

    - Wikipedia

      
  38. 238. The Ecology of Fear by Mike Davis

    Cover Image for the book The Ecology of Fear

    Earthquakes. Wildfires. Floods. Drought. Tornadoes. Snakes in the sea, mountain lions, and a plague of bees. In this controversial tour de force of scholarship, unsparing vision, and inspired writi... - Publisher

      
  39. 239. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

    Cover Image for the book Dreams from My Father

    - Wikipedia

      
  40. 240. Naked by David Sedaris

    Cover Image for the book Naked

    Naked, published in 1997, is a collection of essays by American humorist David Sedaris. The book details Sedaris’ life, from his unusual upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, to his... - Wikipedia

      
  41. 241. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

    Cover Image for the book The God Delusion

    The God Delusion is a 2006 bestselling non-fiction book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, professorial fellow of New College, Oxford, and inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the P... - Wikipedia

      
  42. 242. Carry Me Home by Diane McWhorter

    Cover Image for the book Carry Me Home

    Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, written by Diane McWhorter and published by Simon & Schuster in 2001, won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize an... - Wikipedia

      
  43. 243. The Years of Extermination by Saul Friedlander

    Cover Image for the book The Years of Extermination

    The Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945 is the second volume of Saul Friedlander's history of Nazi Germany and the Jews. It won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction i... - Wikipedia

      
  44. 244. Imperial Reckoning by Caroline Elkins

    Cover Image for the book Imperial Reckoning

    Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya written by Caroline Elkins, published by Henry Holt, won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. - Wikipedia

      
  45. 245. Polio: An American Story by David M. Oshinsky

    Cover Image for the book Polio: An American Story

    Polio: An American Story is a book by David M. Oshinsky, professor of history at The University of Texas at Austin, which documents the polio epidemic in the United States during the 1940s and 1950... - Wikipedia

      
  46. 246. An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson

    Cover Image for the book An Army at Dawn

    An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa 1942-1943 is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book written in 2002 by long-time Washington Post correspondent Rick Atkinson. The book is a history of the North Afri... - Wikipedia

      
  47. 247. Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA by Tim Weiner

    Cover Image for the book Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA

    Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA is a 2007 book by Tim Weiner. Legacy of Ashes is a detailed history of the Central Intelligence Agency from its creation after World War II, through the Cold... - Wikipedia

      
  48. 248. Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire

    Cover Image for the book Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy

    A childhood in a privileged household in 1950s Havana is joyous and cruel, like any other — but with exotic differences. Lizards roam the house and grounds. Fights aren't waged with snowballs but w... - Publisher

      
  49. 249. Washington's Crossing by David Hackett Fischer

    Cover Image for the book Washington's Crossing

    Washington's Crossing is a Pulitzer Prize winning book written by David Hackett Fischer and part of the "Pivotal Moments in American History" series. The book is primarily about George Washington's... - Wikipedia

      
  50. 250. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Matteson

    Cover Image for the book American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

    - Wikipedia

      

The Lists

  1. 100 Most Influential Books of the Century

    Boston Public Library's list of "The 100 Most Influential Books of the Century". A booklist for Adults. - Boston Public Library

  2. 110 Best Books: The Perfect Library

    From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list. - The Telegraph

  3. 50 Greatest Books of All Time

    A list of the 50 greatest books of all time as determined by a panel of secret judges for Globe and Mail. The books are not ranked. - Globe and Mail

  4. 50 Memorable Books from 50 Years of Books to Remember

    A representative selection from over 1500 titles on annual lists of Books to Remember from 1956 to 2005. - The New York Public Library

  5. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000) - The Guardian

  6. Costa Book Award - Best Novel

    The Costa Book Awards are a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, after which Costa C... - Costa Coffee

  7. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

    81 books recommended by Author Donald Barthelme to his students at the University of Houston. -

  8. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic. - National Geographic Adventure Magazine

  9. Great Books of the Western World

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume... - Great Books Foundation

  10. Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books

    A list of the Harvard Book Store staff's top 100 favorite books. - Harvard Book Store

  11. Man Booker Prize

    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known in short as the Booker Prize, is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citiz... - Man Booker Prize

  12. National Book Award - Fiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prio... - National Book Foundation

  13. National Book Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prio... - National Book Foundation

  14. National Book Critics Circle Award - Fiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English. - National Book Critics Circle

  15. National Book Critics Circle Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English. - National Book Critics Circle

  16. Paste Magazine's Best Books of the Decade(2000-2009)

    The top 20 best books of the 2000s by Paste Magazine. It includes both fiction and nonfiction. - Paste Magazine

  17. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

    The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the author of the best American work of fiction that year. The winner receives US $15,000 and each of four... - PEN/Faulkner

  18. Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

    The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author. - Pulitzer Prize

  19. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    All the books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1948 to the present. - Pulitzer Prize

  20. Pulitzer Prize for History

    The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General N... - Pulitzer Prize

  21. Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction

    The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category. - Pulitzer Prize

  22. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    - Radcliffe Publishing Course

  23. St. John's College Academic Program Reading List

    The reading list that serves as the core of the St. John's College curriculum had its beginnings at Columbia College, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Virginia. Since 1937, th... - St. John's College

  24. The 100 Best Books of the Decade(2000)

    The Time's list of the 100 Best Books of the 2000s. It's a mix of fiction and nonfiction. - Times

  25. The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century

    The 100 best non-fiction books of all time judged by a panel of historians, authors, publishers, and experts for the National Review Magazine. - National Review

  26. The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List

    The Observer's list of essential fiction from the past 300 years. - The Observer

  27. The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written

    The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998) is a book of intellectual history written by Martin Seymour-Smith (1928–1998), a British poet,... - Martin Seymour-Smith

  28. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

    Entertainment Weekly's top 10 best books of the 2000s - Entertainment Weekly

  29. The 50 Best Books of the Century

    ISI defined "best" as "volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible... - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

  30. The 75 Books Every Man Should Read

    -

  31. The Best Books of the 2000s

    The Best Books of the 2000s according to the Onion AV club. Includes Fiction and Nonfiction. - The Onion AV Club

  32. The Best Southern Nonfiction of All Time

    The best southern United States nonfiction books of all time judged by 130 literary experts and authors. - Oxford American

  33. The Best Southern Novels of All Time

    A list of the best southern novels of all time by Oxford American Magazine judged by 130 experts as well as authors. - Oxford American

  34. The Big Read

    The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the United Kingdom in 2003, where over three quarters of a million votes were received to find the nations best-loved book of all time, ... - BBC

  35. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    - The Modern Library

  36. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    - Modern Library

  37. The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008

    Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1083 to 2008. There's no description of who the judges were. - Entertainment Weekly

  38. The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time

    The list below is from the book The Novel 100: A Ranking of Greatest Novels All Time (Checkmark Books/Facts On File, Inc.: New York, 2004), written by Daniel S. Burt. - The Novel 100

  39. The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time

    The Top 10 book chosen by 125 top writers from the book "The Top 10" edited by J. Peder Zane. - The Top 10 (Book)

  40. TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels

    Time critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. - TIME Magazine

  41. Top 100 Works in World Literature

    The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors from 54 countries on what they considered the “best and most central works in world litera... - Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute

  42. Top 10 British, Irish or Commonwealth Novels from 1980 to 2005

    The Observer asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005. - The Observer

  43. What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

    The New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify... - New York Times

What?

I've always loved to read and I'm a big fan of "best of" lists. After reading through about 5 or so "Greatest Books of all Time" lists I got the idea of combining the lists into 1 master list of the greatest books of all time.

A goal of mine is to someday read The first 100 of these books. I built this application to help me generate the list as well as keep track of which books I've already read. You too can track which books you've read if you create an account. You can view details about a specific list or book by clicking the titles.

I had a great time creating this site and I hope you enjoy it. If you have any Comments please


How?

This list is generated from 43 "best of" book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. I generally trust "best of all time" lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that's 100th.

Where Can I Buy The Books?

If you click on the title of the books you can easily see a summary of what amazon.com has for sale based on price and binding(paperback, hardcover, audio, etc). The prices and availability are updated daily directly from Amazon.com.

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