To celebrate its new exhibit titled “Books That Shaped America,” the Library of Congress recently had curators and other literary scholars compile a list of works that have influenced us as a country, resulting in an 88-book list.
The list of 88 books was ranked by publication date, not any preference on the part of those who compiled it. The earliest title was “Experiments and Observations on Electricity” by Benjamin Franklin, published in 1751, while the newest book to make the list was “The Words of César Chávez” by César Chávez in 2002.
Other notable titles that made the cut were “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
The “Books That Shaped America” exhibit by the Library of Congress is scheduled to be on display through Sept. 29 at the Thomas Jefferson Building. Readers are encouraged to comment on the list online and nominate other titles.
Check out the full list here.