Saturday, January 10, 2015

Eight books everyone should read according to Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson might be someone that inspires us to look to the stars, but he also reminds us we should live with both our feet on the ground and our heads straight - and by straight I mean "thinking straight". These are the eight books Neil recommends everyone to read, to better understand ourselves, others, and the world we live.

This list came in response to someone's questioning him: “Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?” a few years ago; but I'd go and remove the "intelligent" from the equation, as these recommendations are good for everyone - even those that don't consider themselves to be that smart.
  1. The Bible (free ebook), to learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself
  2. The System of the World (free ebook) by Isaac Newton, to learn that the universe is a knowable place
  3. On the Origin of Species (free ebook) by Charles Darwin, to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth
  4. Gulliver’s Travels (free ebook) by Jonathan Swift, to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos
  5. The Age of Reason (free ebook) by Thomas Paine, to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world
  6. The Wealth of Nations (free ebook) by Adam Smith, to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself
  7. The Art of War (free ebook) by Sun Tzu, to learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art
  8. The Prince (free ebook) by Machiavelli, to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it

"If you read all of the above works you will glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world." - says Tyson; and I'm sure we can all agree on that.

[via BrainPickings]

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