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Books That Changed The World

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  239 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
In "Books that Changed the World" Andrew Taylor sets himself the challenging task of choosing and profiling the fifty most important and influential books in the history of the world. He has selected books from every field of human creativity and intellectual endeavour - from poetry to politics, from fiction to philosophy, from theology to anthropology, and from economics ...more
Published (first published 2008)
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Suad Shamma
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2015
This is a really interesting book, and pulls together a very solid collection of influential reads throughout history. Some I agreed with, and others not so much. I was a bit confounded at why some books were included while others weren't, and how some books made the list in place of others.

I loved the Greek and Roman history, although at one point it felt a bit repetitive - Homer, Herodotus, Plato, Horace etc. I wasn't too fond that instead of going by his actual name Ibn Sina he went with Avi
Read this for a university project about the power of the written word and the impact it's had on society, economy, politics, religion etc., and I've been looking into lots of different texts from different eras to see the ways they have altered our world and whether the world would be the same without print (novels, posters, leaflets etc). This was a really helpful addition to my research and I have dog-eared it, sticky tabbed it and annotated it and I'm looking forward to referring back to it ...more
Val Penny
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Andrew Taylor is a British author who was born in Stevenage, England on 14 October 1951. He is best known for his crime novels, which include the Lydmouth series, the Roth Trilogy and historical novels such as the best-selling The American Boy and The Anatomy of Ghosts. Taylor has been nominated for several prizes and had won many more including the Cartier Diamond Dagger, CWA New Blood Dagger, the Martin Beck Award and CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. So when a writer of this calibre p ...more
Al Bità
As Taylor points out in his introduction, any list of “significant” books which might be considered to have influenced the development of the World, would invariably give rise to argumentation and debate. Taylor admits that different people would insist on other inclusions, but he decides what he believes to be the 50 most influential books. And to be fair, he does a reasonable job of at least making the reader aware of wider interests than just literature as such.

Taylor manages to cover quite a
Deborah Pickstone
An interesting collection and thoughtful inclusions (and, one has to assume, exclusions) to this list of 50 influential books. Naturally, the MOST influential books in the world's history can never be quantified, only qualitatively proposed. However, I think the collator's justifications for his list were pretty sound. I was personally delighted to see The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen included as both influential in the more clear-eyed view of war that underpinned the pacifist movement and as ...more
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Impressive list with which I would mostly agree. But... are the spoilers necessary?
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I can imagine that any list of the books which changed the world is going to produce different reactions in every reader. I found this book an interesting read as it does more than just give information about the book itself but also attempts to explain how and why each book produced major changes.

Here are the books you might expect to find in any list like this: Einstein on relativity and Darwin on the origin of the species; the Bible and the Koran; Freud on the interpretation of dreams and Pri
Apr 01, 2009 rated it liked it
I took this out of the library more because I wanted to see what the 50 book are rather than to read it from cover to cover. I doubt I will read it all the way through but I have dipped in and out of it, reading bits that catch my eye.

Of course, the 50 most influential books are going to be subjective. I was intrigued by this selection and on the most part, agreed with it. I think the one people will find most surprising is the Telephone Directory. I think this was an inspired choice - one that
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book for any bibliophile! Andrew Taylor tells the always fascinating stories of the 50 books he considers have been the most influential in our history, from the beginning of written literature to the present. From poetry to philosophy, physics to politics – not ignoring the first Phone Book, which is a volume I would never have thought of as being influential, but, apparently is! – he explores how books have shaped our world. Of course, it’s a subjective selection – how could it be ...more
Stephen King
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: various
Fascinating book. How many had I read? About 12-15 of them. How many had I heard of? 48, I think. But I learnt something new about all of them, and the choices themselves were very revealing. I'm sure other people (and certainly other nationalities) would query the choices. No Brecht? And in terms of books that changed the world (although not, of course, for the better) where is Mein Kampf?
Sure to provoke plenty of discussion, I really enjoyed this.
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: purchased
The author offered an interesting selection of books. While some of these books did not seem to effect society in the same sense he did. Also, I felt his jump from 1964 to 1997 (and other areas) was to great loss to his selection. Many books that had came to mind were not included while socially popular books were (even if they brought very little insight or information to society).
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
And one that didn't. Short overview of the contents of each, with an even shorter analysis of how each changed the world. The Bible? OK. Catcher in the Rye? Um...
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history fans, people who love reading and books
Shelves: library, history
Originally published on Unravellations.

I'm not sure what made me pick up this book, so different as it is from my usual reading. However, it wasn't a bad choice at all. Books That Changed The World is basically a comprehensive list of books that have asserted a great influence on thought and literature, and Andrew Taylor also provides concise and relevant background information regarding the time period and culture that the book was written and published in. He does not center his list around bo
Christopher Beckett
Short write-ups about 50 major books, most of which I'm now old enough to know I will never read. The entries are not especially engaging, certainly nothing got pushed up my must-read list based on what is written here. An OK time-killer when you don't have time to get immersed in a more sustained book.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read, several of the books I had not heard of and will be adding to my “Must Read” list. Wonderful way that the book is organized and the information it shares about each book and its place in history and how it literally changed the world. Read it:)
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable read which provided the synopsis of the curated books and the author's input on their significance in how they have influenced the world as we know today.
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover for this book really got me. I've wanted to read more nonfiction and this was right up my alley considering it's about the power of words and the influence words can have on society as a whole. That's why history is so neat - if books are filled with ideas then these ideas are spread quickly and lots and lots of shenanigans occur.

I guess it's a lot like the Internet in that respect except that a book is more holistic and offers a lot more depth to any idea that is being spread.

So wha
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buku apa mengubah dunia, bagaimana caranya ? Pertanyaan yang terlintas dalam pikiran saya saat membaca judul buku ini. Jawabannya saya temui dalam pendahuluan serta dibalik jacket buku.Dalam pergerakan arus sejarah nan panjang, buku serta ide yang dituangkan di dalamnya telah mengubah masyarakat. Dari hanya masayrakat di sebuah kota lama-lama akan mengubah masyarakat dari beberapa kota, makin berkembang menjadi sebuat negara, hingga akhirnya mengubah dunia.

Andrew Taylor menempatkan tiap buku dan
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Books are many things to many people

They are inspiring, interesting, necessary, educational, fun and lots lots more

So when we were offered the chance to read about the 50 most influential books in human history - the ones that changed the world, our immediate question was just how on earth did the author Andrew Taylor pick just 50?

Would we agree? Even if not -would we see why these 50 were influential in such a way?

Of course, the 50 most influential books are going to be subjective - one person’
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
You know, as a bibliophile, a book about books sounds like fun. Taylor talks about the 50 most influential books in history, not just focussing on the literary one. There's religious and political and scientific entries as well as fiction.

If you haven't read some and intend to, there's a bit of a spoiler risk, but it generally overviews the plot before looking at the author and then its general significance on society and history. Though the list is clearly subjective, the inclusion of a number
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I liked most about this book is that the books specified were not simply literature books. Taylor includes books from the fields of science, law, and, of course, literature to determine what the 100 most important ones were. There is little room for controversy overall (although, seriously, the phone book? Beowulf, which was omitted, trumps that any day--even though at first it was a piece of oral tradition eventually recorded), but a couple could be questioned (why HP and not LOTR?).

This s
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buku ini berisi judul dan deskripsi mengenai 50 buah buku dari berbagai genre seperti naskah drama, puisi, politik, sience, fiksi hingga filsafat yang mengubah dunia dalam rentang waktu antara abad ke 8 SM yang dimulai karya Homer "Iliad" hingga thn 2007 yang diwakili oleh seri pertama Buku Harry Potter. Sebagai tambahan, buku ini menyertakan 4 buku yang paling berpengaruh di Indonesia (Negarakertagama, Sutasoma, Max Havelaar, dan Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang)

Secara fisik menarik, hard cover plu
Bunga Mawar
Walau sampul depan dan judul buku ini menarik perhatian banyak pencinta buku, begitu saya lihat sampul belakangnya yang menuliskan daftar judul 50+ buku2 yang dibahas dalam buku ini, keinginan saya untuk segera membacanya meredup. Di samping harganya yang muahal buat saya, buku2 yang dibahas bisa dibilang "jadul keterlaluan" dan seperti kata mas Tomo kemarin, "not my cup of tea".

Coba tengok sedikit: "Century Tales"-nya Chaucer, "Analekta"-nya Konfusius, atau "Buku Merah Kecil"-nya si Ketua Mao.
 photo LIASOM_zps9e498f89.png

Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

It was always going to be ambitious to pick just 50 books for this list - it would be hard enough picking just 50 fiction books that changed the world - but I think the author did an admirable job picking non-fiction and fiction books alike.

I liked the format - with the summary of the book, why it was so important and a quote.

I am sure many people will argue about what 50 books they would choose to be on this list but for me the gla
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
This book was easy to read and took me about a day and half to read. I picked it up from the library, intrigued by the concept. It is definitely an ambitious and contentious undertaking. I did not expect to be convinced by the whole list though certainly he had the chance for most of the books in terms of their influence.

I think it would have held more weight if it was books or writers, as for some it is clear that the body of work of the author has been influential rather than just one book. I
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Choice of 50 books that changed the world can vary in any other selection. However, trivia and analysis associated with each book was interesting. While there were some predictable choices such as Bible, Quran, Pride and Prejudice, 1984, there were few unexpected ones as well realted to medicine, propaganda. Most interesting was the hoax antisemitic book called 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'. See here:

This was mainstay of hitler's hatred propaganda
Claire Baxter
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Yes this was a simple book and highly subjective. But it was easy to read and the brief chapters made it easy to pick up and put down. It was really interesting to learn about the background to the books and the controversies they caused in their times. As the author says, everyone will have their own opinions as to what books should/shouldn't be on the list (I thought Les Miserables was unlucky to miss out) but there is no doubt that the ones on the list are important books and l enjoyed learni ...more
This was a very interesting book. I did manage to read it cover-to-cover, but it was slow going. There is a lot of interesting information packed into this book, so it takes time to absorb. The author's choices are pretty fair (in my opinion), even if by necessity many important works are still left out. He makes good arguments for all of his selections, so even though I often thought: how could he leave out _____!, there is definitely a method to his madness (and look at that- he's right about ...more
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some beautiful discoveries, the usual fixed presences and some notable absences. Book suitable for bibliophiles and for anyone who is looking for some summaries of classic he will never read, one out of all: Joyce's Ulysses.

Alcune belle scoperte, le solite presenze fisse e alcune notevoli assenze. Libro adatto ai bibliofili e a chi sta cercando qualche riassuntino di classico che non leggerá mai,uno su tutti l'Ulisse di Joyce.
Oct 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although not everyone will agree with the 50 books chosen it is a good selection. I found of gave a good summary of each book. There are quite a few spoilers for fiction books so be warned. It was interesting reading the author's justification of why the book was so influential. I will never get around to reading all of these books so it was a good way to learn about then but also I have now added a few to my reading list!
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Goodreads Italia: I 50 libri che sconvolsero il mondo 16 117 Mar 15, 2015 05:13PM  
Kok 49 buku ya? 2 5 Oct 18, 2011 03:50AM  
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Credited as Andrew Taylor on most works.

Andrew Taylor has been a freelance writer since 2004, but he has been working in newspapers, magazines, and television, in both Europe and the Middle East, for nearly 35 years. Before that, so long ago that he can hardly remember, he read English at Oxford University.

After training on the Yorkshire Evening Post, in Leeds, he worked as a political journalist
More about James Andrew Taylor