What Novels Should have been included in Martin Seymour Smith's 100 Most Influential Books in History?

What novels deserved to be included in Martin Seymour Smith's List of Influential Books?

Martin Seymour Smith wrote a list of the 100 Most Influential Books in history in 1998 and for the most part, I find it to be a very well thought out piece, but I also can't help but wonder it there are other novels of equal influence that were overlooked from his list. So, in your opinion, what novels deserved to be included in the list and which titles should have gotten the heave-ho?


My Personal Picks -

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

2. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

3. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

5. Tale of a Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

6. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

When examining the list, it becomes clear that Smith wasn't just choosing any old bestseller, or even books that changed history, but moreover, books that transormed our way of thinking or the way novels are written and are still highly regarded.


The first link doesn't work, so here's another - http://www.wisdomportal.com/Books/100MostInfluenti...

Update 2:

This one should work. Pretty good list, for the most part.

6 Answers

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    While this is an interesting list, many excellent works are omitted. For example:

    There is nothing by Ayn Rand, such as Atlas Shrugged, arguably the most influential book second only to the bible, and the Fountain Head

    There is nothing by Lysander Spooner such as No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, or his interpretive work on Magna Carta

    There is nothing by Montesquieu, such as Spirit of Laws

    There is nothing by James Madison, such as the notes of the Constitutional Convention

    There is nothing by Jefferson, such as the Declaration of Independence

    There is nothing by Carl Sandburg, such as Abraham Lincoln

    I could go on and on.

    Making list of the best 100 works will never include ‘all’ of the best.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had an enormous influence in America leading up to the Civil War. That's a terrific choice you have made for a book that had an impact on a great number of people and events in American history. I can't think of a better example. Maybe "All Quiet on the Western Front" by Remarque, but that did nothing to prevent World War II.

    Being a retired doctor turned college history teacher, I have to suggest William H. McNeill's 1976 book "PLAGUES AND PEOPLES" plus Hans Zinsser's wonderful 1935 work "RATS, LICE, AND HISTORY." These are not novels but they're not textbooks either. Both are better than Voltaire's cynical "Candide" or George Orwell's dismal "1984" which made the list. Worldwide infectious diseases are often overlooked as the greatest threat to man - other than man himself.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Agreed with last post. You can never get them all. That being said there are a few I believed should have been included.

    Night by Elie Wiesel - This and Diary of a Young Girl are the quintessential Holocaust Documents.

    Animal Farm - Critics could have a field day arguing about which is better/more influential, 1984 or Animal Farm.

    The Federalist Papers (I assume they count)

    Grimm's Fairy Tales

    Milton's Paradise Lost (I know he explained why in his book, but come on...)

    Epic of Gilgamesh

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Erika
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    You do comprehend that being influential, being suitable, being sane and being a sturdy man or woman are fullyyt distinctive and separate issues, suitable? as an occasion, you're able to desire to declare Hitler grew to become into the main influential man or woman of the 20 th century, yet that doesn't make him any much less incorrect, insane or evil.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The years of sand and salt

    The Haj

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Please fix your link I was really interested in seeing the list!!!

    Any list is just the thoughts of that person and may or may not be a good one.

    Please fix the link!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.