Neil deGrasse Tyson Selects the Eight Books Every Intelligent Person on the Planet Should Read
by Maria Popova How to “glean profound insight into most of what has driven the history of the western world.” In December of 2011, Neil deGrasse Tyson — champion of science, celebrator of the cosmic perspective, master of the soundbite — participated in Reddit’s series of public questions and answers. One reader posed the following question: “Which books should be read by every single intelligent person on the planet?” Adding to history’s notable reading lists — including those by Leo Tolstoy, Alan Turing, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Stewart Brand, and Carl Sagan — Tyson offers the following eight essentials, each followed by a short, and sometimes wry, statement about “how the book’s content influenced the behavior of people who shaped the western world”: Tyson adds: 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. (What has driven it, evidently, is also the systematic exclusion of the female perspective.
• Food for thought