100 Books for the Modern Person
by Kenneth Funsten (Los Angeles Times)

"All listed books are works we live with in order understand the nation we live in.... Criteria for selection were: importance to contemporary understanding; literary, artistic, and intellectual influence; prolonged authorial excellence, and extreme popularity. Major authors were limited to one work."
— Kenneth Funsten

  1. Baby & Child Care by Benjamin Spock (1946)
  2. The New Society: The Anatomy of the Industrial Order by Peter Drucker (1950)
  3. The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character by David Riesman et al. (1950)
  4. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (1951)
  5. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)
  6. The Mustangs by J. Frank Dobie (1952)
  7. Indian Tales, written and illustrated by Jaime de Angulo (1953)
  8. Henry James (5 vols.) by Leon Edel (1953-1972)
  9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
  10. Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy (1955)
  11. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams (1955)
  12. The Family of Man: The Greatest Photographic Exhibition of All Time — 503 Pictures from 68 Countries, created by Edward Steichen
  13. Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin (1955)
  14. Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Freud by Herbert Marcuse (1955)
  15. A Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren (1956)
  16. Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsburg (1956)
  17. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
  18. The Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith (1958)
  19. The Living Society by Frank Lloyd Wright (1958)
  20. The Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs (1959)
  21. Life Studies by Robert Lowell (1959)
  22. Malcolm by James Purdy (1959)
  23. A Pima Remembers by George E. Webb (1959)
  24. Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized System by Paul Goodman (1960)
  25. The Maximus Poems by Charles Olson (1960)
  26. Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged: The Great Library of the English Language, edited by Merriam Co. (1961)
  27. The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore H. White (1961)
  28. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (1961)
  29. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  30. The American Dream by Edward Albee (1961)
  31. On Becoming a Person: A Therapist's View of Psychotherapy by Carl R. Rogers (1961)
  32. The Image, or What Happened to the American Dream by Daniel J. Boorstin (1962)
  33. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
  34. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)
  35. Patriotic Gore: Studies in the Literature of the American Civil War by Edmund Wilson (1962)
  36. The Tennis Court Oath: A Book of Poems by John Ashbery (1962)
  37. Paterson: Book 1-5 by William Carlos Williams (1963)
  38. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan (1963)
  39. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1963)
  40. Where the Wild Things Are story and pictures by Maurice Sendak (1963)
  41. City of Night by John Rechy (1963)
  42. Herzog by Saul Bellow (1964)
  43. A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House by Arthur M. Schlesinger (1965)
  44. In Cold Blood: A True Account of Multiple Murder and Its Consequence by Truman Capote (1965)
  45. The Autobiography of Malcolm X, with the assistance of and epilogue by Alex Haley (1965)
  46. The Diary of Anais Nin (1966-1980)
  47. Ariel by Sylvia Plath (1966)
  48. Love's Body by Norman O. Brown (1966)
  49. Human Sexual Response by William H. Masters and Virginia Johnson (1966)
  50. Giles Goat-Boy, or the Revised New Syllabus by John Barth (1966)
  51. Children of Crisis (5 vols.) by Robert Coles (1967-1978)
  52. Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver (1968)
  53. Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, [Europe] and Oceania, edited with commentaries by Jerome Rothenberg (1968)
  54. The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda (1968)
  55. The Lice: Poems by William S. Merwin (1968)
  56. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe (1968)
  57. Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion (1968)
  58. The Universal Baseball Association Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop by Robert Coover (1968)
  59. The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History by Norman Mailer (1968)
  60. Couples by John Updike (1968)
  61. Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller (1969)
  62. Portnoy's Complaint by Phillip Roth (1969)
  63. The Selling of the President, 1968 by Joe McGinniss (1969)
  64. Future Shock by Alvin Toffler (1970)
  65. The New Centurions by Joseph Wambaugh (1970)
  66. The Ghost Dance: Origins of Religion by Weston La Barre (1970)
  67. The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point by Philip E. Slater (1970)
  68. The Genesis of the Frontier Thesis: A Study in Historical Creativity by Ray Allen Billington (1971)
  69. The Pentagon Papers: The Secret History of the Vietnam War, as published by the New York Times, based on investigative reporting by Neil Sheehan, E. W. Kenworthy and others (1971)
  70. A Theory of Justice by John Rawls (1971)
  71. Beyond Freedom and Dignity by B. F. Skinner (1971)
  72. The Last Whole Earth Catalog: Access to Tools edited by Stewart Brand (1971)
  73. Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski (1972)
  74. Wilderness and the American Mind by Roderick Nash (revised edition, 1973)
  75. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (1973)
  76. The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry by Harold Bloom (1973)
  77. Pentimento: A Book of Portraits by Lillian Hellman (1973)
  78. Fear and Loating: On the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson
  79. Burr: A Novel by Gore Vidal (1973)
  80. The Presidential Transcripts, the staff of the Washington Post, edited by [Carl] Bernstein, et al. (1974)
  81. Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn M. Brodie (1974)
  82. Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do by Studs Terkel (1974)
  83. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (1974)
  84. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute: Stories by Grace Paley (1974)
  85. Creative Aggression: The Art of Assertive Living by George R. Bach and Herb Goldberg (1974)
  86. Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson (1975)
  87. The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell (1975)
  88. The Dead Father by Donald Barthelme (1975)
  89. The Collected Books of Jack Spicer, edited by Robin Blaser (1975)
  90. Pueblo: Mountain, Village, Dance by Vincent Scully (1975)
  91. The Painted Bird, revised edition, with introduction, by Jerzy Kosinski (1976)
  92. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes (1977)
  93. The Life of the Mind (2 vols.) by Hannah Arendt
  94. The World According to Garp by John Irving (1978)
  95. The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (1978)
  96. Endangered and Threatened Plants of the United States by Edward S. Ayensu and Robert A. DeFilipps (1978)
  97. The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations by Christopher Lasch (1979)
  98. Tax Limitation, Inflation and the Role of Government by Milton Friedman (1979)
  99. The Dream and the Underworld by James Hillman (1979)
  100. The Real War by Richard Nixon (1980)

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Copyright ©  by Robert Teeter (Copyright and disclaimer page)

First posted: December 2002