The 100 Best Books of the Twentieth Century

buckleyI’m guessing that not many of my readers would remember this almost five-year-old list of National Review’s 100 best books of the twentieth century.  Though many blog readers are guilty of chronological snobbery, I assure you that this is a list most worthy of looking over.

Here are some noteworthy selections from the list, compiled by such intellectual conservative heavyweights as Richard John Neuhaus, David Brooks, George Gilder, John Keegan, and Mary Ann Glendon.  This would be a great list to give a young, developing mind, particularly if the youngster could converse with an older, wiser, godly thinker.  Read the whole thing.

21. The Great Terror, Robert Conquest
Herman: “Documented for the first time the real record of Stalinism in the Soviet Union. A genuine monument of historical research and reconstruction, a true epic of evil.”

31. Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton
O’Sullivan: “How to look at the Christian tradition with fresh eyes.”

42. The Age of Reform, Richard Hofstadter
Herman: “The single best book on American history in this century, bar none.”

44. God & Man at Yale, William F. Buckley Jr.
Gilder: “Still correct and prophetic. It defines the conservative revolt against socialism and atheism on campus and in the culture, and reconciles the alleged conflict between capitalist and religious conservatives.”

73. R. E. Lee, Douglas Southall Freeman
Conquest: “The finest work on the Civil War.”

89. Essays of E. B. White, E. B. White
Gelernter: “White is the apotheosis of the American liberal now spurned and detested by the Left (and the cultural mainstream). His mesmerized devotion to the objects of his affection-his family, the female sex, his farm, the English language, Manhattan, the sea, America, Maine, and freedom, in descending order-is movingly absolute.”

"Shame you don't know the original texts nor languages. They tell a completely different story."

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  • xxhawkeyexx

    They seem interesting, I might try and read some of them. Thanks!

  • Patrick Schreiner

    Thanks for posting this…i was not following blogs 5 years ago…it increases my reading list by about 20 books.

  • owenstrachan

    Glad to hear that, bro. Hope that satiates your hunger to learn. Good seeing you recently.

  • humanitasremedium

    thank you for posting this list!

  • CT

    As a reflection of the mindset over at the National Review, the list is interesting. As collection of best books of the 20th century, it’s just silly.