What are the best books that influenced America?

asked by Anonymous
530 contributors
21 solutions
  1. 42

    #1To Kill a Mockingbird

    To Kill a Mockingbird
    To Kill a Mockingbird is Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred. This was first published in 1960.
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    Joyce Willis
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I read this in school, it was a must in reading! I enjoyed it very much holds very good meaning"
  2. 38

    #2The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby is a classic book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald which was first published in 1914. It tells the story of wealthy man Jay Gatsby who is in love with Daisy Buchanan from an old money family. This has two film adaptations. 

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    Keith Simpson
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "The Great Gatsby is still a timeless rags to riches story that shold be in everyones must read list. It is an amazing story about love and matarialism set in the 1920's. It is written in amazong detail and continues to give us context for our current financial status."
  3. 38

    #3Gone with the Wind

    Gone with the Wind
    Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell is a bestselling novel of all time and won the Pulitzer Prize. Widely considered The Great American Novel, it explores the depth of human passion with an intensity as bold as its setting.
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    Sophia Li
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I teach tenth grade English and was looking for influential books for my students to read. I found Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I read it before having my students read it and it was an okay book. I think it might be a little to long for my students to read but for an adult I think it's a good read. It did get a little boring in certain parts but I would read again."
  1. 36

    #4Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin is a historical novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. First published on March 20, 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin is an anti-slavery book that talks about the lives of slaves in America during the 19th century.

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    Nancy Weaver
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "If you can get past your personal discomfort with the definitely non-PC aspects then you might get alot out of this book. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, but I am glad I read it."
  2. 34

    #5The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath

    The Grapes of Wrath is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by John Steinbeck. It tells the story of the Joad family as they travel west to California in search of greener pastures during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.

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    Sarah Gibson
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "This is a classic everyone should read. The movie doesn't even begin to touch on what the book has in it. I was amazed to see how much more of the story there is and thoroughly enjoyed this book."
  3. 33

    #6Beloved

    Beloved

    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.

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    Andrea Piña
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "I would have to say that I love and hate the book Beloved all at the same time. I hate the cruelty of the story, but I love that it is written so well. This book is truly fascinating. The story is difficult to read if you are a sensitive person, but it is worth it. Beloved is an outstanding book."
  4. 30

    #7Moby Dick

    Moby Dick
    Moby Dick is a novel by American author Herman Melville. It is the story of captain Ahab’s quest for revenge against Moby Dick, the whale that destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee on a previous voyage.Originally, the novel was a failure but in the 20th century it was rediscover and recognized as work of literary genius.
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    Aaron Bell
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Moby Dick is simply a classic and one of the most read books in America. While the book provides the minutiae of whaling in the first few chapters, you would be ill-prepared for the later chase which builds upon that knowledge to present a faster-paced account. Overall it builds a depth to the narrative that absorbs all the more intently as the book progresses."
  5. 29

    #8On the Road

    On the Road
    On The Road is a semi-autobiographical novel by well-known American beatnik author, Jack Kerouac. It tells the story of two friends on a road trip and their quest for freedom and self-discovery. 
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    Brian Banks
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Sounds very good, I have not read it but would consider it"
  6. 28

    #9Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451

    Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel wherein a totalitarian regime has ordered the burning of books in order to suppress the spread of subversive ideas. It preaches about the power and role of knowledge to see beyond the surface.

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    Sara Salazar
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "Fahrenheit 451 is a cautionary, dystopian story of what could happen here if we are not careful. Books are banned and burned by a repressive regime. Ironically, it's a book that has been banned by many school districts and libraries. The most important way this book has influenced America is in giving activists and politicians a common term to use in warning of a fascistic future. Unfortunately, that term is getting all too useful lately."
  7. 25

    #10The Scarlet Letter

    The Scarlet Letter
    First published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter is a classic work by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in a Puritan society, it tells the story of Hester Prynne as she is punished and publicly shamed for having a child outside of wedlock.
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    Susan Ray
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "This was one of my first introductions to Hawthorne, an author that I have lionized throughout my life. Unlike many high school students, I loved this book. (I just love everything Hawthorne). But there's no way around it, it has been so influential. The way we stigmatize people, crime, and even messages about the sexuality of women. This book has influenced generations to think about that. And, of course, Hawthorne is known for his insistence that we evaluate our 'Puritan' past, and come to terms with its hypocrisy. "
  8. 24

    #11The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is the first book in the Oz series written by L. Frank Baum which tells the story of Dorothy and her dog named Toto after they find themselves stranded in the fantastical Land of Oz. 

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    Jessica Jones
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is not only a classic film familiar to just about everyone but a cautionary tale that not-so-subtly warns us to "peek behind the curtain." That lesson is particularly valuable when analyzing politics in the United States, both current and past. Surely, there's no place like home. This should be required reading for all Americans."
  9. 22

    #12Charlotte's Web

    Charlotte's Web
    Charlotte's Web by E.B. White is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.
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    Philip Dunn
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Literally THE classic book of classic books. This is the most iconic book I can think of. Such a fantastic story and a must read if you've never had the pleasure of reading it before."
  10. 20

    #13The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild

    The Call of the Wild is Jack London’s famous short novel published in 1903. London explores the laws of civilization and wilderness and the pull of instinct through the eyes of Buck, a half Saint Bernard, half Scottish shepherd. 

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  11. 19

    #14The Cat in the Hat

    The Cat in the Hat

    The Cat in the Hat is a Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Dr. Seuss. It tells the story of Dick and Sally, two children who can't find anything to do on a rainy day... Until the Cat in the Hat unexpectedly appears.

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    Daniel Gaytán
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Who doesn't love "The Cat in the Hat"? NOBODY! It's an American classic aimed at kids but is enjoyable for everyone. I've read it at least a dozen times and it never gets old!"
  12. 18

    #15Goodnight Moon

    Goodnight Moon

    Goodnight Moon is a classic of children's literature written by Margareth Wise that combines beautiful poetry with astonishes illustrations. It is, for sure, the perfect bedtime story for kids up to 3 years old.

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    Ethan Perry
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "This is a great classic story. A great bedtime story to enjoy with your children often. "
  13. 16

    #16In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is the story of a murder, and the investigation that leads to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers. This book transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
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    Rubén Félix
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "When you think crime novel, you must think of Truman Capote. One of the originals in the genre, not many people do it better. He gets inside the mind of a serial killer and makes you understand the serial killer. Incredibly moving and interesting. "
  14. 15

    #17Little Women

    Little Women

    Little Women is a coming-of-age fiction novel written by Louisa May Alcott. This book follows the story of four teenage sisters living with their mother. The two volumes were consecutively released in 1868 and 1869.

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    Beverly Carpenter
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "What high school student did not read Little Women? The well-known book is a must for 19th century literature fanatics, as well as for anyone interested in a good story. This is one of those books you need to read at least once in your lifetime."
  15. 12

    #18The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is J.D. Salinger's 1951 classic about teenager Holden Caulfield, who was used as an icon of teenage angst and rebellion. The controversial book has caused debates, mainly because of its vulgar language and themes.

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    Anthony McDonald
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "An uninhibited novel of teenager freedom and rebellion, JD Salinger's paragon of the 1950's culture perfectly personifies the lifestyle of the era. The protagonist has just been expelled from their prestigious private school and wants to live their own life, yearning to see the world without any restrictions, the rowdy teenager goes on a journey of self discovery, letting nothing get in his way. The book is harsh in tone and quite dramatic and is definitely for mature audiences."
  16. 11

    #19Where the Wild Things Are

    Where the Wild Things Are
    Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children's picture books of all time, written by American author and illustrator Maurice Sendak.
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    Amanda Harper
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "Where the Wild Things Are has definitely set a standard for what's expected of a children's book in America. It's loved by kids and adults alike and sets a very fun tone. It tells kids it's okay to let loose and be a "wild thing.""
  17. 10

    #20Stranger in a Strange Land

    Stranger in a Strange Land

    Stranger in a Strange Land is a book by Robert Heinlein that tells the story of Valentine Smith. He is raised by Martians and as he arrived on Earth to live as a human the whole world will change because of him.

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    Janet Wood
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "I read this 25 years ago while I was in High School. This is and always has been one of my favorite works of Scifi in many years. I first read this over 20 years ago and at least twice since then. When it became available on Kindle I knew I had to have it in that venue. If you hav need read it DO SO! You will never forget the story."
  18. 9

    #21Native Son

    Native Son

    Native Son is an African American historical fiction book written by Richard Wright. This classic book is first published in 1940 and reproduced by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. 

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    Guillermina Montoya
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "This book has a violent story, which I didn't like so much. I liked reading all of the historical information but would have liked it more if the main story was more peaceful."

Summary

Best What are the best books that influenced America
RankSolutionsTypeVotesPrice
1To Kill a MockingbirdBooks 42 Paid
2The Great GatsbyBooks 38 Paid
3Gone with the Wind Books 38 Paid
4Uncle Tom's CabinBooks 36 Paid
5The Grapes of WrathBooks 34 Paid
6BelovedBooks 33 Paid
7Moby DickBooks 30 Paid
8On the RoadBooks 29 Paid
9Fahrenheit 451Books 28 Paid
10The Scarlet LetterBooks 25 Paid
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