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intellectualammo

The Modern Library List

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HERE are the best one hundred lists out on The Modern Library website for both fiction and nonfiction books.

What interests me, is that along side their list is the reader's list, with their picks. For fiction the top two in the readers lists are Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead and Anthem is number seven on the list. I was really surprised to see, that when I clicked on the best one hundred nonfiction, Ayn Rand's The Virtue of Selfishness was number one, and at number three is Objectivism: The Philosophy of Objectivism by Leonard Peikoff.

:pimp:

You can also read about the lists and how many casted their votes, and both lists are for books published from 1900 on. The fiction list came out in 1999, the nonfiction list in 1998. I was looking at this website right now and happened to find the list, so I thought I'd share them with the forum.

Edited by intellectualammo

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I wish there was a more up to date version of this. I'd like to see if the contrast between lists is quite as vast as it is currently.

(edit: spelling)

Edited by Sarrisan

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In both fiction and nonfiction lists, the gap of quality between the board's and readers' list is stunning (in favour of the readers, of course.)

How so? Ignore the Ayn Rand books and the Reader's list is hardly great - it overrates pop fiction (sci-fi, LoTR, etc) whereas the board's list is more concerned with artistic merit (Lolita, Portrait of an Artist, and so on).

I'm not a huge fan of either list (it ignores pretty much all European literature) but if I had to be stuck on a desert island with all the books from one then it would be the board's. They arent that different though, once you remove the sci-fi nerdery.

edit: both the non-fiction lists are weird and read like anything with academic merit in its field has been deliberately excluded. I thought at first that the board had taken a decision to leave out works of philosophy/sociology/science and keep it to non-specialist works which are accessible to everyone, but then I noticed they have Keynes' economic treatise and Russell's Principia while ignoring Wittgenstein/Freud/Kuhn/Nietzsche/etc. Very odd list. The reader's one is still worse though, it looks like it was voted on exclusively by readers of free republic.

Edited by eriatarka

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Uh, guys, I hate to pop bubbles, but this is a very old survey that was questionable at the time. It was administered over the internet (when the internet was young, and I was not so young :pimp:) and there was no control for multiple voting. Think of it as a Digg survey that allowed multiple votes.

I'm not saying the results might not be correct, but I remember being asked to vote on Objectivist boards, and specific mention made of the fact that one could vote early, AND OFTEN. It has since been reference numerous times in numerous places.

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Uh, guys, I hate to pop bubbles, but this is a very old survey that was questionable at the time. It was administered over the internet (when the internet was young, and I was not so young :lol: ) and there was no control for multiple voting. Think of it as a Digg survey that allowed multiple votes.

I'm not saying the results might not be correct, but I remember being asked to vote on Objectivist boards, and specific mention made of the fact that one could vote early, AND OFTEN. It has since been reference numerous times in numerous places.

Ah, I think you just made a point sharp enough to burst my bubble, but that's OK. Your comments and information are ever and so eagerly welcomed by me, Kendall. Now, I'll just go back to reading the book that made me want to check out The Modern Library website initially, Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson. I've read other novels published by them before, but never visted their site.

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The lists are interesting. It's long been a goal of mine to read all of the books (40/32 so far) and I've come across some great books (e.g. Sophie's Choice) and abominable ones (e.g. Wide Sargasso Sea, the never-to-be-finished Ulysses.)

I also found some sites of readers who also apparently have or are attempting to read and review all of the books. Too bad there's not an Objectivist reviewer of all of the books. It'd make for an interesting perspective :confused:

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