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After some light winter reading? Brian Eno lists his top books for rebuilding civilisation

Legendary artist and composer Brian Eno has shared a list of 59 book to build your intellectual world, and 20 books he believes would help rebuild civilisation, should it ever require rebuilding. Hell, they may come in handy pretty soon.

Included in the lists are classics from authors such as Tolstoy, Da Vinci, and Karl Popper… plus a whole lot of stuff you’ve definitely never heard of.

Think our society is crumbling? Here’s a huge list of books that Brian Eno believes are capable of rebuilding civilisation.

The lists were created in collaboration with The Long Now Foundation, an American, non-profit organisation that aims to counter today’s “faster/cheaper” mindset and promote “slower/better” thinking.

Eno currently sits on the board of The Long Now Foundation, and accordingly has a hand in a number of the organisation’s projects.

So if you’re in the mood to build yourself intellectually, or rebuild our decaying civilisation, suss out the two huge lists below:

Brian Eno’s list of books for rebuilding civilisation:

  • Seeing Like a State by James C Scott
  • The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams
  • Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti
  • The Wheels of Commerce by Fernand Braudel
  • Keeping Together in Time by William McNeill
  • Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese
  • A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al
  • The Face of Battle by John Keegan
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects by  Neil MacGregor
  • Contingency, Irony and Solidarity by Richard Rorty
  • The Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Confidence Trap by David Runciman
  • The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstein
  • Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection by Sarah Hrdy
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Cambridge World History of Food (2-Volume Set) by Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas
  • The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe by Marjorie Blamey & Christopher Grey Wilson
  • Printing and the Mind of Man by John Carter & Percy Muir
  • Peter the Great: His Life and World by Richard Massie

Brian Eno’s list for building your intellectual world:

  • Best Ideas: A Compendium of Social Innovation edited by Nicholas Albery
  • A Foreshadowing of the 21st Century Art: The Color and Geometry of Very Early Turkish Carpets by Christopher Alexander
  • Bridge Over the Drina by Ivo Andric
  • Jihad vs. McWorld by Benjamin Barber
  • The Artful Universe by John Barrow
  • Brain of the Firm by Stafford Beer
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  • The Creators by Daniel Boorstin
  • Lay My Burden Down: A Folk History of Slavery edited by B.A. Botkin
  • How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand
  • Civilization and Capitalism by Fernand Braudel
  • The Transformation of War by Martin van Creveld
  • The Transfiguration of the Commonplace by Arthur Danto
  • River Out of Eden by Richard Dawkins
  • Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Daniel Dennett
  • Defence Policy Making edited by G.M. Dillon
  • Women En Large: Image of Fat Nudes by Laurie Toby Edison and Debbie Notkin
  • Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  • Trust by Francis Fukuyama
  • Edge City by Joel Garreau
  • Ecce Homo by George Grosz
  • Beyond Culture by Edward T. Hall
  • Managing the Commons by Garrett Hardin and John Baden
  • The Middle Ages by Friedrich Herr
  • Going Bugs by James Hillman
  • Culture of Complaint by Robert Hughes
  • The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johann Huizinga
  • The State We’re In by Will Hutton
  • Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization by Kevin Kelly
  • Wild Blue Yonder by Nick Krotz
  • Fetish Girls by Eric Kroll
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  • Artificial Life by Steven Levy
  • Planetary Overload by A.J. McMichael
  • Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte
  • Erotica Universalis by Gilles Neret
  • Living Without a Goal by Jay Ogilvy
  • Billy the Kid by Michael Ondaatje
  • Evolution of Consciousness by Robert E. Ornstein
  • Art and Pornography and Man’s Rage for Chaos by Morse Peckham
  • Works and Texts by Tom Phillips
  • The Language Instinct by Stephen Pinker
  • In Search of a Better World by Karl Popper
  • Prisoner’s Dilemma by William Poundstone
  • Postcards by Annie Proulx
  • Consequences of Pragmatism and Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by Richard Rorty
  • The Moor’s Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie
  • England’s Dreaming by Jon Savage
  • Lords of the Rim by Sterling Seagrave
  • Art and Physics by Leonard Shlain
  • I am That: Conversations with Sri Nisaragadatta Maharaj
  • Face of the Gods and Flash of the Spirit by Robert Farris Thompson
  • Ocean of Sound by David Toop
  • The Seven Cultures of Capitalism by Charles Hampden Turner
  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
  • Art and Anarchy by Edgar Wind

Via Open Culture

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May 15, 2018