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“Books That Shaped America” Exhibition to Open June 25
Library of Congress ^ | June 21, 2012 | Library of Congress

Posted on 06/27/2012 12:04:42 AM PDT by iowamark

The Library of Congress--the world’s largest repository of knowledge and information--is beginning its multiyear "Celebration of the Book" with an exhibition, "Books That Shaped America," opening June 25. The exhibition is part of a larger series of programs, symposia and other events that explore the important and varied ways that books influence our lives.

The "Books That Shaped America" exhibition will be on view from June 25 through Sept. 29 in the Southwest Gallery, located on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This exhibition is made possible through the support of the National Book Festival Fund.

On view in the exhibition are many rare editions from the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division, as well as other related items chosen from various parts of the Library.

"This list of ‘Books That Shaped America’ is a starting point. It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books--although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We hope people will view the list and then nominate other titles. Finally, we hope people will choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting our nation’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world."

Members of the public are encouraged to comment on the books in this exhibition in a survey on the Library’s National Book Festival website ( and to nominate other titles for subsequent additions to "Books That Shaped America."

Curators and experts from throughout the Library of Congress contributed their choices for "Books That Shaped America," but there was much debate in having to cut worthy titles from a much larger list in order to accommodate the physical restrictions of the exhibition space. Some of the titles on display have been the source of great controversy, even derision, in U.S. history. Nevertheless, they shaped Americans’ views of their world and the world’s views of America.

The Library of Congress, with collections that are universal and comprise all media, has a long history of acknowledging the importance of books. It does this through its many and varied book symposia and author discussions, held year-round; through exhibitions, such as the display of Thomas Jefferson’s Library, which formed the "seed" of today’s Library of Congress; and through its annual National Book Festival on the National Mall.

Also on June 25, the "Celebration of the Book" includes a daylong conference, "Creating a Dynamic, Knowledge-Based Democracy," to mark the enduring legacies of three key events that shaped America: passage of the Morrill Act (establishing land-grant universities), the founding of the National Academy of Sciences and the founding of the Carnegie libraries. The conference, free and open to the public, is sponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making foundation established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911.

The 12th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival (, to be held on Sept. 22-23, is another major event during the "Celebration of the Book."

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

"Books That Shaped America"

TOPICS: Books/Literature; History
KEYWORDS: books; libraryofcongress; list; loc
Take the Survey

The list is remarkable for the recent lefty books and the omission of Whittaker Chambers" Witness.

1 posted on 06/27/2012 12:04:57 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: iowamark
This book is at least partially legit because Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is on it. Although I make a small deduction because The Fountainhead is not also included.
2 posted on 06/27/2012 1:14:34 AM PDT by 92nina
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To: iowamark
Carl Sagan? Cesar Chavez?? What a crock!

I took the survey -- I was disappointed that they did not give us an opportunity to tell them which of their selections should NOT have been on the list.

3 posted on 06/27/2012 1:25:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus
The list starts with books written by ... MEN THAT SHAPED AMERICA.

I was looking for the Bible, Aristotle, Plato ... things like that.

4 posted on 06/27/2012 1:57:35 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: iowamark

What about “Rules For Radicals”?

What about “Das Kapital”?

What about “Dreams of my Fathers”?

5 posted on 06/27/2012 2:56:25 AM PDT by Old Sarge (Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc... not just pretty words...)
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To: Old Sarge

What about “The Way Things Ought To Be” by Rush Limbaugh?

6 posted on 06/27/2012 3:18:50 AM PDT by equaviator (There's nothing like the universe to bring you down to earth again.)
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To: iowamark
Benjamin Spock, "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care" (1946)
Dr. Spock’s guidebook turned common wisdom about child-rearing on its head. Spock argued that babies did not have to be on a rigid schedule, that children should be treated with a great deal of affection, and that parents should use their own common sense when making child-rearing decisions. Millions of parents worldwide have followed his advice.

If one could go back in time and prevent an act, this one would do the most good for America.
Spock fathered a generation which begat a generation that begat a generation that we now find running our world, to the detriment of everyone, and even Spock acknowledges it now.
Each generation became more narcissistic, me-center, and leftist (yes, of course there were exceptions).

Kinda like some kid remarking on a forest fire that threatens to consume a state, "Yeah - I shouldn't have thrown that match down".

7 posted on 06/27/2012 3:43:29 AM PDT by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party of NO! Nobama, No Way, No How!)
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To: iowamark

Why isn’t Edgar Poe on the list? Tops in the short story genre. The Raven? C’mon.

8 posted on 06/27/2012 4:17:09 AM PDT by deadrock
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Where’s Robert A. Heinlein? The Moon is a Harsh Mistress should surely be on the list.

9 posted on 06/27/2012 4:35:42 AM PDT by AMiller
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To: iowamark

Witness—Yes and I find no mention of Blackstones Commentaries, nor Locke -Treatese , Nor Montesquieu?

10 posted on 06/27/2012 5:33:14 AM PDT by StonyBurk (ring)
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To: iowamark

Any list of “books that shaped America” that does not include the King James Bible is simply missing a massive segment of American history.

11 posted on 06/27/2012 6:56:45 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: zeugma

I think that this list is focused on American books that shaped American culture, otherwise half the list would consist of foreign texts. A list comprising the collective literature of Western civilization would be a touch long.

12 posted on 06/27/2012 8:08:18 AM PDT by JerseyanExile
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