Neil deGrasse Tyson's favorite books

  • The System of the World

    The System of the World

    Neal Stephenson
    Volume Three of the Baroque Cycle
    Fiction

    'Tis done. The world is a most confused and unsteady place -- especially London, center of finance, innovation, and conspiracy -- in the year 1714, when Daniel Waterhouse makes his less-than-triumphant return to England's shores. Aging Puritan and Natural Philosopher, confidant of the high and mighty and contemporary of the most brilliant minds of the age, he has braved the merciless sea and an assault by the infamous pirate Blackbeard to help mend the rift between two adversarial geniuses at a princess's behest. But while much has changed outwardly, the duplicity and danger that once drove Daniel to the American Colonies is still coin of the British realm. No sooner has Daniel set foot on his homeland when he is embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint and closet alchemist Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds. Hostilities are suddenly moving to a new and more volatile level, as Half-Cocked Jack plots a daring assault on the Tower itself, aiming for nothing less than the total corruption of Britain's newborn monetary system. Unbeknownst to all, it is love that set the Coiner on his traitorous course; the desperate need to protect the woman of his heart -- the remarkable Eliza, Duchess of Arcachon-Qwghlm -- from those who would destroy her should he fail. Meanwhile, Daniel Waterhouse and his Clubb of unlikely cronies comb city and country for clues to the identity of the blackguard who is attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with Infernal Devices -- as political factions jockey for position while awaiting the impending death of the ailing queen; as the "holy grail" of alchemy, the key to life eternal, tantalizes and continues to elude Isaac Newton, yet is closer than he ever imagined; as the greatest technological innovation in history slowly takes shape in Waterhouse's manufactory. Everything that was will be changed forever ... The System of the World is the concluding volume in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, begun with Quicksilver and continued in The Confusion.

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    To learn that the universe is a knowable place]

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • The Wealth of Nations

    The Wealth of Nations

    Adam Smith

    The first--and still the most eloquent--expression of the economic theories of capitalism. Published in 1776, in the same year as the Declaration of Independence, The Wealth of Nations has had a similarly significant impact on the course of modern history. Adam Smith's celebrated defense of free market economies was written with such expressive power and clarity that the first edition sold out in six months. While its most remarkable and enduring innovation was to see the whole of economic life as a unified system, it is notable also as one of the Enlightenment's most eloquent testaments to the sanctity of the individual in his relation to the state. This edition contains in one volume the most influential first four books of Smith's masterwork.

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    to learn that capitalism is an economy of greed, a force of nature unto itself

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • The Bible

    to learn that it's easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • Gulliver's Travels

    Gulliver's Travels

    Jonathan Swift
    Fiction

    "It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery," remarked Alexander Pope when Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726. One of the unique books of world literature, Swift's masterful satire describes the astonishing voyages of one Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon, to surreal kingdoms inhabited by miniature people and giants, quack philosophers and scientists, horses endowed with reason and men who behave like beasts. Written with great wit and invention, Gulliver's Travels is a savage parody on man and his institutions that has captivated readers for nearly three centuries. The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with afford- able hardbound editions of impor- tant works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy- fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch- bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau- gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices. As bestselling author and critic Allan Bloom observed: "Gulliver's Travels is an amazing rhetorical achievement. Swift had not only the judgment with which to arrive at a reasoned view of the world but the fancy by means of which he could re-create that world in a form which teaches where argument fails and which satisfies all while misleading none."

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    to learn, among other satirical lessons, that most of the time humans are Yahoos

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • The Prince

    The Prince

    Niccolò Machiavelli
    Philosophy

    The classic handbook of statecraft written four centuries ago by an Italian nobleman recommends guile and craftiness to attain and maintain political power.

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    to learn that people not in power will do all they can to acquire it, and people in power will do all they can to keep it

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • On the Origin of Species

    On the Origin of Species

    Charles Darwin
    By Means of Natural Selection
    Science

    DIVReasoned and well-documented in its arguments, this work offers coherent views of natural selection, adaptation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest, and other concepts that form the foundation of evolutionary theory. /div

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    to learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • The Art Of War

    To learn that the act of killing fellow humans can be raised to an art

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • The Age of Reason

    The Age of Reason

    Thomas Paine
    Philosophy

    Paine's years of study and reflection on the role of religion in society culminated with this, his final work. An attack on revealed religion from the deist point of view -- embodied by Paine's credo, "I believe in one God, and no more" -- its critical and objective examination of Old and New Testaments cites numerous contradictions.

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    to learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world

    Dec 18, 2011 — Source

  • How to Lie with Statistics

    How to Lie with Statistics

    Darrell Huff
    Mathematics

    If you want to outsmart a crook, learn his tricks—Darrell Huff explains exactly how in the classic How to Lie with Statistics. From distorted graphs and biased samples to misleading averages, there are countless statistical dodges that lend cover to anyone with an ax to grind or a product to sell. With abundant examples and illustrations, Darrell Huff’s lively and engaging primer clarifies the basic principles of statistics and explains how they’re used to present information in honest and not-so-honest ways. Now even more indispensable in our data-driven world than it was when first published, How to Lie with Statistics is the book that generations of readers have relied on to keep from being fooled.

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    If youre collecting book names, another good book

    Oct 3, 2019 — Source

  • Almagest

    If you’re going to be wrong, at least be wrong in a way that stimulates further research, which is what that did.

    Oct 3, 2019 — Source

  • The Great Gatsby

    The Great Gatsby

    F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Fiction

    The only authorized edition of the twentieth-century classic, featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final revisions, a foreword by his granddaughter, and a new introduction by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. First published in 1925, this quintessential novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

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    This is just too perfect.

    Oct 3, 2019 — Source

  • Bad Science

    Bad Science

    Ben Goldacre
    Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks
    Science

    The informative and witty expose of the "bad science" we are all subjected to, called "one of the essential reads of the year" by New Scientist. We are obsessed with our health. And yet — from the media's "world-expert microbiologist" with a mail-order Ph.D. in his garden shed laboratory, and via multiple health scares and miracle cures — we are constantly bombarded with inaccurate, contradictory, and sometimes even misleading information. Until now. Ben Goldacre masterfully dismantles the questionable science behind some of the great drug trials, court cases, and missed opportunities of our time, but he also goes further: out of the bullshit, he shows us the fascinating story of how we know what we know, and gives us the tools to uncover bad science for ourselves.

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    If it influenced you as much as you say then I’m going to check it out.

    Oct 3, 2019 — Source

  • Age Of Reason

    To learn how the power of rational thought is the primary source of freedom in the world

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  • The Almagest

    The Almagest

    Claudius Ptolemy
    Introduction to the Mathematics of the Heavens
    Science

    The Almagest is by far the greatest work in astronomy in ancient times. In a massive series of thirteen books, Ptolemy shows how every detail of the motions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars can be expressed using geometrical models that can be used to compute celestial positions with remarkable accuracy The present selection covers all the essential features of Ptolemy s treatment of the heavens, omitting only more difficult and abstruse matters such as the moon s motion and the calculation of eclipses. In the interest of conciseness, development of planetary theories is restricted to two planets, one inferior (Venus) and one superior (Mars). Ptolemy s text is accompanied by extensive notes and introductions that are aimed at making the book accessible to students encountering Ptolemy for the first time. This edition is designed to provide everything needed for a one-semester course, or it can be a component of a more general course on planetary theory or history of astronomy."

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    That title is now the title that we now use for it because thats the form in which it was most remembered. In other words, it was the most widely distributed after it was preserved in Arabic and then re-translated back into Latin and English. Almagest just means the greatest.

    Oct 3, 2019 — Source

  • Holy Bible

    Holy Bible

    Hendrickson Publishers
    King James Version
    Bibles

    "If you are looking for a Bible that's easy to use and to give away, this is the Bible for you " The world is hungry for eternal truth. When we spread God's Word, we're helping to fulfill the Great Commission. Now you can reach more people with this handy, budget-friendly edition. With no frills or extras that increase the page count or the price, this economy KJV Bible is the ideal choice for a basic introduction to Scripture, for daily devotions, worship, prison ministry, evangelistic outreach, missions, or any occasion when you want to read and share God's Word. Special Features - Complete KJV text - Simple, straightforward presentation - Convenient size - Affordable price--keep a supply on hand

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    To learn that it's easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself

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  • The Origin of Species

    The Origin of Species

    Charles Darwin
    Science

    This classic work of scientific literature, presenting the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, is still both relevant and controversial in the twenty-first century. THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related

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    To learn of our kinship with all other life on Earth

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  • One Two Three Infinity

    The single most influential book on my budding scientific mind.

    Apr 20, 2020 — Source

  • Gödel, Escher, Bach

    Gödel, Escher, Bach

    Douglas R. Hofstadter
    An Eternal Golden Braid
    Philosophy

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize A metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll Douglas Hofstadter's book is concerned directly with the nature of "maps" or links between formal systems. However, according to Hofstadter, the formal system that underlies all mental activity transcends the system that supports it. If life can grow out of the formal chemical substrate of the cell, if consciousness can emerge out of a formal system of firing neurons, then so too will computers attain human intelligence. Gödel, Escher, Bach is a wonderful exploration of fascinating ideas at the heart of cognitive science: meaning, reduction, recursion, and much more.

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    Good stuff there.

    Jun 4, 2020 — Source