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Influential Books: The Path to Erudition

Books that have had a wide and lasting influence


Do you have a sense what people mean when they describe a person or an act as "Machiavellian"? Find out for yourself by reading Machiavelli's 1532 book, The Prince. What does it mean to be "tilting at windmills"? Find the answer in Cervantes' 1605 novel Don Quixote. What does "Orwellian" mean? George Orwell's book 1984, published in 1949, painted a bleak picture of the future. Which early 1960s book below sowed the seeds of the modern environmental movement? The title refers to the effect of the pesticide DDT created by killing birds and insects. All these books are available online through Open Library and Project Gutenberg and in the Peninsula Library System. To suggest an influential book, email Cynthia McCarthy @



Politics & Government

Philosophy & Psychology


Science, Math, Physics & Geography

Adjunct Faculty Librarian

Cynthia McCarthy's picture
Cynthia McCarthy
Cañada College Library
Bldg. 9, 3rd floor