World Book Day : 101 Books You Must Read - A Short Reading List

by Jaideep A Prabhu - Apr 23, 2016 12:52 PM
World Book Day : 101 Books You Must Read - A Short Reading Listbooks
  • What is amongst the better ways to mark the ‘World Book Day’? Going through a list of 101 must-read books (tailored for Indian readers) doesn’t seem like a bad idea

Harsh Gupta was apparently partly inspired and partly exasperated with my reading lists; more importantly, he did not find them to be of much use to him or most people outside the “nerd bubble” or ivory tower. He has therefore taken the liberty to create his own list (with a little input from me), which is supposed to be more relevant to the homo discens dextera indicus politicus in a globalised world. So here are our 101 suggestions!

  • The Mahabharata – Vyaasa
  • Understanding Poverty – Banerjee, Mookherjee, Benabou
  • A History of South India from Prehistoric Times to the Fall of Vijayanagar – KA Nilakanta Sastri
  • The Deniers – Lawrence Solomon
  • A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers – VS Ramachandran
  • Nudge – Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein
  • India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy – Ramachandra Guha
  • Minimum Wages – David Neumark
  • India Unbound – Gurcharan Das
  • On Human Nature – EO Wilson
  • Forgotten Continent – Michael Reid
  • The Partition of India: Policies and Perspectives, 1935-1947 – CH Philips, MD Wainwright
  • Rethinking the welfare state – Ronald Daniels
  • The Agrarian System of Mughal India, 1556-1707 – Irfan Habib
  • Development as Freedom – Amartya Sen
  • Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350 – Janet Abu-Lughod
  • The Fallacy of Campaign Reform
  • The Law – Frederic Bastiat
  • The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (9 volumes)
  • My Country, My Life – LK Advani
  • Indian Summer – Alex Von Tunzelmann
  • Losing Ground – Charles Murray
  • The Welfare State we are in – James Bartholomew
  • On Liberty – Mill
  • Liberal Fascism – Jonah Goldberg
  • The Venture of Islam (3 vols) – Marshall Hodgson
  • Imagining India – Nandan Nilekani
  • Common Sense – Thomas Paine
  • What Evolution Is – Ernst Mayr
  • Taxing Ourselves – Slamrod, Bakija
  • Global Tax Revolution – Edwards, Mitchell
  • The Best-Laid Plans – O’ Toole
  • China’s Deep Reform – Dittmer, Liu
  • The Antitrust Religion – Edwin Rockefeller
  • Water for Sale – Frederik Segerfeldt
  • More Guns, Less Crime – Lott
  • The Blank Slate – Stephen Pinker
  • School Choice: The Findings
  • The Mystery of Capital – Hernando de Soto
  • The Evolution of Cooperation – Robert Axelrod
  • Eminent Historians – Shourie
  • The Road to Serfdom – Hayek
  • There is No Alternative – Claire Berlinski
  • The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000 – Niall Ferguson
  • Anarchy, State and Utopia – Robert Nozick
  • India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture: Between Recessed Deterrent and Ready Arsenal – Ashley Tellis
  • Political Liberalism – John Rawls
  • The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith
  • Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species – Sarah Blaffer Hardy
  • Tinderbox: The Past and Future of Pakistan – Akbar
  • Complete Works of Aristotle – Jonathan Barnes
  • Engaging India – Strobe Talbott
  • The Tragedy of Great Power Politics – Mearsheimer
  • Black Rednecks and White Liberals – Sowell
  • India’s China War – Neville Maxwell
  • Life at the Bottom – Theodore Dalrymple
  • The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge Neuronal Man – Jean-Pierre Changeaux
  • In Defense of Globalization – Bhagwati
  • A Vindication of the Rights of Woman – Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Democracy in America – Alex Tocqueville
  • Two Treatises of Government – Locke
  • Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse – Partha Chatterjee
  • The Open Society and its Enemies (2 volumes) – Popper
  • The Ethical Brain – Michael Gazzaniga
  • The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
  • The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, 1500-2000 – Paul Kennedy
  • India’s Political Economy 1947-2004: The Gradual Revolution – Francine Frankel
  • Gold, Dollars, and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations – Francis Gavin
  • India and the United States: Estranged Democracies 1941–1991 – Dennis Kux
  • Capitalism and Freedom – Milton Friedman
  • Decolonizing the Hindu Mind – Koenraad Elst
  • State-directed Development – Kohli
  • The Politics of India since Independence – Paul Brass
  • Indian Philosophy (2 vols) – S. Radhakrishnan
  • Islamic Humanism – Lenn Goodman
  • Economics in One Lesson – Henry Hazlitt
  • Dowry Murder: The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime – Veena Talwar Oldenburg
  • Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy – Bharat Karnad
  • Alberuni’s India – Al-Biruni
  • Brothers Against The Raj – Leonard Gordon
  • Pakistan: A Hard Country – Anatol Lieven
  • The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (5 vols) – Jaroslav Pelikan
  • India’s Israel Policy – PR Kumaraswamy
  • Nationalism – Craig Calhoun
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha – Michael Coogan
  • Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650-1750– Jonathan Israel
  • Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670-1752 – Jonathan Israel
  • Democratic Enlightenment: Philosophy, Revolution, and Human Rights, 1750-1790 – Jonathan Israel
  • In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, and Myth – JP Mallory
  • India: A Million Mutinies Now – VS Naipaul
  • Education and Capitalism – Walberg
  • History of Dharmasastra – PV Kane
  • Descartes’ Error – Antonio Damasio
  • In Service of Emergent India – Jaswant Singh
  • The Language Instinct – Stephen Pinker
  • War and Peace in Modern India: A Strategic History of the Nehru Years – Srinath Raghavan
  • Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong– Marc Hauser
  • Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights, and the History of Kashmir – Mridu Rai
  • The Economic History of India, 1857-1947 – Tirthankar Roy
  • The Improving State of the World – Goklany
  • The Road to Monetary Union in Europe: The Emperor, the Kings, and the Genies – Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa

First published in 2012 at Centre Right India.

Jaideep A. Prabhu is a specialist in foreign and nuclear policy; he also pokes his nose in energy and defence related matters.
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