Books That Shaped America’s Identity-from npr books

I know that books have shaped my identity, Here is  a short list of some of the most important ones: Little Women, Gone With the Wind, The Hobbit, Journal of a Solitude, Stranger in a Strange Land, A Wrinkle in Time…the list goes on and on. There is a new Library of Congress Exhibit that will end on Sept. 29. I haven’t seen it (it’s a bit of a trip from Central Illinois) but, if you are anywhere near the Library of Congress, check it out.


Books can change the way we think and can continue to influence events long after they were written. The Library of Congress exhibit “Books That Shaped America” features 88 books — from Thomas Paine’s Common Senseto Dr. Seuss’ The Cat In The Hat — that have influenced national identity.

Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, was on the committee of historians, literary experts, curators, poets and scientists who chose the books included in the exhibit.

“We’re looking for books, whether it’s literature or social science or history, that … encapsulated and reflected a moment of time in America that Americans understood and recognized in themselves,” he tells NPR’s Lynn Neary.

More than creating an ultimate, perfect list, Dimunation says, the goal was to spark conversations about the significance of literature.

Read the rest of the article here.


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