Cover Story

Top 40 books

"Top 40 books" Continued...

Issue: "Top 40 Books," July 3, 1999

34. Richard Crossman, ed., The God That Failed (1949). A collection of essays by ex-communists who woke up to the true nature of their false religion. This book contributed to the containment of the evil empire and portended its eventual collapse.

35. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). What she describes about the dynamics of fascism and communism needs to be heeded today.

36. Jacques Ellul, The Humiliation of the Word (1981). This continental Christian intellectual defended language and the Word of God against the image-worshippers of modern technological culture.

37. Arnold J. Toynbee, A Study of History (1945-1961). In this tour de force of scholarship, Toynbee studies all of the world's major civilizations through history, traces how they rise, and shows that the Aztecs and the Romans look a lot like us.

38. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolution (1962). Kuhn showed why Christians do not have to fear science anymore: It keeps changing.

39. Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (1988). A devastating account of how today's moral and intellectual relativism is stifling American education.

40. Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1918). This book by a descendant of presidents, who could not summon up his ancestors' gumption, offered a fine contrast between the pre-modern mind (symbolized by the "Virgin" of the great cathedrals) and the just-emerging modern century (symbolized by the industrial "dynamo"). The Modern Library listed it as the No. 1 nonfiction book of the 20th century. While it is a good book, it is not quite that good; but we will let it make the cut of the top 40.


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