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Charles Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ voted to be the most influential book in history

Several expert academic book publishers, librarians and booksellers created a list of the top 20 most important academic books of all time and then asked the public to vote which of the 20 was most significant. According to The Guardian, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species tops the list, garnering a full 26% of the vote.

The inaugural Academic Book Week (#AcBookWeek) takes place in the UK this week to celebrate “the diversity, innovation and influence of academic books.”

As part of the celebrations, several expert academic book publishers, librarians and booksellers created a list of the top 20 most important academic books of all time and then asked the public to vote which of the 20 was most significant. According to The Guardian, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species tops the list, garnering a full 26% of the vote.

The list includes works such as Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of WomanThe Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, and The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, among others. These are influential books that have shaped literature, philosophy, politics, economy, reason, thought, and science as we understand and know these subjects.

The voters decided that a book about evolution is more important than books about capitalism, communism, and even Shakespeare. SHAKESPEARE. That guy wrote Hamlet, which in turn inspired The Lion King. Hell, even Empire is based on King Lear. Can you imagine a world without Cookie Lyon?

It’s even more interesting that Darwin’s treatise on evolution was voted most important considering how many people still refuse to accept the theory over sillier concepts (like creationism). According to The Washington Post, Dr. Ben Carson said the book was inspired by Satan. Hahaha!

The Top 20 Academic Books are below:

  1. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  2. A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft
  3. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  4. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  5. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  6. Orientalism by Edward Said
  7. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  8. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx by Friedrich Engels
  9. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  10. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
  11. The Making of the English Working Class by EP Thompson
  12. The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein
  13. The Naked Ape by Desmond Harris
  14. The Prince by Niccolò Macchiavelli
  15. The Republic by Plato
  16. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  17. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  18. The Uses of Literacy by Richard Hoggart
  19. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
  20. Ways of Seeing by John Berger

Featured image via Flickr

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