Talk:The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written

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Title is Confusing[edit]

We ought to change the title of this article to something like "100 Most Influential Books Ever Written (book by Seymour-Smith)" and there should be a disambiguation function. People are getting confused, thinking this is a list to be accumulated by Wikipedia users. Where is that list anyway? Friendly Person (talk) 17:27, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable. I reacted against why Darwin came 73 with The Origin of Species far after Miguel de Cervantes came 38 with "Don Quixote". Darwin had an immense inpact on biology, geology and religion which cannot be overestimated even today, while Don Quixote sounds like an elaborate political satire that has lost its edge by now. It seems to me that the list is biased in some way probably towards culture (or maybe that I'm biased towards science, economics and technology). The list is not general so the article name must connect to the book wherein it resides. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:23, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry! I got it wrong! The list is in chronological order! Nevertheless a name change is motivated. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:27, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with changing the title to "100 Most Influential Books Ever Written (book by Seymour-Smith)". How influential a book is must be a matter of subjective judgement, without objective yardstick (unless reliable citation statistics are available). Therefore, unlike the List of best-selling books (where supporting statistics can be adduced), there cannot be a user-generated List of most influential books in Wikipedia. Thus, there should be no need of disambiguation.--Palaeoviatalk 22:58, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Can someone add a "(Book)" to the title?

--Arash Eb (talk) 23:22, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Done. — goethean 00:39, 3 March 2010 (UTC)


The latest revision, from 31.01.08, adds that Seymour-Smith was Jewish. I have never heard this, and it is not stated on his own Wiki page. I'm reluctant to delete this until anyone can confirm one way or another. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Coolazice (talkcontribs) 05:48, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I wasn't reluctant to delete it. Citizen Premier (talk) 10:02, 5 March 2008 (UTC)


How is it that Aristotle's works are listed before Plato's? I know it says "4th Century," but every last one of them was written after Plato's "Republic." (Aristotle 384-322 BCE, Plato's Republic 380 BCE). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Plato now precedes Aristotle.--Palaeoviatalk 04:04, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Atlas Shrugged[edit]

On April 2, 2009, Atlas Shrugged ranked #1 in the "Fiction and Literature" category at Atlas Shrugged is both the most influential book to its readers and more popular than the books on the list. It the MOST influential book to MORE people.

References: The New York 3/9/09. The Economist, 2/26/09. The Washington 3/4/09. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:51, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Please, if we're going to make a list at all, let's get it right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

This list is simply a copy of the one in Seymour-Smith's book; it isn't open for debate. --CliffC (talk) 00:18, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. But Atlas Shrugged wouldn't belong here anyways. I never ever heard from it until I happenstance surfed on one of my least favourite authors. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:14, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Never heard of it? It's been famous for decades.
I've never read it since Ayn Rand is a rightwing nut.
One of our great Canadian rock bands, Rush, named their record label, Anthem, after one of her short-enough-to-actually-read novels.
Varlaam (talk) 04:14, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Adding sequence numbers to table[edit]

I'm going to be adding the author's sequence number 1-100 (from his table of contents, here) as the first cell in each table entry. This will make it easier to spot vandalism and to double-check the list against his. --CliffC (talk) 00:18, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Done. I retained the chronological sequence given in the work we're summarizing. If it's important, someone might want to add a footnote or mention of the Plato-Aristotle date issue raised above. --CliffC (talk) 03:34, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Brave new world anybody?[edit]

Widely considered more influential the 1984 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:19, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Same as for "Atlas Shrugged"! This list is from the book "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today" written by Martin Seymour-Smith. We editors don't choose any author or book by ourselves to put here. The article should be renamed as per User:Friendly Persons suggestion (see "Title is Confusing" above). ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:31, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Same for Mein Kampf. As user "theblooms" said on Digg, "No Mein Kampf by Adolph Hitler? Holy crap, that book led to WWII and the near extermination of a race of people. Pretty damn influential! I assume that influential can be good or bad." Twipley (talk) 17:58, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Hindu scripture (Upanishads)[edit]

scripture: Any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group; Scripture: The sacred writings of the Christian religions (wordnet)

to my mind it would either be "Hindu Scripture," or "Hindu scriptures." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Twipley (talkcontribs) 20:45, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Capitalization of S in the word "scripture" has absolutely no effect on the word's meaning. "Scripture" has not become a proper name for the Bible. This is simply a most peculiar non-issue. --Palaeoviatalk 00:24, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Index Librorum Prohibitorum[edit]

The list reads a bit like the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, all the different books that were banned by the Roman Catholic Church. While it does cite the scriptures of various religions, very few of the publications of the period 1500-1800 were not controversial with the Church somehow. A possible explanation for this is that, apart from the censorships, many of these books were the product of independent philosophical and intellectual circles that deliberately tried to set themselves apart from the mainstream Christian culture before taking on a broader public role. ADM (talk) 20:26, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


We would benefit from knowing the reaction of literary critics to Seymour-Smith's book. Since he is evidently a Briton, Literary Review is likely to have written one of their high quality reviews at the time of publication. Varlaam (talk) 04:19, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Heidegger Sein und Zeit[edit]

anybody who know anything about philosophy will agree that Heidegger's Sein und Zeit (1927) is probably the most influential book wrtten in the 20th century. There is not a single famous philospher who was not influenced by this book, including such names as Sartre, Derrida, Levinas, Gadamer, Foucault, Sloterdijk and many many more... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:48, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Never mind! Ovesaw the disambiguation! All I can say now is that the writer was wrong in not including Sein und Zeit — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:14, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Ramayana and Mahabharat[edit]

Strange,Ramayana and Mahabharata has been excluded from list. Prof. Greerson, an expert on Indian languages had stated that Ramayana is more popular in India than Bible in England.Similar is the case with Mahabharat.Rajesh Kumar69 (talk) 15:07, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Ramayana and Mahabharat[edit]

Strange,Ramayana and Mahabharata has been excluded from list. Prof. Greerson, an expert on Indian languages had stated that Ramayana is more popular in India than Bible in England.Similar is the case with Mahabharat.Rajesh Kumar69 (talk) 15:07, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. --BDD (talk) 20:11, 25 September 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written (book)The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written – Doesn't need disambiguation for the same same reason as The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Wikipedia isn't a how-to guide and people generally know that. Though it would be nice if Google italicized its search results. Marcus Qwertyus (talk) 06:51, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

oppose See section "Title is confusing" above for the reason for adding "(book)" to the title. Prior to the title change, editors periodically surfaced to challenge and alter the list, believing that they were entitled so to do, even though the lead clearly explains the nature of the list. After the change, no one so foolish has appeared. For that reason, I oppose the proposed change.--Palaeoviatalk 11:28, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Support Titles are case sensitive, and if WP did create an article listing influential books it would not be capitalized, and it would be trivial to add a link from each to the other. I can not see anyone being confused. (book) should only be added if needed to distinguish from, say a (film) of the same title. Apteva (talk) 04:30, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - I see no reason to stray from normal titling rules. The article is quite clear that this is a specific list. Prouder Mary (talk) 09:16, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support, "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998) is a book of intellectual history written by Martin Seymour-Smith, a British poet, critic, and biographer.[1]" says it all, no need to clarify this in the title. --The Evil IP address (talk) 12:11, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Title is Confusing[edit]

Why is the New Testament in the first place? It says the list is in "approximate chronological order", but it clearly isn't. On a different subject, there isn't a number 18 on the list, which probably is a reflex of the missing "I ching", the book that actually is the number one on this list.

Requested move[edit]

The article clearly states: "The one hundred most influential books, according to Seymour-Smith, in the approximate *chronological order* he gives:"

Can we please put the new testament down a notch or two? It's CE, and not BCE... It should for no reason be on the top of the list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism has been thwarted, for the time being. Palaeoviatalk 01:03, 22 July 2013 (UTC)

The title implies, that this is the actual list of "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written". How ever anyone may measure influentiality. An objective ordered list like this is impossible. Also false is the statement, that "the origin of species" is a date. This is the biggest nonsense, I have ever read in a modern encyclopedia. The whole list makes no sense in the way it does appears here. It urgently should be rewritten, renamed, rewhatever, but reanything. Please. (talk) 20:51, 3 October 2013 (UTC)


Per Wikipedia:Copyright in lists#Copyrightability of content I removed the complete list as a copyright violation. Garion96 (talk) 12:21, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

What about?[edit]

book, "" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:19, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

This article is not a list, it is about a specific book which contains a list. If you feel a book should be added you need to take it up with the author of the book.--☾Loriendrew☽ (talk) 21:44, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
  • I had to remove this from another section- they're just here to spam for what is most likely their own book. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 03:51, 2 June 2014 (UTC)