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James H. Billington

Reflections on the "Books That Shaped America": Questions, Answers, and More Questions

The Library of Congress has fashioned an exhibit that will surely be of interest to intellectual historians. The exhibit, “Books That Shaped America,” lists 88 works that the LOC calls “a starting point—a way to spark a national conversation on books and their importance in Americans’ lives, and, indeed, in shaping our nation.”  They add (bolds mine): The titles featured here (by American authors) have had a profound effect on American life, but they are by no means the only influential ones. And they are certainly not a list of the “best” American books, because that, again, is a matter Read more