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10 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

Narrowing down the list of the 10 best nonfiction books of all time is difficult at the best of times. These are books that managed to change society in some cases. However, people can also look at the sheer literary quality of the books in addition to their informational quality. Many of the books are still good reads today, even when they're older books.

  1. The Feminine Mystique

    While the third wave of feminism has moved on since this book, there is something powerful about any book that manages to ignite an entire social movement. The Feminine Mystique helped cause the second wave of feminism, and it's still a good read even today.

  2. Fast Food Nation

    This is a book that has managed to help countless people think very differently about the global food system, and it has probably managed to help them alter their own manner of living. This is more than people can say about most books.

  3. Silent Spring

    Rachel Carson managed to more or less create the modern environmental movement with this beautiful, wonderfully written, and prescient book. People might still be drowning in pesticides today otherwise. Unlike some environmentalists, Rachel Carson manages to propose solutions rather than just present problems.

  4. The Omnivore's Dilemma

    Eating in the modern world has somehow become a challenge even for the people who have enough. After reading this book, they might start to make more informed choices. This is what nonfiction books can do for people.

  5. The Civil War: A Narrative

    Anyone who wants one of the most definitive books on the Civil War should definitely look into this book. They'll walk away feeling like they're experts on this highly tumultuous time period.

  6. Gums and Germs and Steel

    While this book remains controversial to this day, many people can still appreciate the unique perspective that it is going to give on most of the world's history and how the current social power structures came into being.

  7. The Way We Never Were

    The false narratives of different nostalgic time periods have been contaminating politics for a long time, and historian Stephanie Coontz manages to deconstruct a lot of the myths about history that people still believe at some level with this book.

  8. 1776

    Few books written about this time period are ever going to be able to help people understand the era as effectively. The American Revolution has been thoroughly mythologized in the American consciousness, and actually getting the facts can be illuminating.

  9. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

    This book was controversial in its day and remains that way. William L. Shirer is a journalist and not a historian, which is part of the reason why people continue to object to the facts presented here. However, the research is substantial, and William L. Shirer was still able to make a compelling case for how this terrifying government managed to rise so quickly and fall so hard.

  10. 1492: The Year Our World Began

    Many people have labored under a lot of misconceptions about the origin of the modern West. After reading 1492: The Year Our World Began, they should have a stronger sense of what happened. The book also features excellent writing.

"The Rocketbelt Caper"
by Paul Brown

ufwcThe Rocketbelt Caper:
A True Tale of Invention, Obsession and Murder
Tonto Press, 2007
A bizarre true crime story revolving around an amazing James Bond-style rocketbelt. 'A delight to read... Recommended.' More here.

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(Available from US bookstores very soon)

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