Carl Sagan’s Reading List

July 11th, 2012

The Library of Congress recently acquired a wealth of papers from a personal hero, Carl Sagan.

Among these is a kind of syllabus entitled “Outside Reading, Autumn Quarter, 1954.”

Notable about this list is that:

a) A badass wrote it

b) It includes texts both in whole and in part

c) In addition to including works that pertain directly to physics, it also includes the following:

  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay
  • The Uses of the Past: Profiles of Former Societies by Herbert Joseph Muller
  • The Immoralist by André Gide
  • Young Archimedes and Other Stories by Aldous Huxley
  • Timaeus by Plato
  • The Republic by Plato
  • The History of Western Philosophy by W. T. Jones
  • But We Were Born Free by Elmer Holmes Davis

Looks like I have some shopping at Powell’s to do…

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