Required reading in college has a long history of blowing our minds - and, sometimes, being supremely boring. But in dissecting the reading trends of our higher education institutions, we can develop a better grasp on the generations currently coming of age, and their role within our society as thought leaders. So, here's what the top colleges in the United States read in class; perhaps unsurprisingly, there's a lot of ancient philosophy, and a lot of Western canon. And a lot of dudes.
The Open Syllabus Project "is an effort to make the intellectual judgment embedded in syllabi relevant to broader explorations of teaching, publishing, and intellectual history," and has spent 15 years compiling over 1 million curricula from English-speaking colleges and universities. OSP released their initial findings at the beginning of this year, highlighting the most taught pieces of writing at the top American universities (Harvard, Princeton, Yale, University of Chicago, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, Duke, University of Pennsylvania, and Brown).
They also chose to highlight elements like the most taught piece of fiction across all colleges and universities (Frankenstein by Mary Shelley), the most popular history texts (America: A Narrative History by George Brown Tindall and David Emory Shi), and the top sociology titles (The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx).
So are you excited to see how many times Machiavelli has been taught in the Ivy Leagues over the past 15 years?
Please. You guys are all bookworms. Of course you're excited.
1. Republic, Plato
2. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
3. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
4. The Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington
5. The Elements of Style, William Strunk
6. Ethics, Aristotle
7. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn
8. Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
9. The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx
10. The Politics, Aristotle
Images: Amazon (10)