Essential Books

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Essential Books

Man Makes Himself, (1936) Vere Gordon Childe
In the top of this list, let's start with this amazing work of Australian archeologist, Vere Gordon Child, where he explains simply, for all public, how the civilization has raised since Man start controlling fire and stone tools to help him survived till nowadays. The book traces his development as a food producer, the emergence of cities and states, the rise of foreign trade, and the urban revolution. A MUST READ that will make you realize of how long and how hard Man has been trying things to become what we are now. Clear, fascinating and a good introduction to archaeological books.

Mutual Aid, A Factor in Evolution (1902) Peter Kropotkin
Pyotr Kropotkin, better known for his anarchism, gives here a response to social darwinism based on his studies and scientific experiences. He described how cooperation help the evolution of animal species, as well for the human with his studies of savages, barbarians, the medieval city, until ourselves. Very interesting and an important knowledge to have before to go on the wild.

Walden or Life In The Woods, (1854) Henry David Thoreau
Here the kind of philosopher that actually ACTS, not just thinking. H.D.T. known as well for its Civil Disobedience (1849) describe here his life living in a tiny woods home closed to the Walden Pond, not so far of his family living in Concord, Massachusetts. Not a novel, neither a biopic, the book is a kind of lampoon criticizing the occidental modern world. The book is still a master piece in the U.S and inspired a lot "Alexander Supertramp" (Into The wild) and many travelers who wanna quit the city to get back closer to nature. A keen classic !

The Odyssey, (-725) Homer
Homer's epic poem The Odyssey recounts the 10-year journey of Odysseus from the fall of Troy to his return home to Ithaca. It's considered with The Iliad the oldest book in European literature and it is for sure an important marker of European spirit.

Open Veins Of Latin America (1971) Eduardo Galeano
The book is hard, deep and it's a classic un Latin America. The Uruguayan journalist, writer and poet Eduardo Galeano analyzes the history of the Americas as a whole, from the time period of the European settlement of the New World to contemporary Latin America, describing the effects of European and later United States economic exploitation and political dominance over the region. A must read if you travel in the continent.

Hagakure, The Book Of The Samurai (1716), Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Here we got something special and interesting if you go to Japan. Hagakure is a a practical and spiritual guide for samurai classes and the book records Tsunetomo's views on bushido, the warrior code of the samurai. Hagakure is sometimes said to assert that bushido is really the "Way of Dying" or living as though one was already dead, and that a samurai must be willing to die at any moment in order to be true to his lord. His saying "the way of the warrior is death" was a summation of the willingness to sacrifice that bushido codified.

Tags: Culture Books
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