A (Not- comprehensive) List of Books That Changed The World

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Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World by Simon Garfield

Banana: The fate of the fruit that changed the world by Dan Koeppel

How William Shatner Changed the World by William Shatner

The Russian Chronicles: A Thousand Years That Changed the World by Orland Figes, Robin Milner-Gulland, and Lindsey A. Hughes

On the dot: The speck that changed the world by Alexander Humez

The Machine That Changed the World: The Story of Lean Production—Toyota’s Secret Weapon in the Global Car Wars That Is Now Revolutionizing World Industry by James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, and Daniel Roos

Twelve Diseases That Changed Our World by Irwin W. Sherman

How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt

Thirty Years That Changed the World: The Book of Acts for Today by Michael Green

The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester

Molecules That Changed the World by K. C. Nicolaou and Tamsyn Montagnon

Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World by Walter Russell Mead and Richard C. Leone

Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan

The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World by Stephen J. Nichols

Eureka!: Scientific Breakthroughs that Changed the World by Leslie Alan Horvitz

Books that Changed the World by Robert B. Downs

12 Books that Changed the World by Melvyn Bragg

Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 and 1965 Tours That Changed the World by Larry Kane

A Man Without Equal: Jesus, the Man Who Changed the World by Bill Bright

The Man Who Changed the World: The Lives of Mikhail S. Gorbachev by Gail Sheehy

The Sisterhood: The True Story of the Women Who Changed the World by Marcia Cohen

The Iron Warship That Changed the World by Gare Thompson

Profiles in Faith: Inspirational Readings Based on Lives of People Who Changed the World by Harold J. Sala

Two Romantic Trios: The Story of Six Passionate People Who Changed the World of Music by Sheryl Macy

Great Adventures That Changed Our World by Reader’s Digest

Rumpus Rising: How an Online Magazine Run by a Terrible Euchre Player Changed the World by Andrew Altschul (just kidding)

The Girls of Summer: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team and How It Changed the World by Jere Longman

The Riddle of the Compass: The Invention that Changed the World by Amir D. Aczel

Battles That Changed the World by William Weir

Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky

Speeches That Changed the World by Andrew Young and Owen Collins

100 Dogs Who Changed Civilization: History’s Most Influential Canines by Sam Stall

Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan

The Gun that Changed the World by Mikhail Kalashnikov, Elena Joly, and Andrew Brown

The Corporation that Changed the World: How the East India Company Shaped the Modern Multinational by Nick Robins

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss

Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions That Changed the World, 1940-1941 by Ian Kershaw

The Book of Lasts: The Stories Behind the Endings That Changed the World by Ian Harrison and Gene Cernan

Notable Mentions in Other Media:

Nature: Dogs That Changed the World by Various Writers (Documentary)

Amazing Grace: 5 Hymns That Changed the World by Questar Video (Documentary)

How William Shatner Changed the World by William Shatner (Documentary)

Inventions That Changed The World (Poster series)

They Changed the World 100+ (Board game)

Music Is Love: 15 Tracks That Changed the World by Mojo Magazine (Compilation album)

The Machine That Changed the World (Documentary)

Fuzz: The Sound That Changed the World (Documentary)

Close But No Cigar:

Why we haven’t changed the world by Peter E Gillquist (Book)

Turning the Century: Personal and Organizational Strategies For Your Changed World by Robert A. Theobald (Book)

The World Has Changed (Song)

Living in a Changed World by Humbles (Audio CD)

Flux: Women on Sex, Work, Love, Kids and Life in a Half-Changed World by Peggy Orenstein (Book)

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See Also: Winston Smith is 39

See Also: Swinging Modern Sounds, Rick Moody’s Music Blog

See Also: Fifteen Thousand Pages in Three Minutes


Jesse Nathan is an editor at McSweeney’s and the managing editor of the Best American Nonrequired Reading. His poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, the American Poetry Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Nation. He was born in Berkeley, grew up in Kansas, and lives now in San Francisco. More from this author →