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A List of “Must-read” Books for American High School Students cum a Recommended Summer Reading

Release Time:2017-06-29 Source:Zhenjiang Library Author:jsb Views:696

This is a very short list of 21 books comprising essentially books on literature and philosophy. Most of them are literary works and the rest are philosophical works. For example, The Declaration of Independence and The Communist Manifesto are two fundamental theoretical sources of modern society. In a word, the book list features simplicity but great significance. From this book list, we can see the original intention of the American high school educators. If a student can actually complete these 21 books, he or she can be said to have mastered the quintessential human wisdom and experience of all ages.


 1. Iliad by Homer

  2. Odyssey by Homer

  3. Aeneid by Virgil

  4. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

  5. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

  6. Macbeth by William Shakespeare

  7. Paradise Lost by John Milton

  8. The Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

  9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

  10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

  11. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  12. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twin

  13. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  14. Grapes of the Wrath by John Steinbeck

  15. The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome D. Salinger

  16. The Republic by Plato

  17. Politics by Aristotle

  18. The Bible

  19. The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson

  20. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

  21. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels