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Recommended Books
 

Discover which books made a difference in the early lives of the most eminent achievers of our times.

Here, in their own words, are the answers to the question, "What book did you read when you were young that most influenced your life?" The answers reflect the wonderfully varied power of books, and remind us of some neglected classics and other works we may want to take into our own lives.

The Academy of Achievement believes the family library is a great silent force in American education. The love of books and the habits of book-buying and book-reading should be instilled early. The books that inspire us when we are young can remain our friends for a lifetime.


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Reveille in Washington by Margaret Leech
Reveille in Washington
by Margaret Leech
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Recommended by:
David McCullough
Two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography


Lost Illusions by Honoré de Balzac
Lost Illusions
by Honoré de Balzac
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Recommended by:
James Michener
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist


The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
The Moon is Down
by John Steinbeck
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Recommended by:
George Mitchell
Presidential Medal of Freedom


Smoky the Cowhorse by Will James
Smoky the Cowhorse
by Will James
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Recommended by:
Scott Momaday
Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass
by Walt Whitman
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Recommended by:
Story Musgrave
Dean of American Astronauts


The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Jungle
by Upton Sinclair
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Recommended by:
Ralph Nader
Consumer Crusader


The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade
The Cloister and the Hearth
by Charles Reade
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Recommended by:
Paul Nitze
Presidential Medal of Freedom


The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy
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Recommended by:
Peggy Noonan
Author and Speechwriter


The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
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Recommended by:
Jessye Norman
Legendary Opera Soprano


Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
Walden and Civil Disobedience
by Henry David Thoreau
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Recommended by:
Joyce Carol Oates
National Book Award


D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths
by Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire
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Recommended by:
Suzan-Lori Parks
Pulitzer Prize for Drama


The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The War of the Worlds
by H.G. Wells
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Recommended by:
Linus Pauling
Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and Peace


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Crime and Punishment
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Recommended by:
Shimon Peres
President of Israel


The Holy Bible by
The Holy Bible
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Recommended by:
Dan Rather
Broadcast Journalist


The Island Within by Ludwig Lewisohn
The Island Within
by Ludwig Lewisohn
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Recommended by:
Jonas Salk
Developer of Polio Vaccine


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