Books for 10,000 years from now

The Long Now Foundation was created to engage in very long-term thinking.  One of its projects is a 10,000-year clock, which will tick one a year, bong once a century and strike the “hour” once every 1,000 years.

Another is to collect and store a library of essential reading, including a Manual of Civilization wing consisting of 3,500 books with information most needed to “sustain or restore” civilization.   The books are still in the process of being selected.


Here is a preliminary list of some of them.

10 Titles from Brian Eno’s Manual for Civilization list

Seeing Like a State by James C Scott

The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams

Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti

The Wheels of Commerce by Fernand Braudel

Keeping Together in Time by William McNeill

Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich

Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese

A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al

The Face of Battle by John Keegan

A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

10 Titles from Stewart Brand’s Manual for Civilization list

Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations by David R. Montgomery

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

The Odyssey by Homer translated by Robert Fagles

The Iliad by Homer translated by Robert Fagles

The Memory of the World: The Treasures That Record Our History from 1700 BC to the Present Day by UNESCO

The History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories edited by Robert B. Strassler

The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War edited by Robert B. Strassler

The Complete Greek Tragedies, Volumes 1-4 edited by David Grene and Richmond Lattimore

The Prince by Machiavelli, translated by George Bull, published by Folio Society

10 Titles from Kevin Kelly’s Manual for Civilization list

Practical Bamboos: The 50 Best Plants for Screens, Containers and More by Paul Whittaker

Caveman Chemistry: 28 Projects, from the Creation of Fire to the Production of Plastics by Kevin M. Dunn

The Soundscape by R. Murray Schafer

The Backyard Blacksmith by Lorelai Sims

A Museum of Early American Tools by Eric Sloane

Civilizations: Ten Thousand Years of Ancient History by Jane McIntosh and Clint Twist

Storey’s Guide to Raising Rabbits by Bob Bennet

Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources by M. Kat Anderson

Mirror Worlds: Or: The Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox… How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean by David Gelernter


I like book lists.  For more and longer lists, click on What Books Could Be Used to Rebuild Civilization?  Three science fiction writers, David Brin, Bruce Sterling and Daniel Suarez, contributed their lists.

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