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Modern Library

The Modern Library, a division of Random House, was founded in 1917 by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright. It was bought in 1925 by Bennett Cerf. Random House began in 1927 as a subsidary of the Modern Library, but eventually became the parent company. The Modern Library identified itself as "The Modern Library of the World's Best Books". In keeping with that identity, they identified the 100 best novels and non-fiction books of the 20th century and conducted an unscientific web poll to gather public opinion on the same. The top ten books from both lists in each category are shown below.

Table of contents
1 Board Selections
2 Reader Selections
3 External link

Board Selections

Best 20th Century Novel

  1. Ulysses by James Joyce
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  4. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  6. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  7. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  8. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  9. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
  10. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Best 20th Century Non-fiction

  1. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams
  2. The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James
  3. Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington
  4. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Wolff
  5. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  6. Selected Essays, 1917-1932 by T.S. Eliot
  7. The Double Helix by James Watson''
  8. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
  9. The American Language by H. L. Mencken
  10. The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money by John Maynard Keynes

Reader Selections

As David Ebershoff, the Modern Library division's publishing director, carefully stated "the people who were drawn to go to the Modern Library Web site and compelled to vote have a certain enthusiasm about books and their favourite books that many people don't, so that the voting population is skewed." In other words, it was an insecure web poll. [1]

Best 20th Century Novel

  1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  2. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  3. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  6. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  7. Anthem by Ayn Rand
  8. We the Living by Ayn Rand
  9. Mission Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
  10. Fear by L. Ron Hubbard

Best 20th Century Non-fiction

  1. The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
  2. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard
  3. Objectivism, the Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff
  4. 101 Things to do 'Til the Revolution by Claire Wolfe
  5. The God of the Machine by Isabel Paterson
  6. Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life by Michael Paxton
  7. The Ultimate Resource by Julian Simon
  8. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
  9. Send in the Waco Killers by Vyn Suprynowicz
  10. More Guns, Less Crime by John R. Lott

External link