Which books, plays, poems or other works by American writers do you think world leaders should read to better understand American life and culture?

1984
Bicycles: Love Poems by Nikki Giovanni
To Kill A Mockingbird
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The Perfect Mile
The Interpreter of Maladies
Talking About People by Rosalie Maggio
Tom Wolfe The Bonfire of the Vanities
The Fundamentals of Play by Caitlin Macy
“Revolutionary Road” by Richard Yates
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote
“In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
White Noise by Don Delillo
The Centaur by John Updike
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
them by Joyce Carol Oates
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 by Hunter S. Thompson
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Babbit by Sinclair Lewis
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The World According to Garp by John Irving
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Lorax
From Here to Eternity by James Jones
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Story of Ferdinand
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein
Fahrenheit 451
Underworld by Don Delillo
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
Fahrenheit 451
ETA-Estimated Time of Arrest
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Better by Atul Gawande
“White Roots of Peace” by Paul Wallace
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Governor John Winthrop’s sermon, Modell of Christian Charity
Henry James’s Daisy Miller and also The American
The Great Gatsby
Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century by John Boswell
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth
“The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon
To Kill a Mockingbird
Little House on the Prairie
Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul, by John M. Barry
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
American Pastoral by Phillip Roth
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers
Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
Winesburg, Ohio
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
American Primitive
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The School and Society by John Dewey
Enormous Changes at the Last Minute by Grace Paley
Mystery Train by Greil Marcus
Native Son by Richard Wright
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Faidman
Rabbit Run by John Updike
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
Hunting Is Painting by Jessica Savitz
Zot by Scott McCloud
Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color
The Namesake
The Giving Tree
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
“The Feminine Mystique” – Betty Friedan
Saul Bellow’s “Henderson the Rain King”
“Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville
“Bless Me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya
“Beloved” by Toni Morrison
“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren
“Everything Is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer
“Washington: A Life” by Ron Chernow
“The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen
A Good Man Is Hard To Find
“Catch 22” by Joseph Heller
“The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler
“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“Tortilla Curtain” by T.C. Boyle
To Kill A Mockingbird
The Pale King
“Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace

What is the Power of the Word Exhibit?

Power of the Word: Leaders, Readers and Writers is the first online exhibition of The American Writers Museum. As world leaders gather in the U.S. this spring, The American Writers Museum Foundation is inviting American writers and readers to explore the power of the word and join in a discussion of how American books can help readers in other parts of the world better understand our culture.

Leaders Gallery

An exploration into what some of the world’s most powerful leaders like to read, and how reading has influenced them.

Writers Gallery

American writers comment on their early experiences with reading and name the books they think world leaders should read in order to better understand American culture.

Readers Gallery

An interactive, open forum where readers are invited to join the discussion by answering the question: Which American works of literature do you think leaders from other nations should read in order to gain a better understanding of America?

We would like to thank our exhibit sponsors for their generous support:

     

What is The American Writers Museum?

The mission of The American Writers Museum Foundation is to establish the first national museum in the United States dedicated to engaging the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, our culture and our daily lives. Learn more at www.americanwritersmuseum.org