- REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
College professors dole out an incredible amount of required reading to their students.
But what if they could only choose one book?
When asked, professors at America’s most prestigious colleges – those in the top 10, according to US News & World Report – shared with Business Insider the single book they think every student should read in 2017.
The topics of the books spanned issues from politics to social science to Shakespearean literature.
Read on to see what professors from schools like Princeton, Harvard, and Yale think you should read next year.
Jill Abramson, Harvard: ‘The Paranoid Style in American Politics,’ by Richard Hofstadter
- The Paranoid Style in American Politics
Abramson, a former executive editor of The New York Times and current Harvard English lecturer, recommends students read Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” first published in 1964.
Abramson says the book is “everything you need to know about the root of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and fake news.”
James Berger, Yale: ‘Orfeo,’ by Richard Powers
He implores students to read the book, explaining that:
“It is a story of music and genetics in our contemporary age of terror and surveillance. An idiosyncratic retelling of the Orpheus myth, an elderly avant garde composer who feels he has tried and exhausted every possible musical experiment, returns to his first love, biology, and seeks to inscribe a musical score onto the mutating DNA of bacteria. Yup.
“But his efforts are mistaken to be acts of bioterrorism, and so he flees into the ‘underworld’ of contemporary America, returning also to the various Euridices of his past. Amazing book -and you’ll learn a hell of a lot about music, science, politics … and even about Life!”
Eric Maskin, Harvard, and Maurice Schweitzer, UPenn: ‘The Undoing Project,’ by Michael Lewis
Eric Maskin is a Harvard professor and received the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics. Maurice Schweitzer is a professor of operations, information, and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Both chose Michael Lewis’ “The Undoing Project.”
Read Business Insider’s December interview with Lewis, in which he discusses the book, the American presidential election, and how Wall Street has changed in recent years.
David B. Carter, Princeton: ‘The Strategy of Conflict,’ by Thomas Schelling
- The Strategy of Conflict
“‘The Strategy of Conflict’ is both probably the best book ever written about conflict and still very useful and important for understanding strategic interaction among states (and individuals).
“It also happens to be a very well-written and readable book. I read it as a junior in college and it was instrumental in getting me interested in international relations more generally, and in understanding conflict behavior and strategy in particular. I know it is an old book, but think it is something that anyone would benefit from reading.”
WJT Mitchell, U Chicago: ‘A Theory of the Drone,’ by Gregoire Chamayou
- A Theory of the Drone
WJT Mitchell is an English and Art History professor at the University of Chicago.
Mitchell describes the book as:
“A very intelligent assessmentofthenew conditionsofdronewarfare in their implications for just wartheoryand notionsofmilitary valor.”
Kenneth Warren, U Chicago: ‘Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life,’ by Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields.
Kenneth Warren is an English professor at The University of Chicago.
He recommends “Racecraft: The Soul of Inequality in American Life,” by Karen E. Fields and Barbara J. Fields saying, “given the resurgence of questions aboutracein American society I think everyone should take a look at the 2014 book.”
Harold Bloom, Yale: Shakespeare.
- via The Telegraph
Harold Bloom, an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, kept it short and sweet saying students should read, “all of Shakespeare.”