Literary works and books that inspired revolution have changed histories of many nations over the centuries. The written word has led to a mass awakening, protests, wars and revolutions, making us believe that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Many forms of written work have led to protestations but majorly it has been the books that inspired revolution. Some of these books managed to awaken feelings of nationality and patriotism to an extent that it leads to freedom movements. Here is a look at the top 11 such books that inspired revolution over the years, all across the world.
1. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
Though initially published anonymously, this strongly worded book led to the American Revolution. The message of standing up against a government not protecting the freedom or equality of the citizens of a nation, are all too relevant even today, irrespective of which country one belongs to.
2. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
This 1906 novel sheds light on the poor lifestyles and working hazards of the labourers in Chicago’s meat-packing industry. It hit a nerve so hard that President Theodore Roosevelt introduced the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act. This, later on, made way for the now active and thriving Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
3. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
Published in 1914, this book formed an integral part of the social reform drive in the beginning of the 20th Century. It was based on the injustices faced by the working class during the times of King Edward.
4. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Through this book Jane Jacobs awakened the people into being more involved and conscious about the planning, development, and construction of their communities and neighborhoods. The business of urban planning was revolutionized completely after this book touched the US masses and people all over the world.
5. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
The neo-atheist movement was propelled on, by this 2006 book. Richard Dawkins uses his position as an evolutionary theorist to point out that the fundamentals of science are ridiculed at the expense of religion.
6. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
This 2003 book led to some very serious thinking and questioning about the origin of Jesus Christ and what Christianity has led us to believe about it. It even made people question the existence of the Holy Grail and the conspiracy around Christianity as a religion itself.
7. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The environmental degradation is becoming more and more of a concern with each passing day. This book by Rachel Carson, published way back in 1962 was the first to point this out and the one which started the environmental movement and awakening.
8. Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky
The ideas on transformational grammar laid out by Noam Chomsky in this 1957 book, revolutionized the linguistic field and also dethroned the position of behaviorism in psychology.
9. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
Way before ‘feminism’ became what it is today, it was this book that started the women’s movement. Published in the year 1963, the book gave expression to women’s confined roles as homemakers. This was definitely one of the most influential books that inspired revolution in terms of women empowerment.
10. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The book forever changed the way we look at bureaucracy and led to skepticism about how it functions. The author drew on facts and pointed out the self-serving as well as soul-destroying nature of bureaucracies across the world.
11. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Published in 1852, this is one among the most famous books that inspired revolution. Based on the controversial topic of slavery and written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, historians, till date, use it during debates to have an impression on making people think about ending slavery.
With this Independence Day, these books might help awaken feelings of nationality, doing good for the society and patriotism in us as well! A much-needed change can be brought about only through a revolution and these books through their words might just give that spark.