Best Books I read from 1978 to 1984

By Dom Nozzi

The following books are the best books I read while in college (of the 84 books I read during that time in my life). They are books that influenced how I see the world, and many are the books I most refer back to in conversations with others. In my view, each is an essential book that must be read.

For some of these books, I now realize that I have matured or otherwise moved to a place in conflict with the propositions put forth in the book. However, even these books undoubtedly shaped my thinking in certain, durable ways. And they certainly inspired me, through the sheer intellectual enjoyment of reading them at the time, to read voraciously in a never-ending search for further epiphanies.

Classics of Freethought, by Blanshard, Paul (ed) (1977)

Energy for Survival, by Clark, Wilson (1974)

Letters to the Lord, by Cohen, Chapman (1935)

The End of Affluence, by Ehrlich, Paul & Anne (1974)

Protest: Pacifism & Politics, by Finn, James (1967 )

The Other America, by Harrington, Michael (1962)

Creating Alternative Futures, by Henderson, Hazel (1978)

Some Mistakes of Moses, by Ingersoll, Robert (1986)download

The Faith of a Heretic, by Kaufmann, Walter (1960)

On Death & Dying, by Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969)

In Defense of Secular Humanism, by Kurtz, Paul (1983)

Diet for a Small Planet, by Lappe, Frances Moore (1971)

Entropy, by Rifkin, Jeremy (1980)

Atheism: The Case Against God, by Smith, George (1979)

Unpopular Essays, by Russell, Bertrand (1950)

What On Earth is an Atheist!, by O’Hair, Madalyn Murray (1969)

The Making of a Counterculture, by Roszak, Theodore (1968)

The Greening of America, by Reich, Charles (1970)

False Promises, by Aronowitz, Stanley (1973)

The Closing Circle. by Commoner, Barry (1971)

Population, Resources, Environment, by Ehrlich, Paul & Anne (1970)

The Rhetoric of No, by Fabrizio, Ray et al (1970)

The Affluent Society, by Galbraith, John K. (1958)

Economics, Peace & Laughter, by Galbraith, John K. (1971)

The Communist Manifesto, by Marx, Karl & Engels (1848)

Essential Works of Marxism, by Mendel, Arthur (ed) (1961)

Freedom Under Siege, by O’Hair, Madalyn Murray (1974 )

Marriage & Morals, by Russell, Bertrand (1957)

Small is Beautiful, by Schumacher, E. F. (1973)

The Great Shark Hunt, by Thompson, Hunter S. (1979)

Future Shock, by Toffler, Alvin (1970)

The New Industrial State, by Galbraith, John K. (1967)

The Limits to Growth, by Meadows, Donnella & Denis (1972)

Living in the Environment, by Miller, G. Tyler (1979)

An Inquiry into the Human Prospect, by Heilbroner, Robert (1974)

Cocaine, by Ashley, Richard (1975)

Subliminal Seduction, by Key, Wilson Bryan (1973)

The Ultra Secret, by Winterbotham, F.W. (1974)


I urge you to email me ( or leave a comment if you have a suggested addition or subtraction from this list. Or if you have any other thoughts about this list.


Each list in this blog contains my own personal opinions based on my personal experiences. I acknowledge that there may be a need to add or subtract from these lists (or to create a new subject list), and I welcome such suggestions. The lists are not ordered from higher to lower quality. Each list is a work in progress.

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About Dom Nozzi

Urban designer, Complete Streets instructor, smart growth specialist, town planner, walkable & bikeable streets & trails specialist, writer, editor, speaker, world adventurer, skier, kayaker, SCUBA diver, bicyclist, hiker, dancer, book reader, urbanist. Make my own beer, wine, pasta, bread. Live by the motto that it is the things we do NOT do that we later regret. Life is too short to not live it to the fullest.
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3 Responses to Best Books I read from 1978 to 1984

  1. I imagine you’ve left off your list those books you read for pleasure? Though if I remember rightly I didn’t read for fun too much when I was at university – things really took off afterwards. I enjoyed reading ‘Small is Beautiful’ not so long ago – it’s a book many people would benefit from investigating.

    • Dom Nozzi says:

      The books I list were read for pleasure. I read from 30 to 70 books each year, and my interests are wide-ranging. My inventory of books read (which this “best books” list comes from) does not include books I was obligated to read as a student or a professional. In my first semester as a college student, I was assigned an enormous amount of material to read. Nevertheless, I read quite a few books that had nothing to do w/ my classes. I made the Dean’s List w/ a 3.89 GPA that first semester. Agree w/ you about Small is Beautiful. Thanks.

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