Best Books I read in 1985

By Dom Nozzi

The following books are the best books I read in my final year in college. 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.

The Pursuit of Power, by McNeill, William (1982)

Rules for Radicals, by Alinsky, Saul D.  (1971)

People and Ideas, by Baylor, Robert & Moore (1980)

Post-Scarcity Anarchism, by Bookchin, Murray  (1971)

Silent Spring, by Carson, Rachel (1962)

Censorship & Freedom of Expression, by Clor, Harry M. (ed) (1971)

Toward a Steady-State Economy, by Daly, Herman (ed) (1973)

Your Erroneous Zones, by Dyer, Wayne (1976)

The Monkey Business: Creationism, by Eldridge, Niles (1982)

The Feminine Mystique, by Friedan, Betty (1963)

Escape From Freedom, by Fromm, Erich (1941)

Exploring New Ethics for Survival, by Hardin, Garrett (1968)

Anti-Intellectualism In American Life, by Hofstadter, Richard (1962)

The Atheist Debater’s Handbook, by Johnson, B.C. (1983)

Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Kuhn, Thomas (1962)        StructureOfScientificRevolutions

Non-Nuclear Futures, by Lovins, Amory & Price (1975)

Mankind at the Turning Point, by Mesarovic, Mihajlo & Pestel (1974)

On Liberty, by Mill, John Stuart (1859)

The Hidden Persuaders, by Packard, Vance (1957)

The Age of Reason, by Paine, Thomas (1794)

The Mass Psychology of Fascism, by Reich, Wilhelm (1946)

The Function of the Orgasm, by Reich, Wilhelm (1942)

The Third Wave, by Toffler, Alvin (1980)

Johnny Got His Gun, by Trumbo, Dalton (1939)


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.


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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