The music impresario, long-time Bowie collaborator, and a true pioneer of modern music, Brian Eno has shared a list of books he thinks are essential to rebuilding civilisation, should the worst ever happen. Frankly, we’re thinking of destroying civilisation just we can read them all.
Eno is a founding member of the Long Now Foundation which is a San Francisco based non-profit organisation which aims to promote both slower and smarter thinking. One of their primary goals was to create a Manual for Civilization. The manual is a collection of 3,500 titles aimed to help either sustain or rebuild society.
Eno himself contributed the below 20 titles and with it, we not only see that ethos’ that Eno deems necessary to life (art, understanding, music) but the beauty Eno has found in these books and taken over to his music. There are entries for Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks as well as other titles which explore consciousness, capitalism and the human condition.
So, if the worst ever does happen and a man-made apocalypse comes knocking at our door, let’s be sure to grab these books to ensure we can rebuild our society.
Seeing Like a State by James C. Scott
The Mind in the Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art by David Lewis-Williams
Crowds and Power by Elias Canetti
The Wheels of Commerce by Fernand Braudel
Keeping Together in Time by William McNeill
Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich
Roll Jordan Roll by Eugene Genovese
A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al
The Face of Battle by John Keegan
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
Contingency, Irony and Solidarity by Richard Rorty
The Notebooks by Leonardo da Vinci
The Confidence Trap by David Runciman
The Discoverers by Daniel Boorstin
Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection by Sarah Hardy
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Cambridge World History of Food (2-Volume Set) by Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Coneè Ornelas
The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe by Marjorie Blamey and Christopher Grey Wilson
Printing and the Mind of Man by John Carter and Percy Muir
Peter the Great: His Life and World by Richard Massie
Source: Brain Picking