Classic Books in Philosophy, Politics & More

This is a list I put together for my own reference containing the classic works across philosophy, politics, history, sociology and more. It was compiled using the Open Syllabus Project and going through the top 100 assigned works.

Ancient Philosophy

  • Republic by Plato
  • Apology by Plato
  • Dialogues by Plato
  • Ethics by Aristotle
  • The Politics by Aristotle
  • Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle
  • The Poetics by Aristotle

Modern Philosophy

  • Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill
  • Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
  • The Metaphysics of Morals by Immanuel Kant
  • Existentialism by Jean Paul Sartre
  • On Liberty by John Stuart Mills
  • Discourse on Method by Rene Descartes
  • A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn


  • Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
  • The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  • The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett James Hardin
  • Second Treatise of Government by John Locke
  • Silent Sprint by Rachel Carson


  • Common Sense by Thomas Paine
  • Autobiography by Ben Franklin
  • The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • The Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson


  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  • Capital by Karl Marx
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
  • The Sociological Imagination by Wright Mills


  • The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith


  • Origin of Species by Darwin


  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk